The crumpled remains of their dropship, Six Degrees From Earth, stuck out of the swamp water like a series of lightning-split tree trunks. Beyond were the derelict structures of the New Wellspring colony on Kappa Lyrae D. There was no doubt this is where the mayday signal came from, but Cooper and Westhalter didn’t see a soul.
“Well, at least it didn’t catch fire.”
“Shut up, Coop.”
The whole colony reeked of sulfur, a byproduct of the Praseo-prosium mining operations. This was the largest deposit of the mixture ever found, leading to the formation of the pleasantly named colony. As useful as it was for interstellar travel, it was inevitably found in the shittiest locations humanity had yet uncovered.
Westhalter climbed a mud-slick pile of jagged rocks and surveyed the area. A domed building at the far end of the complex had a faded flag flapping above it in the wind. The Magno Metallurgicals logo was unmistakable.
“What do you see?”
“Grab what you can, Coop. We’re going this way.”
Notes: I used an image as a writing prompt for this piece. You may be able to find the image on the artist’s ArtStation page.