The saucer was full and all they waited for now was for the Aphrodite to rotate enough for the transport to be able to launch on the correct trajectory.
Lois was in control of the transport so he didn’t have to do any of the complex arithmetic for an optimal launch. Lois was a robot. She and Norm would help unload the colonist’s gear and then they would return to the ship and begin the long year and a half journey back to Earth for another round of colonists.
Captain Williamson looked around the interior of the dimly lit transport saucer at the nervous faces of the other colonists. They all had their fish bowl helmets on and locked, a precaution that Williamson decided on after looking at the atmospheric forecasts. Last thing he wanted was someone suffocating if the transport, heaven forbid, depressurized.
Zeta 3 was a large planet. Measuring in a 1.6 of Earth’s gravity, it would take some getting used to. The makeup of the air was a little off too, but their lungs would soon adapt to the increased ratio of nitrogen compared to Earth. The injections would speed the process.
At least they were the fourth batch of colonists to come to Zeta 3, four groups of adventurous souls over the space of a six-year span. Permanent buildings should be in place, as well as irrigation and crops. Williamson had been elected to lead this group of colonists, something that had surprised him, but he took his responsibilities seriously. He was determined not to lose a single person.
Lois’ robotic voice came over their helmet speakers and warned of their imminent departure. Seconds later, the saucer shook violently as it detached from the Aphrodite. Minutes later they were entering the atmosphere. A colonist behind Williamson swore at the turbulence that jostled the ship.
The turbulence calmed and they landed five minutes later.
“Lois, make sure that you and Norm get everything un-packed and checked off the list before you go back up. I don’t want to miss anything.”
“Of course, sir.” She said in her robotic monotone.
“Right. Let's go meet our new neighbors.” Captain Williamson said to the milling group of colonists.
They set off for the group of domed buildings in the valley below them. Williamson had expected a welcoming party. They had radioed ahead, announcing their arrival while still in orbit, but they had received no response. Williamson had chalked it up to poor atmospherics, but now he wondered.
They walked between the first two buildings, down what was clearly intended to be a future street. There was even a rudimentary street sign hanging askew.
“Main st.” Williamson read.
They were approaching the center of the tiny town now, and had not seen a single soul.
“Hello.” Williamson called.
Nothing. No one responded, the only sound came from a door that swung in the wind. Something was wrong. As He looked around Williamson began to notice the thick layer of dust on everything. No one had been here for a while.
The door swung hard, slammed by a particularly strong gust of wind. It made him jump.
“This aint right.” One of the colonists named Douglas said.
“I don’t like it either.” Said Williamson.
A garbled transmission came over Williamson’s helmet speakers.
“Say again, Lois.” Williamson said.
Williamson turned and looked up the hill toward the saucer. There were piles of supplies that Norm and Lois had unloaded. A cloud of dust formed around the saucer as it prepared to take off.
“Lois, don’t leave.” He said into his comms.
“Lois, power down the saucer.” The saucer lifted into the air.
“Norm! Can you read me?”
The Saucer flew over them and then shot off into the sky.
I had this dream last night. It was very interesting. It was like a 1950’s Sci-Fi movie. The robots, the saucer, the helmets were very cheesy but I thought the premise was interesting. Like a Futuristic Roanoke Island mystery.