Monday, November 30, 2015

Story Seed - Search

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The commander's heavy footfalls echoed off the steel flooring of the deck. The ship was quiet, late during the third duty shift with only a skeleton crew running essential systems. "Computer, bring up the main sensor array and scan the system's fourth planet."

A chirp  from the computer was followed by the rising hum of computer- and holo-systems powering up. The main holographic display came to life, starting with a pin prick of light that expanded, growing into a translucent sphere of glowing light that resolved into the system's fourth planet. The world was a watery one, over 90% of the surface covered by a vast ocean, and as a result the difference between the initial low-resolution projection and the high resolution updates were negligible. The sensors highlighted a handful of small archipelagos and one slightly larger landmass that was little more than an island a few dozen miles across. "Scan complete. Ninety eight percent accuracy in cartographic projection."

The commander frowned, but knew that 98% was the best he would get from a scan over ten AU distance out. "Enhance primary landmass, maximum resolution." The simulation exploded as the sensors performed a narrow beam scan of the largest island, rending it up on the display as a horizontal sand table with full elevation. "Projected accuracy?"

"Eighty seven percent."

"Adjust scans to full EM and overlay," the commander said aloud. "It's gotta be there," he added under his breath as the scan commenced and the display began to update. "Come on Max, you have to have survived."

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