Gliese is a red dwarf star system 22 light years from Terran Prime and resides in the constellation Libra. In the twenty-third century Gliese 581 c was established as the first habitable planet outside of the Terran system, but the greenhouse effect on the planet made it too hot for mammalian life forms. A team of terraforming robots was sent to the planet in the year 2289. They successfully dropped the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to a habitable level, and began the task of seeding the planet with Terran crops. Within 50 years of the first harvest the planet was known as Gliese Prime and the crops set by the original terraformer robots fed half the quadrant.
The Claymore established a synchronous orbit with Gliese Prime’s capital city and began the systems checks for landing. Once cleared for docking at the Jerrie Cobb Spaceport the crew buckled in for landing.
**This is the Captain speaking. We are docking at Cobb for refueling. The time planet side will be short, once the fueling has begun the system is automated. At that time you may leave the ship. Do not leave without checking your comm-badge. We will be leaving for the Gliese Delta space station within six hours.**
“Come on Liz!” Peep huffed. “Time is a wasting.”
“You and Gem go on ahead. I want to make sure the ship is secure.”
“You worry too much, Liz. I’ll see you at the Cobb center. Just buzz us on your comm-badge.”
“Have fun Peep. I’ll be right behind you. Order me something beef ok?”
“Sure thing, chief.” Peep bounded out of the cabin to meet Gem for dinner.
It wasn’t that Liz didn’t want to go with girls, but this was her first security assignment and she was determined to do everything by the book. She reviewed the log of everyone who had left the ship, everyone was gone. Heading toward the airlock she checked her badge and stepped out of the ship to the gangway. Perched on the rail was Mark Hatten.
Liz slowed her step.
“I was beginning to think you had managed to avoid me.”
“Why would I do that?”
Mark dazzled Liz with a dimpled smile. “Are you hungry?”
“I’m meeting the girls they’ve already ordered for me.”
“Mind a fourth wheel?”