The main object could be seen in front, an amorphous rock about thirty meters in diameter, surrounded by smaller debris that made the task of maneuvering the ship almost impossible. Ivan gave up control to the AI and clung to the seat, while the ship began to make sudden movements, sideways or forward, accompanied by sudden stops, all in order to reach the largest of the fragments of that disintegrated and naked comet.
-Damn, it's hard to get used to this, -said Martha, as she clutched at the armrests of her seat, her head jerked back and forth, carried away by the movement of the ship.
-We are close now, only a few hundred miles more and we will have arrived- said Ivan, as he also shook sharply.
The little ship approached the biggest of the rocks and stood beside it, then from its belly four cables were shot out and anchored to the object.
-Ready, we are fastened, -said Ivan. -Who is coming down?
-Last time I did it, so it's your turn, -said Martha.
-But I brought us this far -said the pilot.
-The AI brought us this far, you just activated it.
With no argument for that, Ivan stood up and set out from the ship to take the samples from the comet to which he was attached.
-Damn it, why the hell don't we get some robot to do this, -he said furiously as he struggled into the airtight suit.
-Because the budget the Council gave us was barely enough for the ship and the analysis team, - answered Martha.
Minutes later Ivan would descend to the rock to which they were attached, and using a drill, he made several not very deep holes on its surface, collecting then the crushed particles that were extracted by the drill. After this, he floated a little above the surface and saw an area with a thin layer of ice, which he broke with a hammer from his tool belt, and then as he did with the rocks, he collected the frozen fragments in a container.
Back in the ship and after retiring in a suit and sitting in the pilot's seat again, he removed the ship's anchors and the AI took them away from the old comet and put them on a route to another body in the Oort nine.
-You have analyzed the samples, -he asked Martha who, an hour later, was again in the cockpit from the makeshift laboratory in the hold of the small cargo ship.
-Yes, like the previous thirty there are traces of hydrocarbons, amino acids, and other organic compounds, but nothing that we can connect even to the necessary molecules, -said the young biochemist.
-All right, the next then, -said Ivan, as they proceeded on their way to a new object.
After the end of the conflict with the Goeis and the return of the solar system to the domain of humans, there would be a rebirth of the interest of humans to know more about their original world and their environment, so, multiple investigations were financed by the parliament, through the academies of various worlds, with the purpose of knowing from the history of the solar system, to the processes that led to the generation of life and its evolution on Earth.
Thus, among many researchers of different origins, Martha Macias and Ivan Alexander, both students of the academy of Dione, proposed the hypothesis of proving panspermia, as the origin of the organic molecules that gave rise to life on Earth, for which, With the small budget allocated to them, they set out to search for these molecules on the surface of five hundred comets in the Oort cloud that, according to the simulations, had come close enough to the Earth to transfer them to its surface four billion years in the past.