To Nicole who submitted through the website. I hope you enjoy!
Geocode was not successful for the following reasons: ERROR
Martin looked at the screen again. This couldn’t be correct.
The data within the system had taken years to gather. It was the most in-depth analysis of humans that had ever been undertaken. Every other sector’s numbers had computed perfectly.
Martin, as the humans had called him, tried again: ERROR
He pulled up the zone in question on the map. It was an affluent neighborhood in the state of California in the country called the United States. As he scrolled though the information, he also began the diagnostic protocol.
If there was any chance of zeroing in on the error and getting off this planet which was at the farthest end of the galaxy, contained behind a rather formidable asteroid field, then he would have to find and correct this ‘ERROR’ and submit his information.
As the images rolled past, one in particular caught his eye. He scrolled back and pulled it up. At first glance, it seemed fairly mundane. Small children played in an area of grass and sand. One of them was using some kind of plastic item that was launching soap in the shape of circles in the air. He knew what they called them… Bubbles!
He zoomed in on the bubble that had just been launched. There in the reflection he saw not a small earth child standing there, no, this was something different. This had gills.
At first, a smile crept across the human mouth he was wearing. He had found the error. Then almost as quickly as it had appeared, the smile vanished.
These were not humans.
A feeling of dread began to build within him. Was this possible? he thought to himself.
He knew that this planet had been studied before; it was a terribly good resource for certain mineral components and the inhabitants were still behind in technology that any time they saw a potential visitor it was dismissed. This is what made the idea of full planetary reaping so appealing to his high ruler. But here it was, right in front of him.
He moved to the genetic samples that had been taken from that region. Although they were ‘mostly’ human, there were other markers. When he broadened the scan, he found them to be traces of Reedbarnt gene sequences.
They were hiding here. How?
He had to submit this right away. This was above his pay-grade.
Pulling the arm-sleeve of flesh from his right hand, he extended his small gathering of tentacles to the screen. Although he was mandated to leave the human covering on for the length of his mission, he knew that what he had to gather and send would take hours if he had to use the small human appendages.
He gathered all the evidence and sent it to his superior. He then reattached his arm-sleeve and paced up and down the ships data storage area. This was a human habit, but he knew that he could not remove the whole flesh suit without it deteriorating.
It was many earth hours before he received a reply.
It said only one thing: Abort!