The first day of class was nearly over and the instructor was sharing a slideshow of the Somerthians’ most treasured discovery. The young scouts stared in awe as images of oceans, trees and animals of every kind flashed before their eyes. Recordings of a world covered with bountiful lands planted a seed of exploration in their hearts.
“Scouts, the objective of your training is not to simply discover new worlds, it is to cure worlds that have been broken and destroyed by its inhabitants. We are Somerthians. We are protectors of the universe,” the instructor said as he continued his lecture.
“Mr. Frost, what world are you showing us?” inquired Orpheus.
“It is a world that was once beautiful,” answered Mr. Frost. “You see, scouts, thousands of years ago many of your ancestors believed that in the universe there was a planet built out of massive landforms with hundreds of types of plants and seeds. At the time, Somerth was short in water, and our comet catcher was not yet invented. Lifetimes passed and no one could find this planet. Then, finally, it was discovered by the great Marlo Herzog. The world was closely watched and its resources were held captive by its inhabitants. Each year we send the top graduating scouts to scan this planet.”
The class silently stared, urging the instructor to continue. The slides changed, displaying a war-torn land, and the tremoring sounds of explosions and destruction filled the room.
“As you may know, we haven’t touched ground on this planet in a few milenia, as it was destroyed by a great war. The planet’s resources were spoiled and its atmosphere ruined.”
“Mr. Frost?” a young scout raised his hand. “Why are you showing us this place?”
“Well,” he peered around another student’s head to read a name tag, “Desnan, is it?” The boy nodded. “It is important that you all understand the first principles of serving the universe.”
As Mr. Frost pushed a button on his remote, the rules appeared on the board and he read each of them.
- Never interfere with the natural cycle of a planet’s inhabitants.
- Never be seen unless invited to be seen. Many planets have a good relationship with Somerth but for most it is better that they do not know of our existence.
- Never explore with the intent to invade. Our assignment is to protect and serve, not destroy.
“As Somerthians we believe in exploring new galactic entities and creating trade with other planets in the universe. You will be tested on these principles. Understood?”
“Yes, Mr. Frost,” the class confirmed.
“Mr. Frost, what is the planet called?” Orpheus anxiously inquired.
“Oh yes, where was I? As you can see by these recent images, we monitor the levels of toxins in the air of this planet each Somerthian year. Since this process began, the world has become healthier and the atmosphere is showing good signs of improvement. Since time passes ten times as quickly there than here, by the end of your lifetime, you may be able to explore this planet yourselves. You’ll want to remember its name, as it is known in the universe, Atmos.”
“I want to be the greatest explorer Somerth has ever seen,” Orpheus whispered to himself.
The bell rang.
“Well scouts, the time has arrived for you to return home. Enjoy the rest of your day and until tomorrow…”
“Protect. Serve. Explore!” the scouts recited.
The scouts rushed out of class to tell their parents of all they learned.
“What do you think about Atmos?” Orpheus asked Desnan, his good friend.
“Sounds like an adventure worth taking to me. What about you?”
“I want to explore everywhere! Maybe one day we could live there!” Orpheus decided.
“That’s quite the dream Orpheus.” Desnan teased.
Orpheus and Desnan, hurried outside of to their bi-gliders. These scooter-like vehicles were invented by Orpheus’ father who was a chief amongst Somerthian scouts. He discovered hovering vehicles as a young explorer and used the technology from them to create single-rider, bi-gliders.
“Hey Orpheus, race you home?” challenged Desnan.
“To the center of Capital?” he invited.
Desnan nodded and zipped out into the street as Orpheus hurried to catch up.
“Cheater,” he mumbled to himself.
Somerth was home to many creatures and its inhabitants were known as Somerthians. They lived a peaceful life and were protected and led by their Prime Leader, whose palace overlooked the land from the center of Capital.
“So now you have to cheat?” Orpheus yelled as he caught up with Desnan.
“Well, your model is much faster than mine, since your father designs these things! It’s only fair,” Desnan justified.
“Follow me. I’ve got an idea” Orpheus said.
The young boys raced around buildings and parks, and Desnan willingly followed Orpheus’ explorer spirit. They traveled north toward a wild, unnamed providence. This area was home to one of Somerth’s native creatures the Esox. Esox were small, bear-like animals that had large teeth, a round face and built their homes with the tall, wild grass. They reached the top of a large cliff. Orpheus reversed the generators on his bi-glider and got off.
Desnan was catching up at a high-rate of speed.
“Stop Desnan!” Orpheus yelled.
Desnan quickly reversed the generators and came to a halting stop.
“Whoa. That was close,” Desnan pointed out.
“Were you day dreaming? If you hadn’t looked up when you did, you could have died!”
From their look-out point they could see most of the Capitol. All across the skyline were different prototypes of hovering homes. Orpheus’ dad had recently been assigned by the Prime Leader, Panndu Sendelli, to create homes that float in the sky. For many Somerthians, the idea of leaving the ground was very appealing. The prototypes were successful until the internal charging system began to become less effective. Overtime each of the failing generator models would lower the homes back to the ground.