“CAPTAIN, WE NOW have another generator off-line.”
“Time to repair, Lieutenant?”
“Probably never, sir. The bearings are gone, the internals are mangled and even the case is cracked.
“That's the second generator that we've lost recently.”
“Captain, if the sounds and readings on the remaining generators are any clue, we won't have any generators in the not too distant future.”
“Then it seems that we have to divert.”
“Captain, I have consulted with the Navigation Officer. He's found us a not too distant sun, with what appears to be a habitable world. It's our only real chance to survive.”
“A Key star world, Lieutenant?”
“Yes, Captain. We can divert in about three days. It's our last chance for quite a while.”
“Let me consult with the Navigation Officer, Lieutenant. However, in the meantime, make ready to divert.”
“Aye, sir. I'll keep you updated.”
I go and talk with the Navigation Officer. He tells me the same thing that the Lieutenant told me. I then talk with several of the other colony ships. They report the same kind of problems with their generators. So far, no one else has lost more than one generator, but the symptoms are there.
I then call a Captain's meeting. I lay out the choices. “It appears that we have defective generators in the colony ships. We have lost two generators and there are signs that we will soon lose another generator. It appears that the other colony ships have the same kind of signs, although no other colony ship has currently lost more than one generator. If we lose enough generators, we die.”
Given the situation, there really aren't any choices. The rest of the Captains come to the same conclusion that I have reached. Diversion is the only way that we might survive. I call for a vote. The vote is unanimous. All of the colony ships will divert.
We divert, through a keyhole. One at a time, the colony ships emerge from the keyhole and we find ourselves in a six planet solar system. The one world, that can support life, is the second planet out. We orbit the second planet.
The second planet is a water oxygen world, with a single moon. It looks much like the home world.
A scout ship is launched, with a pilot and an observer. They intend to find us a continental West coast location, on a large river. The situation should give us good weather and the water that we must have to survive. The scout ship orbits the world and scans the surface for a suitable site for a settlement.
The scout ship reports back that they have found a couple of likely sites, but that they have also found a domed city!
Despite several attempts via different media, attempts to communicate with the domed city prove fruitless.
We have yet another meeting of the Captains. I have the latest information, so I start things off. “The scout ship has found four locations where it seems that we might settle. One of the locations is the domed city, that was reported back by the scout ship. The other three locations are continental West coast locations. The domed city is easily the best chance, save for one big question. If the domed city is so good, why is it apparently deserted? The three continental West coast locations are each very close to the same scoring. There are some minor advantages and minor disadvantages to each of the West coast locations. However, any of the three West coast locations would be about the same for our people to settle.
One of the Captains asks, “With the domed city we get a pre-built city, with housing, streets, water, sewer. If we choose the domed city, how do we feed our people?”
An ag specialist gets up and says, “Surrounding the domed city is an irrigated plain. From the air, it appears that the irrigated plain supplied grain, fruits from trees and vegetables and/or fruits from smaller plots than the grain fields. The domed city is also near three rivers, which will supply us with water. The rivers should also supply us with fish and perhaps a few other water-based forms. The rivers should also attract wildlife which we may, or may not, be able to eat.”