“When we upgraded, we recycled some of the old structures for an observation post. It fits six, but we only send a couple of folk out there at a time. We have to be careful not to disturb the wildlife.” She led us to a small rover. “I can have you there and back in a couple of hours if you can spare it. With plenty of time for your scientist to take samples.”
She nodded to me and my heart jumped. Me. A scientist. Someone’s scientist. I said nothing, but smiled and nodded back.
We rode past succulent broadleaves, woody and towering arums, echeveria shapes in unexpected colours, each so uncanny and larger than life. I recognised many plant parts, yet not their configurations or detail. This place was only alien-ish, not entirely unfamiliar. Bird sounds grew louder the deeper we went into the forest. We slowed down to watch a small pack of what looked like medium-sized reptiles bound past. Gigantus lizards, the doctor told us.
The captain rubbed the back of his neck. He drew a breath, then reached out the window and let his fingers idly brush the bushy ferns along the worn road.
Onward we rambled. My mouth hung open the whole time. I breathed in a fly and choked it back out, barely hearing my own hacking over the rover engine and trills from the canopy. The fly landed in my hand, pronotum open, opalescent wings beating. It whistled as it took off.
I have been writing a lot but not posting here. This is a snippet from something I’ve been working on. It’s a big something, the main project that’s been eating my head. Enjoy.