A Campers Dream
Robert C. Waggoner
Copyright 2015 by Robert C. Waggoner
A Campers Dream
[*I’m seventy-two now. In my hand I hold a diary written exactly fifty years ago. It all began when my girlfriend, soon after she became my wife, and I was hiking up on Mt. Rainier in Washington State. After our encounter we decided to keep what we experienced our secret until fifty years had passed. We did that because if we told about our encounter we would be laughed out of town. Now that my dear wife has passed on and I really do not care what people think, I’m going to publish our one night’s camping experience. *]
Before I tell you what happened that night during the summer of 1965, let us get better acquainted so you will not think me a crackpot. Both my wife and I have called Washington home since we poked our heads out on a typical drizzly day in November. We also attended the same Seattle high school. It was in high school where we met working on the school newspaper. We loved the smell of newsprint and wanted careers in journalism. By then we realized we were a couple destined to spend our lives together. We spent the next four years at the University of Washington. It was the summer after we graduated that we went hiking on Mt. Rainier.
We both needed jobs and eventually I landed a job at the P.I and my wife found work at a magazine publisher’s house. Oh and yes we had a couple of kids who have both went on to successful careers down in California. Eventually we purchased a house in Greenlake and that is where I am presently writing this story.
Okay, let us get on with the encounter we, or I remember as if was yesterday. As I said we were about halfway up from Paradise at Camp Schurman. At that time the camp was just an area to camp out before attempting the remainder of the mountain. We were there during the middle of the week when few climbers were out and about. Also remember this was fifty years ago and not many hikers in those days. Fortunately or unfortunately we were alone that particular night.
At nine thousand feet above sea level, nights are a bit chilly to say the least. We had a borrowed tent and other camping gear. We made sure that we had camp set up before the sun went to sleep over the horizon. I might add here that my wife and I were not neophytes at outdoor camping. We both loved the outdoors and all through our lives we continued to hike various trails throughout the Pacific Northwest.
I would guess it was about midnight when I heard a high whistling wind sound. We both felt lucky that night that the wind was calm over the mountain. So we were surprised to hear the strange whistling noise. My wife said, “Harry, what is making that sound?”
“I don’t know, but let me sneak a peek out the door.” On hands and knees I crawled to the door for a look see. I had a flashlight, but I never turned it on. When I stuck my head out, a swirling wind blew bits of dust in my face. I blinked and looked up seeing against a starry sky a large round object slowing descending to our camp site. By now my wife was at my side. What was a perplexing was the fact the round object became smaller at it came to our camping site. Later I learned that the spaceship could fold its circular shape for landing and open for space travel. When it was on the ground it was about the size of a small merry-go-round.
Needless to say, our hearts were thumping away, but neither one of us felt threatened. Soon silence returned and we waited not knowing what would happen next. There was not any light whatsoever coming from the object. Even when a small door opened it was dark inside. The first things to come out were large hummingbird kind of things. They flew all around and some came directly in front of us hovering for a good look I imagine. I think we were both kind of mesmerized and never moved.
More silence and then a larger door slowly opened. At first glance it looked like a dark silver person, but in fact it was a robot. It walked up to us and said, “We mean no harm or violence. We’d like to talk with you inside our craft. We’ll not kidnap you as some have claimed here on earth many times in the past. Our communication is built into the craft. You have given it a futuristic name of a computer with artificial intelligence. Please accept our invitation Harry and Virginia Watersfield.”
I turned and looked at Ginny and shrugged my shoulders. She said, “Why not. It will give us something to tell our grandchildren.”
We followed our new friend into the space ship. If you thought that spaceship inside was full of blinking colored lights, you would be dead wrong. A few yellow and green lights were coming from a counter like thing where we heard a different voice saying, “Welcome to our ship Harry and Virginia. You were told that no harm would come to you and that is very true. I just want to visit with you,” said the box with flashing lights.
“May we sit down as standing for a long time is rather tiring? Also we just finished hiking and our bodies are tired,” said Harry.
“Behind you is a rather narrow shelf, but it should suffice for the time we have to exchange information. We’re from a distant galaxy from a planet not unlike your own. We picked up your radio signals years ago and have since learned your history and the English language. English appears to be the language of choice on your planet. Now, as to who I am. I’m a computer that possesses artificial intelligence. Your scientists are presently working on developing computers and you’ll develop AI in the future.
“You’re thinking why are we here and at this particular time. Before I answer that let me say that we’re scouts that travel around the universe trying to stop mass destruction before it happens. For example, at this time several countries on your planet possess the atom bomb. You already know of its destructive capabilities. It’s easy to see that more and more countries will develop the bomb technology and that increases the possibility of mass destruction ending life on a once very livable planet. Simply put, we can’t allow that to happen. You could ask the question as why we can’t let that happen if there’re so many planets with life on them.
This gets a little deep Harry and Virginia. But let me try to explain. What we try and do to is keep life evolving throughout the universe. Here is the answer. Each and every planet with life on it is developing at its own rate. Eventually a level is reached where it can be shared with other races. Gone forever is the desire to conquer a nation that occupies the same planet. Developed planets or races have realized the futility of war. Let’s stop here and I’ll let you ask some questions.”
“My first question is why you are telling us two nobodies this story,” asked Harry.
“Without telling you how we know you’ll write a story that will be published fifty years from now. When it’s published we’ll return and make believers of the populous.”
“I’ve a question for you,” said Virginia. “How can we believe what you’re telling us is the truth?”
“It’s not in our best interest to deceive the human race. We anticipated your skepticism and I ask you if you’d like to take a short trip to the dark side of the moon where we have a much larger space ship on station.”
Harry and Virginia both felt their heart rate increase along with some chills running up and down their spines. As far as they knew only a few satellites were orbiting the earth. They looked at each other and Harry was a bit apprehensive as to the safety of his future wife. Virginia on the other hand was boarding on the slight beginnings of the women’s movement. She was all for it and nodded to Harry. He saw the sign and gave off a big blow of air. “Ok, AI we agree to go with you, but what about our camping gear?”
“We have cloaked it so nobody can see it or trip over it. It’ll be there when you return; which won’t be many of your hours. How long we stay is entirely up to you. It will take me a few minutes to activate ships gravity and provide atmosphere for you to breathe. You’ll feel some acceleration, but nothing out of the ordinary and similar to your jet airplanes taking off.”
They both felt a lifting sensation, but it wasn’t bad at all. It was even pleasant and some windows would have been nice. Harry learned quickly if you wanted to talk to AI all you needed to do was ask a question. To break the silence he asked, “About how long will it take to arrive at the moon?”
“Once we’re out of earth’s atmosphere it will take about ten minutes. It will take humans a long time to determine how to go faster than the speed of light. In your future it will take three days for a rocket to reach the moon. We have the means to travel faster than light.”
“You keep saying ‘our future’. I’m to presume you have means by which to travel in time,” asked Virginia.
“We can to a certain extent. After a period of time, too many variables enter into the equation. We’re very concerned about earth having the means of which to end all life on the planet by pushing a few buttons. Ah, we’re here now. We’ll be entering our mother ship shortly.”
They felt the soft landing and waited wondering what was going to happen next. The next came quickly as the robot said, “Follow me please. The ship has prepared for your arrival.”
The inside of the ship would be hard to describe because there was only small aisle ways or hallways to walk. The rest of the ship was some sort of machinery. Also it felt as if we were always going either slightly left or right. After what seemed a fairly long walk, we came to a circular room full of flashing lights and more robots standing at work stations. In the very center of the room was a small table with four chairs. Our robot led us there and said, “Please sit down and our directors will be with you momentarily.”
After sitting down, Virginia said, “I’m a little scared Harry, but I find this very interesting. I sure hope we live to tell about it.”
“Me too and I don’t feel cold or too hot. I can imagine we are experiencing technology way ahead of us humans. Oh, here comes two more robots, but these appear different.”
“Yes, but one is taller than the other. I wonder if that is significant in some way,” said Virginia.
[*The two robots sat down and were silent while Harry and Virginia took stock of what sat before them. The only difference was in their height and the heads of these two robots. To Harry the bodies were polished metal of some sort, but the heads were made of some flexible plastic. They had two eyes and a mouth, but no nose. It was curious that when they talked their mouths moved forming the words perfectly. Both thought the aliens were amazing. And yet they did not feel any fear or anxiety from their hosts. *]
“We’re proud and honored for your accepting our invitation to visit with us. We know you have many questions, but time doesn’t allow us to expound on a lot of questions. I’ll give you a brief view of who we are and where we came from. The focus or subject we’re trying to make will become clear as time goes on.”
One thing Virginia noticed was their eyes. At first glance they appeared very similar to humans, but the color kept changing from a pale blue to a light green. Also their pupils were pin points one second and dilated the next. Most interesting was when they moved their heads to look at one of the other of us; their eye movement was just a fraction of second behind the head. I soon became used to it and did not pay it any attention thereafter.
Harry was thinking about how they made sounds without air. To form sounds with the mouth, air must pass through vocal cords assisted by air. He made a mental note to ask about that anomaly later. Meanwhile the tallest of the two said:
“Our culture name and home planet is not necessary as it would mean very little to you. We come from a long distance from your galaxy. We have the ability to exceed the speed of light in your understanding of distance being measured. As far as how big the universe, or the area we all habitat, we don’t know where it begins or ends, if ever. What we suspect is a power so great conceived the notion of space with habitable globes for various species. You have your earth and we have our earth, so to speak.
Now to as why we are here and made contact with you two humans is rather simple. You both are writers and will be popular in your given fields. In fifty years from now we want you to publish your contact with us. Explain it in very simple language so all can understand from children to adults, rich or poor, educated or slightly educated.
We are the directors of a consortium of alien cultures. Each planet must play the director roll of seeing that harmony exists throughout the known universe. The why part is easy to understand, but hard to constantly maintain. We think that to evolve is to share technology and knowledge. We long ago rid ourselves of a biological body to support our brains. At this point in your time, your scientist’s think your brains are only being used around ten percent of capacity. Let’s just say that your brain has a lot of room to improve on as far as capacity of knowledge is concerned. Without being too technical, our brains are organic and with our flexible exoskeleton of our heads, there’s room for growth.
Some history for you to try and understand what and why we are observing your planet. We first came here when the Egyptians were developing various methods of math and science. Without any one’s knowledge, we extracted their brains after they died and kept them viable. After the Egyptians we selected brains from your famous people throughout history. And we’ll continue that practice forever.
I know you want to know what we did with those brains. We let them develop naturally for many of your years in robotic bodies such as ours. After that they can choose what to do in their respective fields. Let’s leave it here for the time being.
We know you’re curious now about who goes and who doesn’t go. Some names are familiar and some aren’t. We’ll be taking you both when your time comes. I’m sorry to say that it’s getting on towards dawn on your mountain. All of us look forward to our reunion in the future. Lots of events are in earth’s future, but trust us we won’t let humans destroy one another.”
So ends part 1 of this series of sci-fi adventures of Harry and Virginia Watersfield. In part 2 Virginia’s brain has been transported to the alien’s home planet. It’s her story and some of Harry’s life.
In part 3, Harry passes on and he’s taken to the home planet having the pleasure of reuniting with his wife. They express the wonder of an ancient alien civilization. Come share what appears a Utopian way of life, but is it really? Could it be all a facade?