The Explorator vessel hung like a predaceous insect in the night sky.
Unfurling sensory arrays, some extending out many kilometers, only reinforced the sinister countenance of the orbiting ship.
As soon as the arrays were deployed, clouds of various sized servitor drones erupted from a port launch bay and headed towards the planetary surface.
Now the search could begin in earnest.
Plugged into his command throne as he partitioned processing steams into a prioritized task set, he simultaneously acknowledged the receipt of the inbound data feeds as they came online, while directing them into multiple layers of cloud analyticae. Soon topologic protocols began surfacing and tagging first level anomalies within the data veils.
The analysis stage of the discovery protocol required a systematic approach to the data analytics, thus an organizational and presentation structure of the noospheric data veils was triggered, appearing around Artikus-110011 in a similar fashion to concentric debris rings around a planetary body.
His data manipulation arms sifted through the various data layers and rings, pulling in significant packets from farther reaches, pushing non-essential pulses farther out.
Satisfied with the content of the incoming streams, his data arms called up a presentation window that displayed the consolidated content using topographic algorithms. Aware that the mapping macros were still populating the display, Artikus-110011 partitioned another segment of his wetware and tasked it with executing a process stream that would initiate the warm up of his combat and support elements, ensuring that all components responded with a "ready to deploy" status flag.
He sensed that a formal descent to the surface was imminent.
In machine-time, the wait for the discovery alarm had seemed to take forever.
Artikus-110011 instantly cross-checked with his biological chronometers and was surprised that only 127.093 hours had transpired. On a galactic or geologic time scale, the wait was nearly immeasurable.
However, his attention was soon drawn to the flashing display pane. Two devices, the Gluon Accelerometer and the Chromodynacae, plotted off scale readings before report values suddenly dropped to null response.
Quickly checking the status of the servitor cloud responsible for collecting this information, he discovered that the entire cloud was no longer online and in fact, additional queries run against their operational wetware and location beacons indicated that they no longer existed.
Consternation was not an attribute that Artikus-110011 would ever succumb to, but extreme annoyance at the loss of analysis resources might be inferred based on the rapidity of the forthcoming instruction sets. Launching multiple search bots into the ship's data core, resulted in a flood of responses focusing on previous expedition results, simultaneous occurrences of the two parameters, as well as any episodes where the data registered off scale.
Were Artikus-110011 multiple circulatory systems still of a biological nature, they might have been forgiven for skipping a few beats while he in-streamed the data.
As it turned out, since the launching of this ship, 751.09348 years ago, this vessel had only recorded two previous instances where the data profiles matched the discovery of his now missing servitor cloud.
From a statistical perspective, that data pattern should never exist, and yet he had captured evidence of its presence.
That is until it disappeared for reasons unknown.
Wary of the circumstances that might cause such an event and pragmatic to a fault, Artikus-110011 downloaded the data cache into the combat elements of his landing party with a suite of Level Nine response protocols along with the last reported location of the servitor cloud.
It would appear that his "discovery" was not appreciated.
Edited by Honda, 10 January 2017 - 12:42 AM.