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Planet X Chapter 1

Alex has taught at seven public schools, been accepted into three honorary societies, and traveled the Americas and Europe. He has his BS.


Planet X Chapter 1

Arnold Abraxas stared past a maple tree at the cave wall. He remembered his mother telling him not to touch it as a child. The material was apparently toxic, but none of the animals seemed to die. All of the life on this world had been taken from Earth. Arnold took a quick note with pen and paper. The people of this place used the contemporary standard of English, developed by Ross Goodman. This written language was fairly phonetically accurate. Arnold gave himself a long sigh. No news is good news, but that doesn't mean it's not boring. Arnold closed his eyes as the artificial light bathed him.

Thoth was a terraformed world. Caves were expanded and dug where needed. This was to protect the inhabitants from cosmic radiation. A small atmosphere was created, but it was not as strong as Earth's. Therefore, the human population lived in elaborate cave systems. A number of organisms had been taken from Earth, including some rats. Arnold shook his head as one scurried past him. They were the reason that pets were no longer permitted for travelers to Thoth. Even temporary residence was no excuse. "Some people..." Arnold thought with a slight smile. The maple trees in the area were all doing well. Arnold took note of this. That was his job. Well, the inhabitants of this small world all had another job. Work had to be done.

All of the denizens of this rock needed to help with the quarry work. The planet was filled with precious materials. Said materials needed to be extracted, and occasionally placed onto cargo ships. These arrived roughly every year, with passenger ships (which also carried cargo) arriving about every ten years. These latter ships carried fruit trees, much like the ones on Thoth. These trees were genetically engineered to produce healthy fruit daily. Of course, water was recycled regularly. Oh, the passenger ships... Arnold mused over beloved memories from childhood. He once enjoyed listening to elderly men in the area talking about the Sun. He lived his entire life past the Kuiper belt. Arnold had never seen the Sun.

Arnold began to follow the river home. There was one river, which was fed by a decent hydraulics system. He stopped to take another note as fish hungrily jumped at the many insects in the area. Arnold could feel his wallet pressing against his now sweaty body. There was very little use for money. But, laws dictated that it was necessary. Every shipment that came in also came with capital. The mayor would distribute the money accordingly. Only individuals who left this world would ever use it. Arnold used his key and opened the door to his home. It had been his late mother's home. Arnold blew a kiss to her altar in the corner. There was no woman to greet him. In all honesty, Arnold was hoping more women would arrive in the coming week. He moved to the bedroom when there was a knock at his front door.

© 2020 Alexander James Guckenberger

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