Author - Erich V
Rating - T
Sunlight streamed through the office window by his cubicle. Jerom woke with a start. "Crap", he muttered under his breath, wiping the sleep from his eyes and trying to break through the grogginess of yet another late night on the job. He grabbed his glasses and slipped them on. He had been sifting through a transmission that had been forwarded to him through the head diplomatic office three stories up. Supposedly 12 units of medical equipment had disappeared between Ehrial and Tritus. A disappearance of this nature was rare in an area of space so close to the core. Oddly, the transmissions weren't in Basic, which would have been expected of a ship lifting off from such a wealthy and human-dominated planet. The language wasn't even Ehltic, which would have been Jerom's second guess. Even Jerom's knowledge of 11 outer-rim languages didn't help him with this confusing message. He ran a finger over the holographic screen in front of him and it kicked out of hibernation. Taking another scan over the alien symbols, Jerom realized he needed to get a breath of fresh air before he could solve this dilemma.
After passing through the 5 laborious optic scanners between his office and the main desk, Jerom strolled through the large sliding doors and down the building's main steps into the blinding sunlight. His glasses adjusted to the light within a couple of seconds, and he continued down the path towards the courtyards base. There lay a cumbersome gate guarded by a bot half the height of Jerom. Despite the gate's seemingly heavy properties, it slid open with surprising speed when the bot recognized its superior. From that point, Jerom made his way west down street crowded by humans and aliens alike. Thoughts about his failure to fully interpret the message the night before kept entering his mind. He had consulted many of his fellow workers, but, to his despair, none of them could make any sense out of it. He had a strong feeling it was a distress call made by the ship, PROGRESS, that had been burdened with the goods. With this on his mind, the translator turned the corner onto an even wider street. Pedestrians were widely spread apart, keeping their distance from each other. The humans on Korril had a tangible distrust for aliens, even though on this planet the aliens made up the majority of population. Jerom's extensive knowledge on the histories of all core planets and its comprising languages told him that the planet had been founded by humans, shortly after their expansion from Earth's solar system. But Jerom knew better than to frown down upon the alien foreigners. His diplomatic training taught him that. He learned that improving relations with the aliens was one of mankind's most important goals, along with galactic expansion and spreading a single currency from the core to the outer reaches of explored space. The translator's hair ruffled from the overhead flight of a hovercraft. Its streamlined shape and matte-black hue suggested its owner was a very wealthy member of the upper class. Only Korril's wealthiest citizens owned hover vehicles, let alone had the connections to make them accessible. That made the sight of a hovercraft increasingly rare, with the immigration of many alien species to the planet, and the tendencies of the richer class to stick to the suburbs of the capitol city, Korum. As Jerom treaded on, light from the system's two suns steadily rose, the smaller following the larger like a child trying to keep up with its older brother in a never-ending foot race. The light from the two celestial objects wrapped around the skyscrapers, brilliantly illuminating every surface on the street and above. Jerom's mind finally balanced to peace and gentle contemplation, so he decided to turn back towards his office in the political district of Korum. On the walk back, Jerom ruminated about his first time off of his home planet. He had had the best childhood he could have imagined. He spent the afternoons after his studies playing on his family's farm, chasing their chickens around the pen and swimming in the pond behind the house. After his father had retired from the Alliance military, his family had moved out of the city to the countryside, where he was given unlimited freedom to the grounds surrounding their house.