Dr. Earl Jones raised the microphone to his mouth. “Deep Probe One, can you read me? This is Mission Control at NASA. What is your status right now?”
There was no response to his inquiry.
He was standing in front of a huge monitor inside the mission operation center of NASA. Around him were several technicians, and analysts seated before consoles, and monitors, but none of them focused on their monitors. Like Dr. Jones, they were all watching the huge screen on the wall, on which they could see a spherical mass of blue, green, and brown floating in space. The multi-colored ball appeared to come closer to the screen, becoming larger.
Dr. Earl Jones brought the microphone to his mouth again. “Deep Probe One, can you read me? From the visuals you are relaying, we know you are making quick advancement towards your destination, but we need to know the status of your crew at this moment.”
Still, there was only silence.
A hand on his shoulder made him jump, “Dr. Mariah?” he asked, holding the microphone away from his lips.
“I am sorry to interrupt you Dr. Jones, but do you think they made it?”
He glanced at the image on the monitor, “I don’t know, but if I am to guess, I would say the hypersonic jump to that quadrant of space might have affected them.”
Her face paled in horror. “Does that mean they might have all perished?”
“I am afraid so.”
“What a pity.” She shook her head, looking saddened. “At least, their ship was pre-programmed to relay all images to us, here at NASA, without any human input.”
“True, but I regret that we didn’t freeze the crew in cyro-state.”
Mariah nodded, agreeing with her supervisor. “They could have woken up upon arrival. Maybe that would have been a better decision.”
“Of course, it would have, but not with all the pressure from the White House! It have been too much for us to carefully consider the best options.”
“Yes, that’s true.”
“But who would blame the President? Ever since we discovered the birth of this new planet, it has been literally a race against time to beat other nations to be the first to set foot there.”
“Especially since we were the first to witness its birth. I don’t think we have ever assembled a shuttle to serve as an investigation probe as fast as this.”
“And in our haste, we made an avoidable mistake of sending humans without freezing them.”
“We cannot say for sure what is wrong with the crew yet, Dr. Jones,” she said in assurance. “We can only hope that they are alright at the moment.”
“Yes, you are right. We can only hope that it’s just transmission errors, but I really hope that—”
Before Dr. Jones could finish his sentence, he was interrupted by an incoming static—“Hello. Hello. Come in NASA. This is Deep Probe One. Come in NASA.”
They both gazed at the screen.
“Yes, Deep Probe One,” Dr. Jones replied hastily, his voice excited, and his shoulders fell in relief. “This is NASA. We can hear you loud, and clear. What is your status at the moment?”
“Everyone in the crew is accounted for, NASA,” came the response. “Although we are a bit groggy, and dizzy; we are all in good shape.”
Dr. Jones smiled. “Thank goodness you are all safe.”
“Yes, we are all glad to be safe. Do you have the visuals of our approach to the new planet?”
“Absolutely, Deep Probe One. We have been receiving them since you completed the hyper-sonic jump. I must say that the planet looks really beautiful from here.”
“It is even more beautiful up close, NASA.”
“How soon do you think you can make contact?”
“At our current speed, we should be landing on its surface within three minutes.”
“Make sure that you maintain all audio, and video transmission as you descend.”
“Affirmative. We are proceeding for descend.”
Dr. Jones, and his colleagues watched as the planet zoomed closer. As the space ship breached the planet’s atmosphere, clouds floated in, then came huge blue oceans, brown mountain tops, and green landscapes.
Dr. Mariah smiled broadly. “This is going to be a new Earth.”
“And it is our country that first discovered it. This is really great. Despite all the odds, we still made it.”
The spacecraft eventually found a clearing, and landed. “NASA, confirm landed safely. Confirm the launch of drones. Relay of live feed in 3, 2, 1.”
Multiple screens started relaying live feeds of different parts of the surrounding area. And the team at NASA was studying, and analyzing the Feeds.
“Attention Captain Smith, drone 47K4 reported the existence of life.”
“Dispatch to investigate, and report back within twelve hours, and be armed.”
“Dr. Jones This is deep probe one reporting back. We found beings, and they are very humanoid, in shape, size, and appearance. They’re dressed in leaves, and animal skin. They live in caves, but we found them socially developing, living with families, and using handmade tools. They are not hostile, and communicating in a language we don’t understand. In summary, we believe that these beings are humans in the Stone Age, and so far, we have accounted for a total of forty. We believe we can teach them to expedite their development, and turn them into civilized humans.”
Dr. Jones sent the report to the white house, overwhelmed by the extraordinary discovery of a prehistoric Earth.
A reply came from the white house—
‘Plant the USA flag on the ground to claim ownership. Concerning the prehistoric beings, kill them all. Conduct a media conference immediately, and announce the discovery of an uninhabited Earth-like planet, owned by the USA’.