Falaha’s Journey: Descent (Book 1)

DESCENT is the first install­ment of Falaha’s Jour­ney, a xeno­cen­tric sci­ence fic­tion series.

Falaha’s Jour­ney first appeared as a blov­el (blog nov­el or series) on my old blog. That was in Jan­u­ary 2012. But before this hap­pened, the now pub­lished series’s main char­ac­ter, Fala­ha, had seen the light in win­ter 2011 in a flash sto­ry called The Answer.

Falaha
Fala­ha

This sto­ry came to my mind while I was brows­ing some chap­ters of the book titled Con­tact with Alien Civ­i­liza­tions: Our Hopes and Fears about Encoun­ter­ing Extrater­restrials by Michael A.G. Michaud.

So, below is Falaha’s pilot episode, not in the book.

~~~

The Answer

Ah, it stopped.” Fala­ha took off her rab­hain when the sig­nal of inter­est fad­ed away. “But it sure is noisy out there.”

Her par­ents were still in the din­ing area but she, fin­ish­ing the meal fast, rushed into their quar­ters to lis­ten to space again. Moth­er once men­tioned a place called Tal­ghein. Trans­mis­sions nev­er seemed to stop com­ing from that par­tic­u­lar direc­tion. They were so diverse and so beau­ti­ful and so weird. Fala­ha had no knowl­edge of the lan­guages caught in the web of par­ti­cle whis­tles and chirps, veiled in rever­ber­ant hum­ming. Are they just after­waves in space or would some­one answer if she were to pin the source?

She thought of Tal­ghein again, address­ing her Node and the siSys­tem launched the visu­als: a water world much like hers, the one she would nev­er see again though, ever. A shiny grey cres­cent of a small­er orbit­ing body was vis­i­ble as well. Their trans­port will be in the rel­a­tive vicin­i­ty of this sys­tem for a while before reach­ing the DIVE-point. So there is a short pos­si­bil­i­ty; this is as much as she can do for those who attract too much atten­tion.

Fala­ha unfold­ed siSystem’s com­mand pad and care­ful­ly start­ed draw­ing. She drew oceans and con­ti­nents, ani­mals, trees and flow­ers under a pret­ty red­dish-orange sun, and her­self with the fam­i­ly, all cop­per-haired, wav­ing hands at a hypo­thet­i­cal view­er, yet leav­ing the place in a space­craft amidst mul­ti­ple ves­sels doing the same. Giv­ing it a sec­ond thought, she also dili­gent­ly wrote her full name on the low­er left cor­ner of her mas­ter­piece – Fala­ha Kiere­nen ken­nar Far­gann, stan­dard age five.

And so, the encod­ed mes­sage was sent, even­tu­al­ly reach­ing its des­ti­na­tion.

Farewell to Earth. Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Farewell to Earth. Cred­it: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

~~~

Our radio trans­mis­sions have been slow­ly expand­ing into the deep reach­es of space for about a cen­tu­ry. Here’s a pic­ture of the extent of human radio broad­casts, a bub­ble 200 light years in diam­e­ter. This is quite a ‘dot’, but it is still small com­pared to the size of the Milky Way.

The broad­casts trav­el­ling through space are weak­ened as they approach the Shan­non lim­it, at which the ener­gy of the sig­nals is so low that they are no longer trans­mit­ting data and are almost indis­tin­guish­able from the back­ground radi­a­tion.

Also note that our trans­mit­ters are designed to broad­cast hor­i­zon­tal­ly to planet’s sur­face, not into space. Before going into space, our strong sig­nals are first trav­el­ing hor­i­zon­tal­ly through our atmos­phere, con­stant­ly chang­ing direc­tion, and are dis­trib­uted irreg­u­lar­ly around the world. Sen­si­tive equip­ment sev­er­al light years away would pick up an irreg­u­lar stream of chang­ing sig­nals, the broad­casts and lan­guages fre­quent­ly chang­ing and often going silent.

Jeno Marz
JENO MARZ is a science fiction writer from Latvia, Northern Europe, with background in electronics engineering and computer science. She is the author of two serial novels, Falaha’s Journey: A Spacegirl’s Account in Three Movements and Falaha’s Journey into Pleasure. Marz is current at work on a new SF trilogy. All her fiction is aimed at an adult audience.

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