|Daily Flash Fiction Challenge – 05/25/2012
Prompt: “It was hard to find, because it wasn’t there”
The teleportation cube flashed with a harsh white light with a sudden electromagnetic humming thump. The scientist who had been pacing in front of it for hours turned and witnessed five forms materialize as his eyes adjusted. They stepped out of the chamber where one of them dismissed the others. They trudged away as the lead explorer made his report to the scientist.
“Did you find any intelligent life down there?” the scientist asked.
“Surely it exists on this planet,” the scientist protested. “They may be our last hope! I understand searching for it and making contact can be difficult but...”
“You didn’t see what we saw down there, doc,” the explorer interrupted. “It was hard to find, because it wasn’t there. If you want to compile a Freaktionary of cryptoxenozoological mutants, I’d probably include this place, but otherwise move along to another system. Although there is some potential in maybe a couple hundred years, they’re going to have to figure out how not to pollute or starve themselves out of existence first. They literally chased us away with whatever was handy and shot at us with primitive weapons.”
“Very well then,” the scientist responded. “So we’ll mark this planet off the list. Which one was it again?”
The explorer consulted a data pad. “Extra-planetary candidate 2389.”
“Hmm, XPC2389, ok,” the scientist remarked, tapping the screen on his data pad. “Did they happen to state what they called the planet?” He looked up at the explorer. “They did speak?”
“Oh yeah,” the explorer responded. “They babbled on endlessly. They complained their god wouldn’t allow this, and worried whether we were going to eat them, and how our presence would affect housing prices.”
“But what did the inhabitants call their own planet?” the scientist snapped.
“Earth,” the explorer groaned.
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