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Rated: 18+ · Fiction · Sci-fi · #2258828
Beware dawn on Autumn
It was the silence that sent spiders crawling up Amber's spine. Never before had she encountered a complete lack of noise. She stood stood beside lander and looked around. From the Night Hag, the planet appeared normal. The instruments indicated the planet's oxygen levels could sustain human life. They indicated abundant plant, and animal life, but no cities or civilization ruins of any kind. It was the type of planet the refugees from CalVac wanted.

"Captain Amber," came a voice over her comlink. "When can we come planet side?"

"Not until morning."

"Why can't we begin disembarking now?"

"It's not a good idea to disembark on a strange planet at night."

"Captain Amber, please. We've been shut in this ship for months. We're not like you, we need real oxygen to breath."

Amber closed the comlink without answering. Since they didn't understand proper colonization protocol, there was no use arguing with them. As it was, she had taken a risk bringing them here. If the Federation or the CalVac Union found out, they would consign her to the ice mines of Pluto or some other mining planet. She had taken every precaution she could to hide her identity from everyone. Fortunately, the Night Hag was still registered Leon Brigs, and he was serving fifty to life on some Federation prison planet.

Going into the lander, she closed and locked the entrance, before setting down in the pilots seat. Typing a command into the lander AI, we waited for a response. The view screen in front of her lit up with the only information about the planet her search was able to find. It told her nothing that she did not already know.

Planet Name: Autumn
Planet Type: Earth-like suitable for any oxygen breathing species.

Shaking her head, she sent a command to the Night Hag's AI, to land the ship at first light and begin disembarking the passengers at dawn. I suppose I should have waited a day or two, she thought before falling asleep.

"Amber," a voice shouted in her dreams. "Wake up!" Rubbing the sleep from her eyes, she took a deep breath before requesting the AI focus the cameras on the Night Hag. She watched, as the refugees shouting and singing in joy disembarked on their new home. At that moment, from the direction of sunrise, a charcoal cloud began to form and move toward the noise. A few seconds later, a swarm of ravenous locust-like insects began to devour the colonists.

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