Note: The following story was written for a Science Fiction writing competition which required 1,000 words or less and a theme of future food. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it. Part Two will follow at a later date.
The nothingness of this star system seemed like it had been a part of his life forever. Sam Storicky had been a reclusive star traveller for nearly his entire life, from those early star hops he went on with his father, a legendary smuggler. It was those many trips with his father that made him mistrust humankind, leading him to a life of traveling through space in seclusion. The charted portion of the galaxy had become too boring and predictable for him. Uncharted space had been his home for years, each unknown planet presenting a new and exciting adventure. After going through system after system of uninhabitable planets, Sam’s supplies were running low and it was time to find a planet where he could refresh his stores.
“Possible target planet….sector segment QZ7-33,” the computer droned.
“Great,” Sam said to nobody in particular, “it’s about time I get to stretch my legs and eat some real food.”
Like he had done thousands of times in the past, Sam set his ship’s computers to maneuver in for a closer look at the planet. This allowed Sam to settle back for a nap while the computer did all the work.
“Computations complete……atmosphere sufficient……resources sufficient…..,” the sudden statement of the computer woke Sam from his nap, “……no humanoid life forms detected.”
“Ah,” thought Sam to himself, “sounds like the perfect place for a vacation. No one to disturb me.”
Those thoughts of a break in the routine and a bit of a vacation from the norm brought a smile to his face as he prepared the landing pod. In no time at all, he was breaking free from his spaceship toward the planet below.
“Looks like a decent atmosphere,” he thought to himself, “not like some of those dusty planets I’ve been on before.”
The landing pod made its way lower, Sam aiming it towards the largest land mass visible.
“Odd. The computer showed no signs of life, yet it looks like some sort of city below. I better be careful in case there’s something dangerous down there.”
As the pod got closer, there was no doubting that it was, in fact, a city that he had seen. “I’ll just make a slow pass overhead,” he thought to himself, “if one thing looks out of place, I’m out of here!”
But nothing did appear to be out of place. In fact, everything seemed to be very much in order. No signs of decay or abandonment. It seemed so perfect, so idyllic, that it gave Sam a very uneasy feeling. Uninhabited worlds were not supposed to be this way. Even with that queasy feeling in his gut, his curiosity outweighed the fear and Sam sought out a safe place to land.
“That looks like a town square over there. Lots of room to land and close enough to buildings if I need to look for cover. Probably as good a place as any.”
to be continued…..