Written by Darala Starr :: [Friday, 14 June 2019 23:24] Last updated by :: [Friday, 21 June 2019 17:25]
Darala ran faster and faster, her speed increidble. Up ahead she noticed a barrier—a fence of some kind. And if she didn’t slow down, she was going to crash right into it. Darala slowed her run and finally brought herself to a complete stop. The soft ground beneath her boots kicked up in a purling plume. She felt a little winded, but her belt kept that wonderful Tau Ceti air pressure in her lungs. Were it not for that, she’d be suffocating here.
Darala examined the fence. It must have been at least three times taller than she. Maybe eighteen or twenty feet high.
“I could rip this apart with my bare fingers,” Darala said to herself. “But I wonder if I can….”
Darala jogged back some distance from the fence and adopted a running stance.
Okay, Darala… concentrate, she thought.You have super strength and speed, you must also have great agility.
Darala took a deep breath, and sprinted off her spot. She accelerated rapidly like a missile, and before she hit the fence, she sprang off the ground. To her surprise, the fence dropped below her view and a quick glance down confirmed she was sailing over the top of it. She dropped quickly and landed square on the other side. Her feet were planted firmly in a power stance and her leg muscles bulged beneath her suit. She straightened up and whipped her head back for a glance at the fence. She’d leaped completely over it!
Darala activated her bracelet communicator.
“Computer, it’s me! You willnot believewhat I just did!”
The ship’s computer answered, “You found the transponder?”
“No,” Darala said. “I was running so fast, like those speed pods on Tau Ceti, and then I jumped over a towering barrier. I must have flown over thirty feet high! I could never do that on Tau Ceti Alpha! This planet is amazing I’m literally the strongest, fastest person here! I wonder… I wonder if I could just stay here.”
“Stay?” the ship’s computer said. “Darala that is dangerous.”
“But why?” Darala asked.
The ship’s computer said, “Darala, I realize that what you are experiencing here is extraordinary. But I must make you understand something:this is not your home.You belong on Tau Ceti Alpha and the transponder must be found and returned where it will be deactivated and destroyed.”
Darala said, “I don’t understand, what’s the big deal with some stupid transponder.”
She ship’s computer said, “The big deal is the transponder is constantly beaming a signal directed at the Tau Ceti quadrant, and if an enemy ever found it, they would have a map leading them directly to us. It sounds far fetched, but believe me, Darala, it’s not. It’s very serious. Do you understand?”
Darala thought about it and nodded. “Yes, yes I understand. But with some more time here I will…”
“You will weaken,” the ship’s computer said.
Darala thought about it and felt suddenly somber.
“Over time your Tau Ceti physical attributes will atrophy in this weaker gravity and pressure, and eventually you will be no more remarkable than an average human,” the ship’s computer explained. “You could never return to Tau Ceti Alpha. In fact, if you stayed here too long, it might even kill you. Your physiology is not suited for this planet, even though right now you have superhuman abilities.”
Darala let out a long, deep breath, feeling the weight of reality crashing down on here.
“How much time would I have before I…?” Darala asked.
“I cannot say for sure,” the computer responded. “But you have just a little more than six days to recover the transponder and return to the ship.”
Oh, Darala, she thought, the computer is right. You can’t stay here.
“I understand,” Darala said, her voice subdued and even.“One last question: what year is it on this planet?”
A moment later the computer responded, “On this planet, the year is one-nine-eight-one.”
“Wow,” Darala thought. “Nineteen eighty and one.”
Darala switched off the communicator and checked the beacon coordinates of the transponder, which seemed to be only a few more miles from her location. If she hurried, she could snatch it and head back to the ship immediately. She decided there was not much more point in staying here on Earth, even if she did possess superhuman powers.
Darala started off again, this time in a moderate run, which was still very fast. Wind caught her long curled hair and pushed it behind her shoulders. Her leg muscles flexed and tightened beneath her shiny suit as she ran, each stride larger than a horse’s gallop.
Up ahead was a clearing and beyond that some kind of path or road. And it looked as though… yes, there they were! Earth humans!