By the time the Tymbrimi discovered Humans, Humans had spread throughout their home star system. Research crews were constantly housed in planetary bases, all the inner planets and the Jovian system hosted permanent habitations, while Earth’s moon, Venus and Mars had colonies. Humans had city-sized artificial space stations in the habitable zone. At the time the Vesarius was launched, the savage Humans had even discovered how to use jumplines. In the time since the launch of the Vesarius, Terragens had discovered D-level hyperdrives for faster-than-light travel.
The crew of the Cuthmar and their Human passengers had months to debate how best to make contact with the Terragen primitives. The Humans aboard made it eminently clear that Terragen unpredictability and primitive superstition made just dropping into Earth orbit unannounced particularly untenable. The ultimate plan was to drop out of hyperspace on a trajectory that would graze Mars and let the Cuthmar rendezvous with Earth, decelerating into orbit. As soon as the Cuthmar was clear of hyperspace, the Tymbrimi Captain Irrdhamae and the ranking Human, Coronel Suzhak, sent their mutual greeting by radio wave to Mars and Earth. Four hab later stunned authorities in Arriane, Providence of Guiana, France received the message from a man who should have been light-years away. He was accompanied by something claiming to be an alien. The technicians immediately set about verifying the broadcast and forwarded the raw footage up the Confederation of Nations command chain.
The Cuthmar made ready for its high speed fly-by of Mars.
Radio and laser communication with Earth, Luna, and Mars were constant but of limited bandwidth. However, as the Cuthmar neared Mars, communication equipment cannibalized from the Vesarius allowed an overwhelming amount of communication to bombard the Cuthmar. Access to the ship’s computers and its little Library had to be rationed resulting in a formal protest from a disgruntled Library unit using its first Anglic-to-Galactic-Seven translation unit. (By this time a copy of Galactic-Seven’s grammar and primary lexis had been sent to Earth along with the first preliminary Anglic/Galactic-Seven dictionary.)
Though their Human guests told them to expect a large reception, the Tymbrimi and Tytlal were stunned by the amount of the space and eco-art deployed for their brief Martian fly-by. Indeed, all linguistic work had to stop as the Tymbrimi Clan-Folk admired the fireworks .
By the year of contact, dozens of ships per hab-year made the passage from the vicinity of Earth and Luna to Mars. All could be in constant contact with Earth and the three major Terragen colonies. From Mars until the end of its mission the Cuthmar’s communications facilities remained saturated. Quarters became increasingly cramped as the Cuthmar crew retrieved equiptment put adrift by Confederation authorities. The conversion of the Cuthmar to a massive telecommunications center was well underway.
The Humans on Earth had forty-two days (15 x 24 hab) from the time they received the first broadcast from the Cuthmar until the ship reached Earth orbit. The Humans on Earth prepared a tremendous reception for this momentous event. Their patrons unknown, Terragens had nevertheless dreamed for many of their centuries of reuniting with civilization. At last the glorious moment arrived, and Humans welcomed their saviors with a production of such magnificent primitive grandeur that it immediately established the Earth Clan’s reputation for imaginative drama, and quieted even the most cynical and sarcastic Tytlal on the Cuthmar. Another Human action immediately established a Terragen reputation for ecological conservation. The Humans imposed a stringent quarantine on the Tymbrimi and their passengers. The earliest visits were to Lunar colonies in bulky Terragen bio-hazard suits, but the Terragen suits were soon replaced with excellent Galactic thin polymer biological containment exoderma. Ecological effects on Earth’s delicate biosphere from first contact were minimal.
After three Earth days in orbit (3 x 23 hab), the Cuthmar’s on-board Library’s daily news brief reported the initial discovery of the Vesarius. The initial Tymbrimi advantage would soon be lost. A-Irrdhamae decided to use the long-range telepathic communicator to send the Galaxies their first images of Earth in a brief 1/3 hab broadcast.