02: Orbit

The drone had spent 6 months making deep level scans of the three most obvious candidates. Every metric collected, extensive feature graphing made, every byte of information relayed back to the base ships that had been in rift orbit for the past 9 months. Of the three, two were ‘ok’ but if they were going to spend hundreds of millions to set up shop, ‘ok’ was not really good enough.


MAG-100: Orbit


There was one candidate they had not looked at. When asked why, there were a lot of sheepish looks around the table and an uncomfortable silence. It was the closest to them after all. So the drone, finally on its way back, was redirected. Everything needed to be looked at and reporting they had not looked at the closest candidate… well….

When the reports started streaming in, looks became even more sheepish. A class one atmosphere and a surface temp that was almost perfect, if not a little warm. The surface was smooth, almost flat, with only outcrop features – the place was old, weathered to a nub. The weather patterns though seemed to keep the heat levels such a surface would create in check – it rained, hard. Yet oddly there were no oceans.

And then there were those mineral and ore levels. The sheepish looks vanished as it was all eyes on the data, which was saying everything was off the scale. If what was coming in was only fifty percent right, this place was the mother lode.

Anomalies in the data logic though could not be ignored. The readings didn’t make sense. There were obvious questions, without answers; but oh the data that did add up…. Anomalies and unanswered questions did not matter, regardless of the nervous looks amongst the analysts.

The decision from high up came quick. Too quick. Yes, the candidate was exactly what they had been looking, hoping for; actually by the numbers alone, it exceeded all hopes and expectations. So within six months the first operations ships were passing through the rift and crews were breaking ground.

Over time, the crews made their own names for N322, not one of them good. Officially it became known as Scamander. An odd name for a barren rock.

The joke did not end there…

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