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EXTREME SPOILERS for Week World Planet Jam Two. Do not proceed further under any circumstance.
NARRATIVE RETRANSLATION FOLLOWS. Interval of accuracy 87%. Retranslation certified CLEAR of cognitohazardous information.
The vast rocket that will carry
Fulcrum's Promise to orbit leaps into the sky, all four crew safely aboard.
The planet Armstrong is cold and a little wet, with a speckling of green life brought by the people who now live here.
Though one of the engines fails, the spacecraft can still continue to orbit.
Pyri, Armstrong's parent star, is much closer than the two stars that bring light to its people.
It is only a short ride out to the target- both worlds orbit fast.
As the engines on
Fulcrum's Promise ignite for the insertion burn, the spacecraft groans alarmingly. No source of the sound is recorded in the logs.
There were hopes, but they have been dashed.
Gnomon certainly cannot make it to the surface on a world like this and return- they will have to head back home and design a more advanced mission.
"Abort landing operations, repeat ABORT landing operations,
Gnomon is not qualified for an off-runway landing. Fulcrum's Promise, ABORT." The commander stares at the camera. Something is haunting their eyes. They try to speak, then think better of it. The camera feed goes dark.
Command has had suspicions since before the ship reached visual range, but still does not realize that they are no longer in control. The moment
Gnomon separates, they fetch people- family, friends, commanding officers, anyone to make the crew reconsider.
The crew do not listen.
Can they listen?
The telemetry still comes in. Is that a blessing or a curse? Temperatures and pressures remain almost distubingly nominal as
Gnomon heads for its final destination.
The aircraft speeds towards the ground, and glides almost around the entire world.
It takes clear effort, but
Gnomon is coaxed into a landing path.
With its speed steadily dropping,
Gnomon heads in.
A deep furrow is carved out, one of many on the planet's surface. At one end lies
Gnomon, its honeycomb reentry tiling crushed back against the hull. A long, silent moment after landing- just long enough for Command to consider if the crew are dead... and then, movement. A stirring within the cabin.
The commander steps out of the airlock, and stares at their new home. They turn to the hatch camera- formulating the first words after landing? One brief, naive moment- surely everything is okay, it can't be like this.... A mouth opens. "
[NARRATIVE INTERRUPT: RETRANSLATION RETAINS COGNITOHAZARDOUS QUALITIES. CLASSIFIED SCARLET DEEP | COSMIC TOP SECRET.]
And it is a song, a mere whisper, a dirge, a cry for help. It is exhorting the void to listen,
demanding a response. That is life as a whole: the voice calling I was here, dammit, . Antichthon is the answer: listen! I know you are here. I see you. You will be remembered. The processes that formed those spiral paths- they are the universe speaking. You can trace those spirals ever-downward, on scales from the planetary to the molecular. The fractal is all-encompassing. You believe, don't you? Let's go there and find out. Together, we will be remembered.