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What do you think we hit?


Can’t say. We went through the critters pretty fast. I’ve never seen anything quite like that flock: multicolored, almost metallic-looking, circling in a protective formation. Very strange. We’ll have to wait until the techs evaluate the snarge when we warp back to base.




Surprised you didn’t learn that in your training. Snarge is the remains from a mid-air strike. Nasty stuff. There’s not always a lot left after a collision when we drop out of intra-galactic warp and enter a planet’s atmosphere, but we learn things from what we hit.


Our sensors determined about a dozen separate strikes. Some organic. But mostly advanced polycarbon synthetics. Doesn’t that seem a bit odd?


Maybe. Like I said, the techs will run an analysis when we return. We can’t really worry about a little snarge at this point. It happens on almost every mission.


Aren’t you concerned about damage to our craft?


Instrumentation reads fine. I’m more concerned about completing the mission. After all it’s a monumental operation to make first contact. This is a new world, our first outreach in this primitive solar system, so we don’t want to disappoint these poor planet-locked Terrans—and I don’t think a little red, white and blue snarge on our ship is going to put them off.




I am a long-time English teacher who enjoys short short science fiction stories and long long hikes in the Pacific Northwest.


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