The dull screech of ceramic on rock pinged through the suit’s hull, giving Vej the shivers. There was only a moment to think, and shi dug hir hands into the walls around hir, rewarding hir with another horrific, echoing peal that rung out into the clinging shadows of the asteroid.
This wasn’t like those old sci-fi shows, with the crew warping in wearing thin cotton jumpers; Vej had slowly maneuvered through a dense asteroid field, avoid microdebris that easily could have lacerated the front of hir shuttle. Shi’d flown with the blast screen down, given the high particle count, and relied on lidar to avoid anything big. Then, after securing to the slow-spinning rock, shi’d mapped a careful route along its exterior towards a cave mouth, a near 70-foot drop into the caverns below.
The glittering iridescent hide of the beast shimmered in the pulsar’s light, dancing across the thick exoskeleton in waves; an interstellar tide.
(All characters of the graichic race are hermaphroditic, and do not have gender-specific pronouns; a singular they has been used in place. If this becomes too confusing, it will be switched to a different pronoun.)
The waterfalls were deafening, even from so far away; like so many rains happening further below, all thunderous cacophony and deep bass rumbling. It filled Fa with such a peace that the last month’s hardships were slowly ebbed away, and they allowed themselves a few moments of dozing in the early summer sun, surrounded by their raichii who splashed happily in the waters. Fa was nearly asleep by the time they felt a nudging head poke into their abdomen.
“Where is Mo, Fa?” Came the little voice from beside them.