Page 19 - Thiaoouba
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Atomic destruction 15

You will agree that they are loathsome, but the biggest would be no more than 

five centimetres in length. Imagine then, one with the dimensions I have just 

described. It was truly an abomination.

The tube from the sphere began to retract, yet was still a metre from the ground 

when suddenly, the creature hurried forward to attack this thing which moved. 
Untrustingly, it stopped again, when from under the building, a veritable swarm 

of the creatures emerged, spilling one over the other. Just then, a ray of intense 

blue light beamed from the sphere and swept over the group, reducing it instantly 

to carbonised dust. A cloud of black smoke hid the entrance to the building from 


My curiosity further aroused, I watched the other screens, but they indicated no 

problems. The sphere from the river was returning towards us, and the sphere on 

the hill retracted its tube, moved a little higher and lowered the tube again, along 

with a second cylinder above the sphere. I had guessed, of course, that the 
astronauts were collecting samples of soil, water and air. Being in Astral body, I 

couldn’t ask Thao any questions; in any case, she seemed quite busy conferring 

with two of the ‘hostesses. The spheres began climbing towards us and were soon 

ready to be ‘reabsorbed’ by our spacecraft.

When the operation was complete, Thao and the two astronauts mentioned 

took their places opposite their respective desks. Instantly, the images we 

received on the panel and screens changed completely.

I understood we were leaving when each one took her place. I observed that all 

the astronauts had a similar posture in their seats that intrigued me. I later learned 

that a force field restrained them exactly as a security harness would have 
restrained a stuntman on Earth.

The suns illuminated the planet through a reddish fog. We had left by then, and 

I assumed we were following the contour of the planet, at the same altitude. In 

fact, we could see a desert-like area passing by, dissected by dry riverbeds that 

sometimes crossed each other at right angles. It occurred to me they might be 

canals, or at least had been man made.

The panel revealed images of a town apparently intact, then it disappeared and 

the screen went blank. The vessel had obviously gained speed in flying over the 

planet, as the images on the smaller screens, showing a lake or inland sea, flashed 
by quickly. Suddenly, several exclamations were heard and we immediately 

slowed down. The panel was turned on and presented a close-up of the lake. We 


We could clearly see a portion of the coast and, beyond some large rocks by the 

lake, we could make out cube-like structures which I imagined to be habitations. 

As soon as we had stopped, the spheres began their operations again, just as they 

had earlier.

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