To Walk on Alien Sands Excerpt

A Science Fiction Short Story That First Appeared in Vizions of the Future: 11 Ultra-Exciting Sci-fi Tales

To Walk on Alien SandsNo one lobbied for the position of governor when the Worlds Government announced a frontier outpost on Kappa Geleise. No one except Takuma Sato, a young man out to prove himself.He recognized the opportunity offered by the arid planet and imagined establishing his family on the gateway to the next great human expansion. His barely pregnant wife, Kokoro, helped him pack their belongings on Earth, and together they headed out to earn their future.“This is our world now,” Takuma told all the colonists when their spaceship entered orbit. “Our future is what we make on it.”A cheer rose from his people.Through their long journey, Takuma had shared his vision and won their hearts. Only time would show if they could rise to the challenge.The colonist brought their supplies down from the spaceship with great efficiency. Soon they had established not one, but two, settlements, called New Tokyo and Niban in the language of Takuma’s ancestors.Rough dwellings sprang up next to the best water sources they could find within a day’s walk. They wanted neither to overburden the water supply, nor to spread too far or too fast.“We’ll have the transports up and running soon, and we won’t have to trek all this way,” one man said to another as they struggled to push a cart full of woven cloth along the rough path between settlements. The ever-present wind scoured their exposed flesh with sand, but not even such discomfort could deter them.The other shrugged, swallowing the sand gritting between his teeth rather than waste any saliva. “You think too small. Once the transports are active, the hour it’ll take to get to Niban won’t be our governor’s goal. No, with transports, this whole world will be ours for the taking.”Little distracted the colonists from their determination to make this harsh land their home. They used sieves to spread water on the dry dirt and built sheltering walls out of native soil to protect their crops from the gusts that tore down any greenhouses.The native wildlife proved shy and kept away from the busy hum of human existence. Not even the first plants to break free of the ground drew them for all the colonists patrolled in fear of it at first.The colony doctor, Simon Cornwell, dubbed the only group of creatures to be seen “crabs” because their rounded forms looked like shells and they moved sideways in a rushed scramble. Unlike most Earth crabs, though, these came to a man’s hip and were just as wide. What other life existed there was fast enough to keep hidden, providing elusive glimpses that failed to distract Takuma and the rest.blogscenesf