Create a group of five astronauts on their way to another planet.
“What are you doing?”
Crack looked at him like he’d grown a horn from his head. As he turned back to studying the sample, he mumbled, “Some rocket scientist. Probably going to get us all killed.”
Greg left him to his business. Out of the other four astronauts on board, Crack was the least friendly to him. Launching himself through the tunnel, he sought out Terra. She was the one that would speak to him on friendly terms even though he had heard her making fun of him at dinner sometimes. Deep space was so lonely, despite being with other astronauts. He hoped the planet they were visiting was hospitable so he could leave the group and be on his own again. Ever since joining the crew, he hoped to find somewhere to disappear to.
When he finally found Terra, she was humming a song from her home planet that had a rhythm that baffled Greg each time he heard her use it. It reminded him of the seven beat that the Africans of Earth used on drums. As he silently glided towards her, she slowly spun and met his eyes. “Hi Greg.”
“Good times to you, Terra. Is there something that I could help with? I feel so useless.”
“Well, unless the engine breaks down, you are useless. That is the reason you came on this trip isn’t it? In case we had engine problems?”
“Um, sure. Yeah, that’s me; Mr. Fix-it.”
“If only your words reached your eyes. Has no one ever taught you how to lie better than that? I’ve seen toddlers come up with better stuff than that.”
“That’s hardly a comparison. Your kind is born with like stupid knowledge and wisdom.”
Terra grew silent as she continued slowly spinning. As she looked up from her clipboard, Greg could see moisture collecting at the corners of her lavender eyes.
“I’m sorry. Your race is far from stupid. That wasn’t what I meant to say. I meant…”
“I’m aware of your intentions. It is true that my race is born with natural intelligence that shames the best of your human race.”
“Well when you put it that way it makes us sound like a pretty dumb race.”
“I meant no offense by speaking the truth.”
“I know.” His gaze wandered around the tiny room. “What is the planet like that we are going to? Is the air breathable?”
Terra looked at him as a small smile hinted at her lips. “Is there a deeper reason for asking? Or are you just naturally curious?”
“I won’t know if I don’t ask, right?”
A robotic voice sounded over the intercom, “Greg, come to the Captain’s quarters immediately.”
let out a sigh as Terra returned to her paperwork. Pushing himself around, he zipped through the narrow tubes connecting the various parts of the ship. The Captain was a decent fellow, for being half-machine anyway. Greg had to remember that respect was hard to gain from the Captain as he paused in front of his chambers.
“Good luck.” A female’s voice said as Greg’s hand rested on the handle. “He’s in a mood and your probably going to get accused of screwing something up.”
Without turning around, he stated, “Thanks for the tip.” He popped the handle down, pushing the door in and closing it behind him.