Encounter at Tango 7 : Life Here Glows
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click the images for enlarged views)

 systems normal for landing

The distant 7th moon of the gas giant Tango Giganticus is a cold flat wasteland of white rocks and gray boulders. Recent long range scans have suggested that there may be toy life on that far away moon, toys so strange we can hardly imagine them this year. The Articulated Space Administration (chief authority on these matters) has been sending brave Smallonauts on deep space missions ever since the early 70's and they were keen to pick up this new challenge. Their most rugged vessel, the Walkure (a deep space probe capable of marvelous velocity) was immediately dispatched to suss the truth.

On board for this mission: Commander Lucy Ng, daughter of the famous Professor Ng who designed the ASA Walkure. At the helm is Lt. Commander Paris Trax, a slick go-getter and a decorated marksman. In the Ops chair is Lt. Vang, a strange reptilian alien most recently stationed aboard the 2XL+ until he was ditched in a starbase bathroom by the rest of the 2XL+ crew. Vang's keen sense of contaminants has saved the Walkure crew more than once.
checking for life signs  
Things were predictably dusty as the Walkure made a soft landing on the chunky white surface. Lt. Vang scanned the area and the mysterious Luminous Pools.

The crew left the ship under Computer Control and began a systematic search of the landing site. Lt. Vang was interested in the conflicting readings coming from the Luminous Pools and Lt. Trax wanted mineral samples.
the search begins

first contact
Commander Ng was the first to notice the Green Walkers. Lt. Trax was able to distingiush nine rigid appendages sprouting from a central organ sac. It seemed to be interested in them but it maintained a distance and eventually scurried away.
 

The Luminous Pools seemed to be vents for a series of deep gases within the Moon's core. Lt. Vang discovered that a sprawling web of ionized mineral veins crisscrossed throughout the entire moon, and they were throwing off his sensors and producing a smelly funk.
alien ecosystems

silent rock worms
Lt. Trax was intrigued by the high ionization's effect on the wide range of indigenous rocks and while distracted by his scanning instruments a powdery tendril slipped out between two stones and wrapped silently around his ankle.
 

Commander Ng sprang into action, selflessly entering the tangling range of the mysterious Rock Worms. Lt. Trax was being slowly pulled under, but today the Rock Worms would have to drag down all three brave Smallonauts if they wanted any of them.
 Trax is trapped!


Commander Ng found that the tendrils were surprisingly weak and with Lt. Vang's help they managed to pull Lt. Trax free. Unknown to the crew, a pair of alien optic organs watched in seclusion behind a boulder.

 Once Lt. Trax was safe, the Commander thought she felt something watching them from the rocks but the only audience appeared to be a gathering of the Green Walkers who scattered whenever the Commander approached. 
what could they be looking at?

they are everywhere!
The Green Watchers continued to follow them, growing both more numerous and closer in proximity. Lt. Vang ran the numbers and announced that at their current rate of encroachment the strange glowing bugs would overcome the crew in just a few short minutes.

Suddenly, Commander Ng gave the signal to halt. Up ahead there was another Luminous Pool and at the edges stood something entirely new and curious. This chalky moon was simply brimming with polyplastic life forms!
something ahead...

we are not alone...
What where these strange new day-glow aliens and would they see the Walkure crew as friend or food?
 

Much was learned in the next few moments. The Universal Translator was able to decode the sharp tweets and gurgled whistles that the luminous squid-like beings were emitting, and it was discovered that they called themselves Gloy.
the gloy

not much in common
The Walkure crew was pleased to find out that the Gloy fed only on the strange light beams emerging from the Luminous Pools. Theirs was a peaceful hive-like existence where good posture was the greatest commodity.
 

Commander Ng and the Gloy who identified himself as Ffthssvfthffshsstff immediately began exchanging flattery and making warm proclamations, clearly identifying them as the Leaders of their respective parties. Every initial meeting between distant toy cousins has followed this ancient protocol, but this one was glow-in-the-dark.
a beginning

Can two so different plastic beings live together in harmony?
Only time will tell...


 End Log : ASA WALKURE : 4/8/2002