Smiles

Here it is! Prologue of my sequel to 'Camping Trip'. :)

Prologue

The screen flashed to life for an eighth of a second before going blank. She sighed. She had gotten her hopes up for nothing, yet again. She rocked back on her heels, sitting on the chilly, metal floor. Pressing her forehead against the cool glass of the computer, she closed her eyes in contemplation. How long had it been since they had gotten themselves stranded here? With no dependably active equipment aboard the entire vessel, it was impossible to tell...

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Barry gave the screen another stare of non-belief. "You guys are not going to believe this..." he said, turning to his companions.

Jack and Medea walked over to him, eyeing the flashing screen inquisitively.

"What is it?" Medea asked in her birdsong voice, violet cascade hovering around her shoulders.

"Tell us what we're seeing here, Barry." Jack suggested.

"These are images of the planet's surface. Tell me if you think those structures are natural." He pointed to a heavily shadowed area of the screen. A formation, not unlike a sky scraper could be roughly made out. He trailed his fingertip across the digital image, pointing out at least five other detectable structures of similarity.

"Looks like we found our first stop." A somewhat arrogant grin curled Jack's lips as he stroked his chin.

Medea ignored him, placing a hand on Barry's shoulder. "Have you picked up any signals yet?"

"None. Neither friendly nor otherwise." He frowned. "Strange. The radar's picking up electrical activity. Yet, there's no visual response."

"We'll just have to get a little bit closer." Jack already had his hand on the guidance system, as he motioned the others to buckle up.

Barry and Medea rolled their eyes at Jack's lack of caution, but let themselves share in the excitement of making possible contact shortly. They took their seats, strapping themselves to the vinyl-backed chairs, hopeful eyes assessing the view beyond the glass of the windows. They felt the tug of gravity as they entered the planet's atmosphere.

Medea smiled. Her son would be thrilled at the discovery of intelligent life-forms outside their solar system. She returned her gaze to the window, noting the sudden change in color. The brightness made her eyes ache, even behind closed eyelids. She looked at Jack in alarm as the ship began to shake with sudden fury.

Jack, too, held a look of horror on his normally smirking face. He turned around. "Looks like there's not going to be an arrival party, you guys." He stated tonelessly, resuming his forward gaze.

They could only sit in jolty silence as the ship made a sharp curve downwards, landscape approaching at an alarming rate
.

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Medea rose, smiling humorously. She pulled on a coat as she left the room. Watching the floor tiles pass beneath her boots, she made her way to the mangled air lock down the hall. She looked up, pausing to admire it's capability to function despite its present condition. Then again, it was manufactured by one of many Membrane space-funding corporations. She stepped outside, eyes glistening at the desolate landscape.

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"Do you have to go, mommy?" Gaz clung to her mother's leg, cocoa eyes brimming. Medea leaned down, picking up her little girl, and peering into the large, long-lashed orbs.

"Yes, sweety." Her chocolate –reflection was a mirror of Gaz's own sadness. "I promised the stars I'd meet them one day."

"But what if they don't give you back?" Gaz tucked her face into her mother's arm, twisting curls around her tiny fingers.

"Of course they will, Gazzy. The stars wouldn't hurt you, would they?" She ran her hand through the baby-silk strands of a lighter, slightly redder hue than her own.

"I guess not..." Gaz sniffed, uncurling her fingers, but still clinging fiercely, skinny legs wrapped tightly around a delicate waist. She attempted to bury her forehead in her mother's neck as she was, reluctantly, lowered to the floor. She looked into her mother's quickly blurring face as she was pulled into a final embrace, temple pressed to the warm, steady heartbeat. Her mother kissed her temple, tracing a finger lightly down her daughter's cheek. She tucked it under the tiny chin, lifting it up, eyes overflowing. She tapped the little nose three times, mouthing "I-Love-You" in conjunction with each tap.

She stood up, walking over to kneel beside her little boy. He looked up, tear trails like pixie dust in the light.

"And I'll keep watch in case they visit us while you're away." He said, raising his eyes to her. He wiped away some runaway snot on a sleeve. She cupped his face in her hands, kissing the tip of his nose.

"You just make sure they stay 'till I get back, ok? Then when they invite us aboard their ship, we'll see all their neat stuff together." She said, forcing the tremble from her voice. She pulled him into a hug, whispering her love into his five-year-old ears. She ruffled his hair as she got up, and stepped up to her husband.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" he asked, already knowing the answer. He pulled her into a final embrace, arms lost in the violet cascade at her back. She looked into his eyes, arms around his neck. She mouthed "This is who I am" as their lips met.

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looks around quizically

So...what do you think so far? A little slow, maybe?

I like the name Medea, yes I do...