Posted on June 15th, 2011 by Ian Blackthorne
The gas giant was the color of a ripe granny smith apple, but not the shape of one; an oblate spheroid hung in space ahead of the Plato, surrounded by a magnificent ring system. Atlantis’s captain’s yacht silently approached the planet’s eerie cloudtops and their deceptively serene camouflage for the roiling storms beneath.
Ian Blackthorne manned the Plato’s helm and T’Kirr sat beside him, at the other front console. Scans of the giant planet looming before them reflected in his wife’s hazel eyes as she rapidly scanned the incoming data. T’Kirr turned to him and simply nodded, though more was said between them than the gesture would indicate. Ian turned from her to the front window, his face colored a slight hint of green from the planet’s glow.
Flying into a gas giant was never a predictable proposition. Immensely powerful storms, lightning, and unexpected winds of hundreds of kilometers per hour were just a few of the hazards that could lay ahead. However, all available advance knowledge and current sensor data indicated that their course was a safe one. Ian’s hand found his wife’s and gave it a reassuring squeeze before returning to the helm to guide the Plato into the giant’s atmosphere.