BY THOMAS A. FOWLER
Sam and Steve stared at the Atlantic Ocean. To their left, a blue void. To their right was more of it.
“You missed the L.Z.,” Sam said.
“No, I’m reading life forms all around us,” Steve said.
“The wrong type of life forms,” Sam pulled up the readings.
The scan showed thousands of life forms nearby. Some moved independently, others moved in large swarms. Some were in the water; some flew in the sky above.
“Wow, are you capturing all of this?” Steve asked.
“Yes, but I don’t think any of these creatures sent the signal,” Sam watched his display, waiting for some spike in the readings.
“How do you know?” Steve asked.
“First, do you see any of them saying, ‘What the hell is this thing? Oh, those extraterrestrial beings we contacted.’ Second, none of them show synapse firings of an intelligent creature,” Sam fired up the ship’s engines.
“You flew us here,” Steve pushed the engines back to idle.
“You said there was a signal from intelligent life,” Sam reached for the engine controls.
“I said,” Steve slapped his companion’s hands, “I detected an anomalistic signal that could be a sign of intelligent life. You never listen.”
“What are we? Married now?” Sam shouted, reaching for the controls again.
Two heads popped out from the water. One was a long, slender face, ending in a pointed jaw. It’s long, slim body waved in a gentle flow. The other, much larger, had steel grey skin. Its black eyes were on the side, a white belly, rows and rows of teeth.
“Hey,” Sam pointed out at the emerged creatures.
“What are they?” Steve asked.
“Can’t tell,” Sam stared at the two creatures.
“Huh,” Steve read through the signal data in detail. “The thin one, he’s capable of generating a unique form of electricity.”
“So?” Sam asked.
“So, the signal has electronic signatures that match his biological composition. He was in an enclosed space in the higher areas of the planet’s atmosphere,” Steve showed the comparison the digital display. “And I can detect a flying structure of sorts not far from here. I’ll send another ship to investigate that structure.”
“The little thin guy with the beady eyes sent the signal to us?” Sam asked.
“Seems accidental, but yes,” Steve said.
“Nice, you did find the right landing zone,” he replied.
“I told you,” Steve opened the hatch. “Let’s try talking to them.”
“Hell of an L.Z.,” Sam followed Steve out of the spaceship hatch.