At this the crew was deathly quiet, some fainted one even vomited. Darnel finished her speech while they were still reeling, “No, the Empire is lost to us, we were intended to scout a site for a future colony and I intend to fulfill the last order my Emperor gave me, in spirit if not in actuality. There is a planet nearby, and while it will prove challenging I mean to establish a Imperial Colony on that world.”
Darnel tapped her wrist and a large blue planet appeared were once the galactic map had been, “I will establish 3 major colonies spread out over a variety of terrains and continents to ensure our survivability. We will take 3 shuttles, the Afri, the Euri and the Ameri, a small amount of food and the minimum that we need to ensure our survival. The ship and all it's technology I will personally bury somewhere beyond the reach of the other three colonies.
At this, the crew which had once been silent, then hopeful, erupted again, almost to the point of rioting and security was forced to wage in to break up several scuffles and small angry acts of violence.
Darnel held both hands up this time and shouted them down, “And how long would it be, until the weapons ran out of charge, the medicine, the fuel and the food was all expended. NO, we will go until this new land with the bare minimum. I want this ship and it's technology preserved for our descendents, that when they find it they will have the civilisation, the technology and the widsom to use it with honour.
I want the settlement groups ready to go within the week, look to your duty officers for your assignments. Dismissed.” The Senior staff filed out along with the crew, while Tarmac looked up at the Captain, as the others filed out, before he too got up, dislodging a shaking Iliya as they both left to find out what would be expected of them.
A week later Darnel stared out the observation deck as the three shuttles commenced the last run. Her Senior staff had left with the first group to leave the ship so that they could scout out potential settlement sites. At the site of the shuttles leaving a wave of melancholy hit Darnel, and she turned away from the window as the computer announced, “Captain, inventory confirms, some of the survival equipment is missing.”
Darnel's eyes narrowed momentarily and she said, “Let the senior staff know, try and see that it finds it's way back here, but if it doesn't it will run out of power soon enough. “Acknowledged Captain, is there anything else you require before we begin our descent.?”
Darnel closed her arms around her stomach as if hugging herself and said, “No, I'll be in my quarters, drinking the last of the Firewine the Admiral gave me. After this is done, I expect you to take care of the ship, do we have an understanding?” The AI acknowledged and then commenced calculating the descent vectors as the Captain went to her quarters for the last time.
The AI took the ship to a distant island as far away from the other settlements as possible and upon finding a suitable mountain set the maintainence bots to dig itself into the belly of the mountain. Once this task that took several weeks to fully bury the ship the last drone buried Captain Soren in a grave at the head of the ship and retreated inside the airlock which sealed itself. The AI went into standby mode and awaited it's eventual awakening.
While the settlements that were placed would grow and evolve, and into the annals of history they would pass as mankind forgot it's origins, it's history and the legacy that awaited it. Over time the names of the shuttles changed as the language of man first devolved and then re-evolved until something similar but radically different to the originals emerged. Africa, Europe and America.