The activity on the bridge rapidly increased as each of the crew performed their jobs. The six hours to achieve orbit was full of discovery. All of the data coming in was fulfilling their wildest dreams. Earth had healed itself and was welcoming them back.
They planned to do Earth's survey in two parts. During the approach, the atmospheric spectrographs would analyze the atmosphere. As they got closer, other instruments would survey the continents for location; size shape, etc. Once they reached orbit, they could move from the spectral analysis sensors to the infrared and detailed laser mapping of the surface.
The commander announced, "We are at the two hour point before orbit, give me status to this point."
"Sir, the atmosphere is well within limits. The pollutants have all dissipated and the air is actually cleaner that what we have on Horizon."
"Commander, the tectonic plates have shifted as we projected and the continents have moved to the projected locations."
"Sir, I'm just coming within range of the laser surface mapper and I'm getting unusual data. I'm having trouble resolving our city and transportation corridor alignment with Earth's data. It appears there are many more artificial structures then when we left."
"Indeed, continue the mapping until we're in orbit."
"Sir, the carbon dioxide sensors are online as well as the infrared. We're sweeping the surface along with the laser mapper."
"Put the data on the projection."
The holographic display showed the continents, and how they had moved compared with their projections. Then it overlaid the anticipated structure layout compared to the current. Lastly, the carbon dioxide mapping showed a healthy but scattered mix of smaller life forms.
"Sir, this doesn't make sense. My structural mapping shows that almost 80% of the structures on the surface have been built in the last 200 years."
"Sir you'll also notice there aren't any IR images in the cities. However, some images appear to be industrial centers and none of them have life forms around them?"
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish