Father and Son Interplanetary Vacation

Chapter 2

The first planet they visit is small with low gravity and a thick high-oxygen atmosphere. The animals here grow to enormous sizes. However, because of the low gravity they walk slowly and are not very dangerous. Jose and Perre also walk slowly, but they have force-generating backpacks that are similar to jet packs. These propel them through the air using invisible particles. They are quiet and there is no visible jet stream.

The second planet Jose and his son visit has massive valleys and canyons. It is very beautiful. As Perre overlooks a grassy valley it feels like he is dreaming. Yet he also feels very alive. It is exhilarating.

Perre wants to visit a third planet that has volcanoes and lava flows. It is 50 light years away, and Jose's spaceship can travel up to 30 light years each day, so the travel time is nearly 2 days. Along the way, Jose detects signals indicating a human colony is on a nearby planet. Jose did not expect to encounter any humans this far out. He sends a message to the colony, letting them know he is traveling nearby. The colony sends a message back welcoming Jose and his son to visit them.

Jose and Perre agree to stop at the planet and spend a day with the colony. When they arrive and land the spaceship, it is evening. The men working there take Perre and Jose to a small, clean room with a couple beds. Perre goes to sleep while Jose goes out and has drinks with the men.

The next morning Perre awakes early. He asks his dad to come explore the planet with him. However, Jose is still tired from the night before and wants to sleep in. Jose tells Perre to go explore on his own. The workers had told him the planet is safe. Perre brings a phone with him so he can contact his dad, along with food and water.

Perre steps outside the guest housing. Everything is lit up. Last night it was too dark to see anything. Now he can see what the planet looks like. It is a desert with dusty, sandy hills and shrubs. The area where the men live and work is like a small town surrounded by wilderness. Perre walks across a two-meter deep, 5-meter wide ditch that surrounds the compound. He looks around at the wilderness. It is not as exotic or fantastic as the other planets they visited. However, something about this planet seems neat and interesting.

Perre walks several kilometers into the desert. There are some interesting plants and rock formations, but no animals. Perre finds shade beside a large rock, sits down and eats his lunch. Suddenly, he hears rustling in a bush. Perre walks over to the bush to see what it is. He sees a brownish-red blob moving around in the bush.

Perre thinks, “Whoa! What is it?” He grabs a stick and pokes it. The blob makes a gurgling sound. He sees what look like electrical pulses on the surface of the blob. It wiggles out of the bush and backs away from Perre. The blob is two-thirds of a meter high, a meter long and half a meter wide.

“Are you an animal?” Perre asks the blob. It gurgles in response. “What were you doing in the bush?” The blob is semitransparent so Perre can see that it has absorbed berries from the bush. “Is that what you eat?”

Perre picks a berry from the bush and places it in front of the blob. It cautiously comes closer, crawls over the berry and absorbs it. “You're hungry!” Perre exclaims. “Come here.” Perre places a berry in his hand and holds it out. The blob comes closer and forms a projectile from its body. It uses this to take the berry.

Perre waves with his hand, signaling to the blob to follow him. It understands the signal and follows him. It moves by contracting and extending its body, similar to caterpillars. They spend the whole day playing together in the desert. As evening approaches, Jose calls Perre and lets him know it is time to leave for the next planet. Perre asks to stay here another day. Jose has made friends with the men and would also like to stay, so they agree to stay another day or two. The manager of the operation invited Jose to see their manufacturing plant. Perre plays with the blob a few more hours, until it is dark. He asks the blob to wait for him until he returns tomorrow. It tries to follow him as he walks back to the town. Perre tells it to stay and wait for him. He finds a bush for it to hide and sleep, and it stays there when Perre leaves. He finds his way home with a flashlight and navigation device.