I arrived after the ice had melted and the cool water slid down into the valleys. I now stood above an engorged river. The gushing water was a fruitful conductor for sound. It reflected the whispering of the mountains.
A low humming emanated from the distance.
The restoration of the Earth base has been coming along, vigorously propelled by the frenetic energy of this planet. It’s a resource abundant and ever-present. Every organism I have encountered here carries this energy, which I posit is an ancient anxiety or a unique urge to stretch and bend time. So much of this information comes in annulose movements. Every day a new loop, a new layer to the story of it all.
The distant hum becomes a droning, thicker and wider. Opening then closing.
It was the time of day when sunlight distributes a flush of prismatic haze. The flight patterns of the birds become expansive just like the heat. Easily carried by the breeze, settling down, only to swell up again and elaborate. As I climb the short distance to the top of the mountain the humming amplifies. Perching on the mountain’s shoulder I look in every direction focusing my gaze to the call but the call is not satisfied.
Intensifying, the belly of the drone now erupts into a searing. Then closes again. The spines on my skin begin to vibrate, all in unison. I finally spot what is making the sound. An angular metalloid craft tearing its way across the upper atmosphere, in its wake an exposition of churning innards, like an animal being torn open along its bloated underside.
I bolt down the path of loose dirt and tiny sharp rocks, disturbing their formations with my haphazard scurrying. But there is a much bigger disruption to the landscape at work. A red shadow-like tint is filling the valleys like a flood. I reach the entrance of the base just as the red shadow casts over my location.
The searing drone of the craft has devolved into a cacophony. And into something more familiar and much closer in proximity.