The Very Old Umberto Lands on a Planet and Finds Himself Disillusioned
(or What Happened Then)
by Miki Korhonen
After many years in space Cpt. Umberto Sanmartin landed his space shuttle on an uncharted planet somewhere far away from planet Earth. He was sent there by his government with a head count of a few hundred, they were settlers sent to colonize the planet. The great explorers of the human race had discovered life on this particular planet with a probe sent two centuries back, then it took them nearly half a century to have someone reach the damn thing.
The planet was purple and it was full of unnaturally beautiful flora and fauna.
Umberto Sanmartin was 81-years old now, he knew he would die on this planet, but he didn’t mind. He had accepted that this would be a one-way trip and that he would never see his old home again. He had been in his late 30s when he had left and he considered that he was already on borrowed time, he never saw he would even reach the planet.
Now, Umberto Sanmartin and the remaining healthy crew were carefully preparing to go outside. They knew the atmosphere was equivalent to that of Earth before the industrial revolution. And to practice honesty, the air was much cleaner than that of the home they had left behind.
What looked more like a black gas giant these days from space was Earth. The third planet from the Sun had died six years ago –the remaining twenty-billion humans had destroyed it with war and pollution. Einstein was wrong, the fourth world war was fought with petty insults. No one knew of Umberto Sanmartin’s landing for the only remaining inhabitant of Earth was silence.
On the surface of the purple planet, Umberto Sanmartin and his crew found life similar to that of Earth. They first found green giraffes with mustaches and elephant ears. Then they discovered bovine creatures that were the size of earthling pigs, and a bunch of birds that were eating extravagant looking fish. It was like the biblical paradise –foreboding apple trees and all.
Umberto’s son, Franz Sanmartin, wanted to hunt down one of the pig sized cows. He wanted to study it and find out whether they were edible or not. And Umberto in his old age thought, who are we to come from a dying planet to invade this gorgeous and thriving ecosystem? He kept quiet as Franz took some gathered men and women to hunt down a herd of the little cows.