A blast of bright light pierced through the darkness as the Petrachelys completed its hyperspace warp jump and entered a whole new galaxy.
The holographic display showed the scene captured by the surveillance optics outside the ship and created a star map via circular hologram on the bridge. Hao Ren saw the system before him. It was slightly greyish, meaning that the system was surrounding by a massive cluster of Oort cloud. While the star map showed a straight continuous bright belt, and in the belt were countless of individual lights, as if thousands upon thousands of stars had congregated there. It seems like the place was a cradle of stars, and it was churning out new stars every moment, and launching them towards the galaxy.
"Such a....magnificent place.", Y'zaks said as he momentarily turned away from his papers as soon as they arrived. He looked around. "Seems like the Siren's home galaxy is still young."
"Io is just right in front of us. Apporaching destination." the MDT voice was broadcasted through the comms system. "Just a few more.... Alright, you can see it now."
Before the holographic display, a dim-looking planet was quickly expanding into view. It was totally covered by ocean mass and the planet was in a perpetual blue hue. Only a few white clusters appeared on the northern hemisphere of the planet. They were floating glaciers. The southern hemisphere was canvassed by a massive layer of clod and based on Nasaton's records, the clouds were an atmopsheric phenomenon that cycles year by year across the face of the planet. The Sirens of yore called it the 'Sky Curtain.'
The Sun wasa facing the side of the Petrachelys and Io as it shone across the planet's surface, giving it a glistening sheen.
"So this is the Siren's home planet...." Lily said as she lay back on the bridge seat. Turning around she looked at the Siren Queen, "That's your old home."
Shaqira and Sorma stared unblinkingly towards at the holographic display. The sea covered planet was the only thing in their eyes now. It took a while before Hao Ren asked, "So... how do you feel now?"
"I... don't know..." Shaqira looked rather confused. "I thought I would be very excited, but I don't feel anything special about the planet when I see it... Almost as if I can't even fathom this was the place of my birth."
Nangong Sanba stood up as he tidied up his black long coat and struck a pose as if to give some motivational speech. "That's because you're in space. A homeland is grass and water, it's the streets, the cacophony of activities in the streets. If you don't experience these, it's not truly homecoming. Besides, seeing a 3D model of your planet is hardly a way for you to experience...."
Wuyue raised her head and threw a glance at her brother. "Can you stop acting cool, brother? That motivation speech is just so drab... and if I remember correctly you had used it twenty years ago, with some old Chinese folks. You even got two white jade rings from them."
".... And why did you conveninently left out the fact I could three evil spirits for the old man!?"
Seeing these two siblings bicker is definitely much more fun that seeing Wuyue prodding the floor panel with her tail.
The Petrachelys soon arrived on Io as turned towards the sun facing side of the planet. As this planet had no landmass, there were no proper landing points and Hao Ren decided to park the ship on a piece of floating glacier. Just as the ship were making the final approach, a flicker of light blinked on the holographic display. Hao Ren looked towards the light and noted that there was something floating on the northern hemisphere of Io and he immediately changed course towards it.
"What's that?" Lily's ears perked up as she entered her curious husky mode. "Seems like a space station?"
The Petrachelys were closing in on the space station that emitted the flickering strobes anda curved outline started forming. It was almost like a massive city that looked like it had layers upon layers of shells on it. Around the place were a circle of crystal-encrusted high walls, but there were nothing above the city. It seems like it was supposed to be a energy barrier of sorts but its gone now.
Hao Ren felt that it looked very familiar and was immediately reminded, "Doesn't this look almost the same as the Nasaton?"
"I almost couldn't recognise it from above!" Vivian was surprised. "So... this is the other migrant ship? Why didn't it launched?"
"Approach it slowly. MDT, run through the database we had previously copied from Nasaton's data vault. See if there's any sister ships for Nasaton or something."
Hao Ren's previous attention were all drawn on Io and the Siren's fragmented history and he overlooked many items that were taken from Nasaton's datavault. Now that he had seen another migrant ship, he realised that he needed to check if the Sirens had built any other escape vessels and their subsequent fate."
The Petrachelys was closing in on the spaceship that looked like Nasaton and the MDT's voice rang. "Scanning through the datavault... There are three sister ships for Nasaton, The Zalazarn, The Antwern and the Palasion. The Antwern had undergone special modification, and has a signature alloy core tower. The other ships are similar to the Nasaton, seems like they were built from the same blueprint.
"So that should be one of the mass-produced designs then." Hao Ren's interest was immediately piqued. "Any signs of threats?"
"The initial scans shows that there are no signs of life onboard, but cannot discount the possiblity of any difficult to recognise alien life forms.
The Petrachelys may be a very advanced spacecraft, but it was only a few hundred meters long. Beside the massive hulk it was like a speck of dust. Hao Ren let the ship slowly maneuver its way above the derelict as he paid full attention is checking out the ship's status. The derelict had clearly inert and now floated aimlessly on Io's orbit, rotating slowly as it went. The Siren Queen looked on for a moment before saying. "It doesn't have a water dome."
"Forget the water dome, it's dry as a husk." Lily mumbled as she shook her head.
The ship's barrier had deactivated and there were many signs of damage on the outer walls. The water that once flow through the spacecraft had long evaporated. Many of the internal structures and facilites were exposed to the dry vacuum as it was mercilessly degraded by the scorching sun and cosmic radiation.
Hao Ren saw a series of post-explosion rents on the rear of the ship and this was undoubtedly the main reason why the ship had lost all functions. But who was the culprit?
Was it the brain monster, or the First Born?
Hao ren looked towards the control dias, "Eh, brick, have you detected the teleportation gate?"
"No. It could be located deep in the ocean, or it is also hidden within a dimensional gap like Nasaton. I need to run a thorough planetary scan. And let me remind you that I'm a MDT, you cannot just come up with a nickname..."
"Any signs of the brain monster?"
"Will need to run a scan to determine that too. I'm not done yet, you need to respect the worth of a PDA..."
"Go on then. Place a few more scouting drones. The brain monster might already be waiting for us down there." Hao Ren said as he headed towards the bridge door. "I'll lead a party to check on the derelict. To confirm the cause of explosion. I'll be back in a jiffy."
"Oh. Sure. But I still want to stress the fact that I'm an MDT..."
Hao Ren had totally ignored the MDT and marched towards the teleporter. As he walked he asked. "So who's coming? Bring your lifehoop with you."
Lily immediately leapt up to follow, "Mr Landlord wait! I'll come. Say, I've put a bell on the collar, is it cute...."
Vivian sighed as she too followed. "I'll go, just the two of you alone worry me to death."
The trio then left the Petrachelys as they were teleported towards the outer wall of the derelict. After letting out a few signal flares the Petrachelys had disappeared swiftly into the horizon. It was going to do a full scan on Io.
The derelict had no power, and it was without question it did not had artificial gravity as well. Exploring the place would need some measure of skill. Hao Ren demurred as he tried to plan the best path towards the explosion area as he reminded the two ladies through the comms. "Be careful out there. Don't run into the pillars, neither of you are still used to movement in space."
Just as he finished his sentence Lily had already darted ahead excitedly and crashed headlong into one of the thick alloy pillars, her head was stuck in it for a good while...
"Well... crashing into one isn't a problem then."