They reached the planet of the orange oceans after three tedious Earth Years in the Silver Tubular.

Captain Malcolm stepped out onto the planet in his periwinkle blue space jumpsuit and surveyed the landscape.

“I see several orange oceans,” he transmitted back to the ship through his helmet transponder.

He had visited planets with orange oceans before, but none quite like this one.  Here, the orange oceans were incredibly large, bigger than the biggest Earth lakes, and they could be seen in profusion from the top of the bluff where Captain Malcolm stood.

Second Officer Bailey stood at his side.  Bailey looked prepared and stolid, ready to be unfazed by whatever oceans might face him.

“I’ve heard orange oceans harbor rich populations of black fish,” said Bailey.  “Black fish!  I’ve never tasted one.”  Bailey was a simple farm boy at heart, with lots of wheat experience.

Malcolm laughed heartily.  “You’ll taste many a black fish before we leave this planet, Officer Bailey.  We will feast in the Silver Tubular, on black fish pan-seared and drizzled with a delicate almond-lemon sauce.  Black fish filleted and accompanied with a spring salad of fresh greens and new potatoes.  Black fish baked in a rich cheese casserole dotted with green olives and peas.”

Bailey took a moment to ponder this fish dinner vision, but his reverie was interrupted by a shout from Third Officer Liston.  “Captain!  I’ve sighted air octopi!  Hovering over the orange ocean gulf!” 

Malcolm peered down toward where Liston stood, on a boulder shaped like the skull of a demented crone, the mega-magnifying super-scopes glued to his eyes.

“Air octopi!  How far off?”

Liston cried out, using his most alarming voice.  “They’re within seconds of us, flying like they’re mad as freakin’ wombats out of hell!”

Bailey was shaken completely out of his fish reverie.  “Jeez, Captain!  Air octopi!  They can strangle a man to death with their tentacles in seconds!  And these jumpsuits we’re wearing are no protection at all.”

Malcolm pursed his lips.  “You’re right, Bailey.  I can send a distress signal to the Silver Tubular, but by the time the ship can send reinforcements armed with enough laser targeting bombasts to destroy the air octopi, it will be far too late.”

“We should have come armed!” cried Bailey.

Malcolm turned to him, in a petulant fury.  “Who knew there would be air octopi on a planet of orange oceans?”

“Did you even ask the ship oceanographer?”

Malcolm scoffed.  “Patterson?  The one who predicted we’d find coral reefs on Laxxo 729?”

“You’ve put as all at risk with your egotistical foohardiness!  Your crazed determination to be the first galactic Captain to step foot on the Planet of Orange Oceans!”   Bailey turned to Malcolm in a fit of space rage and throttled the Captain’s neck with his gloved hands.   They rolled over the gray stones, locked in a battle of grim proportions.

Even as they rolled in conflict on the rocks, the slapping of air octopi tentacles could be heard from below, as the relentless white alien octopi attacked Liston, slapping at him mercilessly with their unfeeling octopi limbs.

Liston cried out, emitting an unsettling, shrill scream that ended only when his pain-drenched face was pulled below the orange waves by his unstoppable octopus assailant.

Malcolm gasped, even as Bailey’s hands closed around his throat.  “Don’t.  Don’t, Bailey.  You’re . . . becoming like . . . them.”  But Malcolm’s eyes closed in agony even as the white air octopi descended on Bailey, their furious tentacles waving in murderous patterns. 
             The flailing octopi limbs whirled in a frenzy of rubbery destruction until only bruised and mangled human body parts littered the forlorn rocks on the planet of the orange oceans.

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