An updated version of this story will appear in I Find You Mildly Irritating, and Other Stories, due out in 2019!
This was an Honourable Mention at Micro Bookends.
Six planets out of seven were useless. The fourth was closest, but upon landing, the natives had sent them packing. Jessie wasn’t about to argue with man-sized cockroaches (at least not now that the government insisted on peaceful contact).
The seventh planet had promise. The long line of scientists at the control panel buzzed with excitement while they processed the data. The planet had water, breathable atmosphere, etc. etc.
Jessie took a seat beside Betty and scanned the monitor everyone ignored.
“This is the one,” Betty said. “Our last hope is a success.”
“I don’t think so, Betty.”
“Because the temperature of the water is a million degrees.”