Red Sands and A Blue Wall

Natalie didn't argue.   She simply nodded once, then stood in one fluid motion.  Carl envied her.  He felt like crap and even standing taxed his system much more than he'd have liked. He was already suffering exhaustion from the heavier gravity.  the gravity on LaGrange-5 was a fraction of Earth-normal, and the gravity here seemed to have been set to that as the basis.

Carl didn't complain, though.  If Natalie was a Red Duncanite sympathizer, the last thing he needed to do was show any more weakness than necessary.  She'd seemed relieved enough that he'd woken up.  Now, she seemed much more reserved.  Carl set off at a moderate pace.  There was no obvious light-source, so he had ot hope that they weren't going to end up going in circles.  Some environment-domes could span five kilometers across.

He took the lead, as much to maintain Natalie's modesty as to present a sense of confidence he didnt actually feel.  After two-hundred steps, a thin dark line was visible on the horizon.  As they got closer, it shaded to dark blue.   Up-close, the wall was a translucent blue.  It appeared to be plastic or glass, but it there were no obvious seams to the material. 

"Is observation alloy."  Natalie said.

Carl glanced at her questioningly. 

"Is used in zero-g performance space.  High-tensile polymers.  Almost no chance of blow-outs for pressure differentials."

Carl turned and raised an eyebrow.  "You're a dancer, right?"

"What?" Natalie retorted with a coy smile, "Dancers cannot know of production materials?"

Carl raised a hand in apology.  "Sorry." he shifted gears before she could make a production out of it. "So, Do you think we're on the inside or the out--"  Natalie was staring beyond him, beyond the blue polymer wall... 

Carl turned, in time to see something disappear under the sand on the other side of the wall.  "What did you see?"  he turned back to Natalie.

The dancers' eyes were wide and her shoulders lowered, as if she were trying to draw into herself.  Carl reached out and grabbed her by her shoulders.  He forced her to meet his eyes.  "Natalie.  What did you see?"

"What are those red and white creatures with shells.  They live in the salt-seas and have claws..."  She cupped the heels of her hands together and wiggled her splayed fingers.

"Crabs?"  Carl offered.  He'd never actually seen a crab.

Natalie nodded.  "So.  Like a crab.  Only as tall as you.  It was the same color as the sand, and it had things on top of it's head...  tentacles?  No...  Like antenna.  It was there when we came here.  Then it moved when you faced me, lifted your arm."

"It was there the entire time."  Carl repeated, his voice devoid of emotion.  "And we didn't see it."

"Oh, Jesus."  Natalie said.  "What the hell was it?  Do you think it can get under the wall?"

The End

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