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Friday, February 15, 2013

F3 Sightseeing

            Never had a charting mission been more pleasurable. On the other side of a dense nebula, the star system was invisible to telescopes. Gravity scans had revealed a lot of mass in the system, but no one had gotten close enough, from any direction, to see the system.

            Flynn forced himself to breathe as he watched. This was a quintuple star system, a gorgeous one at that. A blue giant had roped in a red dwarf, two yellow main sequence, an orange main sequence, and a white sub giant. What amazed Flynn was the orbital period. The stars moved quickly, completing a complex ballet of orbits in just a few hours. The stars wove about each other in the same pattern over and over, pulling streams of solar matter from one another, creating  a colored web of plasma. The colors mingled, creating vibrant shades of burning solar winds. Caught up in the gravity of the other stars, they curved in distorted arcs, the direct route from one star to the next disrupted by the next closest star.
            “Too bad there are no planets here.” Ann said from the helm. “This would make a great place to live. Better than Ember Ridge.” Ann’s tone was reverent, something Flynn had never experienced from her.
            A murmur of approval went through the bridge.
            “Maybe they’ll bring in an asteroid and set up a resort.” Hank said.
Always the engineer.
“Until then,” Flynn kept his voice soft, “make sure we’re recording everying. Let’s plot a leisurely orbit around, making sure we cover the major angles. I’m sure the Alliance Astronomy Corps will want this. Maybe we can sell this to the holo companies, too.”
            “We’re going to come back here, aren’t we? Some time?” Ann’s voice barely made a whisper.
            “How could we not?” Flynn said.
            Reese cleared his throat, “ ‘And lo, when the children of Earth stretched forth into the stars they did know the face of them, and their true nature. That the stars shape the cosmos, and are true gods to men.’”
            “Amen,” they all said.
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