Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Serpentine and the Man

The Serpentine and the Man
                The serpentine crashes into a golden sandy dune. Granules of sand rose up like a wave, splashing down and covering the nose of the ship. Small particles wedge underneath the wind shields glass. The man rocks about with the impact. Three suns peered light into the ship, the on board computer read the outside temperature at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The man shouted some commands to the computer: “scan the area for any signs of life,” the computer responded in a female voice: “scanning the area for biological life. No signs of any.” The man rose from the cockpit seat and made his way into the main bay of the ship where the environmental suits were stored. It became apparent to him that he must venture out of the safety of the Serpentine and into inherent danger of the outside.  He found the extreme heat resistant suit and put it on. The main body shell is layered with heat resistant metal, making it very heavy. The gloves are lined with heat resistant material, protecting the wearer’s hands and fingers, along with the boots protecting his feet from hot surfaces. The last component was the helmet, equipped with computer capable of performing many functions. Since this suit is intended for hot weather, there are many programs that search the surroundings for shade and fluctuations in temperature. The gloves are fitted with probes which can be thrust into soil to perform moisture readings and send that data to the computer within the helmet. The man walks a bit and tests out the suit, everything seems to be working correctly. He opens the main door and steps out into the mysterious desert. He reaches into the side holster of the suit and removes a laser blaster; he must be prepared for any unfriendly occupants of the planet. He tossed the weapon in his hands and became familiar with it once again. There weren’t many situations where he had to use it while cruising around in space. He tested out the blaster by aiming at a rock. He hit two buttons and pulled the trigger. An intense light shot out from the barrel and settled on the rock, a second later the target exploded. He lowered the gun and started to walk north. The helmet displayed his direction along with any nearby structures.
                He traveled on. The suns took their turn setting in the distance. He watched as the last sun fell behind one of the many sand dunes. The helmet displayed 6pm, based on the rotation of the planet; the computer was able to calibrate time. The man set a goal to climb over this last sand dune and then rest for an hour. The sand shifted as he climbed over the dune. He made it to the other side and sat down to rest. The display listed the outside temperature as 30 degrees Fahrenheit. The man began to shiver; the suit was not able to generate heat, a feature that would not make much sense in a heat protecting suit. It was also becoming stuffy inside the heavy suit; he quickly stripped out of it, wearing only the helmet and gloves. The man had an idea. He reached into the sand and initiated the probe program; sticking his hand into the sand he sent the data to the helmet computer, one object three feet deep, and a second object four and a half feet deep. The material of the objects: wood. He dug with the gloves on his hands. He unearthed the wood and piled them up together. He removed his blaster and shot the wood pile, creating fire. He removed the helmet and gloves and basked near the fire. He curled up next to the fire with the suit blanketed over his body. He woke up to the suns at 7am, the temperature was rising. He climbed back into the suit and set off again. He climbed over a sand dune and peered down, he was amazed with what he saw.
                There was a silver and gold city with robots milling about. The robots did not register as biological life when he performed the scan from the ship. He held the blaster tight in his hand and descended down the slope.     

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