By: Robin Gagnon
“We better be quick,” a cat-like girl told her companion, as they walked around an abandoned planet. “My parents will be back to pick us up soon, so we don’t have too much time.”
“It’ll be fine Lahara,” the boy with giant eyes replied. “We have plenty of time to explore and the planet only has one sun. It’ll be daylight the entire time we’re here.”
“You don’t know my parents, Gupple” Lahara sighed. “They’ll rush back as soon as they can. It’s like they don’t think I’m capable of exploring a planet on my own.”
“What does your analyzer say so far?” Gupple asked, scratching one of the gills on his face. “Any hints as to what happened to this planet?”
“Not sure yet,” Lahara replied, banging the square device in her hands that was beeping incessantly. “Dumb thing isn’t working. I told my mom that I needed a new one.”
Gupple hobbled over to her to see the screen and when the data finally showed up, he whistled in amazement, “Looks like there are traces of some kind of radiation everywhere. Would of hated to be these guys.”
“Its a good thing we’re immune to it,” Lahara muttered. “But it still means I’m going to have to take a shower when we go back.”
She shuddered, making Gupple chuckle at her and ask, “What’s wrong with water?”
He held up a webbed hand and his eyes blinked innocently sideways. Lahara just shook her head and kept walking. Holding her analyzer out like a guide, she read the data it was registering from the area. They were in what appeared to be a residential complex where people may have lived at one point. There were giant buildings everywhere and eventually she stopped at a large metal object that lay abandoned on some kind of flat rock that seemed to stretch all across the ground in all directions. Looking further along, she noticed many more just like it.
“What do you suppose this is?” Lahara asked, kicking one of the four round things it was attached to. “Looks like there was a lot of them.”
“Maybe they used them to get around?” Gupple suggested. “They kind of look like small spaceships…”
“You think they used these to get around on the ground?” Lahara asked, looking up at what appeared to be a building made of stone that had been reclaimed by nature. “These people were so primitive. No wonder they couldn’t handle the radiation they caused.”
Out of the rubble of one of the structures, something came crawling rapidly across the ground toward Lahara’s toes. She hissed and leapt gracefully up onto the roof of the metal vehicle with her long legs. Gupple laughed and quickly snatched it up, waving it in the air.
“Are you actually afraid of this little thing?” he taunted, as it wiggled in his grasp. “Look out, it’s going to get you!”
“Oh, shut up,” Lahara muttered, as she crouched with a look of irritation on her furry face. “I just didn’t expect anything to run out at me like that.”
“Whatever you say,” Gupple laughed, looking down at the small thing with interest. “What do you suppose this thing was called?”
“Gross,” Lahara immediately answered, as she watched it’s dozens of little legs move about rapidly. “Why don’t you put it back on the ground so I can squish it.”
“Don’t be silly,” Gupple replied. “It might be the only source of life on this planet. We need to study it. Although, it does look rather tasty.”
“EW. Just put it away.”
Gupple pulled out a small disc from his pocket and placed it under the creature. With a click of a small button, it enveloped the creature in light and froze it in place. He attached the capsule to his belt and Lahara finally got down from her perch.
“You don’t think there’s more of them, do you?” she asked, looking at the ground in all directions.
“Probably,” Gupple teased. “They’re going to rush out of every crack and corner now that we’ve captured one of them.”
A look of discomfort spread across Lahara’s face just as her communicator went off.
“My parents are coming back to get us,” she informed Gupple. “Let’s get out of here. This place was boring anyway.”
Gupple just shrugged with a smirk and followed his companion toward the pick-up point.
“Whatever you say…”