Author : N. Thomas Parshall
I have brought the ship into orbit above Destiny. Forty-eight of my eighty-one years have been spent maintaining the systems and checking the life-pods of the passengers. Now we are here and I can rejoin my reborn body and be a part of a community again.
Destiny may even be a better home for humanity than Earth. My new home.
I awaken my body from it’s life-pod, and download back into it. I take a week to readjust to being in a meat suit, then move on to on site exploration.
I leave the ship AI in charge while I take the Lander down to find the perfect colony spot. I have chosen dozens of possible while in the System, and must now choose the best to land the ship at. Once landed the ship will never fly again.
I spend weeks locating the perfect spot. Finally I choose.
At the Y of a river valley in the subtropics, is a place with low rolling plains covered with a lush grass. The river is lined with palm-like trees, and the soil is a rich black that my test seeds sprout in nearly overnight. The cloud to my silver lining is a predator the size of a large cat. Small cloud. I decide it’s perfect and return to the ship.
As I approach the ship, I send a signal to the AI to begin awakening the passengers. If they are awake at landing, it was decided, offloading would proceed much faster. I want to be there to over-see the downloading of selves from the transport archive, of course.
I dock the transport, and head towards my quarters when the lights go out. All sounds have stopped, which means no air is flowing, and one thousand people are breathing what we have.
Within a minute, the light and air returns.
I ask the AI what has happened, but get no response.
I rush to the small control deck. Nothing software based is working. All hard-wired systems are on-line. EM pulse. I spend hours checking systems. All gone.
I hear screaming. The passengers! I forgot I awoke them.
I rush to the hold to find 999 adult infants awakening from anesthesia. All hungry as I was when I awoke. At least I knew why. They know nothing.
Fortunately, first meal is always mush in a bulb. I find the right storage and run around sticking nipples in mouths for two hours. Quiets them right down.
I return to what manual instruments I have and look for answers. And, find them.
Destiny’s star has a neutron star binary that EM flashes the planet every 396 local days.
I hear screaming. I rush onto the pod deck only to be assaulted by the most vile odor. I know my duty, and I begin checking. Most have soiled themselves, and I do the best I can.
* * *
A year has passed, mostly with-out sleep.
I transferred the passengers to the surface, ten at a time, in the Lander. I can still fly the Lander, but it must be on manual constantly.
Only fifty-seven have died, but I have felt each as if it were my own child. Of the rest, all are sitting up, and a few are taking their first steps.
My landing site is working out better than I thought. It rains once a day, in the afternoon, and it is as warm as bathwater. Which I use it for.
A few have even begun talking.
They are the ones that call me Dada.