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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Sci-fi · #2132209
He was sent to Thanatos to evaluate the planet's life forms, but ... A No Dialogue Entry
Circular Logic

The acrid smells of smoke made Rolf sit up, coughing. He looked around at the bent and torn metal that surrounded him. Sparks showered from the electronic banks that flashed red overhead. He felt a moment of panic as he scoured his mind for an explanation. His breathing and heart-rate lowered as the memories, like puzzle pieces, began to reassemble in his mind.

He was Galactic Special Marine Forces, sent to Thanatos to evaluate the planet's life forms and, if possible, make the first contact. From initial observations, the Thanatians were not very advanced, living in small groups and using rudimentary tools. They were bipedal and, surprisingly, very human-like in appearance … if you discounted their green-tinged skin. The thought made him smile.

Another shower of sparks brought him to the present forcing him into action. His natural instinct for survival had already kicked in and he was grabbing gear and moving before the thought was complete.

Climbing out, he took stock of where he had crashed. The space transport has landed in a grassy area well off the tree lined pathway he could see in the distance. He was surprised at how Earth-like the vegetation appeared recalling his early life in Vermont.

Shaking the errant thought from his head, he stood back, watching his ship burn and sending a silent prayer to the gods of space that he hadn’t been noticed. He quickly took stock of what he had been able to grab. It would be all that he would have to survive with.

The thought was interrupted as his peripheral vision caught movement in the tall wheat-like grasses that surrounded him. He slid into the growth as two humanoid shapes rose silently. He was startled to see that they were well armed with bows and spears tipped with metal heads. The sight of the metal tips indicated that they were more advanced than the reports had indicated.

He studied them with curiosity. They appeared to be over six-feet tall, consistent with the lower gravity of the planet. Their clothing, what little they wore, looked like some kind of skin or leather. Both appeared to be male.

If he was discovered before he had a chance to make peaceful contact, the entire mission would be in jeopardy. His hand chanced on a small length of pipe that had been thrown from the crash and an idea formed.

Reaching into his leg-pack, he pulled out the first-aid kit and extracted a small vial of pain-killer. Using the wheat-like heads of the plants, he dipped the end into the vial, making a reasonable facsimile of a dart. Sliding it into the tube, he sent one flying and smiled as the nearest Thanatian yelped and then fell forward. His companion came over at a run – and met the same fate.

Rolf checked the area. There were no other visitors. Picking them up – and mentally thanking the gods for the light gravity - he began backtracking the trail they had left as they came from the trail to investigate. Following the pathway, he moved away from the tell-tale crash. After an hour, he looked back. There were no visible signs of his crash site. Moving into the field-like area, he quickly stomped a circle in the grasses to cover any prints he may have left and left them to revive.

Dragging some brush, he carefully erased his tracks as he turned toward where his ship had crashed and where he had stashed his supplies. He found that he was grinning. He wondered if he had just invented "crop circles." Rolf chuckled as he broke into a trot; there was a mission that still needed to be accomplished.

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An entry for Round 17 of "No Dialogue Contest
Prompt: Image
Word Limit: 700
Word Count: 614
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