Inspired by two Sunday Writers Club prompts:

  • Write about what “Climate Emergency” means to you – have you experienced it already? What are your thoughts about the future?
  • UFO: The Pentagon is about to release a landmark report about UFOs. Ride the current wave of public intrigue and write a story featuring a UFO

Rakki’s Field Trip

By Janice Cutting

Govo banked steeply to avoid the ribbons of smoke circling the Earth, and slipped underneath them. The carbon particles would destroy his engine if he lingered too long amongst all those layers.

‘Oh my,’ he said, ‘this is much worse than last time.’

‘I still don’t know why we had to do this,’ said Rakki. ‘It makes no sense.’

‘You know why,’ said Govo. ‘At least you should.’

Govo circled down towards the southern ice cap, or what was left of it. It was a sorry sight. They could see the latest chunk of ice to break away from the Antarctic, at 1600 square miles, it was far larger than their precious New York.

‘They really have messed this up,’ said Rakki. He sat slumped back in his seat, kicking his legs impatiently.

‘Well, we have to try again, simple as that,’ said Govo, too cheerfully for Rakki’s liking. He hadn’t wanted to come here. It was one of the most boring and pointless of all the trips his father had to make.

They circled the vast Southern Ocean, dipping low from time to time to watch the beautiful sea mammals. A pod of whales fired water in the air, in perfect synchronisation. Govo flew lower still, he spotted something ahead of the whales.

‘Wow!’ shouted Rakki, leaning forward to take a closer look at the dolphins’ show. ‘Did you see them flip?’

‘They are pretty cool,’ said Govo, smiling. He knew Rakki had not wanted to come to the dying planet, just to look at ancient ruins, but he had promised his Mother he would take him. She wanted her grandson to understand why his Grandfather did what he did.

‘Can we check out some land mammals?  Please Dad?’ said Rakki, standing up excitedly.

‘Of course, if we can find any,’ said Govo, speeding back up to thinner atmosphere so he could turn up the speed.

‘Don’t tell me,’ said Rakki, huffily sitting back down. ‘They killed them off too. They really are stupid beings.’

‘We spoke about this Rakki,’ said Govo, as he slowed over the African plains and circled down. ‘They are just under developed. Their brains are capable of much more, but for some reason, when they work as a collective, they don’t seem to be able to make any good decisions.’

‘Look!’ shouted Rakki. ‘I think that’s an elephant! In fact, there are loads of them, Look!’ Rakki was bouncing around now, squinting out the window. ‘Go lower! Go lower!’

Govo took them down and hovered over the plain, holding their ship as steadily as he could, so as not to spook the herd.

‘They are magnificent!’ Rakki was enthralled. ‘Look at the tiny baby elephant.’

‘Would Granpa have seen this? Before… you know,’ Rakki looked up at his father, his eyes like saucers. ‘Before they took him?’

‘I hope so,’ said Govo. ‘He really cared about this planet. That’s why he tried to help them.’

‘And then that’s how they repaid his help. Why did he care so much about these stupid people.’ Tears were forming in his big eyes now. Govo hugged him tightly.

‘Not everyone who needs help, wants to be helped,’ Govo explained. ‘But you have to keep trying.

‘I don’t understand why?’ Rakki said.

‘Because the things they do here, can affect the whole universe. We are all connected.’

‘So Granpa was a hero?’ said Rakki, wiping his eyes on the back of his hand.

‘Yes, yes he was,’ said Govo. He sighed. It was a hard memory for him too. He was not much older than Rakki when it happened. Rakki’s eyes were drooping with sleep.

‘OK, once more around, the we will head for home. Your Granma will be pleased to see us,’ said Govo. He sped off towards the Mongolian dessert, over the Great Wall of China and down towards Japan, taking surface and sea temperatures as he went, and tracking the different heat signatures of all living beings on the planet.

The story was not improving.  Something would have to be done.


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