As Samantha stared into the navigation console, and a thousand memories of that terrible place raced through her mind, she began to wonder: Would
Earth be any better? Are humans that much different? Was her escape a blessing, or was it a curse?
North American Republic Exploration Ship 11A129, better known as the Lemuria 129.
The slumber stasis chamber opened up and Samantha stepped out after a long three-year sleep. Her eyelids were still heavy and her perception fogged
with a thick haze of still-slumber. The others were still asleep, as expected. Her first goal was to pour herself a cup of coffee. After getting the
caffeine into her system and her brain was now more functional, she then went on to check the vitals of her crew.
Lisa Smith was good, Donna Barnes was good, William Casey was good, and Harry Goldstein was... Dead.
Samantha almost dropped her coffee while her jaw bone hung loose in shock. Harry was 65, a veteran of the space program, and the first human being to
have piloted his ship out of the solar system. But he had health problems. Despite this, it came as terrible news to Sam, who had respected him
greatly since she joined the team. He must have passed away quietly while in stasis.
She loaded his body onto one of the emergency escape vessels for now, until the others woke up. Protocol was to separate the recently deceased from
the crew, try to keep them from finding out right away to prevent negative emotions from clouding their judgement, and launch the dead crew member
into space with an American flag folded and placed upon their chest.
When her crew awoke from stasis rest, they had their coffee and breakfast, but it wasn't long before they had realized that Harry wasn't with them.
Sam broke the bad news, which made Lisa tear up.
"He was sick, it was something we had possibly expected when he came on. Even Harry wasn't sure, in his state, he could make the trip." Sam spoke to
the crew as they stood over the open vessel. William set the neatly folded flag upon ol' Harry and bowed his head. Their words of respect and
admiration were a reminder to them of just how great a man Harry was.
They shut the lid, loaded the vessel into the chamber, and hit the primary eject switch. They watched in silence as Harry's final resting place, the
divine cosmos, so full of beauty and majesty, readily accepted her child into open arms.
The crew had little time for mourning. Their massive ship was on its way towards the Monoceros constellation with the intent to orbit a safe distance
A few days had passed in which the team went over the specifics, working in great effort to prepare the machines and laboratories, bringing down power
from the now-useless stasis chambers and into the required areas. This process itself took about two days, as the power transference process was a
slow one. But they couldn't expect any better, as they were still dealing with neutronic energy. Neutronic energy, like a giant turtle, was
agonizingly slow, but more powerful than any other energy sources available. And with this trip being so long, they needed a long-lasting source.
Once they were in orbit and stared at COROT-7 through solar-safe tinted windows, they found themselves in awe at the system's beauty. The star was
eerily like the Sun, and the planets journeying around and about it were either rocky or covered in 4000° F lava. The only planet they were too far
away to correctly see was COROT-7e. This was a surprising find, as nobody had known COROT-7e even existed. They would certainly have to take a closer
look at it, but for now they must observe the central star and calculate its gravitational pull on the planets. It was a G9V, so it was smaller and
younger than the Sun they were familiar with.
The planets, which were named in accordance to its star COROT-7, numbered by five. A, B, C, D, and E. The existence of COROT-7d, up until just twenty
years ago, was only a theory. But COROT-7e was the shocker of the bunch. Nobody, not even the brightest scientists with the most powerful telescopes
and satellite cameras knew that it was here.
Samantha and her crew soon turned to this small, lonely planet, distant from its neighbor COROT-7d. They couldn't leave their current orbit just yet,
but they could view it with their scanner. Harry pointed to scanner dish towards that planet, and began reading off the specifications.
William then paused and stared at the screen. Sam stepped over to him, raising her brow at his sudden silence. "What's wrong?" William shook his head,
turning to look up at her. "The planet has water." Samantha was somewhat fascinated at this fact, since few planets have water other than Earth, at
least the ones humans have seen and studied. "That certainly is interesting, another planet with water. Could it have life?"
William kept looking at her face, his hand raising up to point at one section of the screen. "It has more than just life. It has intelligent, complex
Sam shook her head. "That can't be possible." She squinted and leaned in to look at the scanner monitor. As sure as Harry had said, the scanner
discovered that there were sentient life forms on this planet. "But that can't be right... The planet doesn't meet the required specifications to
sustain life. It's too close to COROT-7." Donna turned in her seat towards the two of them while Lisa was beside her, punching algorithms into the
"I'm afraid it's true, ma'am. The planet is closer to the star than a normal inhabitable planet, but with the planet's current orbit, it could easily
sustain life. Lisa came up with the numbers, and it appears COROT-7e has an irregular orbit, which could keep the planet from becoming too hot."
Sam rubbed her forehead and stood up straight, while William went back to the scanner. "This is... Remarkable. Absolutely remarkable. Do you know what
this means for Earth? We, the four of us, have finally found a super-Earth with breathable atmosphere, water, and most of all, intelligent life
forms." Donna nodded excitedly. "This is huge!"
"Is there any way we can make contact with these beings?" Samantha asked William. He went through the data and shook his head. "No. They're far more
primitive than humans, it seems. They have advanced technology, but no way of transmitting information this far away. The only way we could
successfully communicate with them is by landing upon the planet, but I would advise against that."
"And why is that?" Lisa said after turning towards him. William sighed and leaned in his seat. "Because we don't know what these things are. If
they're hostile, they might have dangerous weapons."
"But what if they're not hostile? Just because they're alien doesn't mean they would automatically wish us harm. They would probably be as curious as
we are." William grumbled at her. "I don't want to take that chance! One missile or some kind of laser beam, and we'll end up a scattered mess of
"It's not up to either of you." Donna said. "It's up to Sam."
edit on 22-2-2013 by FollowTheWhiteRabbit because: (no reason given)