The ship snapped out of hyperdrive twelve thousand miles from earth
The planet loomed immense upon the screen
With gleaming ice at both the poles and white clouds ’round its girth..
A floating ball of blue and brown and green.

The crescent of an ancient moon above the planet’s rim,
Its face illumined by the brilliant sun,
And craters from ten thousand rocks gave it a visage grim,
Suggesting that it be a place to shun.

‘Magnification, number one! Let’s have a closer look! ‘
Said the captain as he eased into his chair.
‘The colonists were landed here, according to the book,
So scan the place for life with every care! ‘

‘They’ve had a million years or so to populate the place,
So they may not be so very hard to find.
They had some competition from a rather larger race:
Alien beings of a very different kind!

In only a few seconds then, the screen burst into life,
And the image of a commodore appeared,
‘My report is that we prosper, though we’ve had a little strife
From the giants that our ancestors once feared! ‘

‘We lost millions to the chemicals they broadcast everywhere,
They dealt our kind an almost mortal blow…
‘Til they stripped the earth completely, and they fouled the seas and air,
…And they went the way the unresponsive go! ‘

‘So report that we’re successful and we’ve made it our abode,
And a new age for our kind has now begun!
Antennae will wave exitedly to mark this episode
When your ship arrives back home on Cockroach One!