More Than A Thousand Nights

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I tried to keep my demeanor calm, but the other astronauts noticed my excitement. Who could blame me? I was finally going to set foot on a different world. After years trapped on a stupid rock, floating through space, I was finally going to discover the great beyond!

I tried to maintain my professionalism lest the others suspect something was wrong, but I was nearly giddy with anticipation. I’d stared up at the starry night sky so many times, dreaming of exploration and opportunity. It was just a little blob on the horizon, just a clump of dirt in the cosmos, but I would soon walk across the surface of a dot I’d stared at for as long as I can remember.

The others had more experience, certainly, but I couldn’t understand how they were so cool in the face of such amazing technological advancement.

“You doing okay, Ed?”

Startled back into the moment by the human, I reached into his mind. Yes, this body was known as Ed. Ed Mitchell. The human who spoke was Alan or Al. The other was called Stuart or Stu.

“Yeah, I’m OK. It’s just all so amazing, don’t you think? We could go anywhere in the universe, couldn’t we? It’s like the deepest energies of the universe are connected again!”

The others laughed and said not to hold my breath based on the recent problems with “the Apollo program.” That meant this metal box and others like it.

That was fine with me. It meant they would never find the body I fed off of before it was buried under mountains of dust. That was all the moon was, miles of desolate space covered in dust. I had been there a very long time and knew every particle.

It was hard for me to understand the sounds that came from my companion’s mouth, and I found it easier to reach into their minds for meaning instead. The blue planet we were approaching would provide many, many sources of food according to the one who had called me Ed.

I was not fond of the name, but I intended to keep this form for quite some time. I could change to my latest victim if I so chose, of course, but leave behind too many bloodless corpses and a djinn could get banished to the ether of space or cursed to a random rock.

The one called Al was speaking to a disembodied static voice called Gordo Houston when I heard my new name.

“Roger, Al. And one item for the Surgeon here. Your EKG data and Ed’s ZPN data degraded to, well, useless actually; and we’d like you to check your external leads, and Ed to check his ZPN leads, and also where Ed’s leads go into the transmitter

I searched the mind of the Alan-called-Al for this “ZPN.” He was fiddling with some wires on his suit, so I did likewise. The ZPN measured “respiration.” I had forgotten this animal “respirated.” It was a stupid mistake I immediately corrected.

The last time I set foot on the blue planet I was called Gallu, or ghul. My companions do not know this name. I have searched their minds and they have only images of graverobbers, thieves, and a pink-clad white woman named “Jeannie.”

They do not know of my kind or our ways.

They do not know how to protect themselves.

Soon I would finally set foot on a different world, after having been trapped in starvation and boredom on the moon for an unknown number of millennia. I couldn’t contain my excitement.