The Earth Moves

Entry by: percypop

21st April 2016

I turned on the monitor and saw the bulbous face of a

Neb appear on the screen. He was reading something

with his front feet propped up on the desk.

"Come in Commander. Report your position."

He swivelled two of his eyes towards the screen but I

saw his third eye was still scanning the script out of

sight below the desk. Nebs are inquisitive creatures and

we have to watch them carefully to stop their minds


"All good here Chief," his voice came through the

translator box with a cheery tone,

"Just passed Orion and looking smooth."

I hate this nebular slang but the machinery cannot

convert it to proper Martian speech so I have to put up

with it.

"Give me co-ordinates please."

I tried to keep the irritation out of my voice but who

knows what it sounds like at his end of the system. The

trouble is we can't fit in the flight deck of the space

craft, so we have to employ these Nebs to fly the thing.

"Well, I reckon we're about half way to Earth at this

point of time," --- Where does he get these expressions

from--"and may land in about two hours."

"You do realize that this is a vital mission, don’t you?

The fate of the Martian race depends on a good landing

and restocking with nutrients.."

I hoped that might stiffen it up, but its blobby shape

wobbled a bit and I took that for a nod but maybe it

was just wobbling. It's so hard to read their minds.

"Pass me to the Supplies Director."

It rolled its upper eyes and leant forward in the control

seat, reaching for the transfer button.

Another round moon shaped face appeared on the

screen, this time it wore a blue earing and I recognized

Neb Three.

"Step back from the monitor," I said, "I can't see

around you, and stop shouting into the microphone."

His voice was blaring out from the translator and his

words seemed slurred. As he moved clumsily away

from the screen, I caught a glimpse of a canister he was

pushing out of sight.

"Have you been drinking Officer?" There were red

patches on its cheeks and the top of its head was


"Not a drop, Shir. I was just checking the shtock and

slipped - thatsh all."--the voice seemed slightly

indistinct but I put that down to the translator.

He gave a salute with one of his flaps and then sat

down suddenly on a barrel of neutrant stacked against

the spacecraft wall.

"I am watching you. You realize I will be reporting

every detail when the mission is concluded?"

I thought it said "Whatever..."

but the transmission cut at that point and the screen

went blank.

By my calculations, the ship should have been within

an hour of Earth's surface and I sent out the exact co-

ordinates needed to bring the craft down on the


Then the task would be simple enough even for the least

efficient of Neb workers. All they had to do was scoop

up as many earthlings as they could find and head back

to Mars quick as a flash.

When the screen revived, I saw the shape of the planet

looming in front of me. It was bright and mainly blue

which meant that there was plenty of water and

oxygen on the surface. Just what we wanted; well-

nourished earthlings to fill our containers and restore

our fading organisms.

I watched as the screen filled slowly with the image of

this wonderful planet.

I could hear the babbling voices of the crew in the

background shouting with excitement in their primitive

Nebbish way.

"Now! I shouted into the intercom," Activate the

landing sequence!"

There was a flurry of action in the space capsule and

much shouting and squealing among the crew, but the

image of the planet seemed fainter with every minute

that passed. Soon the blue orb shrank in size and faded

from the screen.

"What the hell has happened?" I shouted down the

intercom. A Nebbish fat face loomed up on the screen,

its blob wore a stupid expression.

"Well," it said ," I think The Earth moved."