We’ve found another Earthlike planet, but what secrets doesit hold?
The entire world is thrilled by the discovery of a new,Earthlike planet. Advance imaging shows that the planet has oceans of water anda breathable, oxygen-rich atmosphere. Eager to learn more, an explorationteam is soon dispatched to explore the planet, now nicknamed New Earth.
All the explorers understand that they are essentially ona one-way mission. The trip takes eighty years each way, so even if they areable to get back to Earth, nearly two hundred years will have elapsed. Theywill have aged only a dozen years thanks to cryonic suspension, but their friendsand family will be gone, and the very society they once knew will have changedbeyond recognition. The explorers are going into exile, and they know it. Theyare on this mission not because they were the best available but because theywere expendable.
Upon landing, the team discovers somethingunexpected: New Earth is inhabited by a small group of intelligent creatureswho look very much like human beings. Who are these people? Are they native tothis world or invaders from elsewhere? While they may seem inordinatelyfriendly to the human explorers, what are their real motivations? What do theywant?
Moreover,the scientists begin to realize that this planet cannot possibly be natural.They face a startling and nearly unthinkable question: Could New Earth be anartifact?