Stopover in a Quiet Town
Glenn took yet another sample of the soil with the futile hope of getting different results from the lab tests as the white dwarf set in the east. He and Felicia had been on the potentially habitable planetoid Acris for nearly a month, with another month left before they’d be able to return to Earth with their findings, but it wasn’t looking good. Everything was just “not right” – the soil had too much ammonia, the air too much nitrogen, which the plants released instead of oxygen, the only thing working in their favor was a complete lack of fauna; they didn’t leave their vessel for the first week while it scanned Acris from the outer atmosphere down to a mile below the surface. Felicia did a low-grav skip-walk toward Glenn with some actual good news, that Protus – Acris’ nearby trojan planet – was finally close enough for their ship to perform a shallow scan, but the look on his face and more importantly his eyes focused on something behind her told her that the scan would be unnecessary.