First Stop

As the craft sailed through the stars, Rylan kept to himself whenever he could despite having made a few friendships among the crew. Since there were plenty in the group who thought he had sabotaged the platform the captain kept him from any real duties. So he tended to keep himself busy using the gym equipment that had been unpacked once the ship exited the atmosphere. He was getting dressed after an intense workout when he heard the captain’s announcement. “We will be dropping into the Latrian system in an hour. Once there it should take another couple of hours to enter planetary orbit. Landing crew report to shuttle bay one to prepare.”

Rylan smiled as he quickly finished getting dressed and then promptly reported to the shuttle bay. It had taken two and a half weeks to get to the first stop on the journey. When he arrived at the shuttle bay, he was greeted by Marcus, who still distrusted the technician. “Well if it isn’t our favorite saboteur.”

Rylan covered his eyes with a hand as he asked, “Marcus when were you assigned to the landing crew?”

“I was assigned just this morning.”

“By who?” Rylan asked as he tried to walk past the brutish man.

“By someone with more authority than you,” Marcus spoke at Rylan’s back before he followed to get into their suits for the trip down to the Latria.

Rylan was spared having to listen to any more of Marcus’ nonsense when Connor entered the room and quickly placed himself between them. Once Marcus went off to prepare himself Connor whispered to the technician, “Why does he dislike you so much?”

“I wish I knew, but let’s get ready to go,” Rylan answered as he continued getting ready.

By the time the rest of the landing crew arrived at the shuttle bay the captain had announced that they had dropped into Latrian space and had scanned the planet. The captain had paused for a moment before he told the crew the results of the scan, “There is no sign of life anywhere on the planet. As we get closer, we should be able to learn more.”

While Rylan had barely been to Latria, he knew that a scan should have reported life all over the planet, not the barren wasteland that the captain informed them of. He shared a look with Connor, and they quickly finished getting ready and reported to the shuttle, waiting for the rest of the party to get ready. When the last of the landing party arrived, the captain gave more information to the crew. “We have achieved planetary orbit around Latria, and the scans reveal that the planet has been radiated. We are checking to see if the suits will provide enough protection to allow the landing party to proceed. Please wait for final authorization.”

The landing crew began to chat amongst themselves, but Rylan withdrew from everyone and thought about what the captain had just said. The entire world had been destroyed by radiation. Rylan had no idea how that could have happened all of the equipment that could have possible released radiation into the atmosphere wouldn’t have been able to radiate the entire planet, and there were safeguards to prevent any radiation from escaping in the first place.

He was thinking about the platforms when the captain made another announcement, “After our study, we still don’t know what kind of radiation has flooded the planet, but we are certain that the suits will manage to provide moderate protection from it. But we are limiting the exposure to the radiation to an hour. Get in find what you can and get out.”

The leader of the landing party announced, “You all heard the captain we are going to have to stick to one landing, the platform.”

The party quickly boarded the shuttle and went down to the planet. There the party split into two, and a half went to the platform while the other half went to raid the central database. Rylan led the first party to the platform room, and immediately saw the flashing red light at the center of the platform. He spun around and told the other four members of his team, “Let’s go back the Latrian platform of Laria is malfunctioning as well.”

“So you say.” Marcus spat as he tried to muscle past Rylan.

Connor pulled Marcus back as he pointed at the platform, “Marcus don’t be stupid look at the center crystal it’s flashing red just like ours, and Rylan just got here.”

Marcus pulled his shoulder away from Connor and muttered, “I’m not blind.”

“Then stop being stupid,” Colleen said as she moved out of Rylan’s way. “It’s obvious that Rylan couldn’t have done what happened here, let’s get back to the shuttle.”

Rylan who was already heading back to the shuttle radioed the team leader, “The platform is as dead as the planet we are heading back to the shuttle. Where you able to pull any data?”

“Whatever happened to this world damaged all of the systems we aren’t able to get anything we’re on our way back as well.”

Once they were all onboard the shuttle they wasted no time leaving the planet, and the leader called up to the ship, “The planet’s platform is as dead as their world once we’re onboard start plotting a course to Medicia.”