The Blue Planet
The Lander door opened and Kingsley stood back as the mechanism whined slightly. This was the first time it had opened in nearly seven hundred years.
The brilliant light of the planet crept up the wall like a searchlight and he swayed slightly as the cool air rushed in, assailing his senses with the aromas of this new world. The ocean; the pungent rotting vegetation; the earthy animals smells; the delicate scents of plants, the ozone: he could actually smell the ozone. It all came in such richness that his head reeled. This was what the world brought to him.
Then the sounds flooded in. After a lifetime of sterile air and only the slightest hiss of the life support, here was a screaming, roaring atmosphere, blustering and buffeting at his eardrums. He covered them, completely stunned by the powerful dynamic of sensory input. He could hear the atmosphere. He could hear the motion of water, trickling and gurgling. Kingsley had read the poetry of his home world and some childhood verse came from his lips; ‘Water trickles down a river, water slides just like a slither’. He’d had no sense of the reality of those words until that moment.
He stepped outside. The directional theatre of the sound, came from every side. Overhead a bird screamed; away to the right the crash of the ocean; and the rush of the air through the branching plant-structures. He staggered backwards, sitting heavily on the steps, and was completely dumbstruck. Then he lowered the shading hand from his eyes and looked up.
Nothing had prepared him for his very first experience of a sky. A blue, blue canopy; in every direction, blue. He sobbed, and tears of total euphoric joy streamed down his face.
They had come to the Blue Planet.