“It’s not that difficult,” Serena said, grinning at Jake as he glared through the viewing window at the rain falling on the spaceport. “It’s always opposite day on this planet… winter is the dry season and summer is the wet season.”
“I know, I know,” Jake groused. “But I’m not the only confused one… look at all the new colonists. They’re wandering around complaining that they didn’t expect rain in the middle of summer… really, all summer long.”
They had just landed on Sepra, another planet in the same system as Taland that was newly colonized, for what was to be a two-week site assessment. Another xenoarchaeology team was going to dig the site, but the colonial government of Sepra required an assessment from a second, unaffiliated team before digging could begin. In order to make sure everything was in order, the lead team had asked Jake and Serena to come in in the middle of summer for the assessment. Luckily, a colony ship that had stopped on Taland to drop off some dead-heading passengers, now had a cabin available for Jake and Serena. Since they were traveling at the request of Sepra’s colonial government, there was no issue with Jake and Serena hitching a ride.
Loren was looking after Melia for the three weeks they’d be gone, and Serena was looking forward to some true alone time with Jake and the assessment promised to be interesting.
What they hadn’t expected was the weather being the complete opposite of what they were used to on Taland. Sepra was in the same system, but there was something off about its rotation or equator… Serena knew somebody had mentioned it, but she hadn’t really paid attention. As long as she didn’t have to dig in the rain, she didn’t mind it. Even the colonists who had arrived with them seemed confused and they had gotten the briefing! Serena smiled at Jake and pulled up the hood of her rain jacket.
“Well, this will be just like grad school… doing all the muddy jobs in bad weather for the professors sitting in their cozy university offices!” She flashed a sympathetic look at the colonists and grabbed her duffel bag. “Let’s get to the apartment the government has for us. You have the directions, right?”
Jake nodded. “Yep. Looks like our ride is over there.” He pointed to where a tall, dark-haired man wearing what looked like an old Earth safari outfit and holding a sign reading “Archaeology Team – Erikson”, stood.
Serena glanced back once at the colonists who were shuffling into large ground cars which would take them out of the small settlement into the uninhabited areas where they had staked claims. Digging up evidence of people who had built cities or colonized planets was her specialty, not being one of the people doing the building. She followed Jake up to the man holding the sign.
“Hi there, we’re the Eriksons. I’m Jake and this is Serena,” Jake was saying as Serena strolled up.
“Good afternoon. I hope you had a pleasant trip. I’m Davios Archuletta and I’ll be your driver and guide while you’re here for the assessment. I’m also the lead for the team that will be doing the dig itself,” the man responded. He glanced up at the sky. “One thing you’ll find here, and you may have noticed this already, is that the seasons are reversed a bit, and now in the middle of summer we are at the height of the wet season.” Davios gave a wry smile and Serena laughed.
“Jake was already grumbling, and we were watching the colonists complain as we landed,” she told him.
“Yes, well, it does mean that my team and I won’t be digging in blazing hot weather, but we will have to be on the lookout for fires,” Davios said. He gestured to the small, sleek ground car behind him. “Shall we go?”
They tossed their duffel bags into the back of the ground car and climbed in. Serena smiled. This trip was already promising to be interesting.
Just a very brief snippet of Jake and Serena. There’s a lot going on this week, but I wanted to make sure this got posted.
This week’s prompt was gifted to me by AC Young: New colonists were always confused. Winter was the dry season, Summer was the wet season. Stop on by More Odds Than Ends to see what everybody did with their prompt challenges. If you like, pick up a spare and challenge yourself! Let the creative juices flow!