Home > Fiction > ‘A funny thing happened on the garden path…’ Part 4

‘A funny thing happened on the garden path…’ Part 4

February 1, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Fourteen days after Day 0

James had been making plans while I was away. In a week and half’s time I had mapped maybe 20% of the surface of the planet from low orbit in the skimmer, which was boring work but at least the skimmer had spacevision, and James wasn’t here to yell spoilers out. That being said it was lonely work and I often found it difficult to sleep when the wind picked up, despite the atmospheric resistance the skimmer provided. Comfort had clearly not being intended in its design.

But after twelve days of pinging empty desert, the skimmer’s radar had finally picked up what I was looking for; a large cave, well-formed and mostly underground. I marked the area down and turned the skimmer back towards base camp.

On the fourteenth day, two weeks after I left I returned to base camp to find everything packed away except the smallest living unit. At least James had made good on his end. I touched down, probably too near to the camp but It’s not like I piloted skimmer’s for a living. I noted the fuel gauge as I departed as being ‘quite low’.

James came out from the last intact living unit. “Good? Or not?”

“Good” I called out while coming out of the skimmer’s loading bay. I tossed him a grav lifter as I approached which was caught deftly. “Load it up, but no more juggling. Yes, I saw it the first time. And the second time. But I don’t need you wrecking any more equipment because ‘the grav lifter failed’.”

“Quit your whining already. You know I won’t do it again.” He spun the lifter around in his hands like a duellist from an old reel. “How far out was it that it took you two weeks?”

“It took me ages to find one to meet your lofty requirements O great thinker you are. It’s about 8400 kilometers away and I don’t think the skimmer will make any more trips after carrying all our gear there. The fuels too low for another trip without a resupply, so you take what I found and you like it.”

James seemed distracted with the lifter. “How far is that in miles?”

“Good grief James, did you become a Renaissance man while I was away?” He laughed, then I did. Terrible. I left him to pack while I checked inside the living unit to see if there were any messages for me.

Junk. Junk. Someone got married. University account funds are low. Junk. I took one last look at the inside, hoping that everything would be the same way up after transport.

When I got back outside, James was juggling a flatbed. Again.

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  1. February 1, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Out of at least ten “Fiction” spiels I’ve read tonight, this I really like…This one captivates.
    Not trying to be picky, just helpful…But, you may want to look into this extra ( The )…Bless You
    paul

    “Load it up, but no more juggling. Yes, I saw it the first the time. And the second time. But I don’t need you wrecking any more equipment because ‘the grav lifter failed’.”

    Keep up the great work…I’ll be subscribing and following when I can.

    • February 1, 2012 at 10:06 pm

      Thanks a lot for the follow and for the catch, it often happens when I go back and change a line I don’t like.

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