Having arrived in orbit around a planet orbiting the distant
star Tau Ceti, the young adults of the spaceship Destiny begin their
They name the enigmatic and enticing planet Eden. It looks
serene from orbit, a planet nearly covered with water with but a couple of
small continents to investigate.
Procyon, a young man of timid demeanor, is assigned to stay
with a landing craft sitting on a peaceful beach while a handful of others go
to explore what appears to be a planet teaming with primitive life, but devoid
of intelligent beings. Procyon is terrified of the planet, and pursues an
endeavor to convince others of the folly of continuing the exploration.
"Ouch," Procyon muttered. He stopped trying to pry open the access panel and
examined the fresh cut on his finger.
"Damn, that hurts."
Procyon stuck the finger in his mouth, licking off the trickle of blood. He
raised his head to look out the view ports. No one was coming.
He dropped down and pried again at the panel. It finally yielded. When it
fell open, he realized why the simple task had been so difficult. He'd missed
removing a screw.
"Damned hardware," he said. He took his knife and peeled a small piece
of insulation from two wires and touched them together.
"Ow," he exclaimed as the wires grew too hot to hold. He let them cool,
then touched them together again. Nothing happened. Pleased that he'd
probably blown the radio circuit, he started to put the panel back into place.
Too bad, he thought. The others still didn't recognize that humans didn't
belong on Eden. Now they were even looking for places to erect buildings. It
was an alien place, not meant for them.
The biology of Eden evolved without human presence. Procyon knew that humans
represented the bacteria of Eden, and would surely be killed by the planet's
life forces if they kept coming to the surface. If they didn't desist, they'd
all end up like Aldebaran. And if events needed a little help to convince
them, he'd simply have to oblige. It was, after all, for their collective good.
"Huh? What's that?"
Procyon raised to look out. He heard something. A moaning sound, and a
slapping noise. His first thought was to look at the inland vegetation. Were
the others coming back already? Close scrutiny showed nothing but the knee
high vegetation wavering in the breeze, and the occasional scurrying of another
He bent down to continue his work, then popped up when he heard the noise
again. It was coming from the seaward side of the ship.
Procyon stepped from the shuttle to get a clearer view of the water. The
breeze kicked up low waves which lapped continuously at the shore's edge, but
that wasn't the sound he'd heard. Tau Ceti was beginning to sink low on the
horizon. He didn't have too much time to put his cobbled together
plan into action. He moved back toward the shuttle.
He stopped in mid stride when he heard the sound once more. Turning quickly he
looked further from the shore. Procyon shaded his eyes with his hand and
panned the water's surface. There was nothing.
He started to drop his hand when movement further out caught his
There was a big splash. Water shot into the air, seemingly from a dark
object partly submerged about a hundred meters from shore.
"Huh? Whales?" Procyon moved slowly toward the lapping waves, his
fear of the vast ocean forgotten for the moment.
He stopped a few meters from the shore. It was as far as his curiosity
would take him. The distant dark mass was being slapped by the waves.
It's big, he thought. Maybe as big as the shuttle. Large enough that it
didn't bob with the swells.
Was it moving? He shaded his eyes again. It seemed to be coming directly at
him. At fifty meters it began to rise from the water.
"Can't ... be ... a whale." He stared with fearful fascination at the
approaching blackness, his feet glued to the sand. The object continued to
rise into view.
Then he saw why. He shuddered.
If you are intrigued by this scene, then know that many
other exciting and mysterious scenes make up the rest of The Children
of Tau Ceti.
You can purchase The Children of Tau Ceti in
paperback or PDF format by clicking here.