FOUND: Labyrinth Planet By Michael S. Jones

Week 4 Word: FOUND
Word Count 495
Labyrinth Planet
By Michael S. Jones
Daedalus
Minos Dispatch Nine
1.1.2221 Earth Calendar

You have never experienced dark. You only think you have.
I broke my own rule about solo explorations and then broke my light. Feeling for it I got turned around. I later learned that for two days and nights I had been blundering inward. Physically I only suffered contusions, back spasms and a sprained ankle.
Psychologically I segued from claustrophobia to terror and then despair.. The image of my perfectly preserved bones being discovered by my own team horrified me. My fear had become the minotaur lurking in the twisting passages.
Then, tracing the roof to avoid head injury I felt unyielding cold rock change to something slick. At my touch the corridor began to phosphoresce yellow at a few candlepower; blinding to light-starved eyes. Tapping the slick ceiling anywhere brightened the light by degrees.
I slid my finger forward and the ceiling began to pulse in waves in the same direction that I “pointed.” Colors changed from sun yellow to emerald green and then to sapphire. I leaned against a wall and stared dumbfounded, watching waves of color bend through a division entrance and beyond, leading me… where? This was not a mechanical chase light. It was alive like a pulsing cuttlefish.
And then I heard Ginny’s voice calling from behind: my own Areadne.
We have no idea why ceilings closer to the outer entrances are “dead.” Clearly the
Theseus People moved from stone age into this bio-technological age, yet they still carved tunnels using the old ways. Again, was this a religious discipline?
We have seen no remnant of mechanisms. They appear to have skipped a machine age entirely.
We’re sending a detailed catalogue of what we have found thus far. But cavern after cavern has revealed Thesean creations. Or should I say creatures?
They range from bio-computers to living machines to exquisite art.

Their esthetic was wonderful!
There is a “cave painting” of an outsized and stylized centilizard. Its legs move in undulating colors, never repeating. There are other moving animal portraits. Are they extinct or merely not seen by us so-far?
They apparently did not paint themselves.
One cave is a perfect dome with low seating at the center. (Yes, that confirms my notion that they were short-statured.) Music and lights wait for the last person seated. Infinite colors illuminate ceiling and floor while music courses from a hundred directions in turn.
Our relationship with Center is now different.
We will continue to share technology as long as you provide supplies.
Do not send manned space benders.
Frankie has tamed a centilizard. They purr! Were they they pets of the Theseus People too?
Frankie and Paige hold hands constantly and Ginny thinks that Paige is pregnant.
Ginny is a couple of months along. We don’t have the means to discover the gender of our child, nor do we wish to.
Happy New Year.

Bill Sloan
Mayor Daedalus Village

P.S. Don’t forget the peanut butter and jelly.

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