Triangular Viewport - Chapter 1
The view outside the spaceship window wasn't what I would normally call
the "blue marble" or a "lush" type of planet, but it was going to
be home for the next five years if the latest report from the consul
on Earth was to be taken at face value.
I plastered my face against the window to study "the scenery". It
really didn't matter if I now found evidence that the planet was
uninhabitable, at this late stage in our voyage here. The "powers that
be", as I liked to nickname the ruling governments on Earth, had made 75
% of that decision years ago.
2011, in the fall, was when the first planetary migrations had begun.
Several large space cruisers had been launched, in rapid succession, as
the Earth reeled from the aftermath of multiple asteroid strikes that
had devastated central Canada and the midwest USA grasslands. August
2010, they had fallen:- despite the so called complex space technology
and reconaissance of the solar system that most of the Earth's more
developed countries claimed to have constantly trained on the asteroid
belt. It hadn't helped at all, in the final evasion tactics that had
been hastily launched.
I thought back on the last ten years of my life on this rotting hulk of
a space cruiser. Most of it had been spent alseep, "in statis" as the
medics liked to say. Now for the last two weeks I was awake, and
constantly working on my space camera, so as to have a record ( if need
be, at least of my early demise) to send back to my family on Earth.
They hadn't been chosen to go. I had been lucky they said.
Lucky or unlucky, in this lottery meant slow death for the remaining
Earth inhabitants, as the orbit of that planet slowly degraded away from
the Sun, or rapid death from any of the fatal possibilities that faced
the mass exodus spacecraft.
We had "some chance of survival", said the official report of the
"powers that be". I wondered about that now, as I saw for the first time in real vision, the face of our "new" planet.
It seemed monochromatically grey - no vivid greens or blues as I
remembered them from Earth.....It didn't help that the window's full
view was blocked by an external bulk head, which took out a large
triangular section and left it black/unresponsive in the image. I made
do with the remaining image that come through......
As I looked for more detail, I saw what appeared to be an oasis in a
desert- like substratum, and at higher (comparatively) altitudes, some
spare vegetation. The reports had indicated H2O below the surface,
within reach of our well - digging tech's ability. A dry river bed
appeared to the northwest and an elevated area in the centre seemed
almost geometricllly square. Was that the location of the "ranch" where
we'd be housed at first?
Without "tapping in" to the sensored extra abilities that I'd been
enhanced with before departure, I couldn't decipher anything more than
what my eyes could see or my imagination extrapolate. I was sorely
tempted to tap in to the knowledge stream, but it was classified, and
forbidden without prior clearance. I opted to wait till I could better
determine what the equipment monitoring could pick up about unauthorized
"stream" access before turning myself on.
Writing by Regina Stemberger