A long time ago in a galaxy far far away I used to write to writing prompts, I also play a game called EvE Online and this is (for me) one of the best looking ships in it. I resurrect this post which was Written for Inspiration Monday a long time ago..
The Ashimmu silently dropped out of warp, its sensors immediately scanning out vast distances to ensure that nothing in the local area was on a collision course with them. Onboard the 4 crew were busy checking the status of the deep space scanner probes that sat in their launcher; after an hour with the checks completed they moved to the bridge in order to initiate launch. Whoever had designed the Ashimmu must have had a sense of humour because the bridge was really a cockpit, it held two comfortably but four was pushing it.
Steve Peter’s, the pilot was sitting in the large leather chair, his feet up on one of the few surfaces that was not filled with buttons and switches, out beyond the view screen the dark, cold vastness of space stretch out to infinity before him; Stars of all sizes and colours shone brightly over millions of light years away, he never failed to be in awe of the universe, its size and everything it contained.
To his left a couple of hundred thousand miles away sat a dark planet, one half was total darkness as nightfall stretch across it’s mass, the sun side was a swirling mass of black and grey clouds, occasionally lit up from within by an incredible storm that he suspected had been raging for hundreds, if not thousands of years.
Peter’s reverie was interrupted by the three remaining crew that had come in, the cockpit quickly became crowded as they jockied for positions.
“Are we in the right system” Jones asked.
Without looking at the instrumentation Peter’s replied “Indeed we are Mr Jones, PSR J0108-143, approximately 60 light years from Cetus, we are smack bang where we should be.”
Jones smiled, “excellent, i’ll go check the scientific sensors and ensure they are calibrated correctly, we have limited time here and I want to make sure we get as much data as we can.”
Jones left the cockpit shouting behind him something about not launching the probes until he is back.
Hawkings, the only woman on the crew, sat in the chair vacated by Jones and looked out to the stars. “Beautiful isn’t it?”
“Sure is” Peter’s and Ash, the remaining crewmembers said in unison.
A few minutes later and Jones had reappeared. “OK we are good to go” he announced
Peter’s removed his feet from the console and swung around to face his instrumentation, quickly his fingers moved over the surface as he prepped the probe launcher, “OK, Launch in in 60 seconds”.
The Probes silently ejected from the launcher and moved out into space, once they were about a kilometre from the Ashimmu their small, nuclear powered engines kicked in and they disappeared from sensors.
“OK, it will take then about 2 days to get to where we need them to be and then they will start monitoring the pulsar” Jones spoke as he looked out the windows.
“Where is the Pulsar” Hawkings asked.
“Pretty much directly in front of us” Jones said “Once there the probes will set up in pre set positions around the Pulsar to detect the radiation beam”.
“What Beam?” Ash said
Jones looked excited “Pulsars are the dead relics of massive stars” he paused “well in real terms they are not really massive as the massive ones create black holes when they collapse but other, smaller stars collapse and then it sheds its outer layers the core begins to spin at massive speeds, the gravity would crush you a thousand times over at surface level, which is why incidently we are sitting here some 30 light years off” Jones looked around to make sure everyone was following him. “so anyway once the star collapses and starts spinning it emits a beam of radiation hundreds of light years into space, a bit like a cosmic lighthouse.”
“well people, with the probes needing 2 days there is little for us to do, I suggest you eat, and relax until we need to do some work.” Jones, Ash and Hawkings filed out the cockpit, once alone Peters placed his feet back up on the control panel and looked out into the vast inky blackness before him.