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2130, day 547.
Unscheduled course correction
due at 2200.
Pre-correction check:
Rotation axis plus three degrees.
Nitrous oxide pressure:
4,100, rising to 5,000.
Quad jets C and D
on pre-select.
Rotor ignition sequence
beginning in 3-0.
Thruster line reactors
on standby.
Vincent, notify me with 15 to go.
- Alex?
- Yes, Dan.
Have you determined the difference
in ETAs with and without our correction?
Working on it. You know, we shouldn't
be needing a direction at this time.
Vincent, run a confirmation
on the last inertial fix...
and check it
with another celestial, please.
I have.
It is correct...
but I think I've found the reason
for our present variation.
- Mr Pizer.
- Yes, Vincent.
Mr Pizer, I think
you should come up here.
What's up, Vincent?
The largest black hole
I have ever encountered, Mr Pizer.
Hmm. Let's have a look at it
on the holograph.
My God!
Right out of Dante's Inferno.
Yes. The most destructive force
in the universe, Harry.
Nothing can escape it,
not even light.
I had a professor who predicted
that eventually black holes...
would devour
the entire universe.
Why not, when you can see giant suns
sucked in and disappear without a trace?
- Give us the magnification, Vincent.
- Polarizing image.
Every time I see one of those things,
I expect to spot some guy in red
with horns and a pitchfork.
It's a monster, all right.
A rip in the very fabric
of space and time...
but I picked up
something else of interest.
- Let's see it.
- It hasn't moved
since I first picked it up.
- It seems to be some kind of ship.
- Do you copy, Alex?
- Roger, Dan.
- Enlarge again, Vincent,
and let's try to identify it.
But how could anybody
be out here ahead of us?
Arcturius-10, United Kingdom.
Liberty-7, United States.
Russian experimental space station,
series five.
France, Sahara Module 5-3.
Pluto-4, Japan.
United States,
Space Probe One.
- That's it.
- USS Cygnus.
Dr Kate, wasn't that the ship
your father was on?
USS Cygnus.
Its mission: To discover habitable
life in outer space. Same as ours.
Signal that ship, Vincent.
- Activate the sensors, Charlie.
- You bet.
They were recalled to Earth
20 years ago...
their mission
considered a failure.
How that must have galled
Dr Hans Reinhardt.
Did you ever meet
Commander Reinhardt?
Collided with him would be
a more accurate description.
- A legend.
- So he believed.
Reinhardt had the knack
of making his own ambitions...
seem like a matter
of national pride.
Why, he talked
the space appropriations committee...
into the costliest fiasco
of all time...
and refused to admit failure.
He ignored his recall.
Maybe not.
Maybe it never got through.
That ship just...
just disappeared.
They've never been seen again.
Dan, get us in close enough. Vincent
and I could get aboard on tethers.
To quote Cicero, "Rashness is
the characteristic of youth...
prudence that of mellowed age and
discretion the better part of valour."
No sense leaving the story
of a lifetime untold, Captain.
I believe there is, Harry...
and it's looking
straight at us.
Picking up anything
on the sensors, Charlie?
Negative, but with all
that turbulence...
out there, our signal
might not be getting through.
According to my instruments,
it hasn't moved a centimetre...
since we first spotted it.
But, Alex, how can a lifeless derelict
defy that kind of gravity?
I don't know, but it's
certainly worth investigating.
My instincts
are against it, Alex...
but we'll go in
for a closer look.
Fix a coordinate approach, Charlie.
Full power on the thrusters, Vincent.
Strap yourselves in. We'll be feeling
the gravitational force...
right now.
Range: 29551 and closing.
What's your reading
on Cygnus, Vincent?
Triangulation shows
it's still holding steady, sir.
- Gravity pull?
- .02450 and rising.
Puts us in an escape attitude of
8-5 degrees. Cut power by two-thirds.
- 8-5 degrees.
She's bucking like a


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