by Roger Bourke White Jr., copyright May 2007
This story is set in the HX technology world, but in an alternate timeline. In this timeline mankind's first discovery of alien existence is not through discovering a long-abandoned hulk of a really exotic alien space ship floating through the outer reaches of the Solar System (The Honeycomb Comet story), but through the arrival of a very much alive, not-so-alien, space ship with a constant acceleration, slower than lightspeed (STL) propulsion system -- the same kind of propulsion system mankind will use in real life as long as he is searching the stars using the physical forces we know of today.
This is a story of that first contact.
(Because there is nothing ultra-high tech or magical in this story, it is also my best guess as to what mankind's first alien contact will be like.)