Proxima Centauri and the aliens of Porrila
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I'm Proxima Centauri, please help me. I'm nearer to the Solar System than any other star. And if you don't help me I don't know who else will. I'm only a little star. And I'm blushing all red because I'm so little. And I can't get yellow or blue like the bigger stars. I'm not a bright shiny star like Sirius. And I'm not a powerful luminous star like Rigel. And my nearest neighbours are Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B and they're both a quarter of a light year away. And I'm all alone in a big Galaxy. And I'm scared I'll get hurt. I’ll tell you what my biggest problem is. You see most of my planets are well behaved. But there’s one orbiting quite close to me. It’s a real turbulent one. And the things there are the weirdest Aliens. And they’re exploring the Alpha Centauri system now. And when they’ve finished guess where they’re going next?
The things that crawled out of the slime on the planet Porrila
A messenger approached lowering all his tentacles respectfully. “A delegation of astronomers wishes to speak with you at the palace oh most eminent one.” The great ruler Morowl extended one of his forward tentacles. He scooped up a huge wodge of mud and splattered it over the front part of his body. “Tell the astronomers to speak to me here.” he replied. The messenger lowered himself respectfully but he took care not to get the mud further than his lowest parts. It was royal mud and he was not worthy to touch it. “Your eminence wishes the astronomers to meet you here in the most sacred and exclusive kingly mudbath?” The great ruler Morowl extended one of his rearward tentacles. He scooped up another huge wodge of mud and splattered it over the back part of his body.“ Yes. I can’t be bothered to go back to the palace” he said. A humble minion ushered the head Royal Astronomer into the presence of the great ruler. Carefully he kept his robe out of the mud. Morowl was pleased that he’d kept to the traditional design of the robes. The deep purple of the robe looked truly impressive. The silver pattern of planets, stars and galaxies superimposed was a real work of art. And when light of the red sun Proxima Centauri shone onto them the designs contrasted exquisitely with the background.
Morowl gestured and the minion indicated urgently that the astronomer must bow lower. The astronomer approached Morowl bowing low. He strove with as much dignity as he could to keep his robe out of the mud. Morowl struck out two of his tentacles and spoke. “Come on my good
man alien. I’m really pleased with you. Come share the royal mud with me.” Morowl grabbed the astronomer and pulled him towards the mud. Instinctively the astronomer resisted. "Unworthy" he mumbled. Morowl pulled him till he was firmly planted in the mud and the bottom half of his robe was covered with it. “Now” Morowl asked, “tell me about this new planet you have discovered.” The astronomer shifted about uncomfortably. “Is it your wish that I go back and change my robes?”
“No, not at all!” Morowl insisted, “Didn’t you heart me? Tell me about this planet you discovered. I’ve read the early report. You say you have definitely found nitrogen, oxygen and water vapour in the atmosphere of the new planet. “Yes, indeed we have and we think there may be life there, my lord.” Morowl gestured and a minion scurried off to get the reports from the other astronomers. The astronomer started to explain, carefully keeping the upper part of his robe out of the mud. Morowl struck out three tentacles and pulled him firmly. The astronomer protested, “My lord, I and unworthy”. Morowl paid no attention and pulled. Soon the astronomer was deep in the mud, right up to whatever the alien had instead of a neck.
Reports were brought. The astronomer explained about the new planet, light-years away. He explained the type of sun that planet orbited. He explained about other planets in that planetary system. Mainly he explained why he thought there might be life there. The mud sank steadily deeper into his robes. Finally Morowl dismissed him. A minion escorted him away. “I know I will never wear those robes again.”, the astronomer said. “You are indeed fortunate.” The minion ventured. The astronomer turned to him proudly. “These robes will never be worn again. The robes will be carefully preserved. Later I will show my children and my grandchildren that I was permitted to share the royal mud.”
(To be continued)
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