Mytholder (mytholder) wrote,
Mytholder
mytholder

Now We Are Here, General Transmission 6 - On the Surface

The St. Andrew, bloodied and burned from its first disastrous run through the atmosphere, now falls back towards the green/blue world of Serendipity. As the noise and vibrations grow, you feel a series of dull distant thumps, as one by one the outer cargo pods detach. Prospero feeds tracking data into your c-links, and dozens of bright green lines fall away from the blue marker that is your ship. As you watch, the ship marker glows red, then orange, then -

- it's like THUNDER crashing just behind your head -

and you're falling, and the marker divides in two. The Core Lander Module is falling towards the unknown.

Gossamer-thin chutes unfurl from canisters along the lander's hull. The first chutes last less than a second before they are torn away, but they do slow and guide the lander's fall imperceptibly. More chutes like insect wings unfold, reinforcing each other and growing. The fall of the lander is arrested, and Prospero's voice (over your links; there's no way he could be heard over the sound of the descent) says that you're on course for landing.

Thirty kilometres up, the external cameras switch on, and you can see the planet spread out beneath you. Glittering seas, thick jungles, the icy wastes of the northern cap - and then, that narrow band between forest and frozen land that you're aiming for. Braking thrusters fire, and the view you were briefly offered vanishes in flames and clouds of exhaust.

The landing itself is almost an anti-climax. The multi-thousand-ton lander touches down surprisingly gently. The restraints on the crash couches release themselves, and you stand up wondering at the unfamiliar feeling of real gravity. The planet has you in its grip now.

The first human foot to step on Serendipity is girded in ferroplastic assault armour, as a security team emerges from the ship. You're in a flat-bottomed snowy valley, with a lake to the south and tall mountains all around. The braking thrusters seared a wide strip through the valley, and at the edges of the burn zone you can see the stony ground. Fat worms, suddenly exposed by the melting snow, burrow frantically into the soil. Startled avians circle over the lake.

Now you're here.


Poll #1074590 Surface Priorities

What's your first priority on the surface?

Search for fallen cargo pods using shuttles and robot scouts
4(9.1%)
Gather air samples to ensure there are no pathogens
24(54.5%)
Capture some of those worms
2(4.5%)
Survey the surrounding area using shuttles and robot scouts
12(27.3%)
Start unpacking the CLM
2(4.5%)

(Everyone can vote, not just those who went down on the CLM.)
Tags: now we are here
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