Rkz (m, +16) and Trri (m, +14) are Candidates at Vella Crean
Tom (m, 28) and Ernay (f, 25) are Candidates at Calyeni Caverns

John (m, 23) is a Candidate at Abri Weyr

"Rkz?"
"Tsaaa Trri?"
"Shlop mi erisk?"
"Na."

Interplanetary Translator:
Rkz?
Yes Trri?
Should I be worried?
Maybe.

"They're on to us, Captain!" the first officer yelled. The man was chubby and had the guts of a chicken. Neither of those characteristics were wanted on the tiny spy ship.
"Where are they?" Tom asked.
"Right behind those trees...They're looking our way."
"You know that doesn't mean a thing, John!"
the deep voice of Ernay interrupted the first officer,
"These aliens are just as bad as us when it comes to nightvision."
That calmed him down for another 5 minutes. Tom sometimes wanted it was just him and Ernay, but that was against Military Rules. The fact that he was married to the woman didn't change a thing, yeah come to think of it, they should have been separated, but they were the most successful team on these missions.
Tom heard John sigh his relief when the two aliens returned to whatever they were doing.

"Rkz, are you sure we aren't being watched?" Trri asked.
"I checked the surroundings, but maybe some wild Grlps have found their way here already."
Trri shuddered as he thought of being massacred by a Grlp. In the stories that always happened to boys who went outside in the middle of the night to catch jelly fish. All would be fine until one of them heard it, the soft clanging of the Grlps and then suddenly they were swallowed whole and would never return.
Trri looked around and wished the two moons were full.
"Grlps are just a story, we just have to make sure we don't get caught." Rkz said as he noticed his little brother was still scared.
"But how come there really do disappear boys in the night?"
"Maybe they are smart and run off, or maybe they are dumb and they drown in the water when they are catching jelly fish."
"But..."

"Wait! I see one!" Rkz yelled as a soft orange glow made it's way to the surface of the lake.

"What are they doing?" Ernay asked.
"Looking into the lake...apparently." John replied.
Tom looked through his nightvision binoculars. Something very odd was going on there.
"I see some strange light. Bright as day."
"Sorry Tom, we don't see it." Ernay said, inching closer to the front window.

The light grew brighter and both alien boys took a step closer to the water. The orange light reflected on their soft blue faces and disappeared in their big black eyes. Rzk took out a jar and quickly snatched the tiny animal out of the water. The jelly fish was quite content it seemed to be in the jar. Rzk smiled as he saw the orange light reflecting on all sides of the jar.
"Look Trri!" Rzk shouted and turned towards his brother. The light shifted and the area surrounding them was lighter than even on a normal day.
"It's so bright!" Trri said, awed by the sight of an orange world.
"I told you it would be worth it!"
"It is, but what do we do when they see we have it?"
"Well, we can't take it with us, we'll have to put it back."
"Do we have to?"
"Yeah, it wouldn't survive too long outside the lake."

Just when Rzk turned to release the jelly fish once again he saw something unusual.

"Well what do you know. Radiant jelly fish!" Ernay shouted.
"That's the light I saw!" Tom said.
"It's kinda spooky." John said.
"You mean it's beautiful." Ernay objected, focusing her eyes on the swaying dot of light.
"I definitely want to take a closer look at that." Tom said.
"I'm coming with!" Ernay shouted.
"k. That means John gets to sit the ship, is that fine with you?"
John, who was scared to death of all the lights and unfamiliar plants was very glad to be able to stay in the safety of the ship. But he wouldn't reveal his fears that obvious.
"Fine." he answered, trying to sound a bit disappointed.
Tom and Ernay put on some dark thermo jackets. The nights on this planet were freezing cold. They could only suspect the alien race to either have very good clothing material, or be naked and having no sense of cold. Tom leaned slightly over to the second because nothing he had ever seen on these aliens had looked like clothing.
Outside Tom signalled Ernay to follow him. Sheltered by the long grasses and tall weeping willow trees they came closer and closer...

Inside the ship John kept watching the two aliens. He didn't like these night missions at all, but he needed to do at least 12 before he could ask for a transfer. This was number 11.
"11 down, one to go." he whispered to no-one in particular.
Sitting all by himself in the ship sure was lonely. Ever since he had been little John had hated the dark. Not that he was afraid, although many things could hide in the dark. It was just that the dark symbolised Death. His parents had died in the night, as had his sister. Not shot in bed by a loony killer, no, that was what they wanted you to believe. In fact he knew his parents and sister had been abducted by aliens. He had always known. He had seen the light going from room to room. He had only been left alive because he had hidden below his bed. He had still been awake, playing videogames when he had heard the footsteps. Someone had been in his room, but John hadn't seen him, just the light.

Rzk lifted the jelly fish higher and pulled Trri back with the other hand.
"I saw something!"
"You won't scare me as easily anymore." Trri said back.
Rzk swayed the light from left to right until it reflected on metal. Rzk lifted the jelly fish a little higher, his heart beating in his throat. Finally the light stopped reflecting and they saw it. An Alien! Trri screamed in fear as they saw the big round pink thing open a mouth.
"It really is a Grlp! The stories were true!!!" Trri shouted as he dropped to the ground and tried to protect himself.

The light had come back. It shone into the ship, making a soft reflection of himself on the window. It took a while for John to realise what had happened.
"Oh my God!" he screamed and started the engine.

"Tom!" Ernay screamed as the night suddenly exploded into light.
"What is happening?" he yelled back.
"John's taking off! I saw them shining the light on the ship and he must have panicked!"
The noise was growing louder with the second. High pitched screams of the aliens and the roaring of the ships engine made thinking almost impossible.
"Down." Tom managed to say before the energy wave of the lift-off hit them.


Follow Tom, Ernay, Rzk and Trri into new dangers
Follow John to Abri Weyr

LANTESSAMA ISLE