The planet reflected the gorgeous blue of a water surface with swirling white clouds indicating huge weather patterns. Damitol and Testicleeze had seen other water planets, of course, but this one seemed pure, pristine. It had no signs of technology. Testicleeze examined the cognitive spectrum emissions. The ocean below them teemed with life, and he picked out several species displaying rudimentary intelligence.
“Slip around to the opposite side,” Testicleeze suggested. “Look for land.”
Damitol orbited to the other side of the planet, and they found several large land masses. They saw extensive swatches of green—which they thought might be forests—as well as plains and deserts. Again, they found many life forms that registered low on the cognitive spectrum. Nothing like the spike they saw where the rocks had come together on the other planet.
“Can we go down?” Damitol asked. “I’d like to get out of this spacecan awhile.”
Testicleeze punched a few buttons on another of his technotoys. “Atmosphere is great for us. It’ll feel a little heady at first, more oxygen than we’re used to, but well within our tolerances. We won’t need a portacont.”
“How about that place? Where that plain meets the forest. We could drop down close enough to examine both. I’m not really interested in the deserts.”
They put together excursion belts with a few snacks each. Damitol began searching the cabin.
“Testicleeze, have you seen my gloxflit?”
“I have my remote. Where did you have it last?”
“I put it on the console between our seats. I can’t find it there, or on the floor.”
They looked all around, but couldn’t find the remote control for the plarter.
“Oh bulviate me.” Testicleeze rushed to the back of the cabin. “I dropped a bunch of garbage into the remolecularizer.”
He cycled the device off and opened the bin. Most of the organic material he’d put in had broken down, but the metal and plast pieces remained. In the bottom of the bin, he found enough pieces to recognize a gloxflit.
“W-will it work?” Damitol’s voice trembled and her aura turned a fearful muted chortzel color.
“No. It’s dead. I’m so sorry, Damitol. I should have looked more closely at the trash.”
“No, it’s my fault. I shouldn’t have left it out. Look, you just go on down and explore. I’ll stay up here.”
“Why? We can only plart back up one at a time, anyway. When we’re ready to go, you can activate the gloxflit, then once you’re up here, use the control to bring me up.”
She thought for a moment. “What if we get separated?”
“We won’t do that. Not ever.” He caressed one of her tentacles.
“Are you sure that’ll work?”
He put another tentacle around her head. “We’ll be together as long as the Ring of Damicleeze remains.”
“But … we can’t see the nebula any more. We left it.”
“I can see it.” He tapped a tentacle to his beating heart. “It’s here. Can’t you see it there?”
Damitol’s aura morphed to the blue of their ring nebula. “Yes, Testicleeze,” she cooed. “I can see it there.”
His aura melted into a matching blue. “I’ve thought of a backup plan. We’ll each have a communicator. If we get separated, you enable the gloxflit then call me from back up here. The ship will locate my signal and you can plart me up.”
Damitol rubbed his tentacle with her own. “OK. Let’s go explore.”
After running a test on his gloxflit, Testicleeze dropped to the surface. He faced a gently flowing river, with rolling, grass-covered hills on the other side. When he turned around, he saw trees growing almost to the bank of the river. The air smelled fresh and just a little intoxicating. Damitol slipped into the space beside him after about ninety seconds. She leaned into Testicleeze and sighed.
“It’s so beautiful. I could stay here forever.”
Stay tuned for the next adventure in the joy rides of Damitol and Testicleeze.
Image of the big blue Earth from NASA.
What’s the news on Merlin and King Arthur?
Well, Merlin slept for fifteen-hundred years, and then he woke up to seek his liege and friend, Arthur. The wizard stowed away on a container ship in Britain. But in the Gulf of Mexico, it sailed into a hurricane. Can the old druid make it through the storm to Texas? Download a copy of this short story by clicking here.
You can get more of Merlin in Texas by reading Merlin’s Knot, available on Amazon.com.