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Science Fiction Mystery Speculative

I could tell the day was off as soon as I exited out of the Farogien tube. The soil beneath me was still soft, yet coarse, and still held its recognizable mauve shade darkened by the shadow of the second sun. The air was still heavy and murky, as it was that time of day where the twin moons Deros and Certos had crossed paths in their orbits.

Still, something was off.

Something that makes you stop in your tracks and pulls you out of the mundane chores you were previously doing and questions you on the meaning of life, the true purpose of your actions in the present, whether you are where you ought to be, and the like. Something that makes you want to forget what you are doing and melt into the air, a careless spirit flouting about without a worry in the world.

I couldn't stay there long, though. I had to buy groceries from the market.

The market where I shop is...interesting to say the least. The very concept and layout was created by my Great Uncle. How it works is, you continually walk west until you come to a white door. You will be able to find it because it will be surrounded by large bubbles. You walk up to the door, pull it down, and enter. Suddenly you will find yourself inside one of the bubbles. I am not sure of the specifics, but turning a certain direction inside a certain bubble will lead you to other bubbles, and each bubble holds a specific section of the "market."

Now, today was a big shopping day. I had to buy Farogien grease so my father could restock our home transport system, some Ursa silk for making ceremonial dresses for me, my mom, and my sister, some extra-waterproof makeup, and cookies to finish off our big feast tomorrow evening.

*Woo* This is gonna hurt.

I walked west for about half an hour, relatively normal for a trip to the market, with my longest to date being close to an hour and ten minutes. I got to the white door, grabbed the tin lift at the very bottom, lifted it above my head, and sniffed my fingers for traces of the metallic sand.

The food bubble was my first method of entry. The stand in front of me held Spugnuts with a huge cardboard sign that read "For Sale". Made sense. Everyone was getting dinner for the celebration tonight and tomorrow, and the giant, fleshy footballs were to serve as  everyone's main course. No matter. I swiped my fingers to the left, and kept going until I found the stand I wanted.

I had learned this way of manuvering when I was six and got lost in the market for about two hours. Luckily then, I didn't have to buy as many things in so little time. Just some food for the Alac Beetles that crawled around our home.

I kept flicking through the different stands until I came to the blue and red, folded over packets that contained Clotine cookies, delicate, unbaked dough shaped like the twin moons. Now, onto the beauty bubble.

I turned left three times before realizing it was right of the food bubble, after which I had to turn seven times to the right. It also took me fifteen swipes before I found the silk. Luckily, the makeup was just three more swipes away from that. Now, just the practical bubble left.

After I had collected all of my groceries, I fell back away from the bubble, my eyes closed in anticipation. I appeared upright in front of the door. After a second or two, I held up my stuff in front of the tiny red camera in the top right corner of the door. I then turned around as a small scalpel-like knife appeared below the camera.

I had gone grocery shopping many times before. I was pretty used to it.That still didn't make the process any less nerve-racking to me.

I often thought back to the articles on our Watch-pads, about how people used to pay for things using small, circular pieces of metal and later green strips of paper. I did not understand the reason for them. They did not provide much resource to the ones receiving them, and yet they were held up as a stable economy for millennia. Why? What value did they really hold? Now it was different. In recent generations, due to our bodies adjusting to the planet's new climate and gravitational pull, we could very much give back to the world that had taken us in. Our breathing in of the purple sand and foggy air allowed our bones to become less brittle and our skin to be more malleable.  So, when we humans created goods to exchange to each other, we could exchange those goods with the buyer's bones, which in time would grow back, and place them into the purple sand that gave them to us, allowing them to decay and restarting the cycle that connected us to our planet.

After I was done with this transaction, I started on my way home. Again, I got that strange feeling. I shouldn't have just stopped in the middle of the street. While I was still the only human on the surface in view, that would now be the case for long. I needed to leave before I crossed paths with another human and risked touching them. However, I simply wanted to float out and forget the world around me, if only for a minute.

It was stronger this time, more tempting. And this time, I heard a voice, though I could not make it out. It was a metallic voice, and it sounded flat, indifferent. Even still, I could not pull myself out of this strange ocean of conciousness. 

I woke up from my trance when my Watch-pad started buzzing. My stomach dropped. I already knew what it was going to say. Years of listening to my mother without question compelled me to look anyway.

"Where are you? You haven't bumped into anyone yet, have you?"

I did not wait long enough to answer. I ran to my tube before anyone could even spot me. I ran for what felt like ten miles, but I got there eventually. I pushed the tube apart, hugged the bags of groceries to my chest, and waited for the tube to suck me in.

This prompt is in response to the questioning from the capital. Any and all information recorded is to be sent to the Imperial Office and then destroyed.

The containment procedures concerning 30577-Khonsu: The planet is in overall good health, and the colonists distributed appear happy and docile, if ignorant for the time being.

The creatures that previously inhabited the planet appear neutral, only attacking if first provoked. The colonists have overall adjusted to living with the beetle-like organisms that feed off the planet's nutrients. They are either unaware, or unfeeling toward the long, yet thin serpents that roam the soil. Best to save those interactions for future monitoring.

Their seems to be some interference with the planet's current situation. A mysterious force seems to be trying to communicate with the inhabitants. Motives seem to be unknown, but further interference may prove detriment to the upcoming Founder's Day Celebration. If the colonists' faith is shaken, this whole project could go up in dust.

Please send Enforcers to observe the situation, and eliminate it if it proves detrimental to the relocation project. We can not have a repeat of 22047-Earth. End Communication.

August 19, 2022 13:00

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