“We’re so screwed.”
They were not, technically, screwed yet. Their ship was set up for
three years of subspace travel or up to thirty of semi-cryo
hibernation; they had over half of their time left. But if they did
not find a planet to terraform by the time they reached their halfway
mark, they were going to be very screwed indeed. And the sensors were
showing them nothing.
“We can send out the last three probes,” Jeanne offered. “Those might
“Or we could turn back.” Daniele didn’t look at her senior science
officer as she said that. They both knew it was a last-ditch option.
There was nothing left for any of them back home.
“Look, I’m going to make some modifications to the next probe. Maybe
it can find something everything else is missing.”
Something everything else was missing would probably be a
planet they could barely survive on, even after fifteen years of
terraforming. But it would be better than earth. Daniele nodded.
She’d let her officers do everything they could, because the death
decision would have to be hers in the end.
“What in the nine billion names of Bog is that?”
The distressed exclamation came from behind them; both women whirled around to find Yori Tagani, their navigations expert, staring at the monitors.
Seconds ticked by. When Yori kept staring at the screen and said nothing, Daniele asked, rather impatiently, “well, Yori, what is it?”
“It’s a creatio ex nihilo.” His tone was between awed and terrified.
“Something from nothing. Basically the universe just spat it out to spite us.”
“Spat out a planetary seed in the middle of our path. Collision in about three hours if I don’t divert.”
“So why in the bloody hell aren’t you diverting?”
“Well…” He turned to look at her, letting her see the ‘planetary seed’ growing on his monitor. “I kinda thought you might want to stop.”
This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/342436.html. You can comment here or there.