Celeste

tyche-oort-cloud

PROLOGUE

There’s a chance I’ll be murdered before I can finish this and spill my guts. I know Nasa will do what they must to keep the secret–the secret I am about to divulge to you. After certain recent events, I feel I must.

I first learned of the Aravi back in 1980 when I was in the Air Force. I was passing a bottle of home-made moonshine back and forth with some red-neck Marine one night when he told me all about the Aravi, and the Oort Cloud Empire. He did seem too stupid to make this stuff up, but it was so far-fetched, I blew it off as drunken babbling–until I watched it unfold before me!

You see, its not Earth that’s the prime real estate around our star, it’s the Oort Cloud. Of course we humans are a little biased toward Mother Earth, but the Oort Cloud inhabitants are not human. To them, The Cloud is where its happening; the inner solar system is boring, not to mention lethal. (That’s the other reason they live in The Cloud: the solar wind is deadly to them.) They don’t have a body made out of meat like you and I, but some kind of energy that can be “dissipated” by the intense solar wind of the inner solar system. Other than that little problem, they are practically immortal.

There are literally billions of little icy homes for the Aravi in an almost endless sea of teeming metropolitan centers across vast expanses of space. According to what this Marine had eavesdropped on, Nasa knew about the Aravi for many decades, and co-existed around the same star without incident.

But there was a problem. A big, bad problem, and they called him Kor. He was a criminal of the highest order, some say the most evil entity there ever was, and for a city of untold billions, that’s bad. He was captured and he and the icy snowball he called home were cast into the inner solar system where his home would become his prison. He would be imprisoned inside the diamagnetic cavity trailing the comet known as 81P/Wild, or Wild 2, to circle the solar system for eons, before the comet’s orbit would decay enough for it to finally fall into the sun, and Kor’s energy would be annihilated; he would have plenty of time to think about his crimes.

Now, like I said, Nasa knew about the Aravi, the Oort Cloud, and even the fact that Kor, the most dangerous criminal in the solar system, was circling the sun in their “back yard”, and it was all tolerated until September, 1974, when Wild 2, and its silent passenger came within a million miles of Jupiter, altering its orbit, and sending it reeling into the innermost solar system, changing its orbital period from 43 years to just 6 years.

This was just too close for Nasa, and a meeting of their top brass was convened and they came up with a bold plan to get rid of Kor once and for all: they would send the space capsule Stardust on a rendezvous mission with Wild 2 under the guise of collecting comet dust for the public. In reality, they would carefully extricate Kor from the comet’s coma, and in a special container, the aerogel Stardust Sample Container (SSC), bring him to Earth, only to be put aboard the New Horizons Spacecraft heading out of the solar system, under the guise of exploring Pluto (and beyond).

This has all been accomplished and you can Google Nasa Missions to fact-check. On Feb. 7, 1999, the spacecraft Stardust was launched, flew into the coma of Wild 2 on Jan. 2, 2004, and, after collecting its “sample”, successfully deposited the canister in the desert sands of Utah on Jan 15, 2006. The canister was immediately transported to the Cape Canaveral AF Station in Florida, where it was put aboard the New Horizons spacecraft, and destined to leave the Earth 4 days later, Jan 19, 2006.

Well, you got to remember that this was all under Military control, and so you might not be surprised to find out that when Nasa ran its first test after launching, Kor was not to be found. He was out, walking free upon the earth, under the protective dome of Mother Earth’s geomagnetic field. This was all a closely-guarded secret, of course, and only recently did I discover that Kor was not only free on Earth, but…oh no, someone’s banging,,oh noo h e lp

–Anonymous letter found inside a typewriter

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