The echoes of memory faded back into the back of her mind.
Outside her window, several Iolians heavily alighted on foot. Beneath the figures of the graceful, feathered men and women there was a woosh as the grasses and dust blew apart.
She tossed a blanket over her shoulders and went out to where they were removing the loose straps from the empty pallet they had brought back down from orbit.
“Ana!” Gyroran said. “ Are you feeling alright? You look like you could use some rest.”
“I’m fine. Did you figure out how to fix the spacecraft?” Ana asked, but the Iolian offered her some water from a canteen.
“Your heavy eyelids beg to differ.”
“I’ll be okay. Really. I just want to know how the project is going.”
“Unfortunately, most of the computer was destroyed and much of the memory on it's hard-drive was lost. All we found were these symbols in one of the few uncorrupted files.”
He responded, handing a piece of paper with the three ancient symbols sketched on it.
Ana furrowed her brows over her weary eyes.
“Where did you find those?”
“We found it in the Starboard. Does it mean something to you?”
“I’m not sure. The engineer of our crew scribbled these symbols in his notes when he was examining the power systems. I think that it referred to some kind of strange energy he would ramble about.”
“What kind of energy?”
“I don’t know. I don't remember.”
“Ana, I really don't know what powers the craft. It doesnt use anything that our science is familiar with. I don't know even if it is really possible to create an engine like that, to propel you across that many lightyears of space! It shouldn't be possible.”
Ana gently swiped the hairs blowing around her face back behind her ears and sighed.
“I swore to my crew I would go back for them…”
The Iolians removed the last loose binding cords from the empty loading pallet.
“Ana, Ana! Look at this pretty sykee I caught in the air!” Chirped A cherub-like Iolian child.
Instead, Ana’s heavy eyes rested on the loading truck’s bed. The loading truck was as empty and cold as the spacecraft’s cockpit was when she had arrived.
“Whoa! Ana. Look at the sky! It's like a giant bonfire falling.”
“What is falling?” As though startled, Ana looked out across the trees.
Flocks of fledgling children were flying forth from the woods closest to them.
Many small children hobbled and splashed frantically across the creek. Their older siblings came up behind them and heaved them up away from the water, and together they glided in the air a short distance before they wearily tumbled over onto each other across the firm soil.
A male child ran through a field of tall plants with wide eyes. A female child ran between the crooked trunks of Aria Trees.
Many adolescents, not far from being adults themselves, took hold of younger, smaller ones as they came to the stark edge of the cliff that fell 150 meters into the woodland valley below. One after another, they leapt over. They glided down steadily into the valley while the bright explosive light of the falling fireball shone against their backs.
However, beyond them, and far higher up, was falling what looked like the giant head of a fuming dragon, with the glare of broken windows, where the teeth would have been, and blue fires jetting out above the sides of its crown, like fumes from a dragon's ears.
The child nearby asked, “Is it from a moon, like you?”
“I am from much, much farther than any of your moons.” Ana responded, with a heavy melancholic sigh.
Ana took off running.
The fire streaked clouds trailed the falling spacecraft.
What remained of one of the propulsors exploded, casting parts in several directions in the winds that blew across the sky.
Ana stumbled to her knees when she arrived at the crater where the dragon's head had collided with its grave.
The explosions had ceased, but there was twisted rubble cast in all directions.
In several places, there were persistent colorful metallic flames flaring up in the debris.
“Ana, I am so sorry! We couldn't stop it!”
Rykor swooped in nearby.
About the Creator
Isadorian writes both opinion pieces and science fiction stories. If you like his work, please follow on social media.
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