The First Planet

We didn’t talk much when we woke up. She doesn’t trust me. Whatever. That’s fine, I guess. This is just for science and discovery anyway. We don’t need to get all chummy. 

Scanners indicated that we were approaching the first planet. It doesn’t have a breathable atmosphere, so we’ll have to use life support systems. There are signs of life down there, which is honestly a little exciting. Maybe scary. I don’t know how I feel about it. The first planet we discovered already has life on it. Is it hostile? Are we hostile? How will they perceive us?

We don’t even have guns. No weapons of any kind. Those bastards want us to discover new planets, but they don’t even want us to have any sort of protection? Doesn’t make sense to me.

She came over to my ship to go down to the planet. Our ships are connected to each other with a long tube going to the starship, and we can disconnect at any time. Protocol states that we can choose to go down together or go separately. I wanted to go separately, seeing how she doesn’t really trust me or talk to me at all. She wanted to save fuel. I suppose that’s fine.

Atmospheric reentry was easy enough. Wait, do you call it reentry if you’ve never entered before? Maybe I should call it an atmospheric entry instead.

Atmospheric entry was easy enough. Systems are fine. This brand new spaceship works pretty well, and we burned very little fuel. The air is heavy here, so we spent a lot of time just gliding. She found us a few spots to look into. The first was in a canyon. It’s snowing here, which is kind of neat. That means there is water here. 

Things got a little treacherous when we landed and started surveying the land around us. Underneath the snow, there’s plant life, the kind that doesn’t wilt and die in the snow like our planet. It’s mostly vines, and they move ever so slightly. I remember seeing videos as a child of plants growing. The plant breaks out of its seed and starts aiming upward towards the sun. Those videos are sped up. At their natural speed, it takes a plant a few days to even get out of its seed, let alone start growing towards sunlight. Here on this planet, it’s different. They move right before your eyes! We couldn’t stay still for very long before the vines started growing around our legs and equipment. She almost got wrapped up entirely before I managed to cut her loose.

The ship got stuck, too. Some of these weird vines started wrapping around the landing gear. We had to hit the gas pretty hard to break the bigger ones. Next time, we’ll bring some bigger knives, I guess.

We finished our readings at the first site already. The computer on the starship told us that it picked up another potential landing spot. She and I both agreed that we didn’t really want to see it, though. This planet’s atmosphere isn’t breathable for humans, and the plant-life already tried to kill us. But she said we have to think of the mission. Stupid mission.

The second site was on a mountain-side. And let me tell you what, it was hell trying to get the ship up there. The flight itself was fine. I’m a talented pilot, after all! But landing was something else entirely. The starship computer found us a landing zone, but there’s no way we could land there. I guess the computer doesn’t factor in plants and snow. I improvised, and I think I annoyed her when I did it. There was a flat spot in the mountains, and that was the best I could do.

Let’s see, what else am I supposed to talk about in this journal? I don’t really know. She did all the science work. I just helped set up the equipment. The readings up here were the same as down in the canyon. No breathable air. I was wrong about the snow, too. Turns out that’s just frozen methane blowing around. Huh! I guess it just goes to show you that I’m really the wrong person for this mission. I’m just the pilot. I don’t know jack shit about any of this planetary science stuff.

The plants up here are different, too. They look like big ferns, but they’re blue. Is that because of the methane? I don’t know. And neither does she. Whatever it is, they’re not edible. I told her for the sake of humanity, I’d be willing to try eating it. She didn’t even laugh. Tough one, she is.

We’re back in the starship now. I got our trajectory plugged in for the next planet. It’s going to be about three months until we’re there. And according to her, that’s long enough to go back to sleep.

With any luck, a meteor will hit us and I’ll never wake up.