The Machete and The Caravan, A Science Fiction Story

December 11, 2009

The Machete and The Caravan, by Adrian Perez

Nephali sauntered down the caravan of hover-ships. They had been flying in formation for most of the day, but their turbines had spun down for a brief rest. They prepared to camp on a black ridge of rock spotted amidst the blue jungle. Nephali’s caravan was exploring the wildlife-rich planet of Romit in the hopes of finding useful organisms for genetic research.

As far as planets went, Nephali was ecstatic to be on Romit. It was like Earth two hundred years ago, when the planet still had usable oil and the forests still existed in sufficient abundance. Only now was Earth returning to a state similar to Romit’s. In large part to due to genetic additives from other planets to replace irrecoverable species.

Nepahli walked to the edge of the tiny plateau their outriders had landed on. She looked into the jungle, hearing all sorts of hooting and hollering. It was something to chill the bones of people accustomed to the controled environments of earth. It offered Nephali a stream of dopamine fostered by never-ending biological and geographical novelty.

“We should climb down,” said Okwa, trotting up to Nephali’s side. “We have the time.”

“No,” commented Nephali, “I want to use our margin to weave across the jungle on the way back to camp. We can discover more investigation sites that way.”

“Baloney Nephali,” frowned Okwa, “When was the last time we did anything unplanned. For an explorer you keep searching for the things you know are there.”

“Meh Okwa,” smiled Nephali, “You just want to use the sword you synthesized from the archives.”

“And maybe I do. And it is called a Machete,” Okwa grimaced while holding the tree cutter that caused him so much delight.

Nephali stared with Okwa into the dark blue forest. The thick leaves of the trees of the equator gasped oxygen into the breeze. If Nephali had a giant thumb she would rub it against the forest that she might feel it all at once.

“Fine-fine, Okwarim. Let’s test your Machete.”

They climbed down on ropes made of spider silk from the planet Crox. The team brought a robotic pack mule with sample containers for any organisms they might find. Okwa rode the beast down an impossibly angled path that only a computer could navigate without catastrophe.

Each of them held electromagnetic disrupters tuned for the average nervous system on Romit.

[More to come as I continue to write the story]

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