Would you believe I’m still sick? Well, it’s true, but I’m well enough this time to pull more words out of my posterior, so away we go!
The message was an order to avoid contact and observe. Oops. It also stated outright what he already knew – that the spectrometer readings of the samples he took were amazingly dense and would be very useful to the company.
Which meant it was time to tell them the bad news; He fired off his reply and report along with several scans and images taken of the new species he had found, documenting carefully that the insects (for lack of a better term) were both intelligent and either hostile or territorial.
Due to the way inter-species law worked, that would mean the planet were off limits unless or until the species could both sign a treaty or contract for mineral rights, and understand what they were signing; humanity remembered it’s own past, and if some alien race had mined all the precious metals and fuel sources on Earth before technology had developed, well, he wouldn’t be here.
Lastly, he set up a beacon; one that would only activate in order to send a message when a ship actually reached the atmosphere of the planet; the message would confirm the planet had been scouted, minerals had been found, but the planet was declared off limits due to the law none had ever seen employed before.
He smirked; no doubt his beacon irritate all those hordes of scientists that would be on their way.
A quick flip of a switch and the beacon fired, drilling down into the bedrock and out of sight; with a stable power source and no way to find it, there would be no way to shut it off and pretend it never existed. With the range shortened, there would be no way for future pirates to triangulate the signal and find the planet with it. He had done all he could.
A last look showed the insect family or whatever they were, still out there, watching. He gave them a salute out of the porthole and gently brought the engines up to power.
They took the hint and flew back, out of the way, though they stayed in visual range. He took off and sped away; there was another likely planet in this system, and it had an interesting, molten moon. He wondered what it looked like from its planet with the atmosphere filtering the light.
And there we have it, the end. I cheated a little, the time came in at five minutes and fifty seconds. Until next time, with another tale to write quick seat of my pants chapters on.