Toemeka didn’t like space jumps. They usually went smoothly, but sometimes a ship just disappeared and was never seen again. A short jump took only a few minutes, but one to a distant part of the galaxy took much longer. They required a series of jumps and were made on large ships. Fortunately, this was a short jump.
A jolt sliced through Toemeka as stars and planets reappeared in the blackness of space. Looming directly in front of them glowed the large orange planet Ormezd, surrounded by multi-colored rings and numerous moons of various sizes.
“It’s breathtaking!” Toemeka exclaimed. She’d never seen Ormezd before as it was an uninhabitable planet, composed of gases and not on any regular flight routes.
Michio nodded. “Yes, it is. We’re headed for a moon called Barmin. It has a thick atmosphere with the correct temperature and composition to support it. We have to travel through several rings to get there.”
“Traveling through rings doesn’t look safe,” Toemeka said.
“I’ve flown it many times,” Michio said. “ZB, calculate a route through the rings.”
The first ring is unstable. Enter with care, the computer replied.
Michio flew the ship into the outermost green ring. It flowed like a patterned wave similar to ripples in a lake. They flew by asteroids the size of mountains and equally dangerous meteors.
Soaring out of the ring, they flew by a moon, then entered a glowing yellow ring. A large boulder hurtled toward the ship and Toemeka jerked instinctively toward Michio as he maneuvered their ship out of the way.
In the third ring, Michio flew the ship into dense clouds. The ship emerged near the surface of a grayish-blue moon. Michio skimmed the moon’s landscape, passing over mountains, valleys, craters and a wide river.
“I don’t see any vegetation.” Toemeka peered out the window, fascinated by everything she saw. “It looks like a lifeless world. Are there any plants or animals?”
“We haven’t found any. It’s theorized that it’s too cold to support life.”
A large, glass-domed city came into view.
“There’s Kanai,” Michio said.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish