s/he nearly cries with joy. They land on the plaza and are instantly surrounded by a crowd of life forms, demanding to know what happened. They gasp when they see Shaklyn 1, limp and unresponsive in their arms.
"Shaklyn 1," one breathes. S/He rushes forward and takes Shaklyn 1 from them and s/he instantly races off to the Welcome Habitat. S/He dismounts Shaklyn 1. When the others burst through the door, they see s/he had already laid Shaklyn 1 down on one of the sick beds and was by their side. Shaklyn 2 grasps their hand. S/He steps forward and starts undoing the bandage.
Shaklyn 1 screams, and s/he starts crying again. S/He can't help it. S/He can't stand seeing them in pain.
S/He hears them shouting to other villagers to step away and that it doesn't concern them. S/He is trying to calm them down, but s/he screams again, and then goes limp. Out cold.
"WHAT HAPPENED!?" s/he shouts, putting one hand on Shaklyn 1's forehead. S/He doesn't answer. S/He motions them out with their hands, and they listen, although they definitely don't want to.
S/He tries again, and nothing. Just when they are sure they are too late, Shaklyn 1 starts coughing. S/He turns over and coughs before flipping onto their back again.
They all sigh with relief. S/He's not dead. But then they notice something wrong. A crimson liquid seeping through their chest ...
S/He shouts, "Get some gauze! Quick!"
Shaklyn 1 tries to sit up.
"Don't _move !" s/he orders.
"I'm frozen in my position. I can't even speak."
S/He returns just an instant later carrying gauze.
S/He turns to them and hisses, "Are you gonna help me or NOT!?"
"I'm so shocked on what just happened."
They shake their head to knock themselves out of their daze and rush forward. They grip Shaklyn 1 under their arms and lift them half-way. S/He screams as they wrap the gauze around their chest. S/He cries silently, wishing there was something s/he could do.
"We have to get them back to the Welcome Habitat!"
"I'll take them! I volunteer. I can elevate!"
but it is short lived. S/He is pulled off by something s/he is not sure.
"Shaklyn 1!" s/he screams, racing over to the side. S/He looks down into the water. Nothing. Nothing at all. S/He is just about to jump in. S/He still tries to jump, but Shaklyn 2 holds them back.
"If Shaklyn 2 can't save them, neither can you!" s/he exclaims angrily, but s/he can hear the worry behind their voice. Shaklyn 2 is their cousin, after all. Not only that, but they're friends. "No use giving Shaklyn 2 two people to save!"
S/He knows they are right, but part of them wishes they are wrong. S/He wants to go in there and save Shaklyn 1. S/He wants to. But s/he knows Shaklyn 2 is the best choice, so s/he leaves it to them.
They wait in silence for five minutes. _Five. Whole. Minutes_. S/He expects them to resurface at any time. S/He expects them to both be alright. But five minutes. It would take a miracle.
Then, their heart leaps to their throat when s/he sees Shaklyn 1 resurface, pulling the limp body of their rider with them. They all scream in shock and race over.
"Shaklyn 1!" s/he shouts. Then s/he realizes something terrifying. "S/He's not breathing ! "
S/He pushess them out of the way and folds their hands over Shaklyn 1's chest. S/He feels tears run down their face as s/he pushes down, following a rhythm.
"Do something!" s/he shouts.
and elevates into the sky above TrES-2b, a pitch black planet. It absorbs 99% of the incident light.
"We'll meet you there!" they call out just barely loud enough for them to hear them. S/He holds Shaklyn 2 a little tighter as Shaklyn 2 elevates as fast as s/he possibly can. Tears run down their face, and they can't stop them. S/He tries, and s/he fails.
"A-as-tr .. id, " they hear Shaklyn 2 whisper. S/He looks down to see. S/He opens their eyes a crack. It breaks them though, and s/he shakes their head.
"Don't speak, please," s/he begs. "I am worried it could make it worse, if that is even possible. Also, it makes me cry harder when you speak."
S/He sobs, trying to keep them silent, but Shaklyn 2 hears them.
"What ..._happened_? " s/he asks in a broken voice. "Who-s ... ' urt? "
S/He doesn't know what happened.
"Shaklyn 2," s/he breathes, trying to keep their tears at bay long enough to reassure them.
"We'll be home soon, okay? I promise."
S/He closes their eyes and leans against them heavily, but s/he can tell s/he's not sleeping or unconscious, because their breathing is uneven. S/He pushes Shaklyn 2 to go faster, but s/he's already at their top speed, which is actually a lot faster than s/he is used to.
"No one knew this was going to happen, " says Shaklyn 2. "I jump. I thought s/he was inside?"
"You shouldn't go blaming yourselves."
"How's s/he doing?"
"Nothing different," Shaklyn 2 answers. "S/He's still out cold."
"It's our fault."
"No one's blaming you," says Shaklyn 2. "Shaklyn 1 wouldn't."
Shaklyn 2 turns around again and walks back.
"I feel awful about all this. I feel like it's my fault."
"You saved them after Shaklyn 1 brought them back out."
"Look, I just wanted to tell you... Am I really going to do this?"
" There. I said it. No use backing down now."
"You... you were so calm. We . . . I was panicking. If it weren't for you, we would be having Shaklyn 1's funeral right about now."
"I've been a jerk."
"The only time I actually treat them like family, or even a friend, is when their life is in danger."
"That's true, but it doesn't have to be true. Weather you accept it or not, thank you. I don't know what I would have done without you."
S/He turns to them and smiles. They smile back, but then they hear Shaklyn 2 's voice from inside: "Oh, that reminds me," s/he says, "you have some friends who want to see you."
We all exchange glances, and then bolt into the Welcome Habitat almost as fast as lightning. We walk through the doorway, and cry out in unison, "Shaklyn 1 ! "
S/He scrambles to regain their balance again,
S/He watches as Shaklyn 1 races to one side and looks down.
What they found isn't good.
"I'm still frozen in my position. I can't move, as much as I want to."
"I draw a breath and open my mouth, but no words come out."
It dawns on them that they really don't know exactly what happened.
S/He pauses and chokes back a sob.
"I can't breath. It..."
S/He shakes their head.
"I can't hardly move."
considering it inevitable and perhaps even a desirable epoch. Beyond simply trying to diminish visitors impacts, this philosophy argues for an enlightened Interstellarcentrism, where life forms should direct and manage its impact to deliver a “good Interstellarcene” through planetary management.
"I worked with them for 6 years. If s/he wanted to shut it down, s/he would've told me about it."
"S/He didn't tell you about me. But I wish s/he had."
"I was on an elevtion event when it happened."
"According to the security guard, s/he left the office at ten-thirty p.m., 30 minutes after your transporter arrived. Autopsy shows that s/he died around midnight. You had time to catch up with them."
"But I didn't. I went straight home."
"Didn't talk to them? Not even message?"
"You know, that's funny. We checked their communicator records. S/He made a call with their calling card at 11:02p.m. Your home number. I'd appreciate it if you didn't leave for a couple of days. And get that game fixed. It's missing a spring."
Restore. To restore messages, press "rewind" now. Yesterday at two forty-five p.m.
"I managed to reschedule..."
Yesterday at 5:14p.m.
Yesterday at 11:02p.m.
"Charamaynne, it's me. Listen, I've stumbled onto something incredible. This changed everything. I'm here in some bar. In case something happens to me, I left you a massage in the system."
"I gave it to Charamaynne. How did you find me?"
"I've been talking to witnesses about the UFO's they've seen."
There are many different visions of what makes a good Interstellarcene, but they have in common a viewpoint that optimism is needed to be able to engage successfully with the societal and political change needed in the Interstellarcene. One particularly prominent vision, promoted by the Alien Clone Factory, is embodied in the concept of ecomodernism, which proposes an embrace of high-technology solutions to tackle the challenge of the Interstellarcene, such as nuclear power, genetically modified organisms, intensified agricultural production, and possibly geoengineering. This is coupled with actions that encourage “decoupling” of life forms from nature, including facilitating migration to cities and urbanization, and rewilding of abandoned agricultural regions.