The Astral Queen landed on the planet's surface.
The pilot descended. Wind whipped her face and her green skin was blasted by sand.
She surveyed the land. Black clouds blotted out sky and sun. Mangled metal towers sprouted from dunes of ash and sand.
She turned and boarded. Inside she paused before a glass chamber. She pressed a hand on the glass and peered in at her ancestors frozen in cryogenic tubes. Not today, she thought.
When she reached the bridge she crossed the planet off her list and adjusted the database so it reflected Earth as “Inhospitable.”
Copyright © 2018 Eric S. Fomley. Reprinted with permission of the author. Originally published in Trembling with Fear.
Eric S. Fomley is the editor of Martian Magazine as well as the Timeshift and Drabbledark anthologies. As an author, his work has appeared in a score of venues and can be read from his website ericfomley.com.