wrote this story for one
reason – to see if I could – I’ll let you
judge of my success. Look up the lyrics to check how I did!
pretty sure it’s no literary masterpiece, but it was fun!
Sky Blue with Diamonds shows I was getting tired. Ken
Out of the corner of my
eye I just caught
Lucy trailing her hand in the water over the side of the boat.
“I really don’t think you ought to do
that!” I smiled
as she quickly jerked it out, “we really don’t know
might be living in these waters – and what they might find
Bang on cue, there was a huge ripple twenty meters off the starboard
bow of the little craft. The purple fin, attached to the dark green
hump reminded me of one you’d find on one of
dead Stegosauruses. I recalled one of our earlier missions when Lucy
and I had been following a notorious time criminal, who had attempted
to alter the future by assassinating Julius Caesar. We had
followed him to the late Jurassic, and we burst into a clearing and
were confronted by a wall of dinosaur. In fact it was just one
Stegosaurus. That had been fun!
But out here on Epsilon Indi 4, which some idiot had called
Wayne’s World – I ask you - a dinosaur would have
welcome reminder of home. This place was seriously weird. The sky, for
one thing, looked like the kind of sky that would prompt your Granny to
say “Red sky at night, shepherd’s
delight!” Except it
wasn’t red, it had much more of an orange tint. Just after we
landed, Lucy christened it a “Paddington” sky
the bear that liked Marmalade.
The carbon monofilament hulled vessel slid effortlessly through the
water, powered by the silent motor that had a micro black hole as its
power source. I steered us a little closer to the shore so we could
take it in.
“Hey Luce, just look at the size of those things! They must
metres tall! I don’t think they can decide if they are trees
“Judging by the vivid colours, I’d go for
Lucy paused and looked around, then smiled at me:
“I think this is a good point to start the search. I smiled
her as she studied the shoreline with fierce concentration; this one
really suited her. She was way slimmer of course, and the light blue
jumpsuit showed her curves off perfectly. The straight brown hair
looked lighter in the orange glow. She flicked it back effortlessly,
pulled it together and snapped a tie around the resulting pony tail.
Typical of her, the tie was a perfect match for the jumpsuit. I knew
why the hair had gone back, and that she’d be leading the
“My turn for the search goggles” she said, snapping
bulky headset. I looked over to her and knew she was seeing all kinds
of information that would help us. But to me it looked like she had
skiing goggles that had kaleidoscopes instead of lenses.
“Hey, you look even more handsome through these. And I like
being taller here.” A shrug and a “Yeah,
all I could respond.
The boat nudged the shore and I shut off the motor. The transparent
greens and yellows of these giant flowery things contrasted sharply
with the sky, they really were big – easily taller than a
“Hmm, I’m not getting any information about that
end of the
beach”, Lucy said, pointing left,”You go check it
I’ll start over here.”
“Yes sir, Commander Luce sir!” and with a mock
set off. Lucy retorted by poking a finger down her throat and doing a
mock vomit. I smiled, but clicked the safety off the plasma rifle in
I’d barely gone 50 metres when the cry came: “Got a
let’s go!”, and she set off between the giant
things. Damn, she was at least a hundred metres ahead, and her true
physical state meant nothing here. No sense in hanging about, I set off
as fast as I could. The orange light changed dramatically as I plunged
into the undergrowth along the narrow path after her. I love being able
to run as fast as an Olympic sprinter and hardly get out of breath. The
path was quite well worn, and I was glad it wasn’t wet
could have been treacherous. Oops, spoke too soon – as I
to feel rain – but it wasn’t rain at all
– it was
warm, and the smell of sulphur permeated the air. The geyser was off to
the right, and was only about 10 metres from the path – it
spurted like a huge fountain, then stopped – only to start up
again a few seconds later.
The bridge over the small stream that fed the geyser looked rickety and
treacherous, but held my weight with ease. Then I saw her ahead. She
was standing quite still and had her plasma rifle unslung and was
getting ready to take aim. I quietly came up beside her, she looked
around at me and smiled.
“They are really cute, aren’t they?”
The flock of Rockies was grazing on the fist sized fluffy white and
pink flowers that grew in the clearing. For all the world, they looked
like huge marshmallows.
“How many do we need?”
“A mating pair, plus we get a bonus if we get one of their
The flock started move and Lucy giggled at the way they moved. They
really did look like little rocking horses. That reminded me, we should
get a real rocking horse – but back to the matters in hand.
“Hey, we need to get some of the candy flossy marshmallowy
to replicate. Wouldn’t want them to starve on the way back
Three rockies had separated from the group – a pair and a
one that didn’t seem to want to move far from its mum. As
raised the rifle, she turned to me and with an “Oh bugger,
now” she disappeared.
I hit the wrist control and instantly Wayne’s World dissolved
I was standing in our rec room. The Nintendo Wii Mark 9A was asking if
we wanted to resume the game. But Luce was standing next to me, her
“You’d better get us a taxi quick, I think
decided to interrupt the mission. Damn we’d have got a load
points for that!”
I looked at her in disbelief as I hit the rapid dial for the
She went to change and grab her packed bag as I asked the cab firm to
It arrived in no time. It was one of those black cabs that
black – but decorated as a mobile placard. This was
the Evening Standard. As we climbed into the back I noticed again how
gorgeous she was, and smiled as she’d put on clothes that
the same sky blue she’d worn in the game. She grabbed my hand
reassurance, smiled nervously, and kissed me. I grinned back
the diamond earrings glinted in the streetlights. This was the start of
the biggest adventure of our lives.
Ken Orford, 2007