The tech looked at her, lip curled in disbelief. “It's an Earth signature madam.”
Of all the possibilities, she had not expected that.
“Yes, madam. The nanotubes inside belong to Ancient Earth, M class planet in the Milky Way galaxy. Jet ship.” The tech shook his head in confusion. “But...how can this be? Isn't Earth...?”
“Yes, Enaran,” Irea snapped. “This couldn't be the signature of Ancient Earth. It's impossible. The sensors are wrong. Why don't you run the scan again?”
They waited another few tense seconds. Enaran shook his head. “No, director,” he said in a mystified voice. “Those nanotubes belong to Ancient Earth. At least...at least the sensors say so. But...how can this be?”
With a growl, Irea surged to the screen. She irritably shoved Enaran out of the chair and maneuvered herself in his place. “The sensors are wrong,” she snapped. She mumbled under her breath, “They have to be wrong...”
But they weren't wrong. Irea stared at the results of the scan herself. Earth, the M class planet in the Milky Way Galaxy, had sent a vessel to the Plantasian biosphere.
This is impossible, she thought in disbelief, head spinning. Enaran's gaze fixed on her, watching her response, panic in his own eyes. In desperation, Irea ran the scan again. A few bleeps, and then she got the same answer. Earth. She ran the scan again. Earth. And again, and again.
The object headed towards the biosphere with a pixalated blink, blink, blink. Irea found her knuckles clenched beneath her chin. She bit her finger and shook her head.
“How can this be?” Enaran asked in confusion.
“I don't know. Unless the ship is a relic from the Ancient days.”
“It's headed straight for the biosphere.”
“I can see that,” she snapped.
“What do we do? What if...what if it...has a weapon aboard?”
“I don't know.” Irea was beginning to grow tired of saying that. Usually she was the one who knew everything. But this sudden appearance by a ship from Ancient Earth was entirely unexpected. Plantasia had never encountered one before, in all its history to her knowledge.