Into the Well

A place for stories beyond the gates of Rhy'Din
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XRD 4743
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Into the Well

Post by XRD 4743 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:36 pm

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The object fell from space. As it broke Gateway Station’s orbital horizon, just before it was pitched into the Nexial eddies of the lower exosphere, it was scanned and saved to the SkyDog WatchLog:

[unknown object] _ [sphere] _ [0.3 m] _ [standard descent]

Drawn toward the well of the valley like most of the debris that breaks atmo on the Gateway side of the planet, the object came in well clear of Star’s End, streaking across the night sky aflame, before finally making ground in the southernmost foothills with a resonating THOOM. So great was the impact it tripped the seismic scanners in Star’s End hundreds of miles away, as well as those at the Star Valley Complex in the southern mountains nearest where it broke land.

At dawn two members of the Complex’s Terra Team sped out to the site, and were surprised by the size of the crater they discovered. Hopping off their hover bikes, they each approached the rim with some distance between them, and carefully scanned the entire edge of the deep bowl to let their glasses capture the dimensions needed for calculations. The figures threw themselves up into their personal HUDs, and were confirmed against each other:

>> diameter 284 m | center depth 167 m | inclination 90° | no object remains

They looked at each other in astonishment. Chela, the elder of the two, brought up her arm to tap at her datapad and bring up the info from the WatchLog. Dintala, her assistant, approached to ask the obvious question, “Who frakked this up?”

“Look at this,” Chela replied, tapping to display the datapoints in both their glasses. “It was a perfect sphere, precisely 0.3 metres…”

Dintala puzzled over the impact figures, her face flexing. “A freefalling object that size wouldn’t make a crater this size,” she said. “And an inclination of 90°? Isn’t that impossible?” she asked incredulously.

“Nearly,” Chela replied, musing. “And no remains…

“This doesn’t make any sense,” Dintala said.

“Log it,” Chela ordered, casting her eyes over the rim. She tried to ignore the settling feeling in the pit of her stomach.
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XRD 4743
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Re: Into the Well

Post by XRD 4743 » Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:29 pm

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Explosions. Pain. Fire. Vacuum. Quantum dissonance. Darkness.

Those were the sensations lingering in the core brain as the sphere fell lifeless from the sky, the first sensations to be reactivated and reexperienced when its spark returned, woken by the incredible release of energy upon impact with terra Rhydin: THOOM.

That last lingering memory of darkness bled into that moment of darkness as the sphere came back online. The darkness of that moment which was the result of being buried over 150 metres below the center of the crater. Though none were there to hear it, the sphere loosed a low sonic hum which vibrations allowed it to easily free itself from the earth. It went silent again and rose straight into the air, stopping to hover several hundred metres above the crater.

It began to broadcast its myriad signals in all directions, some designed to reach out, others to bring in. Once it scanned the environment in its range it moved silently onward to scan another area, and another, and another, determined. Driven. It learned everything it could about the southern end of the valley, and had moved on long well before Terra Team came upon the impact site.

Moving steadily northward in its sweeping path to scan the entire valley floor, it had hundreds of thousands of square kilometres before it would reach Star's End. At its unyielding pace, it would not take long to make the journey.
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