Bloober’s large eyes were set on the dark silhouette, beside a glooming structure, elevating a couple hundred yards ahead. The dust-filled wind played with his dark leather cloak as his green bulbous body slid over the rough surface, leaving a trail of thick sludge behind.

Seen, heard, felt anything, scout?

Sahaen’s telepathic question popped up in his head like a vague thought.

Sound detected, approaching objects’, report follow.

Even though most would never set their sole on an unknown planet, Bloober relished it. The mere thought of exploring a new world for edible life, sent his mind spinning and his acid glands in overdrive. He had been so optimistic about this planet before he descended upon it. That was many sun lapses ago, though, and the only sign of life he had slip over, was dry fossil bones and withered debris of ancient structures.

The dark silhouette had details now and Bloober could recognize an oval body, with a head and four limbs attached to it, two supporting ones and two hanging at the sides. A classic design, just as he suspected.

It was unexpected that this one didn’t move. The norm was that these spices often used their long, limbs to move their meaty bodies out of his way. That was not a problem, though, since their thoughts always revealed them. The other unexpected thing was that it didn’t emit any thoughts, fears or shock. A black devouring void greeted Bloober every time he scanned it.

He was close now and his acid glands moistened as he approached this peculiar specimen, whom still stood erect, gazing into the horizon, paying no notice of him.

It lacked the usual distinguished features. Bloober thought that maybe its body could be incased in a hard shell. The eyes and mouth consisted of three small holes, which lit up in a flickering yellow light, as it repeated a couple of strange, jagged sounds. On the middle of its rusty torso, there were three small slits.

Bloober’s excitement rinsed off and his acid glands begun to dry up, as he realized that the thing before him wasn’t edible, it was not even biological. It was more like a machine of sorts.

Report, Scout.

Nothing. Just machines. The planet dead.

Come back, scout.

The disappointment rippled through Bloober as he swung around and begun to slide back to his shuttle, all while the machine repeated itself in the background.

“Please…Insert Coin…Please…Insert Coin…”

· Copyright © 2015 by Ken Bergman  All Rights Reserved ·

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