In Verse Proportion; Chapter 120, Brown 233

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Stories from the Verse
In Verse Proportion
Chapter 120:  Brown 233
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Slade 206

Derek found a peculiarity in reviewing the robot’s data.  It seemed the level of daylight stellar radiation was higher than that on earth, but the robot calculated it as acceptable for settlement.  He realized that this was one of the differences between himself and the indigs--the low levels of chlorophyll in their skin meant that they could benefit from higher levels of radiant light.

Well, he wasn’t planning on a human colony here.  He and Vashti were, as far as he knew, the only humans in the world, and if Shella was correct they would never have children.  So the fact that the environment was more suited to his shipload of chlorophyll-laced indigs than it was for him was actually a point in its favor.

The night passed uneventfully.  He thought perhaps it got a bit cooler than he would have anticipated, but then realized that this would be a feature of the thirty-hour day:  daylight for fifteen hours, plus-or-minus, meant that by early afternoon the surface had been bombarded with illuminating radiation for ten hours, longer than an entire winter’s day back home, and then there would be fifteen hours overnight for the surface to cool.  So the temperature swings would be more extreme, and particularly near the solstices when either the day or the night would be longest.  But the calculations suggested that these would be survivable, and the ship was providing shelter that should accommodate indigs safely.

Derek let the full thirty hours elapse, so that the shuttle had been on the ground for a full day.  It occurred to him that he might have liked to have seen what their storms were like, and he probably had the ability to fly around the world landing in different locations to see the snow, the rain, the wind, the heat--but he was satisfied, partly by the evidence and partly by his faith that the King had sent him here to do this, that the indigs could live on this world.  They would have to learn how to survive, but already they were learning.

The Wanderer was right where he left it, in geosynchronous orbit above their campground.  Because he used planetary rotational velocity to help him achieve escape velocity with minimal use of energy, he decided to orbit the planet once to return to the ship.  It occurred to him that this would have been easier had he left something aboard to act as a scriff beacon, but his pilot training and Vashti’s navigational skills were more than adequate to track the ship, and it gave him the opportunity to get closer looks at the two moons, mostly for aesthetic value.  Vashti marveled at seeing them close-up.

“Does our moon look like that?” she asked.

“Well, I won’t say that they’re all different, because we were just on a planet that was very like home, but it does seem that there are many different kinds of planets and moons out there.  Some are made entirely of rock, or of dust, or of ice, or of gasses.  I’m told that one planet, large enough that you could fit the earth into it hundreds of time, and having a dozen moons of its own, would actually float if you had an ocean large enough for it to rest atop.  So our moon looks kind of like that, but also unlike that.”  They went on to talk about other planets and what they were thought to be like for quite a while during the rest of the trip.

Finishing the orbit, he carefully landed the shuttle in the shuttle airlock, and moved it into its bay.  They took their gear back to their quarters, and Derek assigned the robot to return to the officer’s galley and prepare supper for them, then reported to the bridge.

“Commander Derek requesting permission to enter the bridge,” he said.

“Permission granted.  What have you to report, commander?”

“I expect you have already seen the data from our planetary survey.  I am recommending that The Wanderer be landed at or near the site at which we landed the shuttlecraft, and the residents be systematically disembarked along with shelters and equipment to begin settling the surface.”

There was a pause, and Derek knew that the captain was not particularly happy about having found a suitable planet for colonization, but because of its programming would have to agree.

“Very good.  Would you like to begin the landing procedure now?”

“I think that it will take a while to be ready to land.  For one thing, I want to synch the day/night cycle of the ship with that of the planet.  For another, Commander Vashti and I have just returned from a planetary mission, and we will need to bathe, eat, and sleep.  I will see to the adjustment to the ship’s diurnal clock now, but we will begin the deceleration and calculations for landing tomorrow.”

“Very good,” the captain said.

“Permission to leave the bridge?”


He returned to his quarters.  He wasn’t sure how to change the day/night cycle aboard the ship, but was certain it could be done.  He would do it slowly--increase by an hour a day, split between day and night, and in ten days they should be matched; but he would have to calculate it more carefully than that, because he wanted the ship’s noon and noon at the landing site to coincide.  But he tackled it, and had it ready in time for supper, and joined Vashti for a shower and sleep not long thereafter.

Next chapter:  Chapter 121:  Kondor 215
Table of Contents

There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with twenty other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #452:  Versers Ready.  Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter.  It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.

As to the old stories that have long been here:

Verse Three, Chapter One:  The First Multiverser Novel

Old Verses New

For Better or Verse

Spy Verses

Garden of Versers

Versers Versus Versers

Stories from the Verse Main Page

The Original Introduction to Stories from the Verse

Read the Stories

The Online Games

Books by the Author

Go to Other Links

M. J. Young Net

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