Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades

Beyond the Eye of Chaos: Part 2, Episode 1

Captain Ayar of the starship Valhalla awakens from something resembling a stasis pod. He addresses the ship's AI, Amitabha, confirming that she is to awaken the rest of his crew, the Valkyries. The first of them is his chief science officer and second in command, Katia. Last to be woken is the youngest of them, Dominic, with the others standing by to restrain him if necessary. Upon awakening Dominic immediately begins arguing, as though continuing an ongoing argument, that they should have let him continue to interrogate someone he calls "the Queen", insisting that there is something the leader of the Foundation, Xio, is not telling them. He says that the Queen implied the Foundation is orders of magnitude older than they even think it is, and he thinks their entire mission here is suspect. But Ayar puts a quick end to that by pointing out that as the first Valkyrie he was personally there when the Foundation began mere centuries ago. Furthermore, he reminds Dominic that they are now in an alien star system a century's travel time from Earth, and that if they want the Foundation to unseal the "Eye of Chaos", the artificial wormhole with which they're now docked, and let them take the quick way home, they will have to complete their mission and confirm that there are no threats on this side of it.

Dominic concedes that point at least, and the crew set to preparing for their mission. While Amitabha and the main ship remain docked with the Eye in the outer reaches of the star system, in superluminal communication with Sol through the ansible link at its core, the crew take a landing ship deeper into the inner star system. They find one habitable world, and observe it cautiously from a distance, finding that it appears to have been extensively geo-engineered, but shows no signs of current technological civilization.

They approach closer, but their landing ship is shot at by an advanced weapon from the planet's surface. Critically damaged beyond safe landability and continuing to take damage too quickly to reach the surface anyway, the Valkyries are forced to abandon the ship in escape pods and descend quickly to the surface while its wreck continues to draw the alien weapon's fire.