Hands Across the Sky
Re-entry was moments away, but Rick seemed troubled.
I glanced over. I couldn’t talk through my helmet, but of course Rick – or whatever his real name was – didn’t need one. His exoskeleton was better than anything we’d ever come up with.
He blinked, and lowered his orbs. I looked back at the bank of switches overhead. Everything seemed normal – except my co-pilot.
We’d worked hard to build trust with the Grac. Rick had been chosen to come back with me instead of Michael Bell, who’d stayed behind; ambassadors. Symbols of inter-species cooperation. Insterstellar peace.
Splashdown was imminent. We braced.
Seawater rushed in. I smelt my first Earth air in God knew how long. I lifted my face to the sun.
And something – something large – blocked it.
‘Welcome, Joe Ronson,’ a huge voice boomed. Grac. I looked up. The sky bristled with alien craft. I spun to face Rick, who blinked again.
‘You made Earth sound so good,’ he muttered, shrugging.
So, this week’s Flash! Friday competition centres around the image above – the re-entry of the astronauts from the Gemini V mission, which landed back home on this day in 1965 – and the inclusion of an alien. Not the simple mention of an alien, mind, but an actual flesh-and-blood (or bone-and-aether, or shell-and-ichor, or whatever) alien. As usual, you’ve only got 140-160 words to do all this in, and as usual it was a challenge – but a lot of fun.
In other news – well, I’m dealing with a huge dollop of self-censure this morning, as I left my editing in a precarious place yesterday evening. I reached a point where I just couldn’t take any more (after about six straight hours of work, mind you), and even though I knew I’d be kicking myself this morning I had to throw in the towel when I did. So, as predicted, this morning my leg is sore from kicking and my brain is sore from thinking and my heart is sore from all the excising of my precious, precious words.
But that’s the name of the game, right? Have a good (and, hopefully, alien-free) weekend, do plenty of reading, and I’ll see you all back here bright and early tomorrow morning for an old-school book review.