6 Ma’avoun, Ninth Year of the 302nd Ăstraya
Earth Year 1710
Skadren pulled his heavy coat tighter around himself as twin landers descended, bearing the last of the reserve crew from the ringship orbiting above, and with them, completion of the first wave of Hebitian colonists to Yarte’krinek. What a long journey it had been for all of them—fifteen months in transit and all the time before that preparing their immune systems for first contact with their new world.
The young Hebitian smiled. He’d wondered during the banquet before they went into pre-launch isolation if Ari Velet, the grandson of ‘Nemek Mayak,’ had gotten tired of hearing colonist after colonist gush about how The Spark in Yartek’s Eye
had set them on their path to this place of stone and algae. They had conjectured so much—the hothouses, the electroinsulation suits worn by the workers in the most highly-charged parts of the power plant…well…Hebitia hadn’t quite invented fusion reactors yet, but scientists were hard at work on the theory now. How Tehir Mejurak had foreseen that
without any knowledge of the atom…coincidence? Vision? What?
, Skadren decided. How far we have come…from gaslight and steam to a home in space in ninety years.
That was another miracle. Skadren wished the prescient couple had lived to see this day. To enjoy their fame under their own names.
The landers touched down in flawless synch on the tarmac. The screech of engines gave way to the chanting of Guides as the final passengers disembarked. And the light of Verkoun gently teased at the gold script shining on each vessel’s side:
. Miti Mejurak