The planet had not been like this. Over the course of the last few thousand years, it became less habitable for humanoids and warm-blooded creatures. It was hard to tell if the atmosphere thinned thus releasing the heat to space or the star itself cooled and decreased the temperature of the planet. Or another possibility that pollution blocked the heating rays of the sun and over the centuries dissipated along with the atmosphere.
Cara looked up raising her chin so she could look straight in at the XO. “Well bridge scans told us they were using the geothermal energy at this location. I would wager a good guess part of that was for survival. Geothermal energy can be harnessed for a lot, beneficial and destructive. So far the building seems quite unwelcoming by our standards. But if this was built by an alien race it could be quite welcomeung, we just don’t understand the tech. Defense, but against what? The Darkness? That might be too simple a conclusion.” She nodded and backed up down the path a bit and pulled a pair of old fashioned binoculars out of her pocket. Sometimes the eyes saw what a tricorder did not. She slowly scanned what she could see of the building, looking for distinguishing architecture that might indicate a purpose or the people that built it, identifying marks, signs of life, anything that might give a clue. Then she did the same for the surrounding land. Perhaps even a door or entrance way built away from the building to control the flow of traffic in or indicate an emergency exit.
“I can’t see this being much defense against the Darkness,” he mused. “Perhaps the Darkness is a more recent event in the area as well. This kind of facility would stand out and not be of much help against an anti-proton weapon.”
“Well scans show this is a recent climactic change based on cosmic standards,” Lexi qualified it. “I am getting all kinds of reading but there is enough nickle readings in the soil to indicate the volcano blew at some point. It would have been enough to cause a vast cooling and then greenhouse event but those effects would only have lasted a few decades.” Lexi’s voice trailed off as she thought about the situation. Looking at the XO she continued. “I think we could be looking at a Great Permian-like event where several things combined to destroy this world and make it less habitable for humanoids and warm-blooded creatures over the past few thousand years. The atmosphere is far thinner than normal but this is typically a slow event that would allow life to adapt much like it does in mountainous regions. This is only a hypothesis but the star around this planet is a white dwarf. Stellar cartography is keeping an eye on it and it is stable but white dwarfs send out pulses of energy that can strip away the atmosphere. So we are either dealing with a society that had some form of pollution that killed the planet or the star cooled and has been sending pulses of solar winds down stripping the environment. This could be why the Darkness might be avoiding the planet. Nothing like dodging pulsar energy to give a getaway a bumpy ride.”
“In short, we are still working on how things may have been,” Jen said, not surprised, but with a definite tone of ‘I’m impressed’ with her suppositions. “Good catch on the nickel.” A blast of cold jarred him. It was nice but even he squinted into it. Cold was nice. He was on the fence with too much wind.
The binoculars didn’t reveal too much beyond what the eye could see. However, this location was well situated as there was a natural nook that the base was built into.
He looked at the others and stood aside to make the panel visible to them. “Ladies and gents, this looks to be our keyhole. Let’s find the key.”
- Jen, XO
“Open says-a-you,” Lexi word played the old-fashioned open sesame saying as she took a step back. The XO was a Marine and was far better equipped to take out something if anything was behind the door.
Lexi Robbins, Science
Jen figured that this was something that could be overcome. It had not been opened perhaps in a millennia. Who was to say it wasn’t stuck or jammed. But that said, it looked like something that could be picked. It had power and it was warmer inside with an atmosphere of sorts. There was no life detected beyond. Still, Jen shifted to the side to allow him to have a view of the entry but not a fully direct path. He said to those about him. “Tech level of this door’s machinery?”
- Jen, XO
While the authorities were working on the door, Jen pondered just transporting them in. However, since they found a possible door knob as it were he was fine to let the troops work at it. It would be a good exercise for them and, perhaps for them, the cold might speed them along. For him, he found the cold a pleasant change and was willing to let things go for a little while longer before taking what may be considered the ‘easy’ path. He tapped his badge to give an update to the ship.
=^= Jen to Atlantis. We are at the door to the structure. It’s very weather beaten but we believe we have found a powered panel and hope to be through shortly. The weather is .. like a day at the beach. =^= He let out a smile as he said that.
- Jen, XO
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