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“First Encounter”


4 Small Stars
First Encounter

Not to give you a spoiler right off the bat, but I’m not a fan of “monster” or “horror” science fiction. This book kind of fits into those categories, but you may have a different opinion.

The UNES Forerunner One is one of three Earth colony ships to be launched around 2072 for a new system called Trappist-1. It’s now 2150 AD and Forerunner One is approaching its destination. Obviously, the entire crew hasn’t been active the entire trip. No, they were in cryo-sleep for most of the journey. Select members of the crew were on duty for up to two weeks at a time monitoring systems and making sure things were going as planned. Captain Clayton Cross also did his duty shift using going into cryo-sleep for upto six months and then on duty for two-weeks. On the trip out to Trappist-1, it was comfortingly boring.

No one is exactly sure what they will find in the new system. This is a colony ship so they do hope to find and settle on one of the planets in the Trappist system. There are about three such planets in the “Goldilocks” zone, an area around the star capable of sustaining human life. They have chosen to land on Trappist-1E. The Captain and the Executive Officer will be in the initial landing party. This pretty ridiculous, but pretty standard for science fiction books!

Aboard Forerunner One is Richard Morgan, Ambassador for the United Nations of Earth. Technically, he was in charge of this mission although he wasn’t in the military. Captain Clayton didn’t like this arrangement, but as long as the Ambassador stayed out of his way, he could work with it. The Ambassador did insist that he be part of the initial landing party in case they did meet an intelligent species for which the Ambassador was would make first contact.

The landing party landed and started exploring the dense jungle of Trappist-1E. What they find there is not going to go well. It even results in Forerunner One getting chased out of the Trappist-1 system by unknown aliens. So, Earth or humans have had their first contact. Now Captain Clayton has not choice but to return to Earth and warn humanity of what he has found.

He only hopes it’s not too late. It’s possible the aliens might beat him home after-all, they seem to have FTL which would make their journey only months while it will take him another seventy-eight years to get back!

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