Every single Slylandro came together to watch on the day the probe was launched into space, so many of them gathered together so thickly that if anyone had been close enough to see the planet from space they might have noticed a small new pale eye appearing on the gas giant's surface. Of course, if anyone ever traveled that close they wouldn't have needed the probe to begin with.

Not one of them wanted to miss the launch. They all knew that it was the greatest event to happen in Source's history in many Drahn. At last they would be the ones making contact with other species instead of eternally waiting patiently for someone, anyone, who might happen to pass by and decide that a gas planet would be worth investigating. It had been so long since the time when the races of the Sentient Milieu used to visit that some of the nymphs hadn't even believe the stories about visitors from other planets that they heard from their elders and the history chants until the rotation that the Melnorme descended among them. With that one visit, suddenly their desire for contact with other species had grown from the small puff it had dwindled to over the long Drahns since they'd last seen anyone from outside of Source into a great gust of wanting within them. And, like a miracle from the Void, the Melnorme had a way to help.

"What types of people do you think it will find?" Quiet Ascent asked her friend Merry Drifting as they watched the probe vanishing into the higher clouds, her body going light yellow with curiosity.

Merry Drifting spun slowly in place, her colors absently shifting as she thought. "Maybe they'll find our old friends again, the Yuli and the Ur-Quan and the others. Maybe they'll finally begin visiting again when they're reminded of us."

It was the easiest answer for them to grasp. It was hard to picture the types of people that could evolve on the rocky worlds everyone else in the galaxy seemed to come from, and when they tried they would automatically bring up images of those that they had known in the past.

"Do you know what I would like to hear about?" Quiet Ascent asked. "A world without any clouds! It would be amazing if the probes found travelers from a world like that, who could come and describe it for us, don't you think?"

Merry Drifting, along with several other Slylandro close by who had apparently been listening in on them, went a vivid green from shock at the idea. "Do you think a place like that could actually exist?"

"I don't see why not!" Quiet Ascent said, trying to sound more sure of herself than she actually was, although her uncertainty showed a little in the way her body wobbled slightly as it twirled. "If all the other people who have visited us in the past thought that it was strange that we lived in a planet that's nothing but clouds and fumes and gas, why shouldn't people somewhere else live on a planet without any just because we think that would be strange?"

"I think I'd like something less strange, at first," Merry Drifting said. "Until we're used to seeing others again, at least."

"Oh, you're so unbuoyant. Where's your sense of curiosity? We want to learn about different places, don't we? Well, what could be more different than that?"

"Unbuoyant?" Merry Drifting swelled huffily, shade darkening to a deep blue. "You say that, but do you want to know what I really hope the probes find?"

"Of course," Quiet Ascent said, floating upwards lightly on a small stream of vapor, clearly amused by Merry Drifting's annoyance.

"I'd like them to find another species from a gas planet like ours. One that has figured out how to build spaceships without them sinking into the Depths before they're complete, and who will teach us the way to do it. Then we could go searching for other people ourselves, and not have to wait forever hoping that they'll pass by, or that these probes will work and guide them to us."

Quiet Ascent sunk again faster than she'd risen, her own coloring dimming to match Merry Drifting's. "You're right. That would be the best thing that they could find."

Together they gazed up into the Void, and tried to imagine what it would be like to rise above the ever-present clouds and at last have a chance to join the other sentients that they knew were out there, instead of waiting, always waiting, for a ship to suddenly appear above them.

And wouldn't it be something, to finally see the stars?