071 – Descent

070 - Unorthodox Maneuver

                                                                                                                                        072 - Surface Lodge


Translator: SFBaka

Editor: Thor’s Stone


Now then, we were supposed to begin our descent to the resort planet Sierra III after getting rid of the enemies pursuing Chris. However…

“I believe you said that resort planets are guarded by a really strict security system, right?  Is it really okay to punch through the atmosphere just like this?”

I remember Elma saying something about an AI controlled automated interception system.  It won’t be funny if we approached willy and got shot down by it as a result.

“We’ll be fine. We’ll just need to access the control AI and enter a specially generated code so we’ll be excluded from the interception targets of the planet-wide defense system.”

“How thorough……”

Mimi sounded impressed after hearing Elma’s explanation. I shot a glance at Chris and found her looking dazed. Perhaps she’s just calmed down after the shock of experiencing her first ever battle out in space. Was Mimi also like this when she first experienced combat? Or did she actually cope better…? I can’t really remember that well. It depends on an individual, I guess.

The FTL Drive was deactivated while accompanied by a muffled roar, and we finally got a good look at the ocean-covered surface of Sierra III.

“How do you access the control AI?”

“It’s similar to how we apply for docking permission on a colony. Please open the comm channel list, Mimi. The contact link to the planetary control AI should be included in the list.”

‘Yes. Um… There, I found it! I’ll access it right away.”

Mimi operated her console and started interfacing with the control AI. And after doing as Elma instructed, she managed to obtain landing clearance before long. 

“Oh, right. I think we can actually use the auto-docking system for atmospheric re-entry.”

“We can? Shall we use it then?”

After activating the auto-docking system, the ship AI began adjusting the atmospheric descent angle in order for us to reach our target destination automatically. Nice and easy.

The ship began its descent to the planet’s atmosphere. Krishna was rocked with turbulence a few moments after it began re-entry procedures. The grating sound that accompanied the turbulence gradually intensified. And the scene we were viewing through the Krishna’s cockpit was dyed in crimson.

“O-Oh! So this is how a starship goes about atmospheric re-entry…… Is it just me or is the energy shield actually turning red?”

“Even I’m not familiar with this stuff. Why are you asking me……?”

It’s not like Krishna’s hull was in contact with the atmosphere directly, so was the energy shield itself actually heating up due to friction or something…? I mean, it’s an energy shield. If not, then was it some sort of special reaction that gets triggered during re-entry? I have no idea. But it certainly was a hard-to-come-by and one-of-a-kind experience alright.  

“I-Is everything going to be alright?”

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Krishna. The shield is being saturated at a minor rate, but there’s no problem with the hull itself.”

Elma explained to Mimi in order to calm the latter’s nerves. But then……

“……Waaaaaah!?”

“Woah!?”

Chris suddenly cried out in a loud voice. W-What!? When I turned to her, I found Chris covering her mouth with her hands. Her cheeks were bright red. It also seems like she was muttering something suspiciously……

“……! U-Um, it looks like Chris-chan isn’t feeling well, so I’ll take her to the medical bay for a bit.”

“……? Uh, okay.”

Mimi stood up from the operator’s seat in a panic for some reason and proceeded to accompany Chris, whose posture was in a peculiar half-bent position. The both of them left the cockpit right away. It certainly does look like she wasn’t feeling well. 

“Are they gonna be alright?”

“Yeah. You don’t have to worry.”

Elma answered me without making eye contact. What’s up? It actually seems like I’m the only one left out or something.

I kept thinking about it as Krishna continued its descent. The turbulence has mostly died down though. Hmmm……?

Ah…

“Did she wet herself?”

“……Have some tact, you idiot!”

“Uh, sorry, okay. I won’t bring it up again, so don’t get angry.”

Even if Chris was a noble’s daughter, she was still an ordinary girl in many respects. I guess all the excitement from earlier plus the rough reentry got to her somehow. I mean, we did get shot at by laser cannons a lot and all. Her getting scared was quite understandable, really.  Krishna’s tough shield and thick hull wouldn’t give in to that level of bombardment, but getting hit by them must’ve still seemed really frightening to her. There’s no way to avoid every laser projectile flying at your ship during space battles anyway. I mean, those are projectiles coming at you at the speed of light after all. 

“But, y’know, I’m actually getting quite excited. This is the first time I’m gonna get to visit a planet since getting stranded in this dimension.” 

I operated the console in front of the pilot’s seat and had it display the images taken by the optic sensors in various parts of Krishna’s hull on the main screen. Just like what was written in the e-pamphlet, the planet was mostly covered in oceans.

It looks like both the atmosphere and the water underwent terraforming in order to be habitable to most carbon-based life forms. The planet was smaller in size compared to Earth. The images that were displayed on the cockpit screen mostly consisted of vast stretches of ocean, as far as the eye can see. If not for the fact that this was my first planetary reentry experience, I would have found it difficult to get excited by such scenery. There were some small islands dotting the surface here and there though.

After a few moments, Mimi came back with Chris in tow. Chris tried to look calm and composed for the most part, but her cheeks were still red. I’ll just pretend I didn’t notice it.

“Are you okay? Did you feel unwell because of the battle earlier.”

“I-I’m alright. I just felt a little lightheaded, but I’m fine now after having some water at the dining room.”

“I see. Thanks for looking after Chris, Mimi.”

“Yes.”

Mimi made a cheerful smile after getting praised. If she had a tail, I bet it would be swinging left and right energetically. 

“It’s your first time to land on a planet’s surface, right Mimi?” 

“Yes! I’m colony born and bred after all. But it sure looks amazing. It’s really wide, or should I say grand……? I’m feeling so touched even if I’m just looking at the images through the screen.”

“Well, in my case, this dimens– Uh, ehem. Um, I actually feel the scenery inside a colony is more unusual.”  

“Were you born on a residential planet, Hiro-sama?”

“Uh, well, yeah…  I guess. There’s a lot of complicated circumstances y’see.”

Chris tilted her head curiously as I answered and tried to let the matter pass. I nearly slipped up just now. If I let the fact that I’m someone probably from another dimension to some crazy researcher like Doc Shouko slip, chances are, I would immediately be treated as an ultra-rare specimen and turned to an experimental guinea pig.

“Is that so…… But, if you were born on a residential planet, does that mean you are actually from a noble family?”

“I don’t think that’s it. And even if that were the case, I’ve actually long thrown my past away, y’know.”

“I see.”

Chris looked somewhat disappointed for some reason. Just what kind of reaction is that, young lady?

“We should be arriving soon.”

“Whoah. It looks like we are. We’ll probably be fine, but brace for impact, just in case.” 

Krishna’s altitude gradually lowered, and within moments, we finally got an image of a small island that looked bursting with greenery. The plant life was concentrated mostly on the island’s inner areas though. Since I was looking at it from above, I wasn’t able to accurately gauge the actual size of the island, but it didn’t seem all that big compared to the islands I’ve been to back on Earth. But it wasn’t exactly tiny either.

One section of the island was a nice-looking inlet that was constantly lapped up by gentle waves of seawater. The seawater looked pretty and clear, and the sight of the white sand beach was dazzling. Yep. It looked like your standard high-end beach resort.

There was a building that looked like a tourist lodge near the beach. Beside it was a big heliport-looking facility. Is that the starship landing area? I didn’t find it to be all that big when I was looking at it earlier, but there were actually facilities which resembled a golf course, tennis courts, and other resort staples located in the central areas of the island.

“It sure looks quite fancy. I wonder if there are other tourists besides us?”

“No, we’ve booked the entire island all to ourselves y’know?”

“Seriously?”

“Uhuh.”

This great, big island? Booked exclusively? For two weeks? Eh?

“Hm, the cost for booking this place actually seems quite the bargain huh……”

The total fees for all four of us to stay here for two weeks was 560,000 Enels. The cost per person would be 140,000 Enels. In other words, that’ll be 10,000 Enels per day for each of us.  If we convert that to Japanese Yen, it’ll amount to a million or so per day. 

We’ve managed to book this island all to ourselves. And it even has a golf course and a nice-looking beach. Judging from that, a million Yen per day actually sounds pretty cheap. I mean, some resorts on Earth cost even more. And they’re not even exclusive. Or maybe there’s a different fee for using the facilities that’s separate from the booking fee? It doesn’t look like that’s the case though.

“It’s actually nicer than what I expected. I thought it would be much simpler too.”

“Is this place similar to the one you went to with your family, Chris-chan?”

“Yes, it is. But I think it was actually larger though.”

As expected of nobles. So they went and rented out an island more luxurious than this one huh.

Krishna gradually lowered itself on the landing area through auto-pilot and landed without a hitch. The ship rocked a bit once it touched the pavement. Yep. The auto-docking system sure is impressive. It managed a soft landing even under the influence of gravity.

“And we’re here folks. Man. I’m more tired out than I expected.”

We somehow managed to avoid getting Krishna’s hull damaged directly in the battle earlier, but both the equipment and skills of the enemies were higher in quality compared to your average pirates, and they were numerous to boot. It was actually quite nerve-wracking. I think I had an easier time dealing with the Federation fleet that we took by surprise, actually.

“Good work. Well, that’s just normal when you go up against enemies of that caliber.”

“Good work, Hiro-sama. For now, let’s just enjoy this place and relax.”

“Thank you very much for protecting me, Hiro-sama.”

Elma, Mimi, and Chris consoled me one after the other. Hahaha! Man, does it feel good to be praised by such lovely ladies after a difficult battle. I feel like all my exhaustion was just blown away. Though I bet all our moods were influenced by the beautiful scenery as well.

“Don’t praise me too much. I might get carried away. Anyway, shall we get off the ship? Do you have some things you wanna bring down?”

“Let’s see…… We’ll probably be fine, but should we bring some weapons and the power armor, just in case?”

“Aren’t those too dangerous to be treated as hand luggage, Elma-san……?”

Mimi seemed taken aback after hearing Elma’s answer that was slightly off. But Elma does have a point, doesn’t she……? I guess we should consider doing that after inspecting the security measures of this island.

Well, I think the enemies would actually prefer hitting this place with an orbital bombardment using asteroids or something rather than physically assaulting the island personally. They can even do so via laser cannon. But the atmosphere would get in the way of the trajectory due to attenuation…… But, well, I won’t be surprised if they do manage it due to this world’s crazy advanced tech. Unlike on Earth, they’re sporting laser guns that can fire beams that are powerful enough to kill people in one shot after all.

“What are you saying, Hiro-sama……?”

“Uh, I meant it as a joke……”

“A joke, is it? I actually thought you were serious……”

“If they fire something like a reactive torpedo directly at the island, Krishna might survive the explosion, but we certainly won’t. That’ll be the case even if we’re all wearing power armor.”

“So we’ll be completely vaporized huh.”

“It’s not something you’d want to imagine……”

Mimi’s expression was twitching a bit. I’m probably making the same face though. Chris was also blue in the face.

Anyway, since we weren’t exactly sure about what things we should bring with us, we ended up getting off the ship with our usual gear. I brought my portable terminal and my laser gun. Elma brought the same, and Mimi brought her tablet terminal as well as her shoulder bag.  Chris didn’t bring anything with her though. Should I let her borrow my extra tablet terminal so she can at least exchange messages with us?

Krishna’s airlock opened up, and we finally descended to the tarmac.

“Mm, the wind sure feels good. It smells of the sea.”

“There’s really a sense of freedom once you’re on the surface of a planet, huh.”

“Waaa……”

Mimi looked up toward the sky with her eyes sparkling in wonder and excitement. Well, for the colony-born Mimi, I’m sure seeing a wide open sky without any traces of artificial walls was an utterly novel experience. Chris closed her eyes as the wind caressed her face. She might be reminiscing about the time she went on vacation with her family. 

While each of us were caught up in our own thoughts, something went out of the tourist lodge and flew our way. What is that? A robot? It was an alloy construct the size of a volleyball.

The mysterious object stopped in front of our group and glowed intermittently several times.  Was it scanning us or something?

“Thank you for coming, everyone, and welcome. I am Sierra IIIs control and management AI, Miro. I shall be assisting you all during your stay at the island. Please relax and enjoy yourself while you’re here.”

The mysterious object suddenly spoke. It sounded both like a male and female at the same time. How peculiar. So this guy is like a physical terminal used by the control AI to interact with guests huh?

“Glad to be here, Miro. I’m Elma.”

“Um, I’m Mimi.”

“I’m called Christina.”

“The name’s Hiro. I’m the captain of the ship back there.”

“Yes. Elma-sama, Mimi-sama, Christina-sama, and Captain Hiro, correct? Pleased to make your acquaintance everyone.”

Miro bobbed up and down, as if making a bow. It sure had perfect manners.

“I shall hear you out if you have any questions. If you do not, then I shall guide you to the lodge. How about it, everyone?”

Miro’s spherical body twinkled in multicolored lights once again. 


070 - Unorthodox Maneuver

                                                                                                                                        072 - Surface Lodge


8 Comments

  1. thanks for the chapter

  2. Thanks for the chapter!

    During atmospheric reentry, the red glow comes from the plasma sheath formed around the object which is a result of friction heating of the air as the kinetic energy of the ship is bled off, so it would still happen even if there were an energy shield working. It seemed like the author thought it would not happen and special-cased it in, but he shouldn’t have bothered…

    • not quite. The plasma sheath is the result of an object with any volume traveling through a gas at extremely high velocity : mach 10 or more kind of velocity. It’s often seen in de-orbiting because most of the time spacecraft don’t kill their velocity to de-orbit, only slow a little so they stop missing the Earth. They are approaching the planet with likely a near 90 degree Angle Of Attack and almost no angular velocity. Additionally, while it seems they covered the distance rapidly, they probably weren’t going mach 10 all the way down.

  3. Thanks for your work!

  4. Thx 4 the chapter.

  5. Miro’s spherical body = BB-8?
    Thanks for the treat.

  6. Thanks for the chappu~

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