The U.S.S. Capital entered the third quadrant on July 15th, exactly on schedule. There was a buzz around the ship, from the cooks and cleaners through the ranks of scientists, crew and officers. Suddenly everyone had become equal once again.
The planet Stip had come into view, its two large landmasses clearly visible, and in an aligned position across the northern hemisphere. It was a large planet, easily bigger than Jupiter which had been the rough estimation given back home before they left.
"This is it, we have front row seats to an meteorite impact that will help us answer so many questions about our own universe.' The captain spoke through the coms system, although nearly all 999 passengers were crammed onto the viewing deck. "It may have taken us seven years to get here, a lot of sacrifices have been made, but today, we will have our hardships justified." He spoke, not that a rallying speech was really needed, but it was his way.
The comet, for that was what they had discovered it to be upon entering the second quadrant came into view a little ahead of schedule; 5 seconds to be precise. There was a weighty silence that overtook the deck; the pressure of excitement and expectation in perfect balance with apprehension and fear. Nobody had known the precise calculations, this part of the quadrant was unexplored and even the best scientists NASA had to offer admitted the distance they needed to be was more of an approximation than anything else.
The comet came; the horizon glowed as if a new dawn was rising.
"Impact in 1 minute" The computerized voice of A.L.A.N the ships on board processing unit announced.
A few worried murmurs began to rise up from the crowd.
"Here it comes" Someone spoke excitedly, as if they were watching a child being born into the world.
It was then that it happened, just as the impact seemed inevitable and the majority of mans questions regarding their own existence were to be answered. The planet Stip awoke. A large black crack appeared along what would have been its equator, it opened up revealing a black inside as if the comet had already impacted. The planetary mouth opened into a gaping yawn, and a burning orange magma tongue lolled out, licking through space and enveloping the comet as it approached. Caught in the slobbering embrace of the planet it was pulled inside and simply swallowed whole. The two landmasses bunched together peered out like eyes, checking for anything else to eat, a desert perhaps to follow a spicy main course.
As the mouth began to close, as the planet returned to its peaceful slumber, everybody on board was sure they saw the corners flick up in a ghastly smile. Satisfied that its safety was once again guaranteed, the planet Stip resumed its presumed peaceful slumber. The land masses drifted apart once again, each heading towards to customary polar positions.
The crew of the U.S.S. Capital dispersed each walking away heads down, the mixture of emotions now split between shock and disappointment. There was nothing left to do than begin the now arduous 7 year journey back home to report the results. The only thing they now knew for certain was that movie perceptions were indeed correct, and that the Earth itself, not just the people on it were now beyond doubt the inferior race.