They exited transit and within a few hours had burned across the system to settle into orbit around the planet.
It was a small world, but with a large, dense core that provided gravity that was just about standard for humans. That was about the best you could say about it though. It was far from the system’s star, and featured a broken, jagged, rocky surface with no atmosphere to speak of. Worst of all, it was dry, though the system contained plenty of ice asteroids. Several of them had been brought to the surface by various of the world’s inhabitants over the millennia.
A small, perfect ring shape stood out against the craggy terrain. “That must be the site of the original colony.” He hunted and pecked among the controls for a moment before a screen leaped in, focusing on the ring, showing a bulky foundation that still bore shattered traces of the dome that had once kept the inhabitants breathing.
“So now we know it wasn’t popular for the scenery and ease of life,” he remarked as he adjusted the final orbit. The files had already said as much, but the reality was far more eloquent.
He sat in the cockpit, a cramped space that surrounded him with instrumentation and controls that all vied for his attention. He ignored all of them, staring at the stark, almost majestically hostile environment below.
“Who’d have thought it’d be such a mystery that people would stop trying to live HERE of all places,” he finally commented again. He paused and sat up straighter a moment. “Aru, maybe that’s it. Why is this place so popular? Is there anything in the records about why it was settled?”