The ship exploded in orbit at twenty minutes past two.
A single life pod blasted down through the atmosphere of the deserted planet below.
Jack Harper held on to the restraint belts that lashed him to his grav-seat and tried not to throw up. He couldn’t remember how he’d made it to the pod.
“Hey,” somebody yelled as his seat jolted from a kick from behind. “If you’re going to vomit, wait until we reach the ground and do it outside.”
The belts prevented Jack from turning around and, as he didn’t feel confident that he could make it until landing to hurl, he kept quiet.
The seat-kicking continued. “I mean it. Do. Not.”
Jack had a split second to contemplate replying, this time, before the pod landed. Or crashed, if one wanted to be technical.
The environment light above the hatch flashed green before the door was ejected, and the only survivors crawled out onto the slightly pinkish rocks of their new home.
Jack saw the kicker for the first time.
“Miranda Ross,” she said, holding out a gloved hand. “Um. Welcome to Vesta,” she said, spreading her other arm out toward the world that the passengers on the Sirius had meant to colonize. “I think we’re it.”