Challenge #01520-D059: Lost and Found
[Person #1]: Spectro-analysis of the ship dates it as having been in orbit here for slightly more than three hundred million years.
[Person #2]: They built shit to last back in the Paleozoic, huh?
(your choice on whether Person #1's results bear any resemblance to reality) -- RecklessPrudence
Tel swore under her breath and worked her fastest to get that comment out of the feed to the rest of the Galactic Alliance. One cut, and Ambassador Shayde's glib and unnecessary remark was no longer present in the official record. Only the Archivaas, who kept everything, would know of that disastrous blurt.
Rael, wise to the frantic editing that Tel was busy with, sent the Ambassador a ping. The Ambassador, in turn, levelled something of a glare in both their general directions. She very exaggeratedly pulled herself into a formal stance and said, "So it had tae have gone down a deep time wormhole, aye?"
"More like several," Moni, unaware, was assembling data from her scans. "Looks like someone was attempting some serious time travel and finally ended up here."
"Damage?" asked Captain Vel.
"No sign of damage. No sign of life. All that's in there is whatever they took with them."
"Is anythin' still runnin'?" asked Shayde.
That was a surprisingly paranoid question for a being who was effectively immortal. But then, pain hurt and Shayde had no more reason to court it than anyone else.
More scans. More data. "Just the auto-navigation that's maintaining orbit around that one proto-planet. Nothing else that I can detect."
Don't say it, thought Tel, aiming her thoughts directly at Captain Vel.
"So nothing inherently dangerous on board."
Every human on the bridge, and Rael, who had had enough experience with them, simultaneously said, "Aw, flakk it!"
"Now there is," announced Shayde. "Everybody get'cher military grade livesuits and yer plasma cannons."
"Hungry Caterpillar active and alert for non-registered objects and collision-path objects," intoned Tel. "Initiating full-paranoia alert for all crew." She had just enough time to add a subtitle to the outgoing feed that read, The Captain has just tempted fate.
And then it was time for every crewmember to gird their armour on. Adhere their courage to their sticking-place. And step cautiously into that which angels would fear to tread.
It would have been just fine if the Captain hadn't said anything. But now? They were most likely to encounter a rapacious, cognivorous, eldritch beast from the dawn of time itself.
At least Ambassador Shayde had sense about all this.
[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / alexaldo]
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