July 9, 2149, Earth’s Orbit
“Sir, we aren’t ready. There are too many unknowns,” Commander Karen Bilson said to the hologram.
The Union president’s form flickered on her office table. “Commander, we don’t have a choice. You saw the images Grant sent. They are everything we’ve been waiting for. The other’s found nothing even close to a livable planet. People are dying down here. I’m making the call, and you will assist in the transport of the first selected to the Santa Maria. Understood?”
She shifted on her feet, feeling her blood pressure rise. Every decision made by the Union was rushed, and she wished for a moment that all the cost and work thrown into building the transport vessels and scouring the galaxies for a new home could have been put into saving their planet.
In the end, she bit her tongue and did what every good soldier was told to do. Follow orders. “Understood, sir,” she said with a salute. The hologram flickered and faded away with a hiss.
“Commander? What are the orders?” the ever-loyal First Officer Penner asked. Continue reading
July 8, 2149, Hawking’s orbit
The planet looked beautiful; light clouds covered the massive oceans. Grant had seen many amazing things in his life, but being the first human to see a new world was something special. He made sure the images were transmitted back to Houston. The ansible technology had been explained to him but he was still in awe of the fact they would see the pictures in mere minutes.
From here it was hard for him to tell how much smaller than Earth this planet was. When they first spotted it in the neighbouring solar system, they thought it was too good to be true. As their technology improved, hope grew as they saw green space, and an atmosphere. Then water. Grant glanced to the picture of his daughter on the console. If this place was what they thought it might be, there was hope for humanity after all.
He would wait until he’d completed the orbit around Hawking, scanning and taking images the whole way, before heading to the surface in the lander. Continue reading