by Edward M. Hochsmann
A research ship maintaining a security watch on a developing planet is pummeled by an unexpected solar flare and collision with one of its service drones. With communications destroyed and their only means of power generation damaged, the ship must land and obtain materials for makeshift repairs if they are to return home. But the planet is inhabited by a post-industrial species who must be protected from the knowledge of the spacefarers and their advanced technology at all costs. Unable to call for help and running out of power, the ship’s captain faces a terrible choice: risk contamination of the planet he is sworn to protect or destroy his ship and crew. He and his crew enter a race to surreptitiously gather the needed materials and affect repairs and depart before the natives discover their existence and landing place.
Category: Science Fiction – First Contact