HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHERI!!!!
I wanted to upload something special to celebrate your birthday, and I could not think of anything more approriate. I hope you like this:-)
The book is subtitled "Malian's Song"- my Amazon character that you so kindly supplied the name for plays a major role later on, so I have a second reason to dedicate this you!
As for the pic, the environment suit is my first attempt at a conforming outfit. Not perfect, but not bad either!(thanks to propschick for invaluable pointers!)
This is only the first rough draft, so it may get edited yet. Just bear with it:-)
***MOTHER GOD 2- Malian's Song***
Killian adjusted the faceplate of his envirosuit with one heavily gloved hand, the rubber tips of the finger pads squeaking softly on the plexiglass surface. His field of view was so restricted that it made the job in front of him twenty times harder than it should have been; collecting soil and plant samples was transformed to an amazing feat of manual dexterity by the thick material of the suit and the distorted vision from his helmet. As carefully as he was able, he placed the small sample containers on the hard earth at his feet, readied his core drill and stood upright for a moment to ease his tired legs as he took in the sun- bleached landscape of dust and rocks.
Here and there, he could see small patches of green shoots, the occasional ragged bush or struggling tree, the only signs of plant life anywhere on this blasted rock. How they survived in the harsh environment was a mystery, one that could potentially unlock the way toward making the planet truly inhabitable, and that was the sole reason for these little excursions into the wild. Five hundred years had passed since Hope had landed to find the scattered remains of the first two ships’ attempts at habitation, with no indication of the circumstances surrounding their demise. Five hundred years of hard labour and harsh lessons had brought improvements, but they were minimal. The atmosphere had settled into a pattern of hot sun and cold nights, air moisture levels had increased slightly and the dust storms were few and far between, but still very little grew, even though the soil was rich in nutrients. Without the abundant plant life of Earth, the air remained bitter and low in oxygen.
Some, of course, had adapted to the environment. The Primitives had left the colony and set out to find themselves a new home three hundred years back, taking very little with them and shunning the technology that Humanity had brought with it, their reasons secret and untold. They inhabited a string of caves to the East, kept to themselves and bothered no one. Many had died, but the handful that survived had grown hard and strong, capable of scratching a living from the meagre wildlife of their surroundings. Killian often thought that maybe, just maybe, they had got it right; adapt to survive rather than struggling against the nature of the planet. After all, there were creatures of various sorts, native to the world, that managed to exist, feeding on each other, or on the strange subterranean fungus that carpeted the caves and tunnels of the world, that same fungus that defied all scientific probing and analysis and that lived where nothing had a right to live. Killian’s admiration of the people who lived under these conditions grew every time he saw them. Occasionally a party of traders would visit the Colony to supplement their food supplies, giving soil and plant samples from further afield in exchange, but the visits were few and growing fewer.
But there were others who had altered themselves to survive, and those were a much bigger concern…
Killian scanned the horizon, looking for signs of movement, his nerves jangling again as the thoughts of those others surfaced. Rumour of abduction was rife, many of the research parties having lost members over the years, sightings of metal- clad forms tramping through the desert, shedding sunlight and armed to the teeth, were common, and although Killian had not seen them himself, the thought of coming face- to- face with such creatures set him on edge. He bent to his work again, keeping one eye on the plains in front of him, thanking God that he was mere yards from the Colony entrance. With trembling hands, he pounded the core drill into the hard earth, dropping the sample into one of the containers in front of him. A second and third sample followed, his heavy breath lightly misting the visor of his helmet, further distorting his view.
As he went for the fourth sample, a glint of sun to the West caught his eye. His head snapped up and his breath caught as he peered into the distance. There! Another glint, and another; a mass of shining dots were moving rapidly toward him. Jumping to his feet, he dropped the core drill, scattering the samples across the dirt as he backed away, never dropping his gaze from the shining metal mass that moved ever closer, hypnotised by the gleaming flash and flare .
“If you value your skin, move your ass!”
Killian whirled toward the voice. Hot breath and cold sweat smeared the forms of the two women that stood just feet away, an unspoken enquiry trapped on his trembling lips. They were dressed like Primitives but carried an arsenal of weapons, from shotguns to sub- machine pistols, and ammo belts were strung across their shoulders and strapped around their waists. He heard the click and clatter of weapons being cocked, then one strong hand gripped his arm and pushed him roughly toward the airlock into the Colony.
“Move!!” yelled the taller of the two, and he stumbled his way across the gravel and ash to release the door with fumbling fingers. Once inside, he turned back just in time to catch the flash and thunder of the first shots, and stared in horror as numerous humanoid metal forms lumbered into view. The smaller woman had dropped her weapons, a blue glow gradually engulfing her frail body and tendrils of lightning crackling wildly in the hot air.
“Close it! Shut the door NOW!!” shouted the taller one, unleashing a barrage of shots from her pump action shotgun. Screaming like a frightened child, Killian obeyed, his last glimpse was of the blue glow leaping from metal man to metal man in a shower of sparks before the clang of the heavy iron door plunged him into darkness.
He closed his eyes and slumped against the sealed entrance, felt the thunder of battle thrumming through the metal, and heard tinny distorted voices screeching and fading to static as his heart laboured and thumped. Gradually, the sound diminished until, after what seemed an eternity, it faded entirely.
Killian squealed and scrambled away from the door as the loud thump rang through it.
“OPEN UP! WE HAVE A MESSAGE FOR YOUR PEOPLE!”
He breathed a sigh of relief as he recognised the distinctly human voice of his saviour, and moved to open the door.
Oct 2, 2009 11:09:30 amby Seaview123 Homepage »
Another Sci-Fi story! Nice work, and I like the imagery of the two women who "were dressed like Primitives but carried an arsenal of weapons" and the "blue glow gradually engulfing her frail body and tendrils of lightning crackling wildly in the hot air".
I can see that your off to a great start on this one.
Oct 3, 2009 11:22:47 amby elfin12u Homepage »
WOW!!! This is awesome!!! I'm glad that my life is starting to resemble a bit of normalcy again, finally. I've been away from here too long and have sooo much catching up to do. This is a wonderful birthday dedication, and looks to be another edge of your seat nail biter story,......I am so looking forward to that!