“That was a little too easy,” Gaia said. “We’ll be sending the mechs out first.”
The ship’s two mechs were standing ready at the airlock. The one-meter tall bipedal mechs were standing at attention when the crew entered. Gaia examined their components to be sure that they were properly equipped for their missions before issuing orders. “Leena, I want a full atmospheric analysis. Scan for life forms, but don’t engage. Devon, find the ship’s control center. Determine its course, flight objective, and defense systems, but don’t engage with any crew. Understood?”
The two mechs nodded what passed for heads in response before entering the airlock between the two ships. The gantry lift carried them up into the larger ship.
Thaniel sat at a monitoring station watching the feeds from the two mechs as they entered the upper airlock. “Signal is strong and clear,” he reported. “Leena reports a breathable atmosphere. No positive signs of life though.”
“Have her keep looking,” Gaia sat down next to Thaniel. “Does Devon have anything to report yet?”
“He’s still climbing the central shaft,” Thaniel replied. “Should I make him climb faster?”
“Too risky,” Zack objected. “We can’t risk Devon being discovered; and he’d make too much noise if he climbed any faster.”
“Zack, Thaniel, we could be here awhile.” Gaia rose from her seat. “Zack, you stay and watch with Thaniel. The rest of us will get some sleep, or at least try to.” Gaia motioned to Sander and Jason as she moved toward the Antarctic’s central lift.
The two followed her into the lift and the three slowly descended to crew quarters. After seeing Gaia and Sander to their quarters, Jason returned to the lift and continued down to a lower deck. He opened an airlock and drifted across the space between the Antarctic’s outer hull and the inner hull of the larger ship.