Making Assumptions

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Could there be another earth with everything looking much the same? Maybe, maybe not, you just never know until you are sure.

Submitted: June 22, 2017

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Submitted: June 22, 2017

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The year is 2144 and one of earth's exploratory spacecraft has landed on an oxygen rich planet, in another galaxy.

There are three people aboard, Commander Robert Chin, first Officer Francisco Mendoza, and science officer Alexia Pontiff.

The planet has been named Alexia Tri-Luna and is a little smaller that the earth in mass, but not diameter. It is fifth from its sun and that sun is larger than earth's.

There are three moons, of various sizes, circling ETL, and their distance from the planet varies.

***

"Commander, all readings are in the acceptable and tolerable ranges. And from the looks of the vegetation out there, I don't think we are going to have any trouble breathing without space suits," said Officer Pontiff, while smiling from ear to ear.

The Commander replied with a smile as well, "You are pretty proud of yourself, aren't you Pontiff?" And the look on the science officer's face said it all, so he didn't expect an answer.

He continued, "This planet's exploration assignment was your baby right from the start. You found it; you pushed the Agency to take the chance. And coming this far out was a big risk, an expensive risk. Now it looks like you were right all along; it is as close to an earth twin as we will ever find. In fact, the parallels are downright spooky.

The types of vegetation and similar vegetation in regions much like earth. And all the animals, reptiles, and birds, in great quantities, not to mentions intelligent life; humans. They hover at Stone Age levels, but none the less, they are human.

So you have cause to be pleased, Donniff, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. We'd better take the side of caution and place Whiskers in the exit chamber. Once we open the door we will know if it is safe to go outside.”

***

 

Whiskers the lab-rat, complete with cage, was placed in the exit chamber. After a series of decontamination procedures and pressure adjustments, the exit door was opened.

The science officer was sure Whiskers would be fine, Commander Chin was not yet sure, and first Officer Mendoza thought Whiskers would immediately morph into Godzilla. Devouring them all! {He watches a lot of old sci-fi films.}

"I can't see, what’s she doing?" asked Mendoza.

"Get off of me, she is just looking around and sniffing the air. Here, you look!" Donniff barked as she stepped away from the observation portal.

Mendoza watched intently, for a while, and then said, "Had you two going, didn't I? You thought I was serious about the Godzilla thing, didn't you? But I wasn't, I knew my little Whiskers would be just fine."

"Then why is she growing, and why are those horns coming out the sides of her head?" asked Commander Chin.

Mendoza lunged toward the viewing portal for a second look! But it was too late, the laughter had already begun. The science officer was on the verge of hysterics and Commander Chin couldn't stop laughing at the frantic look on Mendoza's face.

"All right, you got me; laugh it up!" Mendoza said as he went back to his work.

***

Many weeks had passed, earth time, and everyone was taking genetic prints of various plants.

And thanks to a handy little directional beam, they were able to put humans, animals, birds, snakes, and you name it, to sleep; for DNA collection purposes.

One day after one of the scheduled meal-times, Commander Chin decided to take a walk by a nearby lake. He had been there several times and always enjoyed the park-like setting.

As he was walking along the edge of the lake he happened on what looked like a Weeping-Willow Tree. "Hmm, that's odd, I don't remember that tree being there before," he said as he continued to study it.

The tree looked so much like a Willow Tree that he began reciting a very old and favorite poem that his grandmother loved;

 

"This Willow stands in a dampened meadow

Near the lake and at its western shore.

Upon a branch the Falcon preens and sleeps

And shall remain, until it's time to soar."

 

Suddenly the branches of the tree began to move, every so slightly. Then the tree spoke, asking, "Are you conversing with me?"

The Commander was startled, unable to say anything except, "You can talk?"

The tree made a chuckling sound and stated, "Yes, I am able to do that; although, it is difficult because I had to scan your thoughts to do so. And that, in turn, drains my energy which requires me to eat more to replenish the loss. --- Oh well. What were you saying?"

The Commander replied, "I'm sorry to have bothered you.

I was reciting a poem that my grandmother used to recite to me; it is a very old poem. The Poem is about a Willow tree and at the end of the poem you find out that the Willow tree, itself, is the writer of the poem."

"You say that as if that is an ironic situation, as if a tree is not able to craft a poem. I could easily craft a poem if I had a good reason to do so," the tree stated.

"Well maybe on this planet, but on the planet I come from trees do not talk," Commander Chin replied.

"You mean Earth?"

"Yes, Earth. How did you know that?" Chin questioned.

The tree look-alike replied, "I scanned your mind. Remember?"

"Oh yes, I forgot," said Chin.

Do you have a name?" asked Chin.

The Mock Willow replied, "Those bothersome and primitive humans that live on this planet, they call me Geulop. But in your language there is nothing."

The commander reached out to examine the tree leaves and said, "That sounds more like a sound than a name, but whatever it is, it is a strange name for a Tree."

With the swiftness of a Cobra, branches swooped down and scooped the Commander up! And before he had a chance to react, he was dumped into a ravenous mouth, somewhere above the trunk.

All sorts of gurgling and belching soon followed, with additional sounds like Geulop, Geulop. Once that was finished, Geulop replied, "I never said that I was a tree, you did."

 

D. Thurmond / JEF  ---  06-21-2017


© Copyright 2017 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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