Outpost Charon – Radio Interferometry

With the strontium clock back up and running and the successful realignment of the fusion reactor it was time to shove off. The strangely familiar lifeless body that Hugh collected from the crystal caves which bore a disturbing resemblance to his beloved captain was found to contain an interesting artificial brain which he could see had an obvious external power jack mounted at the base of her cold white neck. Laying her lifeless body into a spare sled, he patched in a temporary power cable to the port and strapped in her limbs just in case, hoping that she might somehow regenerate under refrigeration while he and the rest of the crew cycle in torpor. “Huge, you had better get mounted, you know we are down to emergency rations and letting you burn four times any normal sized miner is putting us all behind, we will be lucky if we all make it back without sustaining permanent damage and you will probably be the first to get sick.” He breathes in a last deep breath soaking in her cheerful, quiet humming, with the intense pleasure of a house cat soaking in a sunbeam at a low purr and drifts off in his custom over sized sled. Oh how such a fine beautiful creature can make a man ache for her happiness. He blurs out watching motes of dust dance around her angelic face twinkling like glitter among wisps of golden hair that float about her pink cheek. Just being near such beauty can refill a mans desire to live and bring patience and hope where there was depression and pessimism. Anastasia furrows her brow and squints as she does her square best to carefully lift the fully laden Diplogen from the surface of this strange black ball of heavy ice. With a sharp jab of the joystick the huge craft crinkles and squeals against the wall of the crater slowly gaining momentum. If the calculations are correct the porkchop plot puts them first near the trading outpost Charon, though there will not be enough fuel to stop the ship, they might be able to slow the heavy load down to about 7k and with any luck there will be a few tugs at the ready to see them approaching without the benefit of a sufficient brake burn. The damaged main transmitting antenna array means that only short range communication will be possible so she sets the emergency beacon buzzing away in short sharp intervals. Though limited in range Anastasia uses the parallax between the subspace listening antennas and the emergency coincidence rangefinder to feel and hear her way toward the origin system in a steely and somewhat reckless serenade of dead reckoning. Once the computer captured the signals from the Central Access Telemetry or CAT buoy she finally puts herself into torpor with the rest of the crew, if they haven’t all been fatally damaged by heavy water poisoning by then anyways. So, with dreams of real food, a big payday and drug fueled warehouse raves, she slips off to the netherworld of torpor as the ship begins to accelerate into 3 G’s and the buoy telemetries sing from the dashboard speakers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *