1. Outset

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Tereshkova Found – Galactic Observer, 2272-12-03 UTC 06:00

The following transcript is taken from data received by a privately owned radio telescope on Luna, near Armstrong City, 2272-12-03 UTC 03:52:34. While the manner and source of transmission is as yet unknown, the diaries and transcripts contained indicate William Flynn of the lost Tereshkova Colony Vessel as their editor. The owner of the telescope, an amateur astronomer who wishes to remain anonymous, has released a series of transcripts and logs to the Galactic Observer and all other major news outlets. All of us here at the Galactic Observer wish to honor the crew of the missing vessel and our long-lost employee Mr. Flynn by releasing these documents to the public.

– Serena Jameson, Editor-in-chief, Galactic Observer News and Media, Inc.

— This is William Flynn, formally reporter for the Galactic Observer. I send these files in hopes that they will reach Earth, Luna, Mars, or Gaia Frontier, and that our families and friends will know our fate. We don’t know how much we can send, so I’ve compiled these text files with minimal formatting. Please, if you receive this, publish the included transcripts and logs for all to read.

The first document begins below – my transcript of the first live broadcast from the Tereshkova on 2169-07-16 —

{Recording begins. Video shows the Tereshkova from the starboard side, with the Lunar surface in the distant background. William Flynn narrates as drone cameras pan around the ship.}


Thank you, Darya. This is William Flynn for the Galactic Observer, reporting live from the colony ship Tereshkova. My colleague, the lovely Darya Fitzgerald, has just signed off. Her ship, the Shepard, will make the jump to Tau Ceti. Only three ships are left in lunar space, as we await clearance for the Shepard to join the colony and supply ships now in orbit about Tau Ceti e – the planet that will soon become Gaia Frontier.

It’s now 22:00 UTC on July 16 as we wait here on the Tereshkova for our turn to jump. Our ship is holding steady at L2, the second Lagrange point. Our cameras can still clearly see Luna and Earth, but it won’t be long now before we leave them behind.

Once we have clearance, we’ll bypass the 12 light years, arriving instantly in the Tau Ceti system. Everything is on schedule to establish the first colony outside of Sol on July 24, the two hundredth anniversary of Armstrong’s landing on the Moon.

And the jump drive is ready! Ladies, gentlemen, and children watching from the nations of Earth, Luna, and Mars, we have just received confirmation that the jump drive on the Shepard is good to go.

{Drone camera pans to the Shepard colony ship.}

The countdown has begun! T minus 10… 9… 8… 7… 6… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

{The Shepard vanishes from view.}

And with a barely visible flash, the Shepard is gone! Unfortunately, we can’t see the wormhole it opened, but it is out there, now collapsing to microscopic size. It will remain intact just long enough for the ship to send us a quick OK.

{Video feed switches to William Flynn’s visor camera.}

I’m taking us now to the cockpit, where Comm Officer Esan Green sits ready to receive confirmation. Officer Green?


Thank you, Mr. Flynn. You know I saw your reports on the Aries Colonies – you really captured the struggles our families have faced. Oh, there it is! That’s the OK from the Shepard. They sent us a short video – I’m putting it on screen.


There you have it, folks watching. Not only have we received the OK from the Shepard, we have video from that ship. Let’s watch as the video is played on the main screen here in the Tereshkova.


Hey, Billy! Greetings to all watching. This is Darya Fitzgerald, and … we made it! Everything is A-Okay here in the Tau Ceti system as we head toward the fourth planet.


There’s no more, sorry – that’s all they could send before the wormhole closed.


Thank you, Officer Green; that’s just enough to let us know that everything is on track. I’d like to remind viewers that there will be further reports from Tau Ceti. Once all ships are safely docked above Gaia Frontier, the jump drives will be modified to send back regular video, audio, and text updates.

I’m now turning over to Captain Josef Konev, sitting in the best seat in the house. Captain, are we almost ready to join the others?


Indeed, Mr. Flynn, all reports are positive. Officer Park in Engineering informs me that the drive is prepped and that all systems are ready to go. Our navigator, Officer Clarke, is taking us into position.


Thank you, Captain. I’m panning around the small cockpit here, where we see everyone sitting, strapped in for the jump. This reporter will soon have to join them, but first, let’s hear from Officer Clarke at the helm. Hello, Helena!


Long time, no see stranger. Darya sure looks happy – you taking good care of her?


Just doing what I can. For folks who don’t know, Helena here is the youngest cadet ever recruited for a mission such as this. Ms. Fitzgerald and I had the pleasure of interviewing her when she first flew test missions for the Ulysses corporation – been while since then, huh?


Yeah, just a while. You propose to that lady, yet?


There, uh, might be something in the works regarding that…


Excuse me, Mr. Flynn.


Of course. Thank you, Helena. The Captain has reminded me that I must now take my seat. As a safety precaution, all transmissions will be cut, so that the ship’s systems can focus on conducting the jump. I am allowed to continue recording, so the remainder of this video will be made available after the jump has completed and we are safely in Tau Ceti space. This is William Flynn, signing off this live broadcast from the cockpit of Tereshkova.

{Video fades out and in quickly, indicating the switch from live broadcast to recording.}


This is William Flynn, reporting from the cockpit of the Tereshkova. This begins the pre-recorded portion of this broadcast, which we will send back once we have arrived safely in Tau Ceti.

It is currently thirty seconds to jump. I’ve taken my seat in the rear of the cockpit. The screen now shows the star Tau Ceti among the countless lights visible from this vantage. Like the Apollo program two centuries ago, Ulysses Aeronautics and Spaceflight Development is adding another incredible achievement to human history with this first fleet to colonize a planet outside our Solar System.

We have final countdown!

10… 9… 8… 7… 6… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…


What the hell is that?


We’re heading straight at it!


Emergency thrusters are firing, but we aren’t turning fast enough to avoid it.


Brace for impact!

{An electromagnetic pulse passes through the ship at this point, 22:16 by the ship’s clock. Flynn’s visor is rendered inoperable. Remainder is audio extracted from shielded ‘black box’ microphones embedded in the cockpit bulkheads.}


Did we hit it? We’re not moving – I don’t think. Damn, no emergency lighting?

Helena? Helena can you hear me? Light pulse, breathing shallow – hope the med team gets here quickly.



I’m fine; my belt’s just jammed. Damn gravity’s out – can you get to Flynn?


Yeah, I think so. Here he is. He’s out cold, just like Clarke. Shallow breathing, faint pulse.


We should have hit that – whatever that is out there. The hell do you make of that?


It’s huge – surface looks like mercury. Too damn smooth to be natural.


My thoughts exactly. Doesn’t look man-made, either.

And those two bright stars shining in from the port – we can’t be in Tau Ceti. We mess up and jump to Alpha Centauri?

{Loud banging rings through the cockpit.}


That should be the rescue team getting the hatch open.


All right, Flynn. Time to get you and Helena to medical. My God!


What’s wrong?


I, uh, grabbed a case that slipped out of Flynn’s fingers. I think there’s a ring inside. For Fitzgerald, I’ll bet.

You’ll see her, Flynn. God, I hope you see her again.

{Loud banging resumes, accompanied by a screech of metal.}

{End of transcript.}



–End of Part 1 —

Copyright 2015-2016 TCC Edwards, all rights reserved.

Part 1 last updated on 2016-02-22

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One Comment

  1. Hi ! Just wanted to say hello, and that I’m enjoying the start of your story. It has a nice hook to it, and the style is interesting. Thanks for writing. 🙂


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