Asteroid CB-32147, Outer Asteroid Belt, Knossos System, Artemis Tau Cluster, February 27, 2198
He took the last drag of his fifth cigarette in the last half hour. The data was fragmentary, incomplete but the pattern was clear to see. The others remained skeptical but his intuitive algorithms pointed him in the right direction. Their target was somewhere in salarian space. They needed to flush their game out of hiding without interference.
He lit another cigarette, “Initiate Operation Starfall.”
On approach to the Colony World of Ludwika, Isseo system, Maroon Sea Cluster, April 11, 2198
The thruster detached from the one hundred meter wide nickel-iron asteroid at one hundred and fifty thousand kilometers from its target. It only took a minute for the orbital warning net to track and identify the object.
-New object detected-
-Spectrographic analysis concluded: Nickel-Iron Asteroid-
-Size: 25 meters in diameter-
-Impact trajectory calculated. Impact zone does not pose a threat to colonial habitats at present-
-No other threats detected-
The system listed this new intruder along a half a dozen similar objects that impacted the surface of Ludwika in the last month. The VI failed to notice this uptick in activity. It only knew that none of the asteroids fit its warning parameters. The bulk of the colonists lived within high density urban areas surrounded by agricultural belts. As the asteroid entered the atmosphere the intense heat of re-entry burned away the outer layer of the body. Seconds before impact inertial dampeners kicked in. The impact cracked open the meteor like an egg. From within an armored claw chipped away at the metallic remains. With a high pitched screech the creatures within crawled out of the crater and into the nearby tree line.