The Purple Night

The Purple Night As they passed through the purple night among clusters of stars being born, Captain, Redips and his mate on the Spyder gazed through the observation window searching for a planet to colonize. “It has to be a beautiful blue,” Redips told his mate as they scanned dark and empty space with an instrument that would hone in on the exact color. The exact color was important because the cargo of eggs they carried only survived by eating that spectrum. If they landed on the perfect planet with the perfect blue, the eggs would reproduce continuously until they covered the entire planet. Once that happened the Spyder would mark it with a beacon to announce another world ready to eat for the rest of his race. They’d come to dine and when they were done, nothing that looked blue would remain on a desolate world. It wouldn’t support any life form after they dined so it would become a dumping place for contaminants ships carried and weren’t allowed to empty into outer space. Reviewing an ancient star map the mate pointed to Exoplanet-HD-189733b. “This one is colored blue. Should we check it out?” Redips warped the ship through folds in space and arrived near the planet two hours after deciding to go there. “I shouldn’t have listened to you,” the captain said angrily. “Our instruments show an atmosphere with a temperature of 1,000 degrees Celsius. And the wind is blowing at 4,000 miles an hour.” “True, but our eggs are designed to withstand temperatures hotter than that.” The mate scanned the requirements for planting the eggs that scrolled across the window. “The color comes from melted particles of silicate that turn into raindrops of glass that scatter visible blue light more than red. They fall like rain, filling lakes and streams.” Redips checked the specifications and said, “The interplay of light in the super-heated atmosphere laced with grains of silicate indeed make HD 189733b a perfect blue, but before we decide, I want to go to this one here.” He pointed to the ancient star map and his finger touched another blue planet. Redips punched in the coordinates and the ship warped to the planet in ten minutes. On the viewing screen they saw one red and one blue planet. They consulted the map again and saw that the one now red had once been a shinning blue before another ship like Redips’ planted eggs on it. “That’s what the blue one will look like after we plant our cargo, because after the feast its surface will be rich in iron oxide that absorbs blue and green, but reflects red.” The mate’s eyes grew wide. “Can we return for the feast?” “Sure, mark the date when our eggs will hatch so we’ll know when to return,” Redips said. “What’s the name of the planet?’ “On the map it’s called, Earth!”

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