Thousands of years before the Gulag Plague, the world was the most distant colony of the Atrisian Empire.
Now, it is a ghost planet.
No signs of war. No signs of disease. It is as though one day all of the people simply disappeared.
On a mission of exploration, the crew of the HMS Dragon's Fang set out to try and understand what happened to this world or what we might learn from its mysterious fate.
"One minute stand-by!"
Throughout the ship, muted klaxons echoed in warning of the reversion that was about to occur. For the past several months, the Atrisian star destroyer had been voyaging across the galaxy, crossing from out of Core Region through the Mid-Rim and the Mara Trade Corridor to arrive at the fringes of the Outer Rim.
At the back of the bridge, the sound of the blast doors unlocked heralded the arrival of an Atrisian woman in a naval blue military uniform.
A protocol droid seemed to straighten up slightly, before announcing, "Captain on the bridge."
Without comment, Lien merely strolled along the so-called command catwalk, casually observing her crew at work. Down in the pit, the navigator was counting down the drop from lightspeed. "Hyperspace reversion now ten seconds."
Glancing down over the crew pit, the Atrisian officer formally announced, "This is Captain Beifong, I have the conn." Then, directing her attention to the enlisted crew working forward of the navigator, ordered, "Helm, drop us out of lightspeed."
"Dropping out of lightspeed, aye," the lee-helm echoed, as the crewman shifted the throttle controls around. Beyond the viewport, the mottled blue-white of hyperspace shifted into the familiar blackness of normal space-time.
In an instant, the star destroyer appeared inside of what was obviously a planetary system.
"We are inside of a binary star system, Captain," Warrant Officer Kell announced from the crew pit on the opposite side of the bridge from the helm and navigation. "There are eleven terrestrial planets total. One of which appears to be orbiting in the habitation zone," the senior science technician added, continuing, "There are four gas giants, three ice giants, a sizeable asteroid field, and several minor astral features of notes"
Lien gave a nod of quiet approval. "The galactic coordinates match those provided by Matsu Ike and Sasori Research?" she asked, turning to regard the warrant officer.
When the man gave a nod in affirmation, Lien pivoted back toward the starboard side of the bridge. "Navigator, I want a course toward the terrestrial planet in the habitation zone," she announced crisply, before taking a step back along the cat-walk and gesturing toward the protocol droid. "Give me ship-wide intercom."
"Ladies and gentlemen, we have now arrived at what we believe to be the Eisei System. As much as I would like to announce that your patience has been rewarded, I fear that our work is just now getting started. So, as much as the occasion demands something inspiration or poetic, I'm afraid the only words I have for it are this: Survey teams, report to the hangar bay."
Signaling the droid the close the channel, the woman turned and was greeted by the sight of a mottled blue-green planet growing larger and larger as it seemed to approach the viewports of the bridge. "We have arrived at the planet we are tentatively identifying as Eisei, Captain," the navigator announced from the starboard side.
"Place us in a low orbit."
"Aye, Captain, low orbit," the navigator echoed, before turning toward his helm and lee-helm. "Helm, rotate pitch fifty-six degrees..."
"Com-scan, life signs?"
"Vegetation and growth levels appear consistent with Type-1 planetoids, Captain," Kell reported from the port side. "Indications of fauna. Air and soil readings show..."
"Humanoid lifesigns, if you please, Mister Kell," Lien corrected.
Crossing her arms in front of her, the woman took a moment to try and ponder that. Breathable atmosphere. Flora and fauna growth normal. What happened to the people of this planet that it was abandoned like this?
"XO, you have the conn," she uttered finally, her arms dropping by her side as she made her way off the bridge. As she walked, she called back, "Maintain orbit. Survey teams will maintain contact."
With luck, they'd have more answers than questions when they did.
Edited by Lien Beifong, 31 August 2018 - 06:34 PM.