My experiment with longer story.
Simon Spencer is just your average shover of numbers, he gets up, puts a suit on and suffers the drive to the office where he blankly pushes the numbers until five, then he suffers the drive back home again, back to an average family of one wife and two point five kids. His wife Jennifer, an enthusiastically bored house wife, and their two kids, James and Rowena, the point five being made up by their cat Barney.
They are a very active family, at least the wife and kids are, Simon likes to just enjoy the time alone in the house while the rest of the family busy themselves doing things to block time. Jennifer has Yoga class on monday evenings, dropping off the kids at a pottery class on the way, if twelve year old James tried something, his eight year old sibling has to do it too.
Various other classes and pastimes leave Simon in the house to enjoy being alone many nights a week, also the chance to travel. For he has a spaceship.
It is a very inconspicuous spaceship, no one but him has one, and if word got out, it would be a big deal and ruin everything. it is parked in the kitchen and is about the size of a dish washer, and looks exactly like a dish washer, but that is what you are supposed to think.
The alien technology is so far advanced than ours that all the things required to make this craft fly light years across space were tiny enough to still be able to have it function for washing dishes.
Monday night and Simon waits for the family to leave, inwardly excited to be leaving soon too. He waves Jennifer goodbye and walks to the kitchen, opens the spaceship, removes the baskets and climbs in.
He sits hugging his knees and closes his eyes as the door closes, awaiting the journey to commence. He of course does not fly the craft himself, he is just a number pusher, instead much higher minds control the craft from afar, whisking him off to a planet millions of miles beyond even our greatest telescopes can see.
You may wonder how this craft leaves the kitchen without damaging the roof, but this has been thought of, the craft merely shifts dimension just a fraction to slip past solid objects in this dimension with ease, a simple thing to an advanced civilisation.
The journey passes in little time, only a slight vibration of the craft gives away that he ever traveled at all, as the door opens a familiar man greets him, “Good evening Simon, a pleasant journey I hope?” “Oh yes, as always, thank you Ppplm”, it took some time to pronounce Ppplm’s name, and some spit.. a tall broad man with blue complexion and purple hair upon his narrow head, the man who has greeted Simon every time since the first.
This planet Simon escapes to is called Buel, I say escaped, as like all with a hobby, it has a wonderful effect of taking you elsewhere. Buel has a similar gravity to earth, the sky is nearly blue, but has a strong tone of green to it, the plants leaves being predominantly blue, the bark a drab grey. There is familiarity in some things, but off kilter in colour and shape. It surprises how much we have learned about all around us when faced with everything being different, on our earth we know the trees, the animals, how a squirrel moves, what is safe, what is dangerous. Here at this alien place everything could be dangerous, but then everything could be safe too, a complete lack of information. This thought can restrict the unadventurous, such as Simon.
The welcoming party consisted of just a few, and even fewer of those were really that interested in this alien, initially there was of course interest, but Simon was proving so boring they just kind of lost interest. There is only a certain amount of time something is exciting, as excitement is easily bored.
Ppplm and his fellow receptionist Tsuul escorted Simon into the small complex nestled in a clearing amongst the trees of a tall blue forest.
The buildings rise high but not obvious to the eye at all, you can only see them enough in order to not accidentally walk into them.
Walking towards the door of the central building Ppplm asked “Tell me Simon, what is your motivation for life in your culture?”. “Wow, thats kind of a heavy question, I guess just continuation, the wish to live is sort of built in isn’t it? everyone wants to live”.
Simon is always having to represent the world, something that gets in the way of his evenings escape. “We are here to gather all knowledge, for when we know all, all barriers will be removed from the universe”. said Ppplm proudly. “Then what?” said Simon, “This quest is not the work of one generation, it has taken millennia to get to even this point, and we need many millennia more, when we know all, we will have your answer and all other answers”. Tsuul added “We cannot know all the answers until we know all the questions”. ‘What a place, the only job left in this world is of philosopher’ thought Simon, then quickly thinking of something else as he was not entirely sure if mind reading had been mastered here as of yet.
Walking through the door the inner walls of the building faded into view, looking like a bright green blue marble, mirroring the light of outside, the ceiling was not necessary to see, as no one touches the ceiling, presumably it is out of reach up there, but it is instead represented as sky, including dancing cloud and flying creatures.
There are still very few people about as the climate here is controlled to suit Simon’s needs, the Buelians wearing a small breathing device on their noses.
The party arrive at a large room with a high table with many ornate looking gourds and platters. The table high, as everyone eats standing here, a seat being an alien device. Simon recognises the orange fruit on a platter and joins the others in peeling the leaves away and eating the delicious fruit inside. Though alien, this fruit is safe to him, for there are no germs here, and nor are there any germs that the Buelians have not overcome. Ppplm wiped the corners of his long mouth then said “So Simon, as we are your planets first contacts, we could offer in the future, some protection for you, we have gathered information that the Klooks are close to discovering your sector, they are not a friendly people, in fact I see similarities to your people in their ways, in exchange for perhaps some room on your large bountiful planet we would discourage their actions”. This is quite a thing to take in, “while you contemplate your answer Tsuul and I will adjourn to take care of another ongoing task, we will return shortly”. With that they left Simon with Rluul, someone who Simon has rarely spoken to, Rluul checked the others were gone, then approached Simon, “Keep calm and take this information without emotion, you must warn your people that Tsuul intends to take your planet, he is moments away from agreement from the council, do not answer it will only stir emotion in you, I will not speak again of this”.
Well that kind of news can’t help but show a little on one’s face, but Simon tried to bury it down and distract himself with the dancing sky overhead.
Soon enough Tsuul retuned, “Your window for today is almost closed, we shall escort you back to your ship now”.
‘So, they have learned from me without my knowing, analysing my body, unraveling it’s history from within, the questions asked of me just distraction’ Simon thought, as he returned along the hallways and back out into the forest, before re-entering the ship Simon put his hand to the top of his head, a Buelian goodbye learn’t in a previous outing, he climbed into the ship and watched the door close, soon the return journey would begin.
The ship finishes its vibration and the door opens, his legs feel very numb and sore, they always feel much worse on the return journey than on the way to Buel, rubbing his limbs to life he clambers out of the ship, re-fits the baskets and closes the door, checking his watch, only twenty minutes and the family will return.
Ten minutes later while Simon sits with a glass of wine, he hears the key in the door, the excited babbling of children with new things to say of new knowledge.
“So what have you been up to this evening?” Jennifer asks. Simon nervously glances into the kitchen, thinking of the news. “I think I should like to go to the yoga next week with you”.