“This is Captain Janice Harpe of the Odysseus in orbit around TRAPPIST-1d,” she pauses for breath. The report she was trained to make all those years ago clings to her throat. She was a young child when the first of the ships left Earth. Her home, as she came to know it, was on Colony-5, before it was stripped of its resources and skilled and left to drift somewhere outside the Oort Cloud. She was sent for training on Colony-2 after her physical examination revealed her unsuited for the general population. She was lucky.
“We arrived in the Trappist system five months ago. At first, we scouted it; tracked the planets’ orbits, collected data on their atmospheres, or lack thereof, and looked for signs of water. As suspected, D was our best hope,” Janice pauses and tucks a stray lock of her black hair behind her ear. It has been weeks since their last contact with the other teams or with Colony-1. She rubs her eyes with her thumb and index; artificial lighting