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Rated: E · Short Story · Sci-fi · #2258080
landing on a new planet, two scientist research new plants hoping to finding something big
In the distant future, humanity has spread across the stars. They have found planets of all kinds. Arctic planets where rivers of liquid nitrogen run. Planets where everything is on fire, and oceans of lava burn constantly. Our story starts on a starship, out to explore a new planet. This planet has only recently been discovered, but plants grow plentiful all around it.

While there are many teams exploring this planet, each team has been sent to different areas. The idea was to scout as much of the planet as possible, as quickly as possible. This story will follow a team of two. A couple that has spent their whole life in search of medical benefits.

The wife, Wilma, is a floral biologist. She has spent most of her life studying plants. Her goal in this is to find a plant that could be used for medicinal purposes. Due to her lack of success the past few years, her expectations aren’t that high.

The husband, Todd, is a human biologist. His study focuses on a way to help the body heal faster. His research is designed to develop a replacement for first aid. The plan was to create a type of gel that could not only act as a type of band aid or gauze. After applying it to the wound, it should not only stop bleeding, even in extreme cases, but also help the body naturally heal itself.

The two ride in a ship, the total size of a large apartment. Besides the essential kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom, there is also a research station. Full of various sized beakers, and flasks, and other glass equipment. They have everything they could need to do all the research they want.

Waking up to the sound of an alarm going off, they begin to stir. Groaning Todd rolls over in bed. Reaching across, off the bed, he hits an alarm clock, resting on the nightstand next to it. *beep* *beep* *beep* the alarm continues to go off. Raising his arm, Todd hits the alarm clock once again.

*beep* *beep* *beep* raising his head, he looks at the alarm clock. Groggily, he stares as it reads 6:56. Raising an eyebrow, he questions why he’s being woken up an hour early. Jolting awake, he realizes that it’s not his alarm clock going off. Shaking off his grogginess, he turns to his wife, still in bed. Shaking her lightly, he calls “hey, wake up. We’re here!”

“Huh… wha?” she rolls over, looking at him. “Where?” she asks, still trying to wake up. Her eyes fly open, as she realises what he ment. “We’re here?” suddenly sitting up in bed, she gets wide eyed. “We’re here!” she quickly throws her feet off the bed, and runs out the bedroom door.

Jumping up as well, Todd follows her. After leaving the room, he turns to the left, as he heads into the bathroom. Using a brush, Wilma is frantically brushing her short messy red hair. “Oh, finally!” she eagerly announces. “I hope we can find something juicy~ OW!” she suddenly yells, as she looks at the brush. A small batch of hair sticks out, that she just accidentally tore out.

Todd sets a tiny dot of toothpaste on his toothbrush, as he too tries to get ready. “Don’t worry about your looks.” he spits, before shoving the toothbrush in his mouth. “Worby about essebnials.” his words slightly distorted through the toothbrush.

“Right right,” Wilma responds. “I shouldn’t care how I look, I mean it’s just you and me.” as she too grabs her toothbrush, and paiste, she squirts a small dot on it. “Plus, we’re going to be in our suits. We don’t know if the planet even has oxygen.”

As he spits out his toothpaste, he turns to run out the bathroom. Turning around, he calls “i’ll get our clothes, just meet me by the door. We should be landing in less than ten minutes.” turning around again, he rushes to get ready. As he, and Wilma rush to get clothes on, they frantically get dressed.

All the while they prepare, the ship’s autopilot finds, and sets them down in a small open area. Just outside the ship, various plants lay out in a world unlike any other. *thud* the sound of the ship touching the ground rings out. “We have arrived” the ship's AI announces over the intercom.

Standing just before the door, the two are now fully set up in spacesuits. With excitement on both their faces, Todd and Wilma exchange eager nods. Pressing the button on the side, Todd opens the door to the outside. As the door opens up, they are greeted with bright green colors from the surrounding plants.

Stepping out, the first plant they see is a giant flower coming out of the round. It’s petals are red, with trimmed along the outside. In the center, a small yellow glob rests glistening in the sun. smiling at it, Wilma thought it looked like a ball of lemon jello.

With a bag at her side, she runs up to it. Knowing not to rush, she stops a few paces before it, and pulls out a medium pair of tweezers. With her left hand, she gently places it on the plant. As it doesn’t move, she uses her ring and middle finger to pull out a bottle. Restin it in her left set of fingers, she grabs onto the plant with her tweezers. Pulling a thin piece off, she gently rests it in the bottle.

Letting go of the flower, she then closes the latch like a lid on the bottle. Looking up, Todd is using a stick to poke at the center of the flower. As the stick goes into the orb, he slowly starts lifting it up. Acting more like a gel than anything else, Wilma wonders out loud “wonder how it keeps its shape..”

As Todd plls the stick back, some of it sticks, while the rest jiggles back into place. Shrugging his shoulders, he gently puts the stick, and the goo into another bottle. As he puts it into his bag, Wilma looks around. The tree’s look similar to palm trees, but with a few exceptions. The leaves are a bold blue, instead of the traditional green, and the bark consists of an even darker shade of blue.

Looking at the top, a couple of red rounded objects rest just below the leaves. “Ust be fruit.” she mutters out loud. As she continues to look up, Todd walks up to her. Looking up as well, he reaches behind him.

Attached to his back is a small drone, he takes off. It looks like a metal box, with a camera, and a small set of helicopter blades. As Todd throws it into the air, it begins to whir, and fly up. Moving to the fruit, it closes in on them. *click* taking a quick picture, it quickly turns around. A compartment on the back opens up, as a small net shoots out. Wrapping around the fruit, the drone begins to descend

Pulling the fruit off the tree, it drops, while the net keeps it secure. The drone lowers down, just in front of Todd. “good bot” he smiles, holding open his bag. Wilma walks up, and opens up the net, dropping the fruit into the bag. *whir* The drone makes a slight sound, as the net pulls back into it.

Closing his bag, Todd rested it to his side. Holding out his hand, the drone lands in his hand, then turns off. As he brings it back to his back, *click* it latches into place. Asking out loud, Todd looks over in the distance. “What do you say, one more then we head in and begin researching?”

“Yea,” Wilma responds. “We don’t want to get too many specimens right away. We do that, we might overload ourselves.” looking over, they look for their last specimen. Taking a step forward, Todd catches himself. Looking down, he notices a very small red flower. It looks almost normal compared to the others.

With small petals, the stem was a light shade of pink. The only thing that looked unsettling was the pitch black center of the flower. “Hey, let's just take this whole thing. Shouldn’t be that hard with how small it is, right?”

Nodding, Wilma pulls out a small spade from her bag. As they both kneel down, Wilma takes the spade, and jabs it into the dirt. As she does that, Todd pulls out what appears to be a square piece of metal. As Wilma digs out the plant, she gently sets it on top of the piece of metal.

Almost on cue, an electric barrier wraps around the flower. “There” she announced, “that should keep it steady.” picking it up, Todd holds onto it carefully. As the two turn back to the ship, Wilma walks in front, taking the lead. Hitting a button on the outside, the door they came out of opens up. Wilma walks through, followed quickly by Todd.

Walking over to their lab area, Wilma pulls out a cart from a nearby closet. As Todd sets the plant down, both begin to take off their helmets. Setting them off to the side, they both quickly get to work.

Taking the sample of the leaf they got, Wilma sets it on top of a small piece of glass. Taking a small bottle out of the cabinet above her, she unscrews the top. With the small syringe as part of the lid, she picks up a small bit of the liquid. Setting the leaf sample under a microscope, she looks through it, while slowly squirting a blue liquid onto the leaf.

While she does this, Todd uses a syringe to take a small sample of the gel they found. Injecting the small amount into a small vial, he walks it over to a small machine. Opening the box shaped device, he sets the vial into a slot within it. Closing the door, he turns the power button on, as it begins to whir.

To the left, a computer monitor suddenly turns on, and begins displaying all sorts of different data. Quickly skimming over the data, Todd attempts to find something unique. As he skimms over the data, Wilma continues taking different pieces of the leaf, and sticking them under the microscope. Taking out different vials, she squirts different colors onto it, while seeing the reaction it gives.

Shaking her head, Wilma pushes the bigger piece of the leafe away. With a heavy sigh, she looks at it. Shaking her head, she turns to Todd to ask “you having any better luck? I’m not getting anything from this.”

“Maybe…” Todd responds, as he continues over the data. “It’s hard to say, but it looks like this is nectar. I don't know as much about flowers as you, but it’s surprising it holds its shape so well.”

“I didn’t see any bugs at all here. It makes me wonder how the plants get pollinated.” looking over at the red flower, she begins to think. “Hey, I’m going to do some research on the full plant. See if that can get me something.”

Nodding as he continues pouring over the data, he responds “just be careful ,we don’t know if it’s poisonous. It could release toxic pollen... or something…” stumbling over his words, he spits “just be careful, i don't want anything happening to you.”

Chuckling, Wilma moves over to the plant “aww, i love you too honey.” with a stifled laugh, Todd shakes his head. Taking a small piece of metal, Wilma pushes it into the electric field. As she moves it closer, she pokes the flower with the stick. Just as Todd said, it releases a light red powder from where she poked it.

“Oh, interesting.” quickly grabbing a swab, she collects a bit of the powder on the tip of it. Dropping it into another vial, she then grabs one of the liquid bottles. Using the syringe again, she squirts some into the vial. The clear liquid quickly turns red inside the vial.

Looking at it curiously, she brings it over to another one of the machines Todd is using. Opening it up, she drops it into the machine. Closing the door, she hits the power button and lets it run. Looking over the data as it pops up, she continues doing her research.

The two continue to work, day in and day out. Weeks pass, then months. They continue to do what they can, but nothing comes from their research. Even the fruit they found shows no signs of being edible, or any source of food. They refuse to give up, and continue researching until one day…

“Hey…” Wilma announces. Her tone showed she was starting to lose hope. “Sh… should we stop? We’ve been researching the plants here for months… and, we don’t really have anything to show for it… it’s just…”

Looking at the data on the monitor once more, Todd’s eyes begin to droop. “I honestly don’t know… every test I've done phas failed, so I'm not sure where to go. If we go back empty handed, they won’t give us anything. If even one of our tests comes back with positive results, we could live the rest of our lives easy.”

“I know bt, after months of research, all we have is… that the fruit isn’t edible, the red flower doesn’t react to any of our tests, the leaves aren’t much better, and the nectar is ridiculously high in some nutrients humans need, but also full of toxins that would kill us.” letting out a long sigh after her long winded explanation, she looks back over at the red flower.

Most of its petals have been removed, leaving only two left. With a dishartend glance, Tod also looks over at the flower. “That flower is the only one we’ve found in this area. It’s given us the most information, and yet none at all. By just not reacting to our tests, it could be something incredible. We have to hold out…” his words weren’t just trying to convince her, they were also trying to convince himself.

Nodding, Wilma begins to push as well .”right, but we’ve run all the tests we can… we’ve only got two more petals, what should we do?” as they both look at the flower, they continue to think. “I’ll get a pollen sample, we can save the leaves for a bit.” turning around, she grabs the nearest swab.

Turning back around, she moves it closer to the plant. As she moves, Todd looks over to where she just grabbed the swab. “Oh, wait.” he calmly states. Too late, the swab has already touched the plant. “Ah, sorry… I already used that one on the nectar. I set it down and forgot since the oven went off. Sorry, I just lost track of time.”

Nodding, Wilma responds “it's alright. I’m sure that… huh?” holding up the swab, she takes a closer look at it. The little bit of nectar on the swap has become red instead. Also becoming more liquidy, the nectar begins to drip off of the swab. “How much did you put on here?”

“Um… I think I put in a little more than normal, only because the oven scared me. I flinched, but that is definitely a new reaction…” turning around he grabs a vial, and sets it under the dripping nectar. Responding, Wlma sets the whole swab into the vial.

Turning around, Todd opens up one of the machines. Setting inside, and turning it on, the monitor begins to flood with data. As Todd reads it over, he begins to show signs of happiness. “Wait, if this is saying what i thinks it’s saying.” quickly taking off his glove, he looks at his revealed hand. A small fresh scratch is left from a couple days ago. Opening the machine, he pulls the vial out once more.

Taking the swab out, he looks up at Wilma. “It’s not poisonous, or toxic, and if my theory is correct, then this should be able to help us.” as he takes the swab out of the vial, Wilma watches with slight worry in her eyes. Using the swab, he swipes it across the wound on his hand. Breathing in sharply, he expects pain. Blinking a few times, he looks down at the wound. “It doesn’t hurt…” he mutters. “It’s completely numbed all the pain.”

With both shock and awe, Wilma stares at Todd’s hand. Quickly reacting, he turns around and grabs a small scalpel from the table. “It’s clean, but be careful.” she mutters, as her expression turns to worry. Taking the scalpel, he pushes it into his hand.

As blood starts to slowly ooze out, he looks up with wide eyes. “I still don’t feel anything. It runs deep and works fast. It may not be what we were after, but I think we finally made a breakthrough!” excitement grows over him as he lightly laughs.

Turning around, she reaches under one of the tables. Pulling out a small first aid kit, she quickly opens it up. Pulling out some medical gauze and tape. Taking part of the gauze, she puts it over his hand, tehen uses the tape to keep it in place. “I wonder, what else could we do with this stuff?” he asks out loud.

As soon as she’s done taping down the mound, she turns to the red flower once more. “Wait, the gel, you said it was high in nutrition, but also poisons? I want to try something now.” moving behind Todd, she runs over to her station. Pulling out a bigger sample of the leaf, she sets it on the table. “We found out the leaves aren’t toxic, nor do they release poison. But there was something about it I couldn't quite figure out. Since it’s nothing like what we’ve seen back home, i didn’t know what to do… but now…”

Almost as if he read her thoughts, Todd hands Wilma a small bottle of the nectar. Nodding a thanks, she pops it open then pours it onto the leaf. As soon as the nectar hits the leaf, it begins to harden. The color also changes from yellow, to a more clear and see through appearance. The leaf it sits on begins to turn yellow, as it absorbs something from the nectar.

The nectar, now a solid blob, sits on top of the leaf. Todd, using his wounded hand, picks it up. As the nectar removes from the leaf, it slightly sticks to it. Helping him, Wilma peels off the leaf, as Todd walks it over to the machine. Placing it inside, he turns it on, and turns to the monitor.

Reading over the data, a smile forms on him as he watches. “Wilma…” he laughs, still looking at the monitor. “You’re a genius.” finally tuning to her, a huge smile forms on his face. “Thanks to the leaf, all the toxins have somehow been removed. The leftover bar is basically a survival bar. I’d say a single handful of this could keep someone alive for a whole day.”

Excitement grows on her, as she looks on. “We know there’s a few plants around here, so that means if we set up a farm, we could produce so much more of it. From the research I've done, this plant is rather hady, almost like a cactus. The only problem will be having to figure out how to plant more. I didn’t see any seeds or anything.”

Nodding, Todd turns back to the monitor “right, but… now if only we could find a use for the fruit. I mean, if it was even slightly useful.” closing his eyes, he begins to think. “Actually, that’s the one thing we haven’t done much research on. Everything else just seemed more important, have you opened one up yet?”

“Actually no...” Wilma responds, turning around. Opening up a cabinet, she reaches in and grabs one of the loose fruit pieces. Turning around, she walks over and sets it on the table next to them. Fitting in the palm of her hand, it was about the size of her clenched fist.

Pulling open a drawer, she takes out a small knife. “I was so focused on the flowers, I never thought about the fruit. It’s not that strange compared to the flowers, so I figured it’d just be food.” taking the knife she cuts it open.

As the two halves fall open, the inside even looks similar to a coconut, except the color. What is normally white, is replaced with a shade of blue. The milk that would normally be inside a coconut is replaced by a slimy darker blue goo. Being decently thick, the goo slowly slides down the sides, to form puddles in the two halfs.

“Well that's not what I expected” Wilma announces. Turning around, Todd is already handing her a swab and vial. “Thank you” she calls, taking them from him. Taking the swab, she takes a sample of the goo.

Placing it into the vial, she does the same as with all the others. As the machine whirs, the monitor begins to show more data. Looking at it confusedly, Wilma spits out “I can’t make heads or tails of this…”

Looking at it closer, Todd notices something. Growing wide eyed, he suddenly turns around, and runs off. Running into their room, he begins digging through the closet. “Where did I put... Aha!” he exclaims, picking up a small box. Running back out, he bumps his hand on the wall. “OW'' he nearly yells, as the gauze falls off. “Whatever, i’ll fix that in a minute.”

Running off, his hand starts to drip blood onto the ground. As Wilma looks at him with worry, he nearly slams the box onto the table. Quickly opening it up, he winces. “Damn, looks like the numbing stuff is wearing off. Well, it’s a good time to test this.”

Pulling out a small jar of green goo, he sets it on the table by itself. As he works, all Wilma can do is watch. She knew that when he got like this, not to interrupt him. Opening up the jar, he then takes one half of the fruit. Holding it above the jar, he uses his wounded hand to grab a nearby pair of tweezers.

Using the tweezers, he scoops out the goo, into the jar. After he gets all of the goo out, he sets it aside, then grabs a metal rod, about the length of his hand. “Guess I could've scooped it out with this, oh well, now’s not the time.” he declares, sticking the rod into the jar. Using his unwounded hand, he quickly stirs the two mixtures together.

Wilma runs off for a second, leaving Todd to work. When she comes back, a small rag in hand, she wipes off some of the blood spilling onto the table. “You should really bandage that up. I know you want to work, but you’re bleeding all over the place.”

As she keeps wiping, he stops. Pulling out the rod, some of the new goo sticks to the rod. Immediately slapping it onto his injury. Looking up at Wilma finally, he spits “it should work now.” a smile forming on his face.

“You idiot!” she shouts at him. chuckling, he backs off. “You should have at least told me what you were doing, I could have helped.” letting out a sigh, she leans against a nearby wall. “You’re too persistent sometimes. I can’t tell if you’re brilliant, or mad.” with a smirk, she looks up at him. “Then again, that's why I fell for you.” waving him over, she pushes herself off of the wall. “Come, let's finish up after we get some sleep.”

Nodding in agreement, he follows her towards the bedroom. “This planet's rotation is messing with me. Thirty seven hour days? Why’d it have to be such a random time.” as they walk to the bedroom ,Wilma shrugs. Soon, the two lay down, and begin to fall asleep.

The next morning, Todd wakes to see his wound has nearly fully recovered. The two quickly did more research on their findings over the next couple of days. Despite not being the first to discover the nectar and leaf trick, they were still slightly compensated.

On the other hand, they did discover that the fruit's inner goo has the capability to enrich, and excite cells. By itself, it would do no more than just give a simple energy boost. Though, combined with Todds project, it became a healing gel that could be used for any minor injury. After a few more years, he was even able to create a more powerful version for severe wounds. It would stop bleeding, and begin healing as soon as it was applied.

As for the red flower, and the numbing properties it gave, they only found a few more. That flower was so rare, they couldn’t do much with it. They were able to set up a small farm with what they had though. It became an emergency numbing agent used in battlefield surgeries. Seeing how rare the pollen from it was, they couldn’t get some for the general public.

After only five more years of researching, Todd and Wilma had enough money to live the rest of their lives happily. Though, they spent a couple more years researching, simply because they loved the work. The two may not have become famous scientists like Einstein, but their work was still used to help save lives.
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