Sketch swaps are an absolute blast, and I was lucky enough to get to do one with the legendary John Frye!
Part 01: His linework, my rendering!
- - -
Twin shimmers flickered in the high-altitude skies of the dusty planet, hardly looking like anything more than atmospheric refractions, began trailing the dark ship.
The pilot himself passing them off as nothing, until he’d noted their presence had over the minutes been continuous, if only just barely visually. His passive sensors had come up empty (active targeting scans were generally an avoided practice in the alien airspace) and there were no other life sins for thousands of miles in this area of the planet, their presence lingering at the edges of his vision.
He held a steady course, figuring that it wasn’t worth engaging what was possibly another lifeform – or set of lifeforms – with an older ship that didn’t have the necessary means to engage cloaked bogeys, it’s AI had advised him against any other actions until they were clear of this planet’s atmosphere.
Gradually, the shimmers began to solidify, a soapy iridescence swirling and gradually forming into twin pearlescent avian beings. Sleek and jet-like in their nature, but with an organic nature blended into their smooth airframes, making them appear neither animal or machine.
One of them floated closer, curiously, hanging there for a few moments before sweeping up and around the craft in an inverted barrel roll, making a pause above the cockpit for another couple of seconds, hanging there and greeting the ship with a quick waggle of its wings, before rejoining its companion.
The two dissipated from the visual spectrum almost as quickly as they’d appeared, the atmospheric distortions they’d left now gone as well.
“What was that?” the pilot asked in quiet awe, his vision fixed where the avians had just been moments earlier.
The ship’s AI chuckled as it translated the pulsed message it’d received.
“Natives, apparently. They say hello.”
- - -