38-Valkyrie’s View: A Year Among the Stars

February 7th, 2552 New Protocols
Metallurgy trainee/Lab Rat – Katherine ‘Kat’ James Reporting

Spending the night onboard the Twilight was— surreal. There’s only a skeleton crew, and everyone there was either sleeping with a spacesuit in hand, sleeping in an escape pod – or simply not sleeping.

I spent most of the night dozing in front of the isolated sample watching its reaction to atmosphere and the lack thereof as it went through its pre-programmed test. I wrote everything I observed, but I left the conclusions to Raven, the lead metallurgist on the Valkyrie.

When the results were finally disposed of, and I was allowed back on board the Valkyrie’s View – I was arrested by the ship’s guard for being AWOL— again. This time they knew they were right since I wasn’t even onboard the ship.

They did at least wait until I’d been through decontamination and a really nice hot shower. Sleeping in the brig meant I didn’t have to worry about being disturbed until word filtered through to Commander Daniels.

When he asked me why I’d waited to notify him, I admitted, “I needed a nap.”

By the time I was released, Dr. Raven O’Connell had finished analyzing the results and presenting them, along with a safety protocol for all pilots on exploratory missions to adhere to.

We now have a secondary landing craft – a drone made out of the same material as the landing craft, with one lander designed to test the planetary reactions to every piece of material we use. That craft lands, takes samples and then lifts off and is then intercepted in flight, the results are read off, the samples isolated (after determining that they can be isolated) and then the whole thing is taken back to the Twilight for analysis and review.

If everything checks out – the pilot will then be allowed to land the next day.

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