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From the holovid report of TOM CONNERY, Commander, Terran Republic, Discovery-1 October 23, 2640.
I’m still coming to terms with what we experienced just three days ago.
The wormhole opened on the 20th, right on schedule. It had felt, initially, like the weight of the world was taken off of my shoulders. I heard cheering over every open channel when we had received positive confirmations of it forming. The doubts of the people could finally be squashed with this irrefutable evidence. The initial wave of 38 ships, including the Discovery-1, scrambled to engage engines to go through, but we had already fallen safely on the other side. Twelve more ships followed us into the rift. The wormhole wasn’t nearly as deep as we had initially thought.
Based on our previous analysis, the wormhole should’ve remained open for approximately two weeks, but as soon as the first couple of waves moved through, it began to destabilize. I watched as sixteen ships were caught struggling in the extreme gravity created by the closing rift. The eleven closest to the opening pulled through, but were severely damaged. In the last moments just before it collapsed, we could see the remaining five trapped ships ripped apart by gravitational forces. The terror I felt watching those civilian vessels destroyed, knowing they met their end because of the journey I had planned, was indescribable.
I wanted to order my ship to turn around to save them, but it was already too late. Our engines were struggling to pull out of the massive gravity well created by the imploding wormhole. There was a real danger that we’d be sucked back into the fissure and destroyed. I’m extremely thankful we made it through unscathed, though I still don’t know how we did.
After gravity anomalies were no longer being read, I ordered the military to rescue the crews of the eleven damaged vessels. Sensors indicated their engines were overheating and on the verge of self-destruction. The ships may have been lost, but I damn well wasn’t going to lose the crews, too. We lost 200 lives on the damaged ships due to space exposure, but thousands more were saved thanks to rescue efforts.
In the beginning, at least, the approximately 40,000 survivors considered themselves lucky. There was relief and some sense of happiness for the time being. Sadly, it was short lived.
The severity of the situation settled in as quickly as the relief of being safe wore off. With the wormhole already closed, there was no way to go back to Earth. There was no way to find out what happened to the other ships. Were they caught on the other side? Did any survive? There would be no answers. Scientists couldn’t even offer theories; no one knew how the wormhole got there and nobody knew why it disappeared. We knew nothing, other than that we were alone and we had no idea where the hell we were.
Even a fantasy rescue mission from Earth wouldn’t be possible for another 100 years.
From the holovid report of TOM CONNERY, Commander, Terran Republic, Discovery-1 October 24, 2640.
We held a meeting with fleet advisors yesterday to assess resources and plans for the immediate future. The results are a bit unsettling. Though we currently have a surplus of doctors and engineers, as most of the ships that made it through were primarily civilian ships, we suffered large losses in the military and agricultural departments. Only three of the twenty-three hydroponic ships made it through, and the only Explorer-class battle cruisers that survived were the two leading the fleet. Major Wilson told me in private that only 1,100 soldiers made it through.
I’m extremely worried about the welfare of the people for the remainder of this journey with such little food. It’s going to be arduous at best. I just hope the will of the people can weather the rest of the journey.