The primitive people of Capella have a group consciousness of sorts. It’s not clear that they communicate thoughts with one another but they do move together, without obvious audible or visual signals. Like the flocks of small birds or the schools of fish on Earth. Birds rise from the Earth and swerve this way or that en masse. Fish swim first one direction and then another. They just go. The Capellans do the same. Perhaps it’s a hunting strategy to confuse prey or even a means to protect the people from predators–which sometimes is a reason for the fish swarms.


“We shouldn’t be here, Alex. These people fear us. They don’t understand us.”

“I know, Mary. But we need that ore. Without it we can’t keep our ships moving from one system to another, you know that.”

“Yeah, I suppose so. But we can’t corrupt another species. We can’t communicate with them. We don’t understand them any better than they do us.”

“It’s not our problem. The Planetary Preservation folks are sending a comparative ornithologist and an ichthyologist to observe. If they can make sense of the Capellans maybe we can avoid disturbing them.”

“Oh sure! Do you believe that? I don’t.”


4 thoughts on “Capella

    1. Thanks, Jacqui! Some people, more writers than non-writers, want to know where ideas come from. This was a 10-minute write in a writing group from looking at one of the clamshells. Polished a bit for the post, it very well could become an interesting story.

    1. Sometimes I look at these snippets and try to decide–book or short story. Lots of fodder piling up. Still working on the shorts for a collection to send out to beta readers while I get cranking on the novel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.