GGGGCadet Redstart reached the top of the hill. The gusting wind blew his red, BirdPatrol: SPACE scarf back behind him heroically. He took a pair of binoculars out of his pack and scanned the horizon. There was supposed to be a massive deposit of Feokistav crystals(1) somewhere in this valley and it was Redstart’s job to find it.
GGGGHe looked back the way he had come and wondered if he had remembered to lock the hatch on his T-13 Skylark. He shrugged and began walking down the hill. All the scans showed that this planet was uninhabited so there was little chance of something breaking into his ship and stealing his music discs (2). He took off his pack, set it on the ground, and flew up into the air to get a better view of the surrounding terrain. The crystal deposit was supposed to be within 200 yards of his landing zone, and since he didn’t see any huge, purple crystals that shoot lightning he was beginning to think something had gone wrong with the Nav computer. Redstart flew back down and took the map Commander Eagleton had given him out of the front pocket of his pack. After studying it for several baffling minutes Redstart realized that this was the map for a completely different planet! He crumpled it up and tossed it over his shoulder into the wind. He watched as it uncrumpled, flew through the air, and slapped a giant spider in the face!
GGGGSpiders aren’t famous for being able to show a lot of emotion, but this one sure looked angry! It knocked Redstart off his feet with one swipe of its foreleg. Redstart landed in a roll and came back up on his feet, drawing his Bennington’s P-426 blaster in one fluid motion. He shot twice in quick succession. One blast went wide and the other grazed the spider’s abdomen, burning a line in it’s thick, black hair. The spider didn’t seem to notice. It shot a web and hit Redstart left wing, pinning it to his side. Redstart got off one more quick shot as the spider moved in for the kill. The lucky blast took off one of the spider’s legs at the knee joint. The spider let out an hideous screech as black liquid poured out of the wound. The spider quickly backed away and soon disappeared into the thick underbrush.
- Feokistav crystals were originally found growing in the great scientist Feyodor Feokistav’s kitchenette. They are widely used by BirdPatrol to power their Post-Light Drive technology.
- In the future, all music will be stored on aluminum discs about the size of a silver dollar.