Forrest Cameranesi: Geek of all Trades

(1x05) Veil of the Foundation: Part 2, Episode 1

Captain Thorir 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 Einherjar. The first of them is his second in command Ayar, then lieutenant Lu, and chief science officer 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 Thorir puts a quick end to that by pointing out that as the first Einherjar 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 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 portal 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, possessing an unnatural symmetry. The southern end of the planet is entirely ocean, scattered more and more densely with larger and larger islands the closer to the equator it gets, until at the equator they finally merge into a solid landmass, fringed at first with extensive bays and peninsulas, then only rivers snaking deep into the solid continuous continent of the north. Perfectly ringing the north pole is a wall of titanic mountains, which branch out into six other evenly-spaces mountain ranges that run longitudinally to the sea and become the most prominent island chains reaching out into the southern ocean. But despite these obvious signs of the very geography of the planet having been shaped by some enormous technological might, the planet at present shows no signs at all 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 ability to land and continuing to take damage too quickly to reach the surface anyway, the Einherjar 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.

Next: Darak Meij: Part 2, Episode 1