The next day, George surprised Daphne by sighing, "There it is."
Daphne knew exactly what he was talking about. She turned in the direction
he was looking, and caught her first glimpse of Earth. It was beautiful.
In the darkness of space, Earth seemed to be a glowing ball of blue and
"It's beautiful," Daphne gasped.
George must have seen Earth fairly often, but he still seemed to be in awe
when he flipped a switch on his controls. "This is the Explorer 00-4
requesting permission to dock, over," he said.
A strange man's voice sounded in the cabin, saying, "This is Earth Mission
Control. Permission granted, please proceed to port seven and wait for the
go-ahead to land."
The process of landing on Earth was lengthily and involved a lot of
communication between George and the man's voice. Daphne watched with awe;
the space around Earth was teeming with ships. Most were like George's in
size and design, but there were also huge gray ships that seemed to be
bigger than the station.
George landed in a large open spot of land, and somehow continued to move
even after he touched the ground. "Wheels," he explained, answering
Daphne's unspoken question.
Several men and women wearing uninteresting uniforms hurried to the ship
once it had landed, performing much needed maintenance, George explained.
He escorted her to an odd-looking vehicle that was filled with all sorts of
people. "This will take us off the runway," he explained.
Daphne stood and held a railing on the ceiling of the vehicle like the
other people did. The space station was never this crowded. Daphne did
her best to see out the window of the vehicle. All she could see were the
ships landing and taking off, but there was still much she'd never seen
before- a blue sky, clouds, and of course the many ships.
Daphne was rather tired when the vehicle stopped, and George helped lead
her into a large building. Flashing neon lights were everywhere, with
messages like "Book a hotel here," "Bob's Grill- the best beer in town,"
and "New to the area? Come to customer information, located on level
George hurried Daphne past a window, but she stopped and gazed out it.
This window showed the city outside, and Daphne had never seen anything
like it. Buildings rose into the sky as far as the eye could see. Streets
were crowded with vehicles like the one that had taken Daphne and George to
the building they were in now.
The world seemed to be made of dull gray pavement, but the monotony was
broken by occasional patches of green grass and trees. But all this was
not what was so amazing to Daphne. It was the people. People were
everywhere, walking down the streets, coming in and out of buildings and
vehicles, and even coming from below ground where signs reading "Subway"
jutted from the ground.
George saw Daphne and put his arm around her the way he would a trusted
friend. "Are you alright?" he asked.
"I'm fine," Daphne said, but George didn't seem convinced. Daphne
elaborated, "I'm not the same person I was a week ago. It will take some
getting used to, but I believe I will do well on Earth."
George seemed relieved. "Come on," he said. "I'll buy you a cup of coffee
before I make my report to my superiors."
Daphne wasn't sure what coffee was, but she followed George as he led her
to a whole new undiscovered world.