Red Mars Love

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Authors: Stephanie Owens
around to name their planet but the universal translator just called it Cygnus so that name stuck.
     
    “Prepare for landing in 10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1”
     
    The ship settled on the small space port dock, much like the landing pad for a helicopter, but with considerable more grace than the ancient devices.
     
    I looked out the window of my ship and saw Sid standing there awaiting my arrival.
     
    Sid was my contact on planet Cygnus and had contacted my home company requesting that I be the one to come assist with the issue the planet was facing.
     
    She raised her hand in greeting and smiled at me through the window.
     
    I closed the ship down with a simple voice command and left the main control counsel to exit through the ship port. 
     
    The ship was intended to be both a living quarters and mobile laboratory with some of the best technology known to man available for me to use.  The living quarters were quite luxurious and comfortable so I didn’t mind essentially traveling in my home which made extended stays on less comfortable planets less tedious.

 
    But the planet of Cygnus was far from uncomfortable, my first stay was reminiscent of a tropical paradise with the warm water and temperate air that the inhabitants of Cygnus had year round.  Plus, there was also the beautiful exotic vegetation and diverse animals.
     
    The people who inhabited this world enjoyed a very comfortable life with warm waters that bubbled up from the center of the planet, a constant year round temperature on the planets equatorial line where most of the inhabitants were living and a beautiful red dwarf star dominating the sky shedding red hues constantly throughout the atmosphere.
     
    The planet had evolved to accommodate lower amounts of light and the constant temperatures allowing for both vegetation and animal life to prosper.  The plants native to Cygnus had a distinct black coloring allowing the plants to prosper in the lower levels of light and they typically had very large leaves that gathered as much sunlight as possible yet shaded the lands making all other living things operate on less and less light. 
     
    The human species themselves had evolved with the low light conditions.  They were still genetically the same as the humans on Earth but their eyesight had adapted to living in the low light conditions and their eyes appeared particularly large to those who visited from other planets. 
     
    I had always found this particular attribute to be particularly attractive on this planet and my awaiting companion was no exception who had large doe-like eyes that I loved to look at.
     
    There was one other interesting phenomena that was observed on this planet and that was how just about every species, from human to plant to animal developed some type of phosphorescence capability.  For humans it was their skin which had a weird glow when their native sun went below the horizon and caused rooms to have an eeriness that those who weren’t familiar with this trait might find disconcerting.
     
    I definitely was not one of those people, however, and I found this unusual trait rather erotic and often wondered if there were any other traits they hadn’t told us about in the university.
    I descended through the ship and opened the port. 
    Sid waited as I walked down the ramp.
    “Welcome back”
    “Thanks”
     
    She kissed me on both cheeks reminding me of what the history books said they used to do in France back on Earth.
     
    Sid spoke beautiful English, probably better than someone who was raised speaking the language could.  She also spoke several other dialects as she was the planets universal liaison for her people.  I had meant her on at an interplanetary convention many years ago and she had told me her birth name, some long, difficult to pronounce series of clicks, whistles and enunciations that I could not remember if I tried so we settled on Sid as a way to communicate.
     
    I smiled at the

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