Story #10 for Story A Day Challenge May 2016
“Sir, they’ve escaped.”
Captain Morgan could barely understand the message due to the static. “Again? Which enclosure this time?”
“3B, sir, the one near the hiking trail.”
Morgan groaned in despair. His ulcer was giving him fits. Morgan gritted his teeth, all three sets of them at the same time. “It’s those stupid park rangers. Every single time I round them up, someone lets them out. I’m going to get those hikers hiding in the bushes. Those camouflaged outfits can’t conceal them forever. Sooner or later I will find them. I will put them in the cage with the park rangers and I will personally transport every single one of them to the Mars base.”
But first Morgan needed his ulcer medication. “This ugly planet. I will be so glad when my tour of duty is up next month.” Morgan went to the freezer, stood in the open door just a moment, thinking of the long, beautiful, dark, freezing nights on Pluto.
It was an easy task for the Plutonian congress to approve the invasion once the earthlings dismissed Pluto as a planet. It was proof positive, in their minds, that the inhabitants of the water planet were far from being civilized. Earthlings needed to be dealt with before they could contaminate the rest of the solar system. It was a very popular military action.
While he was lost in his homesickness, what the captain thought were rose bushes turned into hikers with branches fastened to their helmets. They detached themselves from the hedge, scrambled over to the freezer, shoved him in, and padlocked the door.
Knowing that the other soldiers would think the freezer was ready for transport and would leave it alone, the hikers hurriedly attached the stolen sign to the freezer: “Cage Area For Park Staff Only.”