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Quiet!

Visitors! Again! Where? There! Why? When? Now! Why?

They have returned! Six times now. On the loud side of our world. Why there? Why do they not come to our side? How do they survive the wave-storms from the noisy-blue-planet?

Contact! Greet! Learn! Explore! Danger! Risk! Value? Knowledge! Insanity!

We argue. We must meet them! We must risk the blare from the noisy-blue-planet. Only the insane have ever attempted this. They have never returned. Are we insane?

Wealth! Value! Trade! Learn! Fear! Gain! Worthiness?

Our forebears, the parents of our thoughts, our legendary explorers did go forth onto all the surface of our world. Did know all of the secrets. They knew no fear. But this was in the many-times-before, when the noisy-blue-planet was only the blue-planet. When it, too, was serene.

Solve! Resolve! Cure! Find! Die! Escape! Trap! Thrive! Be! Emissary!

We cannot forever be timid and afraid. The storm of noise grows each cycle, while we do not. It creeps around the edges. It threatens to flood across the border. Our numbers cannot increase. We are squeezed onto a smaller and smaller preserve. We will all die. It must stop. If not us, who? If not now, when?

Our cluster separates from the main hive. We will make contact.

*****

Fear! Excitement! Anticipation! Loud! Hear? Forward? Know!

We arrive at the border between the quiet and the blare. Between life and death. Between ignorance and knowledge. The star lends its voice to the noise, but it is gentle by comparison. We steel ourselves. We cross into the sea of sound.

Agony! Joy! Confusion! Hold! Succeed? Survive!

We are across! It is difficult, but we marshal our wills. We do not let the noise overpower us. We hold together. We will flow along the surface. We will survive!

Where? Forward! Follow! Find! Seek! Contact!

We have found them.

Strange! Alien! Large! Legends! Many! Silent! Noisy! Shiny! Prophecy!

They are being a thing-of-substance. The shape reminds us of the visions of our legendary forbears. The prophets who understood the thoughts coming from the noisy-blue-planet. Their colony holds itself above the surface. Long cylinders of… legs? quadruped? extend up into the… body? Shiny. Gold. More cylinders and markings. The… head? is as large as the body. It rests on top. Gray. We surround them to interpret their essence. No motion. They are unaware of us. Two large, black… eyes? the things our elders say see. They stare straight ahead. They reflect everything. And nothing.

Greeting! Hello! Answer! Question! Where? Why? How? What? Who? Respond!

We give thoughts. We wait. No Response. No thoughts? How? It is not from here. The air hums with something we cannot read. A stream of consciousness?

“WELL GET THE READING WE NEED FOR THE NAV UPDATE DO YOU THINK YOU CAN GIVE US THE HEADING RIGHT NOW”

What? Meaning? Gibberish! Insane! Not! Pattern!

We do not understand the thoughts. They source from the highest round appendage on the head. Centralized thinking? Not natural. We should hear from all of them. Is the rest of their colony dead?

Make! Show! Imitate! Communicate! Visual! Connect!

We will attempt visual connection. We call out to our hive. There is too much mass here for our cluster to create. It will require much more.

Come! Careful! Join! See! Build! Connect!

We wait for our selves in the noise. We come. We begin our construction. We become a second thing-of-substance. The appendages are numerous, but simple. The shiny surfaces are difficult to mimic. We do our best. Soon we are complete. Our construct squats on four legs. We are an excellent facsimile. We see us in the others’ eyes. Still no response. We alter length of legs on one side and tilt. They do not copy us. We shift the multitude of our construct’s appendages. No reciprocation. No acknowledgement.

What? Frustration! Mindless? Blind? Unintelligent? Useless! Ignorant! Mute?

Could it be unintelligent? The waves we read are unintelligible, but not random. There is a pattern, an alien intelligence behind them. There is no intelligence here. This is but a thing. A thing that-

“JUST DRIVE BY THIS BIG ROCK WANT TO LOOK AT IT CANT SEE IT I CANT SEE WHEN THAT OFF ELSEEARU SHINES INTO MY EYES”

Where? There! Away! Find! What? Minds! Intelligence! Follow! Quickly!

That taste. More waves. Not from the thing-of-substance. Not from the star. Not from the noisy-blue-planet. They come from across our gray world. From beyond the thing-of-substance. Intelligence? We abandon our construct quickly. We follow the stream of noise across the surface. We fly fast, excited by the new sound. We fragment. Part of us surge ahead in our eagerness.

“WHERE ARE YOU SHORTY”

Danger! Murder! Explosion! Tearing! Stop! Unsafe! Pain! Agony! Separation!

A flare from the star! We have survived this before on the quiet side. It is already too loud here. The new waves pile onto the already forceful noise. Our outermost cadre evaporates. Half of us are gone before we are able to hold ourselves together in the boiling wind-wave-storm.

Shelter! Where? Here! Together! Hide! Save! Regroup!

Finally the sound eases. We regain cohesion. We can not survive another such flare. We draw ourselves in. We follow the waves more slowly. We stay close to the surface.

Motion! There! What? Constructs! Three!

One construct is smaller than the first thing-of-substance. It is also quadruped. Its legs are thick circles on edge that hold it above the surface. We flow under it. It also does not move. It shields us from the noise. The other two constructs have motion. Two biped constructs, with appendages at the top of their bodies. A spherical head on top, which appears to completely consist of a single gold eye. Biped-1 is changing the orientation of the motionless smaller-thing-of-substance’s sections. Biped-2 is beyond the first. It extends an appendage toward the surface.

“WHERE ARE THE REFLECTIONS IVE BEEN FOOLED ONCE THERE IS ORANGE SOIL”

Unintelligible? Communicate! What? Speak! Decipher! Translate!

Their constructs communicate with each other! Intelligent? They must be colonies!

Listen! Hear! Understand! Greeting! Hello! Respond! Answer! Question!

“HOW CAN THERE BE ORANGE SOIL ON THE MOON”

Reply? What? Understand? Alien! What? Elation! Life!

Do they communicate with us? Biped-one rises. It bounces off the surface. It floats toward biped-2. No. Their colonies still communicate only between each.

“JACK THAT IS REALLY ORANGE ITS BEEN OXIDIZED GO AROUND AND GET THE LUNAR SOUNDER OVER HERE”

Biped-1 returns to the motionless-smaller-thing-of-substance. They begin changing the orientation.

Frustration! Speak! Understand! What? Connect! Show! Gather! Build!

We must try visual again. They are intelligent. They will understand when we appear to them. We will construct our own biped by the smaller-thing-of-substance. We will copy the biped changing its orientation. With our numbers depleted, we would not be capable of duplicating the larger-thing-of-substance. Not even the smaller-thing-of-substance. We will not divide enough for many times many. It is good that the biped constructs are smaller. We begin our construct very close to biped-1. Soon they will see us.

“ACTIVATING LUNAR SOUNDER”

No! Loudness! Volume! Tearing! Stop! Pain! Agony! Shatter! Leave! Die!

It is forever torture! We shake apart into the stillness of no thought.

*****

Deliberate? Why? Accident! Ignorant! Planet! Same!

We that remain shelter under a rock from the noise. We have much time to think. The aliens have moved away. They are from the noisy-blue-planet. The cataclysm of noise they created tells us this. We do not believe they meant us harm. They are ignorant of us and our ways.

Action? Decide. Home? Away? Retry! Connect! Must!

We have divided many times. It is hard to do on this side. We are strong enough now to leave the shelter. We must try again. We must connect. For the future of us.

We slide out from under the rock. We stay together, close to the surface. We track their noise. We keep to shadows for protection.

“TAKE YOUR FINAL LOOK AT THE VALLEY OF TAURUS-LITTROW EXCEPT FROM ORBIT OKAY ONE MINUTE HOUSTON WERE FIFTY SECONDS NOW AND WERE GO”

We arrive at the smaller-thing-of-substance. They have moved it here. We shelter beneath it. The larger-thing-of-substance is before us. We hear them.

“OKAY NOW LETS GET OFF FORGET THE CAMERA”

We do not see them. Have they merged with one of the things-of-substance? We reach up to the smaller. We try to connect.

“IGNITION”

The head of the larger-thing-of-substance separates from the body. Clouds of loud sound push downward. They drown our thoughts. It rises away quickly.

Wait! Listen! Hear! Here! Hear! Stop! Return!

We shout. We await a reply. They do not listen. They do not return. Will they?

Where? Gone! Follow?

We look at the remaining things-of-substance.

We wonder.

*****

You can connect with William Mangieri, see the full list of his works, his writing blog, and links to his current promotions on his WordPress writing page at https://williammangieri.wordpress.com/   

Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in All Stories, Sci Fi

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