Author : D’n Russler

It had been an eventful two weeks that the first exploration from Sol’s System had spent on the rocky planet about twice Earth’s size named “Wolf”, circling Gliese 581.

Yaacov Ben-Ish and his team of exobiologists had revealed a vast, rich ecology with flora and fauna that appeared to interact in the same ways that Terran life does. Having a nitrogen/oxygen atmosphere somewhat richer in carbon dioxide than Earth’s, Wolf was covered almost totally in a full jungle seething with life in all its wondorous forms.

Ben-Ish removed his skullcap for a moment and rubbed a hand through his close-cropped dark hair. “Yes, Jenny,” he concurred with the young woman standing next to him, “I do smell smoke — and we are upwind from the Landing Site, so it’s not us.”

“Probably the result of composting,” remarked Jennifer Dayle to her commander and friend. “You don’t suppose –”

“I try not to. But you know my beliefs that the Creator will repeat Her patterns elsewhere other than Earth,” he responded.

“I’m still always surprised when you refer to G-d as Him or Her indiscriminately,” she noted, as they cautiously approached the source of the smoke.

“Shh… do you see that,” Ben-Ish whispered to her. “Unless we’re hallucinating, there appear to be rough structures down there.”

“This puts a whole other slant on this expedition!” she murmured with excitement. “I’m glad I qualified for First Contact before we left.”

“Yes, and as we both are certified, we should report in, and get permission to proceed,” he commanded quietly. After a brief radioed conversation, Jenny reported happily that Command had approved their First Contact.

They began to approach the camp, noting that the denizens were clothed in what appeared to be cloth made from the omnipresent violet grasses, while their skin had a decidedly orange tone. They observed the females placing cooking pots on banked fires, and the males gathering off to the side, facing the setting reddish ball of Gliese.

“What are they doing, Yaac?” she asked quietly.

“Looks like they are preparing to greet the Sabbath.”

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