After the Pale Moon

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A flash-fiction with a planet exploration, science fiction, touch. Where is everyone?

Submitted: June 06, 2018

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Submitted: June 06, 2018

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"How long have we been here, Commander?" asked First Officer Jason Rachmaninoff.

"In earth time, about three months," replied Commander Sandra Billings. "Why do you ask?"

The First Officer kicked a stone and sent it off an embankment and into a river. Then he replied, "Oh, no reason I guess. It just seems to me that we should have found something alive by now. You know, something moving around."

"Yes I do, Jason," the Commander stated as she put a hand on his shoulder.

Then she continued by saying, "It is such a shame to come all this way just to find a big question mark. Here is this beautiful planet, so much like earth, yet the only things we have detected as living is the vegetation.

Take this forest for instance, on earth this forest would have all sorts of creatures flying, crawling, and running around. And there would be fish in the streams and lakes. But on Tappa-4 there is not so much as an ant to be seen." 

Suddenly Science Officer Wilfred Donner called to the Commander, "Hay Commander, the drone has picked up an object about two Clicks south.

The Commander's eyes grew wide and she was quick to ask, "Is it a life form?"

Donner Replied, "It might be, but we won't know for sure until we actually see it. Let's not get our hopes up, these instruments have been wrong twice before, and I suspect that it has to do with the atmosphere in this forest. Whatever it is, it isn't moving."

The three traveled the Two Clicks in a Ground Transport that strongly resembled something from a Star Wars movie. 

The Detection Drone was hovering over a spot where it last detected its target, but there was nothing visible except plant life.

The three spread out and Jason jumped a gully to get a better look under an outcrop of rock.

"Well Crap," stated the Commander, "I don't see a thing around here. Do you see anything, Donner?"

"Just ferns and tree branches waving in the breeze," Donner replied with a laugh attached. Then Donner yelled across the gully at the First Officer, "What about you Jason, see anything?"

Jason bounded across the gully to where the others were standing, and then stated, "I thought that I saw something moving under those rocks, but it must have just been shadows from the trees."

The Commander smiled and told the others, "Let's head back to the Landing Craft.

Just seconds after she said that her communication device signaled her.

"Yes Nadia, what is it?" the Commander said as she answered.

Nadia, the communication's officer, replied, "Commander, we have to blast-off in less than two hours, that is if we are going home during this time cycle."

The Commander replied, "Ready the Landing Craft, Nadia, we will be back there shortly; we are going home."

Nadia reply was swift, with, "Copy that."

While chuckling Jason replied, "But Commander, don't you want to stay to see what the moons are going to do? It looks like the red one may raise soon. Maybe werewolves will materialize when it does, or even vampires."

The Commander laughed while giving Jason a push toward the Transport. Then she said, "We've got all the data and images that we can handle, maybe you can find some dark force hidden in one of those pictures.

We aren't going to waste any more time looking for unforeseen threats around here. I'm certifying this planet as inhabitable and without danger to colonizers, miners, and whoever else they send here. The Corporation heads can send all the people and animals they want to this uninhabited planet, it’s got lots of room.

So if we can get to the landing craft within the time-frame, then we're out of here.

***

Well the four Corporate Planet Inspectors left the planet in the time frame allotted, but missed what they came for.

You see, on this planet every living thing sleeps from the rise of the pale moon until the red moon takes its place. 

So you see, if they had waited for one more time cycle, before going home, then they would have seen the creatures they were looking for.

They would have seen them, every shape and size; from creatures smaller than ants to those much larger than elephants.

Yes, when the red moon's light touches the land it seems to call them out of their Hibernation Hollows, deep within the surface of this planet.

And when they come out, the ravenous feeding begins!

 

 

D. Thurmond/JEF

06-05-2018


© Copyright 2020 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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