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Beyond the End of the World, Lokians 1 By AaronDennis Characters: 5365

Updated: 2018-01-10 19:02

"Only a few hours, men; be prepared, and stay alert."

The crew marched to the elevators then proceeded down to the Explorer. The traveler was already onboard and among some friendly faces. Korit, Flem, Jor-Tune, and two others. Jor-Tune gave a Human salute to the captain. He chuckled and returned the greeting.

"Good to work with you again, O'Hara, " Korit said.

Jor-Tune extended his hand to Swain. "Excellent, excellent. Glad to see you again, friend, " Swain said, excitedly

"What's the plan? No one gave us any instructions, " O'Hara told Korit.

"Apparently, the traveler already provided our navigator with coordinates."

"It's a simple task this time, " Fitzpatrick snarked. "What could go wrong?"

Scans indicated Soft Light was rich in Ammonia and Sulfur. There were also caverns, which ran thousands of meters beneath the crust to water, and geothermal activity kept temperatures from falling too low. Atmospheric composition scans showed a thick layer of Carbon Monoxide. The gravity on the planet surface was 1.8 times that of Earth; for all intents and purposes, it was capable of sustaining life, if beneath its surface.

The Explorer navigated through dense clouds of gasses. Once visibility hit zero-zero, the ship's outer lights came on. Hours of slow exploration drifted by before the ship arrived at its destination. All they witnessed were flat expanses of brown rock speckled with yellow flakes. Every once in a while, electrical currents set gasses aflame, giving off soft lights.

"Probably why it's called Soft Light, " Nandy mused.

"Sure, sure, " Swain said.

d even circumnavigated some flowing lava. Hours later, they emerged into an underground city, one similar to the city on Marduk, but everything was made of a foreign metal. Korit stopped in his tracks. He watched the traveler slow to a normal pace. Flem came to a halt behind him.

"What, " she asked.

"Seems he's found something, " Korit answered.

The creature led them towards a silvery mound. He opened the door then stood looking at the crew. They made their way over and entered. Steps led down to an elevator.

It was small, forcing them to board four at a time, and then wait for the others. They gathered in a large room with the sterile appearance of a lab or hospital. It was full of unrecognizable equipment and glass partitions.

The traveler kept walking through doors and hallways, only stopping at doors or corners. Swain felt the pull of some equipment. Though he was struck by confusing images, he wasn't able to grasp their mechanics. Mumbling over the shame of a hurried trip, he joked that the traveler had a fire lit under his backside.

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