The survey was going well until we started drilling for core samples with the tachyon lance. Suddenly the ground shook violently, tossing us from our feet. Tectonic mapping had declared this site geo-stable. There was no way an earthquake should be happening.
We abandoned our equipment and scrambled to the ship. I still don’t know how we managed to get off the ground. “Keep your eyes on your instruments and don’t look back!” the Captain growled, voice taut and steely. “Or I’ll court-martial the f… out of you!”
He was normally a gentleman. We’d never heard him speak like that before. We did as we were told, and made it back to the mothership. The Captain didn’t stop there and ordered us immediately go to warp and clear the system.
At our next scheduled stop, he resigned his commission.
I didn’t get to ask him why until twenty years later, when transporting a group of colonists to Wherewithal. Saw his name on the passenger manifest, so I shared a bottle of Trask Ale with him. Only after the liquor had loosened his tongue did I ask.
“Why did you quit the game?”
He took his time answering. “Damndest thing I ever saw,” he said, gazing into the bottom of his glass. At last, his eyes met mine.
“The world screamed,” was all he said before walking away.
Or I could just say this is the result of another experiment with Poser and Bryce. Two separate Bryce renders, merged using The Gimp.
Printed image is darker than it appears on-screen.