E9023H – ENTRY

E9023H – ENTRY

Photo Credits  – Google

“Pull back, Yoni. If we continue on this trajectory we will definitely crash into E9023H. Pull back!”

They continued hurtling towards the looming mass, a sure sign that his order hadn’t registered anywhere.

E9023H was the designation on the instrumentation panel for the third planet circling around the Class G star in this part of the Milky Way. According to the readout on his phaser, it was solid and had life, although there was no indication of the complexity or intelligence of such life forms. They couldn’t risk a crash, so he tried again.

“Yoni. Pull back. Now!”

The command was a louder order this time, and his head hurt from the effort. A scit went by, and then two. Again nothing happened.
There was no instant reduction in speed, no sudden change in the whine of the engine to indicate massive deceleration, and no waiver in their direction from what he could see on the panoramic display screen.

Flustered, he flew out of his seat and down the stairs in the direction of the engine room. Yoni wasn’t responding to any of his orders or giving any situation reports on the duocom and that was cause for worry.

The door of the engine room was open when he got there. Green anxiety lights pulsed up and down his crisscrossed veins as his knobby fingers slowly pushed the hexagonal crystalline barricade inwards. Inside was dark, so he thumped the small transparent cylinder on the left side of his dome to agitate the cloud of glownosts inside. In two scits he had enough light from their iridescent bodies to illuminate the immediate space in front of him.

Yoni, or whatever remained of the Krukah, was on the floor, smashed into many slivers. The impact of the collision with the unhinged satellite had obviously done more damage than he thought in the engine room.

There was no time to mourn the loss of his spotter. The more pressing issue was getting the ship back under control and taking evasive action. Frantically he scouted around for the emergency holosail control and pink relief flooded through his pneumatic endoskeleton when he found it.

He tugged hard on the tungsten handle.

Nothing happened.

He tried again, putting all the pressure he could muster into his grip and willing the runaway ship to slow down and turn starboard, but nothing registered. Then he glanced outside through a porthole in the walls and saw why.

Their main thruster had been sheared off by the violence of the collision. The smaller backups were also gone, ripped off their awnings and probably floating freely somewhere in the darkness of space.

A loud whistle from his wrist sensor connected to the onboard computer distracted him from the damage evaluation. He punched the green glowing screen and almost screamed with frustration.
The ship had entered into the effective orbit of E9023H and was now trapped in a Gravilock. Crashing into the planet was now inevitable, and already the hull was beginning to glow orange as a result of friction from charged ions in the planet’s upper atmosphere. There was nothing he or anyone could do to avoid the disaster.

He let go of the useless holosail and sprinted topside to prepare for what was coming. He had to do all he could to survive if they made it to the surface. Arits are hardy, but a crash into a rocky planet is not a scenario anyone plans for or has ever documented surviving.
‘Who would have thought that a routine training worm loop flight around outer Saturn could ever go this wrong?’

That was the last thought that flashed through his head as they plunged into E9023H’s blue atmosphere.

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