Landing on Siluria
This mission was supposed to be totally routine. That’s what they’d told me at mission control. No slavering Mud Lizards to worry about, no time vaults, no extermatrons, all very straightforward. Well, I can tell you, as our little ship plummeted through the lower clouds on Siluria at breakneck speed, everything felt very much ‘not routine’. I held tightly to the arms of my chair and involuntarily squeezed my upper thighs together, as the urge to set loose my bladder grew with the feeling that very soon, at this speed, we would smack into some very hard ground.
I looked across at my AI, Cat, the Rubanon encased robot who had been my companion on long-haul tax investigations now for several years. To say he was fighting the controls on the flight deck would be a bit of an overstatement as on lightships in 2225, there were only screens to tap away at when piloting. However, it would not be an understatement to say he was tapping away quite furiously with both front paws at the pilot’s control screen in front of him. I couldn’t really at that moment think of anything else to say other than,
“Are we going to crash?”
Cat glanced across at me and said “Yep. Think so.”
My lower jaw and lip scrunched up into my top lip as I squeaked out “Nothing you can do?”
“Nope. Don’t think so,” said Cat.
“Oh that’s just great,” I whined. “Nothing you can do. Well that’s ok for you being made of totally indestructible Rubanon isn’t it? I mean I’m a human right. I’m going to wind up like a jigsaw puzzle for the crash investigators. The worst thing that’s likely to happen to you is that you’ll bounce about for a while after we smack into the ground. Just typical!!”
“Don’t collapse into total cowardice just yet,” said Cat, “I may not be able to stop us crashing but I think I’m going to be able to make the landing effectively soft enough for your scrawny body to survive.”
“Seriously?” I responded as I pulled myself up slightly in my chair before lurching uncontrollably forward with great force, as the ship impacted. I lurched back and then forward and then back again several times as the ship gradually juddered to a slowish downward motion until I was finally able to sit relatively still and upright in my seat. Unfortunately, my focus on the impact, allied to the valiant attempt my upper body had made to stop itself from being shaken about like a mountain in an earthquake, had led to me losing concentration on keeping my bladder under control, with inevitable consequences. I felt the warmth inside my pants spreading and, as the damp patch became obvious at the front of my khaki coloured tunic bottoms, I really wished I hadn’t had that large glass of Baffleberry juice just before our descent started. Especially because it tasted of onions.
As Cat spotted my expanding damp patch he exclaimed “Eeeyuck. Can you not control yourself?”.
“Well I have to some extent,” I said, “My bowels have so far stayed relatively still.”
At that Cat rolled his eyes and said: “Right, we’ll head up now.”
“Up where?” I responded.
“To the surface,” said Cat, “The only way I could see to slow us was by landing in the ocean” he continued. “Now we need to head up, but slowly. Whilst we are ascending I will try to work out what happened to the ship. Lightships don’t just fail like this. It’s very puzzling.”
To be continued………