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Oomphel In The Sky

A Novella by

Oomphel in the Sky

Miles Gilbert watched the landscape slide away below him, its quilt of
rounded treetops mottled red and orange in the double sunlight and, in
shaded places, with the natural yellow of the vegetation of Kwannon. The
aircar began a slow swing to the left, and Gettler Alpha came into view,
a monstrous smear of red incandescence with an optical diameter of two
feet at arm's length, slightly flattened on the bottom by the western
horizon. In another couple of hours it would be completely set, but by
that time Beta, the planet's G-class primary, would be at its
midafternoon hottest. He glanced at his watch. It was 1005, but that was
Galactic Standard Time, and had no relevance to anything that was
happening in the local sky. It did mean, though, that it was five
minutes short of two hours to 'cast-time.

He snapped on the communication screen in front of him, and Harry Walsh,
the news editor, looked out of it at him from the office in Bluelake,
halfway across the continent. He wanted to know how things were going.

"Just about finished. I'm going to look in at a couple more native
villages, and then I'm going to Sanders' plantation to see Gonzales. I
hope I'll have a personal statement from him, and the final
situation-progress map, in time for the 'cast. I take it Maith's still
agreeable to releasing the story at twelve-hundred?"

Genre: Science Fiction

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