C. 2019, B.S. Mcquinn
‘I’m lost.’ He thought. ‘I’m hopelessly lost in the middle of paradise.’
Sweat began to bead on his brow even as his breath hitched. Panic. He was beginning to feel very anxious. Emri forced himself to take a deep, calming breath. There was no need for him to panic. It was just him and the plants. There weren’t any animals, yet. Animals would be introduced back into their environments slowly, over the next decade. The fear returned. What would happen if he were to become lost? How would he find his way back to the ship? The grasses had closed in around each step he took. He began to pant despite his attempts to breathe normally.
‘Calm down. You’ve walked in a straight line. All you have to do is turn around and walk back to the ship.’ He mentally reminded as he forced himself to slow his breathing. ‘Besides, Zithri is monitoring, so you cannot be lost. Now, move forward to the top of the hill. From there, you should be able to see the shuttle easily. From above, you will probably be able to see your path, too.
‘Are you okay, Emri? There’s a fluctuation in the bio-readings, over.’
‘Yes, Zithri, I’m okay. I just stopped to catch my breath. The gravity is a little heavier than what we’re used to on the ships. It will take a little getting used to, over.’ Emri answered. ‘You know, Zithri, Genesis doesn’t say anything about the grass being taller than man, but it is, over.’
Zithri chuckled. ‘Maybe God had a detail of angels assigned just to keep it trimmed. Over.’
Emri chuckled back. ‘Maybe he did, over.’
Emri reached out to part the grass again and found the edge of the tree line. His eyes widened and his jaw dropped as he followed the trunks up to the sky. He thought the grass was tall, but oh, the trees seemed to reach the clouds.
‘Amazing! I’ve never seen anything so tall, ever. Over.’ Zithri’s voice betrayed her awestruck emotions.
‘They’re real tree, Zithri, just like father promised us. Over.’ Emri was frozen in place as he stared up at the canopy of green. He’d never seen any plant as large as what he saw before him. And, there seemed to be millions stretched as far as the eye could see.’
‘Zithri, where’s that hill? I’ve got to see how far these trees go. Over.’
‘It’s… It’s right in front of you, Emri. Maybe it wasn’t a hill you saw after all. Maybe it was the trees.’ Zithri’s voice echoed his own sense of wonderment.
Emri looked down finally. He was getting dizzy staring up the sky. The enormity of the trees before him astounded and overwhelmed his senses.
‘Zithri, I… there’s so much undergrowth beneath the trees that I’m almost afraid to venture further without a machete.’
‘Oh, don’t.’ Zithri exclaimed. ‘I mean, let’s leave the plants for the botantists. They’re going to have a heyday. Over.’
‘You’re right, and the sun is getting a little low in the sky. I’m going to head back to the shuttle, now, Zithri. Keep me headed in the right direction, okay? Over.
‘Roger wilco, Emri.’ Zithri agreed.
Emri had to admit as he parted the green sea before him, that he was more than a little overwhelmed by it all. The Earth was beautiful; no doubt about it, but how long would the pristine air smell so sweet? And, most of all, how many humans would it take to destroy paradise? If history proved true, he already knew the answer to that one, at least.
‘Please, God, help us to get it right this time. Help us to keep your word and your laws ever before us.’ Emri prayed even as he pondered how his people were going to survive in such a wilderness as this. ‘For such a time as this, God, we have prayed for generations. Hear our prayer, and guide us forward. Amen.’
To be continued in Chapter One….