As mornings go, Cheld thought, it was one of the better ones. Anyway, she’d had worse. At least this one started where it should, at dawn. The sun was behaving as it should too, rising up out across the horizon.
Which was all good.
Except for the colour.
Cheld had hung around on quite a few worlds, but she couldn’t remember many – if any – that had a blue-green sun. Which was odd.
She gave her navcomp a shake. It still insisted it was on the planet, the planet that was now rising where the device said the sun should be.
She noticed her shadow and turned.
Aaaggghhh! It was bright.
The sun was behind her. The planet was in front of her. That meant she was standing on its moon.
She gave the navcomp a look that, if it were one of her husbands, it would have made it make its excuses and run.
Cheld turned the device off and then back on again. She sighed.
It was the mornings, always the mornings.
Even on planets or moons that didn’t have mornings as such, it was still the mornings.
She strode off across the moon, noticing, for the first time, that the gravity was lower than her device had told her it should be. She hadn’t noticed before. But then she’d been intent on the device, reading it rather than looking around her.
But it was morning.
Underlings had died for disrupting her mornings, which is why she now preferred to work alone, at least before midday. She arrived back at her scout ship and kicked the moon’s dust from her boots.
She saw something over in the distance she’d not noticed when she landed. There was a machine and something waving in the non-wind.
She magnified her visor. A sort of metallic piece of cloth stuck to a stick. The stick, in its turn, stuck into the moon’s surface. Next to the rag on a stick was some sort of primitive craft.
Cheld tried to scratch her head, forgetting about her helmet, as she always did. She cursed as her hands struck the hard unyielding material encasing her head. So, the planet’s creatures had discovered how to do space flight. She looked up into the star-filled sky and saw the familiar twinkle. In that case, she thought, our invasion is just in time.
She glanced down at the navcomp. It was back online. She looked up at the blue-green planet, back at its primitive space machine, smiled and signalled for the invasion to begin.