Short Story Saturday: The Other Side Pt. 1

Alright, so this isn’t the real first part. This is the raw, unedited concept version. But to get the idea, I suggest you still give it a read-through. It’s also my first science fiction piece, so some fantasy may leak in here or there. And it’s only three pages. Let me know what you think!

So… shall we begin?

“I’ve translated the first part!”

The transmission was crackling and barely audible. It took some of our more advanced technology to attempt to decipher it. It was in a language we did not know, with a species we had never seen before. The face was something like ours. It had two eyes, a mouth, and a nose. That much was similar. But the skin tone was a strange color. The eyes were tinier, and the mouth was a different color from the rest of the skin. The nose was protruding out of its skull. It even had a mass of black strands on the top of its head. We had never seen anything like it before.

About five crew members came over to look. Not only had we found this strange species’ flier, but now I had a gist of what it the transmission said. I brought it up on the screen again and played a bit of it.

The film started from the beginning, and it started to talk.

I paused it.

“Alright, so the creature is introducing itself here. It roughly translates to ‘Hello, this is’.”

“What about that piece past it?” one of the crew asked. “The piece we haven’t been able to decipher?”

“I’ve been just as curious myself. I believe ‘Thuyoo Ess-Ess Eh-Karr-Us’ to be its designation.”

“A fairly long designation.”

“For now, we will just call it Eh-Karr-Us.”

The others repeated the word: Eh-Karr-Us.

This ship was the very first we had seen of its kind. It was clunky, not properly shaped, and probably barely able to travel through a wormhole.

We had been stunned when we had found the transmission. Even before we understood it, we realized that it was the find of the millennia. We had not even considered that other creatures had made it to this planet before us. Perhaps they were even currently here. Maybe they had died on the way toward our planet. But how had they gotten here? When did they come? With such a clunky ship, how had they gotten past our planetary borders without someone noticing?

This message had been stuck inside the ship’s mainframe. It had set on a loop. We were not sure if they had purposefully set it on a loop or if it was broken. It seemed to me that it was probably broken, but the others were not so sure. I played the rest of the message. The strange thing began speaking again.

I paused after a while.

“The basic idea of what it is saying is ‘There are no others’. I do not yet know what ‘others’ it is referring to. But as you can see, there is another similar creature floating behind it. I do not think it is referring to its own kind. And then, just after this, it says something odd. We just recovered this piece. This…” I looked around at the crew. “This changes everything.”

I played the rest of the footage. As soon as a certain few words were said, the crowd, now far more than five, began chatting amongst themselves.

I paused.

“That’s the end of the footage. You heard those words right. ‘The planet is new’.”

A new planet had not formed itself in quite a long time. I do not mean a few hundred or a few thousand years. The fact that it claimed to know it had just recently come into existence could only mean one thing.

“It’s insane,” thought some.

“It’s confused,” muttered others.

I hushed the crowd. “I do not think it is either of these things. I believe the answer is much more perplexing. I think this species is the first.”


After the story reached WWC, it spread quickly. There were people who questioned it, but there are always people who question these kinds of things. But after intensive study of all the artifacts, it was only clearer that this thing was from a history before any history we had recorded. Or perhaps it was just before we remembered. Things like that can be forgotten after a long period of time. It also depended on whom you asked. The archeologists among us calculated that the age of the machine was about 14-15 billion years old. Some people on the WWC said that our calculations were wrong and that it was probably only a few thousand years old.

Then again, these people were not archeologists.

And of course, once the news had spread across the WWC, the Joined Cultures Scientific Committee wanted to have it tested. If it was really as old as we claimed, it would change the very fabric of how our society worked. We need not search for intelligent life elsewhere in the universe if it had already come before us.

On that day, I stood before the JCS Committee and proclaimed what we had found.

“We understand,” said the High Committee Leader in his usual drone, “that you have found a possibly 14 billion-year-old ship in the deserts of Tylsia, far below the main ground.”

“Yes, High Committee Leader,” I replied.

“What proof do you have that this alien vessel is as old as you claim?”

“The creatures were unlike anything we have ever seen. They said that the planet was new.”

“Perhaps, then, they had just discovered our planet. There is no reason to believe that it is that old. Creatures have to evolve from something. If the planets had just been made solid enough to land, how could something like this have evolved in that amount of time?”

“I don’t know, High Committee Leader, but please give me enough time to find out.”

“You do not know because it is not so. Either these things evolved out of the expanse or they are from before time, both of which are impossible.”

“Perhaps… they are from another dimension?”

The council laughed. The theory had been disproven many years ago, but it was the first thing that came to my mind. The High Committee Leader got up from his seat. “Are you here to tell me a children’s story or are you here for the furthering of scientific progress? Our best mathematicians and scientists have already utterly disproven the theory of alternate dimensions time and time again. That makes it a lie, a fable. And scientists do not live by fables. If you decide to, you do not deserve the title of a high scientist!”

“Hadrian, please!”

The crowd hushed.

In my zeal for this discovery, I had forgotten the two most important rules: one must never speak over the High Committee Leader. And greatest is that, in the context of the Scientific Court, you never speak a leader’s true name.

“Please?” I repeated, far quieter this time, twiddling my fingers.

The High Committee stared at me, his large black eyes filled with disgust. “Who do you think you are?”

In that moment, all fear of repercussion was gone. I had lived in it for far too long. I stood prouder, prouder than perhaps any person in the history of person had stood before. “I am a scientist, whether this council decides I am or not. I live for discovery. My job is to find truth to the best of my abilities in this vast expanse of universe that we live in. And I will discover the truth, High Committee Leader.”

Hadrian sat uncomfortably in his seat. “Until you can return to us with viable proof of what this species is, you are not welcome in this courtroom.”

“Then I will not rest until I do.”

I left the courtroom that day. I had a feeling deep in my gut that I would never return to the Joined Cultures Scientific Committee as long as I lived.

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