Saturday, May 16, 2020
Moon Quaker, Episode 3
Orlando radioed Houston: "No sign of Knight. Will begin mission."
As they stepped out of the ship Orlando said: "Control was unable to communicate with Knight for three month. It suspects a malfunction. That will be our first work, find it and replace critical parts; but we can't spend much time on this."
"There's something shining to the right." said Celia.
The group went to the location and found pieces of metal that looked as though it had been the robot. Houston was informed. "Remember we are on a recon mission despite what you see here. All stay a distance behind me. If the Fibonacci chart or the lunar sample doesn't get the right response, cover my retreat." said Orlando.
They removed Rook and Bishop, got the chart and sample, and Franco and the robots followed Orlando along one of many previous tracks.
Rocky turned to Celia: "You're going?"
"I'll be with you. We have to stay in pairs. Dump the rock."
"I'm supposed to place them—"
"Dump them. It won't matter."
Rocky opened the compartment, and threw the many lunar collects as far as possible from the spacecraft. He shut and locked the compartment, and asked, "What do we do now?"
"We help the others. They went this way."
"Didn't they go over there?"
"Come with me. They're beyond the crater to the left."
"But I thought—"
"I'm never confused with directions. Come on."
Celia proved correct; but as they proceeded, they saw Franco skipping quickly toward them, the two robots following.
"Go back! Go back!" Franco said in distress. "One of the creatures grabbed Orlando. It was hidden behind a crater wall. Go back!"
But Rocky skipped fast to where Franco had pointed. No sooner did he reach the crater than the creature reach out to him. Rocky grabbed the creature's hand as it came toward him, and held it firmly. The creature's other hand, instead of striking Rocky, clutched the other arm trying to pull it away, as it wreathed in pain. Rocky's hand held tight; and the creature tried to pull away with all its might. Then its arms ripped off and the creature fell into the crater. Franco and Celia were quickly by his side. They looked for Orlando, but there was no sign of him. Below on the dark side they saw a second, larger, creature drag the first into a hole in the crater. Then they spotted Orlando's torn suit in the crater.
"I'm going in." said Rocky.
"Wait," called Franco. "Nothing can be done for Orlando now. You'll need help with the other. Let's get back to the ship, put our thoughts together. We need to calm ourselves. Might also give the creature time to think. Yes, it might have a different temperament."
"I'll hang this arm on the craft." said Rocky. "The other will know what to expect if it comes looking for trouble."
When they got back Franco said he would take the first two and a half hour watch, then Rocky the next.