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  • Madeline Walz

The Journey (Aldebaran prequel)

Originally released as NaNoWriMo Day 22: Write a story set in outer space.

Aldebaran, an alien from the planet Pleioné, is on his way to Earth, searching for an artifact his people hid there five thousand years ago.

Set before the events of Aldebaran, The Journey introduces you to a divided planet whose conflicts shaped the events of both the Otherworld series and the larger world of Heart of Darkness.

Cover photo from Freepik.


May 2066, Interstellar Space

Aldebaran stared out the window at the stars. Out here, in the vastness of space, the stars were in different patterns than what he was used to on Pleioné. He tried to pick out his destination, but he wasn’t sure if it was even visible yet.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” a voice asked. Aldebaran turned to find Rana behind him. His mentor was standing with her arms crossed, hands gripping her arms just above her second elbows, ignoring the view from the front of the ship.

“It’s too late to go back,” he answered.

“No, but it’s not too late to choose a different planet. There are a few colonies still within reach.”

“You know how hard I fought to get this course of study approved. I can’t settle for something easy.”

“So instead you go for a five-thousand-year-old rumor? Surely there were some slightly easier options.”

“Yes, but I’ve always loved our Terran history, Rana. You know that. And this isn’t just a legend for me. My family was said to be part of moving that artifact from Pleioné, and then moving it across the Terran ocean later.”

Rana sighed. “I know, Aldebaran, but the last time anyone saw it was two thousand years ago and you only have so long. The travel there and back alone will take a third of your allotted time. Then you still have to find it. Do you even know where to look?”

“I’m going to start where it was brought originally. Maybe there’s an archaeological trail left that I could follow, narrow down the search for the artifact’s final resting place.”

Rana snorted. “You make it sound like a grave.”

“It kind of is,” Aldebaran said, “but instead of burying Celaenó, Erytheiá, or humans, it’s burying history. I’m going to reawaken it.”

He turned back to the window. Rana stepped up beside him.

“I knew there was no chance of changing your mind,” she said, “but that artifact was buried for a reason. You may be digging into a history better left forgotten.”

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