Down on the planet's surface, the human woman sat in a warm bedroom that was filled with hanging plants and vines, light fixtures made from grasses from the hillsides, and a bed covered in linens of green, tan, and white. The windows to the right of the angled bed were partially covered by heavy tan drapes and white membranous curtains, and the headboard of the bed was a white wood carving of a lotus-like flower.
Ana sighed with fatigue as she looked over the notes in the bed. Clyrah took her half-full bowl of broth from the nightstand.
“You aren’t hungry?”
“They’re waiting for me.” Anna said, and she sighed with frustration as she dropped her hands back onto her lap. “I really miss her.”
She was looking over her crewmates’ notes in her hands. It was a little black, leather, spiral bound book. As she flipped through the pages, she recalled how it was divided into sections by the names of each of the note takers who put in that specific entry.
“Are you talking about Earth, or are you talking about Francine, your friend?”
Ana looked up at her, but Clyrah gently shook her head.
“You were the only one we ever found.”
Ana recalled Earth’s blue lakes, her fiery sunset, her heartbroken buildings surrounded by shattered glass.
She recalled Francine’s sapphire eyes, Irish red hair, the nerdy look in her eyes behind her broken glasses.
The energy in Anna’s face dissipated again. “How do you know about her?”
“Her name is all you talk about in your sleep. Ever since we extracted you.” Clyra told her, as she finished loading the trays with Anna’s dishes.
“You nearly died while we attempted to extract you from your pod. The pod itself was broken and you would surely have died if we didn't get you out. But we didn't know much about your species and we were locked out of it.
“What are you working on now?”
As Ana continued to rustle through the pages, she furrowed her brows at the chicken scratches of the engineer’s note entries.
“I thought I recognized a symbol somewhere here for the way the ship was powered…”
“Ana. You should really get some rest. And you barely touched your food! You are lucky to be alive, and you really shouldn't take that lightly.”
“I know.” Ana nodded, taking a breath. “Thank you.”
Clyrah, after a consoling embrace, closed the bedroom door quietly behind her.
However, Ana’s heart beat faster as she read each of the names of her former crewmates who had put entries into the notebook.
“Hey isn't that the doc that got fired by the university because of his insane claims of aliens?”
Several years back, Mandy had said this amid the chorus of barking dogs. The person of the topic walked briskly across the street after having bumped into several people on the sidewalk, who had subsequently dropped their ice cream cones.
The dog that Ana was walking joined the others in sympathy, but she pulled it away.
“Hey Ana! Come over here!”
The three other teens had huddled by a tree looking at a strange green tablet. Now they surrounded her near the walkway through the park.
“What is that thing?” Ana had asked.
“You know, we don't really know. It is something that we found somewhere. But we think that it has something to do with astrology. I think it tells about where the planets are in the sky.”
“Don't you mean ‘astronomy’?”
“Yeah, sure, maybe, whatever. I think it might tell us something about where aliens can be found in the galaxy.” Said Mandy.
“Aliens?” Ana grinned.
“Oh, you don't believe in aliens?” Mandy asked, hiding her grin with a pout. “ ‘Don't kick me out of the University, I beg you! Give me a chance!’ ”
“Hey, that’s mean! That poor professor was probably a nice person.”
“ Oh! ‘Are we alone?’” Chuckled Jace, hunching his back with his hands on his face and revealing the pinks of his eyes.
“Stop it! Really, stop making me laugh. I feel bad.”
The other girl readjusted her hat that had shifted as she had been overtaken by a giggling fit.
“Mandy! Ana should do it next!” Jace exclaimed deviously.
Her face lit up, although she kept her chuckles in her throat.
“What is happening? Mandy, why are you looking at me like that?” Ana had asked.
“There is no point in explaining it, so let's just do it!”
“...Take The Briefcase From the Man on the Bench…”
Anna was startled by the voice that came from the strange looking tablet.
“What is this? A prank? Whose voice is that?”
“You have to do what it says! And oh-ho-ho! It's the Doc!”
“Ha, ha, very funny…” Anna reeled in her dogs who were barking at a passerby. “Well, I guess I’ll see you around guys.”
“Come on, Anna! You have to do what it says!”
“Ah…no, I don't. What I have to do is get these dogs home.”
Ana fought to maintain footing as the muscular four legged dogs leapt around. Still, Jace was disappointed.
“Are you too scared?”
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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