Casual Play Astrogation

Chi Wararu Haldeman 39j (Declinati)

The growl and grumble of the phasedrive winding down rattles through the ship, lingers in traces as you push back into the normal flow of space-time. Sliding into an orbit around a world that shines with shades of gray-white and glacial blue, you wade into the feeds from your ship's sensors, start skimming data, looking for anything out of place, anything unusual.

The planet below you looks almost serene. A peaceful ball of snow and ice, only a handful of scattered clouds crawl through the dense gasses of its skies, spread out filmy, gauze-like. There are no moons, and the star of the world is so distant that it's barely visible, looks like little more than a glowing pin-prick of blue light.

Scans pick up little of interest– just ice, rock covered by meters and meters of ice. No ships, no settlements, no cities, no sign of anything but the bitter cold and the endless ice.

There's no reason to stay, you decide. This world was probably never anything to anyone but another anonymous ball of ice or, if it was something else at some point, any evidence of that has likely been ground into dust between the stone surface and the glaciers which have carved and compressed it over the course of millenia. You check through the data your ship's integrated intelligence is still collating, just glance at it quickly to see if anything pops up, but nothing does. The phasedrive spins up, prepares itself for the moment when it will fling you and your ship back into between-space.

And that's when you notice it.

It's almost invisible, almost impossible to detect. Only a nagging sense that something should be where nothing is gives it away. An open frequency, a channel, empty of stellar noise or voices, just waiting, waiting for something.

Waiting for a word, maybe.


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