598 – Dark

He nailed the equatorial orbit on the first try, time to start the sensor sweep.

The planet below was quite beautiful. Lush green forests, deep blue seas, a diverse and vibrant ecosystem. Everything was perfect and pristine… and that was the precisely the problem.

The harvesting team had been working on this place for well over a year, methodically stripping this place to the core. Their progress reports were always on time and included extremely detailed manifestos of all the resources they had gathered. According to their last contact they were almost ready to head home.

And then, they suddenly went dark.

He checked the sensors again… the planet was totally pristine. Not a sign of the fleet or evidence of their work to be found. The company was certainly not going to like this. It’s never good for business having a half-million ships plus carriers and container units simply vanish without trace. On top of that, it surely seemed like no resources had even been harvested here.

By the third sweep he was still as clueless as when he arrived, but there were some pretty grumpy executives and investors waiting for an explanation. He didn’t really have one, but it was time for his first check-in.

The deep-space comm array was just beginning to warm up when he saw the huge dark mouth open on the planet’s surface. He managed to loudly curse just before being pulled in.

The planet looked quite beautiful. Lush green forests, deep blue seas, a diverse and vibrant ecosystem. It was the kind of bait no resource-hungry species could resist.

It patiently revolved around its star, waiting for the next delicious fleet to appear.

• • •

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