Escort Two is piloted by Lora Tallstag with Zander Milton assisting. They are heading towards the third planet in the Auroran system, a large gas giant with seven moons. Beatrix Kincade, the leader of the expedition, muscles her way into the cockpit and splits her attention between her job and the banter. Will any of the orbiting hunks of rocks be able to support Auroran colonies? Will the triumvirs force the ship to land on the moons to complete the same surveys that Escort One performed on Auroran Two?
“Are we in range yet?” Beatrix asked.
With a sigh, Lora turned her chair away from her console and buried her face into her hands. “We’ll call you when we arrive at the gas giant.”
“We don’t have to be at the planet for me to scan its satellites,” Beatrix objected, kicking at the doorframe.
“You’ll be able to inspect all the moons soon,” Zander replied, resting his head on his hand. “Can’t you just wait till we get there?”
Beatrix walked into the cockpit and claimed the last station. “You’ve kept me out long enough, all the equipment is here.”
“Whatever, Beatrix,” Lora said, returning her attention to her console. She adjusted a few controls before flicking the display a few times. Leaning back, she dropped her head into her hands and asked, “Why are we scanning these moons?”
“The triumvirs are looking to make things different than under the previous administration,” Sarra answered.
“What’s that have to do with anything?” Lora inquired, while she twirled in her chair.
Zander grabbed his canteen and took a sip. “Previously, the Federation would only settle a single planet in a system.” The copilot swallowed another mouthful and continued, “It didn’t care if there were multiple planets that could support a colony.”
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