The atmospheric equipment took a little while to boot up, so while it was composing itself Gelly went up to the top of a nearby ridge with Deuce.

“Look at it, Deuce,” she said, spreading her arms at the wooded valley below. “A whole planet waiting for someone to explore.”

Deuce wagged his tail and barked through his breather mask, which kept the argon-heavy air from slowly suffocating them both.

“As soon as everything is calibrated, we’ll go back to the portal and report this place,” Gelly continued. “Who’d have thought it, a planet with so much argon in the air that nothing can breathe except plants?”

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