by A21 Reporter Andy Clems
After years of speculation, Fireball XL5’s latest mission has yielded conclusive proof that there is life on Planet T14!
T14, a small planet in a barren corner of Sector 25, was the destination of Fireball XL5’s most recent adventure. Commanding officer Colonel Steve Zodiac remarked, “We passed Planet T14 countless times on regular patrol duty, but there was never any sign of life. To all intents and purposes it was a deserted rock floating in space. Then, on our last patrol, Professor Matic told us that he could see a faint light source coming from the planet’s surface.”
After entering standard parking orbit, Colonel Zodiac, Doctor Venus and Professor Matic took Fireball Junior to the surface of T14, while robotic navigator Robert remained on board the main ship. Their flight path took them over deep craters and through treacherous narrow ravines. Professor Matic explained, “It was just about the most inhospitable little planet I’ve ever seen. We had to take it real easy passing through those ravines, some of which weren’t much wider than Fireball Junior. I had a rough fix on where I’d seen that light source, and it wasn’t long before we arrived at the base of a tall, rocky peak.”
Disembarking Fireball Junior, the trio cautiously proceeded on their jet-mobiles to a point halfway up the rock face. Doctor Venus elaborated on the conditions saying, “It was very difficult going. T14 has a very thin atmosphere and we were relying on our oxygen pills and stamina boosters to get us to our destination. We didn’t know what to expect, so I had packed additional medical supplies for the journey.”
At last they reached the light source Professor Matic spotted from space. The light was an electronic beacon with a control panel on one side. Colonel Zodiac told A21, “The beacon looked harmless, and it didn’t take Matt long to work out the controls. One of them was a communications circuit of some kind. I figured we had no choice but to try activating it.”
The moment Professor Matic threw the switch, the light source intensified. “It was almost impossible to look at it until our eyes adjusted”, recalls Doctor Venus, “none of us could have predicted what came next!”
Professor Matic described the moment, “It was the most wondrous thing I’ve ever seen. When the light had subsided, a ghostly figure stood before us. We could see right through her like she wasn’t there! Then, she spoke to us!”
Colonel Zodiac added, “It’s strange, I can’t explain it, but I somehow knew instantly that the figure wasn’t hostile. I didn’t draw my coma-ray, the three of us just stood there staring. Then she told us that she was a Raquelian, one of the few surviving beings from the planet Raquelius, the planet we knew as T14. She said that a catastrophe has robbed the Raquelians of their physical form hundreds of years ago and that they were only starting to return to some kind of existence, thanks to the light beacon.”
Professor Matic marveled, “They obviously had some great thinkers who devised the beacon apparatus, somehow knowing that one day it would allow their people to be revived!”
The crew of Fireball XL5 spent several hours learning more about the Raquelian civilization before radioing a full report to Space City. A team of specialists is due to arrive at Raquelius within the week in order to do everything possible to help the people of the planet rebuilt their world.