November 1st – The Realm Of Reliability
The ship emerged form the singularity and settled into orbit around the as yet uncharted planet. The reliability drive was still in its infancy, and initial testing had not gone beyond short return hops. This was the first long field test.
The crew of six watched as the machines scanned the surface for life: either large enough to be a problem, or microbially small, which usually meant a real problem. There was never a question of consciously taking something back through the singularity with them, but bacteria of all forms had a habit of clinging on and making a nuisance of themselves.
There was something. Something was alive down there, but whatever it was was proving difficult to scan. It was a complex organism, though, that was certain, but the machines seemed unable to draw a satisfactory conclusion as to what it actually was. The Reliability drive may have been a radical leap forward in terms of interstellar propulsion, but the scanners could do with s real overhaul.
Protocol dictated that four crew members were to leave the security of orbit and explore the surface of the planet, while the remaining crew dictated the process with the support of the ship’s technology. This was nothing new, even if the reliability drive had taken them further than anyone had previously reached.
The shuttle was launched from near orbit at 17.20 standard time, although this was fairly arbitrary this far out and in a system so different to their own. But it helped to keep track. Whatever it was down there would soon know that it was not alone in the universe, and more than that, it was not in control of anything, any more.
This was the Realm of Reliability. And everything was going to change.
I wrote today from 17:10 to 17:20 with the November writing prompts here.