Landing on Morven

Sitting on the bridge of the colonization ship Tarian, Keldon and Sherry were busy preparing to land the ship. Tarian let his eyes peer down upon the planet on the other side of the windshield and without thought asked, “Sherry, you’re sure the planet down there can support life?”

Sherry looked up from her screens for a moment and answered, “Yes captain, the planet can support life. There is a myriad of animal and plant life that will supplement our inventory.”

Tarian turned his attention to the other officer and asked, “Kel, have we received our final approval to begin the colonization attempt?”

“Yes we have Tarian,” Kel answered.

With a nod, Tarian began preparing the ship for entry into the new planet’s atmosphere, and the windshield lit up with a heads-up display full of all the information he would need to land the ship safely.

Tarian flipped another switch on the dashboard and spoke to the rest of the crew. “The planet below will support our colonization attempt, and just as importantly we’ve been given our final approval from home, so prepare for entry.”

After Tarian turned off the ship’s intercom, Sherry pulled her head away from her screens and said, “Captain, I have just noticed something anomalous with the atmosphere.”

“What is it, Sherry?”

“I can’t explain sir, but there are some anomalous readings.”

With a backward glance, Tarian asked, “Do we need to abort, Sherry?”

She returned her attention back to the information flowing across her screens, and after parsing it as best as she could, answered. “We should be fine sir, just be careful with the entry.”

Returning his attention to his own display, Tarian tightened his grip on the ship’s controls and muttered to himself, “No pressure.” Then he raised his voice and spoke to his friends and officers, “Let’s go colonize our new home.”

Keldon closed his own eyes and spoke a few words, “Here we go.”

Tarian nodded and brought the ship into the planet’s atmosphere, and instantly he understood what Sherry meant by anomalies, not that his sensors could identify what they were. “Sherry, you call this fine?”

Sherry turned her attention to her displays before answering, “I can’t explain it, sir. There is nothing that would explain this turbulence.”

As the tremors grew Keldon asked, “Are we sure we can land?”

“Kel, this shouldn’t be happening,” Sherry answered.

Tightening his grip Tarian began to worry about their success, “Sherry, do another quick check because I feel like I’m flying this ship through water instead of air.”

But before she could provide an answer the right wing was shorn free from the rest of the ship. And the resulting spin through the three of them against their restraints. Tarian instantly barked an order, “Kel, open a channel to the rest of the ship.”

As soon as the open mic symbol lit up on Tarian’s display, he addressed the entire ship. “Something has taken off a wing, all hands prepare for an immediate crash landing.” Tarian pulled his left hand from the controls and signaled Keldon to kill the open feed from the bridge.

Tarian’s mind raced thinking about how to land the ship, and his mind latched upon the first and only possibility that entered his mind. He reached for the repulsor engine’s controls turning them on, which immediately provided enough lift to level out the ship.

“Kel you need to take control of the repulsors and power them down to one percent.”

“Tarian, you can’t land the ship with the repulsor engines.” Sherry cried out.

Without looking away from the controls, he answered Sherry’s argument, “I’m aware of that Sherry, but it’s also our only chance to survive.”

“Power to repulsors at one percent, sir.”

Tarian had seen the ship’s return to free fall and knew that he would have to time this perfectly. “Kel pull up the altimeter at your station and once we are at one hundred feet from the planet’s dial the repulsor’s back to maximum.”

“Sherry find me a nice wide open stretch of land, and quickly. Once you have it feed it to my display.” A few moments later a set of coordinates popped up on his display, so he did his best to adjust the ship’s course aiming for the relatively straight and smooth stip of land found by Sherry.

Even though Keldon was studying the altimeter, Tarian kept his eyes upon his own copy of the gauge. And once it reached one hundred feet, cried out, “Now Kel.”

Kel brought the repulsors to their maximum thrust, but by now the ship had far too much momentum to completely negate it with a brief moment of thrust from the repulsors. So the engines designed to aid in lifting off the ground and exiting a planet’s atmosphere were now hopefully supplying enough lift to cushion the impact for the people inside the ship. But as the fragile engines touched the ground, they were damaged, which caused the ship to drop the last few feet. When the ship collided with the ground, it started to slide across the planet’s surface leaving a furrow in its wake it began to slow.

When the ship finally ground to a halt, Tarian asked, “Sherry what’s our condition?”

Pulling up the appropriate systems on her display she answered, “Well the damage seems to be minimal minus the wing and repulsor engines.”

“Tarian, that was an amazing landing considering what happened.”

Tarian looked out of the windshield and saw their new land in front of him and said, “We survived, and from the initial reports we aren’t too bad off all things considered.” With a deep breath, he loosened his restraints and said to them both, “But let’s get going and see what we can turn this new world into.”