Part 2: Gaia's landing
The planting of the great pine at Gaia's Landing, my advisors tell me, will be at the heart of the mythology that will arise from our works. For when history passes out of what could be remembered into vague fairy tales, we would recall the start of our long repentance for old errors.
But it wasn't the first thing we did.
First we buried the dead.
We had planned at first to copy as much of the Unity's database as possible. The resources and so on we left to the Morganites to squabble over, but it was thought that technology would be the true decider in whether a new colony succeeded or failed. In the end, it was the smallest of details that killed that plan. A thruster misfired, turning a controlled landing into a rolling crash that crumpled a side of the pod. The salt water of the bay we landed in did the rest of the damage.
By the time we had recovered enough to take stock, all we had was what we could remember, and the dusty old report on Centauri Ecology I compiled before we left.
Daylight showed how lucky we were. We had landed in a in a broad bay near the equator, and mere meters away, the sea floor plunged suddenly downwards hundreds of meters. We could have all drowned.
As it was, the trench of torn vegetation the pod made broke gave us a little shelter from harsh winds, a situation we improved with pieces of broken wreckage. Soon, there was at least some spaces where one could remove one's suit without being asphyxiated. Gaia's Landing, we called it, in a fit of the same creativity that gave Planet its name. That is how our first home came to be.
Lofty visions were hardly our first concern, as we pulverised rock to make room for new dwellings. What energy we could spare was pumped into efforts to recover our databases. I was so buried in reports that I barely noticed that a sizable contingent of our manpower had left.
His name was Major Richards. A security officer, part of a contingent under Yang that was posted on the Unity despite the wishes of a good deal of the crew. Why did we need guns in our new Utopia, we had asked.
In case of hostile alien life, they had answered. But that was rubbish. My ecological surveys had shown barely any animal life, let alone threatening life.
Hence, while the real workers constructed our first terraformers, we were forced to watch on our view screens as Richards' merry band traipsed across the countryside in mock heroics.
I stopped watching when shaky handheld camerawork showed them flashbanging the interior of a scattered data pod, and emerging with their prize of a few datawafers.
Still, work went well in the early days. Our new base was built to the north of the first base, named fruitily by the head of the expedition. Our terraformers constructed a set of shiny new solar collectors, boosting our energy production.
Soon, we had our first results from the data recovery. Alas, the scientists seem to have been inspired by the 'Heros of Gaia'.
As Richards' crew trudged northwards, followed by a terraformer crew building a road, I commissioned a new crew of explorers to head southwards, in search of a location for our second base. We could afford to bring some more people out of cryogenic pods, and so required more room to live in.
Maybe this will steal some of that bastard's thunder.
##BREAK IN LOG##
What the hell.
WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?
We replayed this image over and over again in the command compound. The image, a snapshot sent from the southern expedition, was the last we heard from them for the last 48 hours. Our men were heavily armed, more heavily than I had recommended, but not a single one of them had reported back.
As of 1400 hours, our colonists are still blissfully unaware, and we've been afraid to let the news leak out - it would surely cause panic. Our situation looks like:
What should we do now?