24 Mean Boaldyn, 1997 DR
For five months,the unmanned probe had circled its companion like a faithful dog,gathering information and sending it back to its earthly masters. It was a product of international cooperation:built in the Republic of Heathland,tested in the laboratories of Columbia,launched on a Branion-built Aster III rocket from a barge off Champsailles Bay,controlled from a building in Exenworth by Tiberian scientists. Now,having received another rocket,this one for propulsion,it was time for the probe to return to Earth.
Five days after leaving the Moon, the return capsule detached from the main probe,which would assume an orbit around the Earth. The capsule touched down safely near Liddesdane.
Back home,the scientists were ready to check out some lunar rocks. What they got was a bit......different. The rocks,when examined by biologists,showed signs of plant life:lichen,to be precise. But how could this be? Everyone knew the Moon had only a thin atmosphere,so thin that even at high noon you could see the stars. Even Aurion,the next planet,had a thicker atmosphere.
This was a mystery to baffle even the new Aristok,Demnor IX,son of Klairius II of the Moste Royal House of DeMarian. Recently come back from the War of Liberation in Talbeah,the Eireonian colony on the eastern shore of Avaster,he ordered a commission to be formed. The BSRA had to get to the bottom of this! So the situation stands,as the one thousand nine hundred and ninety-eighth year since Bran’s Conquest begins.