Holiday on Pintor IV

The gravity of Pintor IV was minuscule compared to Klaus’ homeworld. The local fauna floated rather than crawl or walk. Klaus spun and twirled through the trees which writhed like animals on their pencil-thin stalks. This was the best vacation getaway he had arranged yet. He still didn’t understand why no travel journals had mentioned the Pintor system. Ever since arrival, he’d been the only person from the Confederation that he had encountered; it was almost as if no one else knew this planet was here.

The interstellar tourist industry was rife with travel destinations on the thousand worlds of the Confederation as well as adventure travel to the uninhabited planets that dotted space, but somehow Pintor IV seemed to have escaped the notice of the adventurous; more for him.

He pushed off a rock and propelled himself into a fog bank. The air was thick with water droplets, so thick that he was forced to engage his breathing mask. Klaus felt the moisture soaking through his clothes, it was like swimming but he was still in the air. Goosebumps rose across his skin as the liquid lowered his surface temperature but it was too thrilling of an experience to be bothered by such trivialities as being wet.

Something flitted past him on the right. Klaus rolled as he flew and saw a bright yellow torpedo shape; it was the local version of a fish. Klaus smiled at the incongruent sight of a fish swimming past him in mid-air. Dozens more of the small fish swam into view, surrounding him in a cloud of living, scaled color. Klaus laughed in joy, this was the best vacation he had taken in years.

The fish scattered in every direction. Klaus flapped his arms to slow down to determine what had happened. Everywhere he looked the fish were rocketing away.

A swishing sound reached his ears and he turned. The monstrous shark-like creature jetted through the air, snapping up small fish. Klaus’ breathing hitched as it turned toward him. He flapped his arms frantically; if he could reach the ground he could push off and escape. The shark creature was better suited for this planet’s gravity than him. He had moved only a few yards when the shark opened its mouth and swooped down on him.

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