Well then, Class B, we’ve arrived!

Please turn off all embedded software, and make your way into the shuttle so that we can – What’s that, Jun? No, absolutely no music please, I feel silence is the best soundtrack here . . . Now, come along, keep it orderly . . . Yes, over there is fine, Teg . . . What? . . . No, we won’t be landing there, it’s still not safe . . . Alright, everybody settled? Children, get ready for a slight jolt . . . There it is, and off we go! . . .

Now, as you can see, the planet is roughly similar in size to our own, albeit possessed of a greater percentage of land. Note the distribution of storms over the continents, the intricate patterns of light shifting through the spectrum as the sharp divider between day and night rolls past . . . If I bring up the display – there we go – you can even discern the tidal effects from the nearby satellite moon . . . Now, who’d like to get a little closer? . . . Ha-ha, I thought so. Alright, everybody hang on! We’ll be through the clouds in a second . . .

Ah, there it is, will you look at that! Beautiful, do you agree? See how the mountains, though much smaller than any on our own world, are yet capped with ice? . . . Teg, will you please take your finger out of your – ah – that’s better . . . Observe the layers of striation upon the peaks. That’s contamination, caused by the – Yes, Jun, it’s still biologically active, but the species that once lived here are long gone and – I’m sorry, Jun? – What killed them? . . . Well, would anyone care to speculate? . . . Climate change, good, Esh, but no . . . Yes, Raz? . . . No, not an asteroid . . . Teg! Are you even listening to me? Take it out! . . . Mas? . . . That’s right, Mas, well done . . . It was a war . . . The different bands represent degrees of fallout. Our scientists estimate that a single, calamitous event was responsible for the death of almost all life here, most likely a primitive nuclear technology, such as we once possessed and – Teg! Do not make me ask you again! You’re four years old, not an infant! . . .

Oh, look children, we’re coming up on one of their cities, if you all look to your left! . . . That’s your right, Teg . . . Do you see? I’ll bring us in among the taller structures.

 

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