Brink-o-link sat idly while his best friend and business partner, RJ, scanned the area below the surface of the asteroid for signs of valuable minerals. The two had been together for longer than anyone but these two could remember. Brink-o-link, of course, remembered everything he ever encountered or heard, while RJ, by his very nature was privy to every thought in Brink-o-Link’s brain. In essence, of course, Brink-o-link was more machine than anything. The only biological portion of his entire being was his brain. His brain was totally sustained by the nutrients and oxygen fed from internal mechanisms contained within the metallic cylinder which comprised his body. The brain was housed atop inside inverted glass bowl containing a cushioning fluid and surrounded by tubes that fed the necessary fluids and gasses that sustained it. The canister itself was additionally filled with various appendages ending in tools of a variety of shapes and uses. An anti-gravity mechanism allow him to float, of even fly, if necessary. The whole of his cannister and glass enclosed brain was sealed against the vacuum of space and he was able to exist outside an oxygen rich environment for hours without recharging his internal oxygen tanks.
RJ, on the other hand, was a being of nothing but energy. To those with visual acuity, which RJ lacked himself, he appeared as a small dot of blue light. Due to his visual nature, he was able to pass through all sorts of solid materials. In fact, in his experience, he was able to pass through anything but glass. His only means of communication was through telepathic communication with beings that possessed such ability or by actually entering into the brain of another being. As RJ had no telepathic abilities of his own and, due to its enclosure in glass, the ability to enter into his partner’s brain, their entire relationship was built on telepathic abilities of Brink-o-link. RJ had no need for oxygen, and, only required an energy recharge on frequent occasions, usually feeding on of nuclear waste which he not only received free of charge, but often was paid to consume as a service to those who had no readily available form of disposal.
Both were, to the best of their knowledge, the only known beings in the entire universe of their type and we well suited as partners. Neither needed anything much, but had talents that afforded their partnership and large amount of income. The majority of their employment dealt with finding and extracting valuable minerals from asteroid belts in various solar systems. The pair was so well suited for such since RJ could easily find the minerals and Brink-o-link, given his variety of internal tools, could easily extract anything found. As stated, Brink-o-Link was idly awaiting the return of RJ from his present underground search, when a surprising call came in from the Imperial Office of Zarton requesting their immediate assistance and to report to the nearest Zartronian outpost for instuctions. Brink-o-link withdrew his pile driver tool and banged it onto the surface of the asteroid, the signal he used to alert RJ that he needed to return to the surface.
RJ rose and Brink-o-link notified him of the call for assistance. The two of them returned to their ship to embark for the Zartonian Mega-Mall, the large traveling vessel that floated between solar systems filled with Zartronians offering for sale a large variety of items. They soon entered their ship, a gift from the Zartonian Mining Consortium. The ship was ideal for their operation because it was amorphous and could swell to whatever size was necessary to enclose the ore they extracted on their mission. It was a very unique vessel, as it was actually a living organism. Its surface opened and closed to allow Brink-o-link’s entrance and egress, at will, as if it read his mind, which it did. It did not communicate, however, in any form, just conformed to whatever thought entered into Brink-o-Link’s mind. RJ, of course, could also provide thought commands, provided he actually entered into the ship’s membrane, but it never opened for his entrance or egress, as it must have sensed, by his ability to pass into its membrane, that there was no necessity to do so.
They departed the asteroid and headed toward the center of the solar system in order to use the sun’s gravity to sling shot them toward their destination. On their way, the passed close to a small blue planet, when surprisingly, without warning, the ship began to plummet towards its surface. Before long, they had fallen to the surface of the planet into the midst of forest of tall evergreen trees. Both departed, so as to examine the ship for any sign of what had gone wrong. In addition, Brink-o-link attempted to notify the Zartronian Royal Office that they might possible need a tow, but some sort of interference interfered with the attempt. The ship appeared to be lifeless, as its surface was now dimmed and no longer undulating. They were both perplexed. Brink-o-link sought any sort of response, telepathically. RJ flitted continually in and out of the ship’s skin membrane seeking any answer to their dilemma. They had only received the ship prior to the beginning of their mining contract, so were unfamiliar with it, at least, as far as the whats and whys of its failure to operate, and, with the inability to communicate, were without a clue as to a solution. In his nearly fifty centuries of life, Brink-o-link had not previously encountered any creature or ship, however one was to officially refer to this living instrument of transportation, of similar design or composition, so his extensive data banks were silent as to a cause for their current dilemma. RJ, having only been Brink-o-link’s companion for half of his entire life, knew nothing from the time before Brink-o-link had delivered him from his glass prison deep within the bowels of some distant asteroid, and knew nothing more than Brink-o-link since that time.
Brinky, is there possibly someone on this planet who could lend any assistance? RJ asked for the benefit of Brink-o-Link’s telepathic reception.
I was so concerned with our dilemma as we fell to its surface to consider whether life existed on this world or, if so, whether they possessed the necessary technological knowledge to travel between the stars, his friend, in kind, responded. The Interspecies Code of Contact, you know, directly forbids contact with species without the ability to travel between stars.
It shouldn’t be of any harm if I took a quick look around, would it?
Examine their minds, but don’t try to communicate with any of them until you know for sure they possess the necessary level of technology.
RJ flitted off while Brink-o-link contemplated other options. He knew, given time, the Zartronians would come looking for them, but the message had intimated a real sense of emergency. Brink-o-link hoped RJ found the denizens of this planet could provide them with an alternative mode of transportation.
Alura Allen sat silently in the bushes so as not to be seen. She had run away from her foster family and was doing everything in her power to elude her capture. She was twelve, and, it was not the first time she had run away from a foster family. She had run away almost monthly since her placement into foster care after the death of her grandfather almost a year ago. She hoped that this time she could finally get away. She was so tired of the endless abuse and neglect of her foster parents. She could not understand the lack of affection and the endless selfishness within the family. Her life with her grandfather had been full of love. As they were each other’s only family, she had been as devoted to her grandfather as he had been to her. If it had not been for their frequent camping trips, where he had taught her how to survive in the wilds of northern New Mexico forests, that she would even have had an inkling to run away to live like a hermit in the mountains. Although she was just a mile outside of Questa, she hoped to make it into the deep forests to the northeast. She waited near Highway 38, hoping to slip unobserved onto the back of one of the logging trucks that frequented that route on their way into the forests.
Sci-fantasy novel, intended as first volume of possible series