Preface to ‘EQUALS’

EARTH DATE: 2791 AD

“There it is, just like the satellite probe said it would be,” Captain Verimoor stated, as he watched the giant star system loom on the screen before them. It wouldn’t take much longer for them to reach their ultimate destination.

It had taken fifty years for the Earth Ships to travel to this part of the Galaxy. They were looking forward to the end of the trip, and for their new lives to begin. When they arrived, the people that would be going down to the surface of the chosen planet would be woken up from their long slumbers and prepped for life on a new world.

The trip from Earth wasn’t the first experiment mankind had taken to explore the galaxy, but it was one of the most ambitious to date. There had been six international teams trained to operate each and most of it had been done in turns. Each couple took over the running of the vessel they had been assigned to for five years. When they were not on duty, they slept for the rest of their time while they waited. This was not the only stop for those being sent out to settle on new planets would be making, there were three other solar systems even further from Earth. The most habitable planets were to be seeded with humans before the ships moved on.

“I am receiving signals from the scanners I sent out into the zone. It is showing there are several planets capable of sustaining life,” Lieutenant Arnett reported.

Captain Verimoor sat back further in his chair as he watched the map of planets from this sector pop into view, along with the orbits they travelled around the star they were attached to. He didn’t want anyone to know how excited he was, because the truth of the matter was that if things worked out in his favor, he was getting off this ship and wouldn’t be getting back on.

It was the Science Officer that ran the scans on the planets, and the star that held them in orbit. Like Captain Verimoor, Lieutenant Snyder had no intentions of moving any further from home if it was possible. “All the information we received from earlier probes have been right on the mark, sir. The sun at the center is a yellow giant, circled by five inner planets and twelve outer planets. The only difference between the earlier scans, and the one we are receiving now, is the orbit of the planetoids that separate the two.”

“We will get to that,” Captain Verimoor stated, as he noted the other five captains from his ship join them on the bridge. Each one had brought a sub commander with them and, if they found a habitable planet, it would be up to them to decide who would be going to the surface to colonize it, and those that would remain onboard the ships to move forward.

“We are ready to receive the preliminary reports on the planets that make up the Metford System. Proceed, Lieutenant Snyder,” Admiral Fontaine ordered.

“The last four planets in the System, which we will be passing shortly, are too far from the star to support Human life as we know it. The following three have signs of developing surfaces, but at the same time, they have an inadequate mix of chemicals in the atmosphere to support life. The two closer to the sun are unstable, and the two following would fall into the category of being winter planets with the furthest having good oxygen content, but a gravity heavy enough to make it difficult for us to move around on,” Lieutenant Snyder pointed out.

“What about the planetoid cluster?” Admiral Schrader asked.

“We need to make sure of their compositions. At this point, I would say they are our best bet. There is no sign of any higher life forms living on the surfaces, although there are signs of different species. Of all the planets orbiting this star, this looks like the best place for our people.” Lieutenant Snyder admitted.

“What is preventing you from giving us a total report, Lieutenant Snyder?” Admiral DuPont asked.

“I am finding the data I have received difficult to believe or segregate from one location to another,” Lieutenant Snyder responded. “There are six planetoids, each with their own climatic personalities. They share the same atmospheric conditions, and all are compatible with Human life. It is the only thing I am sure of at this moment though.” Lieutenant Snyder explained.

“What is causing the distortion?” Captain Verimoor asked.

“They are very close together. It looks like one planet has a desert form of environment, another a European type of climate, while another takes after the Eastern Coast of the North American continent. One reminds me of Australia and, the one closest to the desert planetoid has the environment of a jungle. The last is very similar to the Northern Hemisphere on Earth,” Lieutenant Snyder admitted.

For whatever reason, Lieutenant Snyder’s description of conditions on each planetoid immediately made an impression on the captains of the ships, and they stuck to them. Because of this, they were given names accordingly, New York, Berlin, Sydney, Saudi Arabia, Amazon and Siberia, at least in the short term.

With the planetoids named, it didn’t take long for the Captains to run the lotteries they had been ordered to conduct upon arrival to determine who would be leaving the ships to develop the new worlds and who did not. They were rather surprised at how the process turned out, as those that were picked were very military minded. Those that were venturing further into space thought the results were going to be very interesting.

With the plans in place, they began the task of setting up the beginning of civilization in this district. The chosen were left on the surfaces of the planetoid they decided to live on and the new evolution of their people began. The technologies to build machinery and develop more forms of travel were provided, as well as rudimentary modes of transportation to help them in the beginning. They were given several different types of communication devices, so they wouldn’t lose track of each other and other general supplies. From this point onwards, it would be up to them to figure out a way to survive.

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