photo of a man on the moon“Commander’s log number 1-4-7-9-2. Life forms have been spotted and are currently under observation.” Commander G peered out from behind a large boulder. His presence had yet to be detected.

“Life forms are tall in height, about twice my size.” He spoke in hushed tones, adjusting the GS-11 unit attached to his left wrist. “They appear to communicate with a mixture of strange sounds and constant movements of their arms and hands.”

Commander G ducked behind the rock, fearing that he had been spotted. The strange noises came to an abrupt halt. Not willing to take any chances, Commander G spun around and scampered up the rock incline to his spaceship.

Once inside the spaceship he readied the engines for an emergency exit. The thermal dampler showed no sign of incoming life forms. He switched to audio tracking to provide further assurance.

After several minutes of monitoring, Commander G felt comfortable shutting down the engines and resuming his mission. He grabbed a few power pellets and stuffed them into his space suit. The pellets had been procured during his previous mission to quadrant 2 of this strange planet. The last thing he wanted was to run out of energy with a herd of unknown species chasing him.

“Commander’s log continued, I believe the life forms may have sensed my presence. After a brief security review observation will now resume.”

He scanned the landscape carefully as he emerged from the spaceship. He moved cautiously back down the rocky slope to his previous hiding spot. He could hear the strange noises and estimated that the life forms were in the same spot they had been previously. He searched for a new view from which to observe.

“From my observations all of the plant life seems to be contained in quadrant four. The lack of plant life creates a greater challenge for conducting stealth observations. Advanced audio/video equipment would be useful for future operations in this quadrant.”

Commander G navigated his way around a steep cliff and dropped to his stomach before inching toward the natives. Air mixture readings from his GS-11 unit indicated that his space helmet was unnecessary, but he hesitated to take it off. He scooted forward, inch by inch, hoping that they were still facing the same direction from the last time he had visual contact. A few power pellets fell from his suit, but Commander G did not bother retrieving them. The mission was the only important thing.

He finally reached a point where he could see the subjects again. He whispered softly into his GS-11. He was much closer this time and did not wish to risk being discovered. Besides, he could amplify the volume with the master computer once the upload to space command was complete.

“Communication must be slow and complicated on this planet as the life forms are still exchanging sounds and motions. This appears to go on for long periods of time without stopping. They also appear to need constant refueling as they routinely take in black liquid from small containers.”

He paused for a moment at an unusual break in the communication noises. He held his breath hoping to remain unseen. He exhaled as the noises resumed.

“In addition to strange communication patterns, the life forms have strange coverings. The material appears to be strictly ornamental and provides no protection from gamma rays or shartron gases. Their choice in colors indicate a preference for things to be plain and … well, boring. They seem to lack advanced technology as there are no devices anywhere around them.”

Commander G adjusted his space helmet so that the air filtration valve was on the side instead of the back of his head to allow him to crawl into a tight space beneath a flat, brown rock. On closer inspection he decided that the rock had at one point been a wood-like substance but had apparently fossilized over many years.

“The life forms are obviously friendly toward each other as no signs of fighting have been detected. It is still uncertain how they might react to other species.”

Just at that point one of the life forms turned to look in his direction. Commander G tried to slide backwards but, in his hurry, he raised his head and pounded his helmet against the rock. Something small fell from the top of the rock. The clash of helmet and rock made a loud metallic sound and he knew his presence had been detected. He paused for a moment. Should he attempt to get back to the spaceship or should he engage the aliens and test their response to other species?

Before he could decide, his thoughts were split by a loud, shrill sound coming from one of the life forms. “Garrett! Mrs. Johnson and I need to talk without being disturbed. Now get my cooking pot off your head, take it to the kitchen and then go upstairs to your room until I tell you that you can come out.”

Commander G removed his helmet and walked in the direction of quadrant 2, speaking into his GS-11. “Commander’s note, life forms are hostile toward advanced species. Do not attempt to engage in further contact.”