One year ago today…. well, I wasn’t writing, or at least not posting anything, so I went back a few more days.
Captain Fuze has appeared in a couple stories, including this one and one on an Alder by Post.
Captain Fuze had seen any number of things on any number of planets.
It was, after all, her job to shepherd the scientists, both to get them across the reaches of space and to keep them alive on the planets. So she went where the science was; she went where the interest was; she went where the anomalies were. And she – as well as seven others who could control the crews required for the so-called bounce ships – had been doing so for subjective decades.
She never ceased to be surprised. She never ceased to be startled and a little irritated at the scientists’ naivete and helplessness; she never ceased to be amazed at their brilliance, at the leaps they made that she could not, in 1000 years, have made; she never ceased to be awed and a bit worried at the way they made contact with other races, especially the linguists.
Today, this-subjective-day on her personal time line and the day labelled landfall-plus-seven Targus, the Captain was once again startled.
They knew there were-or-had-been natives; there were buildings, vehicles, and things that they thought were probably weapons, although they could have been scientific instruments (the line was often very thin). But in all of their scans and six days of hands-on research, they were missing two things: a written language, considered vital to the development of culture; and any natives. They hadn’t even found a single native-remain.
The scientists were doing their best, but they were notably distressed and depressed. Talking to natives was not only the most accurate way to gain certain information, it was the most fun, or so the lead linguist had told Captain Fuze.
They’re going to be thrilled by this, Fuze thought, when in front of her eyes one of the buildings unfolded and blinked sleepy window-eyes at them.
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