Flash Fiction

Finding Gaia

Look at me, getting a scribble in two weeks in a row! Not going to jinx it or anything, so I’m going to leave it at that for the moment. I know I’m squeaking this one in at the last minute but had to write something for this week’s #SwiftFicFriday after the gorgeous picture Kat gave us for the prompt. We had the standard 150-300 words as well. So, I give you –

Finding Gaia

Colonel Marcus Hadrian stumbled as his foot caught on a jagged rock that littered the tiny moon’s surface. He staggered on as a chime beeped in his ear. Marcus silenced it and followed the faint signal on his hand scanner that meant his only chance at survival.

Soon Marcus could no longer silence the chime. He accessed his suit’s metrics—five percent oxygen remaining. With his ship damaged beyond repair seven kilometers behind him, Marcus had to continue. Besides, the readings from orbit said life existed here, and Marcus had to find it.

As his path dropped into a crevasse, his scanner lit up. Whatever he chased lay close by.

“Watch, it’s a gigantic microbe colony.” He kicked a rock and watched it skitter ahead of him, raising a trail of orangish dust.

Out of nowhere, a massive dome appeared, blocking his path. Marcus approached it, his heart in his throat. A door slid open. Marcus hesitated a moment, then stepped inside. The door slid shut behind him, the airlock cycled, and a door into the dome slid open.

Confirming the atmosphere was indeed oxygen, Marcus ripped his helmet off, sucking in fresh air. Then he noticed his surroundings. A vast garden—trees, flowers, and plants as far as he could see, with a path winding through it all.

“Welcome, Marcus Hadrian; long have you searched for me.” The nebulous voice enveloped him.

“Who’s there, and how do you know my name?”

“Your people have communed with me since your world began.”

“What?”

The plants and trees flowed into the shape of a woman. “I am Gaia.”

Marcus frowned. “Gaia, as in Mother Earth? That’s impossible; Earth is light years away.”

She pressed one flowered thumb against his forehead and images crashed through his mind, confirming the truth.

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