Probe — Ebook

Author : Al E. Gateson
Publication : 2004-12-29
Language : English
Pages : 383
Publisher : Xlibris US
ISBN 10 : 1462819885
ISBN : 9781462819881
Categories : Fiction / Science Fiction / Space Opera

This is a story of the late 21st century; a time when humans have developed advanced means of travelling throughout the Solar System with newly developed fusion drives for their space vessels. These vessels travel under various national flags to Earths moon where a substantial scientific research station is located, to Mars, where a million colonists live in three specially constructed cities and to Ganymede, a moon of Jupiter, where another research station exists. The SETI program, (Search for extra terrestrial intelligence) continues to exist, searching the heavens for that first faint signal coming from some galactic civilization. One day, on the remote location of Ganymede, a physicist picks up a signal that does not originate from any space mission originating from Earth. He traces it to a small moon of Saturn and determines it is of alien origin. An effort is made to gather a group of ten specialists to make the voyage to this moon, a part of the solar system where man has not yet ventured and investigate the source of the signal and if possible, return it to Earth for examination. The specialists are gathered from several nations on Earth and Mars. They finally launch toward the vicinity of Saturn planning a stopover at Ganymede to refuel and re-supply from a cargo ship that has left before them. While enroute to Saturn, the research station on Ganymede is attacked by a force of aliens who resemble an insect and all at the station are killed with the exception of one man (The one who first heard the signals) and one woman. They are taken prisoner and eventually transferred to the alien home world. Video of the attack in progress on Ganymede is picked up by receivers on Earth and by the two vessels heading in that direction. It is decided on Earth that the two vessels on the way to Ganymede should change course immediately and head for Enceladus, the moon of Saturn from where the signals are still emanating. The two vessels reach Enceladus within a few days of each other and immediately place themselves in orbit around the moon. By this time, signals are coming from the surface of the moon as well as from orbit. At this point there is no sign of alien vessels and a small, armed expedition is sent to the surface in a surface lander to check out the source of signals there. The supply ship, in orbit, attempts to capture the alien probe that is orbiting the moon. The landing party soon encounters an alien structure on the surface of Enceladus and a battle ensues with a group of aliens who kill one of the ships officers. The aliens are subsequently shot and killed by the rest of the landing party. An examination of the structure sitting on the surface results in the capture of one of the alien creatures who is transported back to the exploration ship orbiting the moon. He is questioned by one of the main characters in the story who has been able to convert the signals into characters via an advanced computer and has received some assistance from an elderly woman on Mars who is an archaeologist and had been studying the hieroglyphics found on Mars for many years and recognizes them. She supplies him with the alien alphabet. Once the alien is questioned, it is determined that they are intent on occupying the Solar system and destroying all intelligent life forms in all the inhabited areas replacing them with their own colonists. The two vessels from Earth break orbit around Enceladus and streak towards Earth, a six to 7 month journey, pursued by two alien vessels. At this time, a romantic involvement occurs between two of the specialist and a ships officer and another of the specialists. As the voyage continues, the alien vessels close with the two ships, the only Earth vessel that is armed is the supply ship and it manages to destroy one of the enemy pursuers. Another one destroys the cargo ship and a small number of its crew escape in a small lander with no real ho

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