Nebula – this debris field – do you have any idea where it has come from?

Sorry, Alnold, but no. The amount of debris would indicate something large has broken apart. A large asteroid perhaps, or maybe a moon. It could even be a small planet.

So you also have no idea as to what caused it break apart?

It’s definitely the result of a cataclysmic collision, Alnold.

Like a moon hitting a planet?

That’s one possibility, Alnold. The debris is scattered over millions of radial miles. It seems likely the first cluster we encountered was the outer edge of this field.

Doesn’t look good does i-

Alnold! Sensors are indicating life signs over in the lower north west quadrant. They are very faint.

Life signs? In this mess?? Can we reach them, Nebs?

Not in the Expansion, I’m afraid. There is too much debris to go through it. To continue our journey we shall need to alter course and go around the debris field. They can be reached in one of the shuttleships, if you would care to investigate. They are the only signs of life in this entire region. They may need help.

You don’t really give me a choice, do you?

I thought you would say that. I have the co-ordinates of the life signs, and I can fly the shuttleship directly to them. I’m sensing there is no breathable atmosphere so you will have to wear your protective amulet suit.

There’s a first time for everything, I suppose!

Alnold, I shall see you in the shuttleship shortly. Expansion now at a dead stop. Deflector shields operating at 112 per cent. Lights down to pulse mode. Energy consumption minimal. Lowering life support to minimum levels as Expansion is soon to be unoccupied.

Let me get off her first, Nebula! I’ve got to get my pendant thing first, put it on, make sure it works, and then get down to the lower decks and the shuttleship port. Are they easy to fly, the shuttleships? I’ve never flown one before.

Leave the flying to me, Alnold. You do the rescuing.

Oh no! Alnold’s first rescue mission. Will he succeed? Will he get there in time? Who needs rescuing?

These questions may be answered in the next thrilling-ish instalment. Coming soon.

———-

And I’m still not making a big song and dance over the fact that I’ve recently gone beyond the three thousand post mark here on Beyond the Sphere. See? I’m just posting things as normal!

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