by D.J. Sylvis
Broadcasting. This is Roger Bragado-Fischer, Communications on Moonbase Theta. The date is September 9, 2098; the time is 12:54.
On a personal note – thank you for passing along word from my husband, even though it fell between the regular weekly schedule for transmission. It was greatly appreciated.
We are at fifteen weeks before the scheduled base shutdown. We understand that schedule is now in dispute, due to restructuring after the merger of the Rio and São Paolo enclaves. There was some confusion in the memo received from your office – from whichever office now holds over Moonbase operations – and I would like to reply to your queries point by point.
If you refer back to my broadcast of August 11 – a full transcript is available if the audio file has been misplaced – I outlined my experience with, and feelings regarding, the use of the telescopic array. As this was one of the priority tasks that led to the construction of a far-side Moonbase to begin with; and as automation has already reduced this to a single person’s responsibility (and that person is particularly dedicated), my recommendation would be to keep both eyes open until the last possible moment.
(pause, relaxing that grip a tiny bit)
To the related suggestion that mining become our primary focus, both helium and ice mining has continued at full capacity. There have been outside delays which have affected productivity – rockets arriving off schedule, a few bad solar flare days in the previous cycle – these could not be improved by shifting personnel from other shutdown sequences. I have Wilder’s assurances in this regard, and no one better understands the system and its mechanisms.
The current active experiments, the hydroponic farms, and the rest of your list of ‘unnecessary responsibilities’ are all in the process of being ramped down as it is. I’ve attached a copy of the original target dates for each instance – which leads us to your primary, and most complicated, request.
You’ve asked if we could complete all Base shutdown activities and automations, including all active crew sent to stasis, by the mid-October rocket. That would compress our schedule almost exactly by half.
I’m not sure you’re aware of the ramifications. Astrophysics and Observation; Agriculture; Mechanical and Maintenance; the mining operations, the scientific experiments and the genetic archives – each of these is a valuable part of the Moonbase project. Each was implemented under rigorous corporate guidelines, has been through yearly review and retooling, and each underwent a six-month analysis to define the best flow for reaching base shutdown to the greatest benefit.
We understand that with new project ownership can come new loyalties. Certainly, our Security representative must have thought so, as they seem to have advised – without any real technical knowledge or consultation – that this amended schedule is feasible. My opinion – our opinion, as I speak for the entire technical crew currently available – is that we should hold the course for the best of all involved. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
As you spin up to speed regarding Theta and pending Base communications, I hope you’ll process outstanding requests in a timely fashion. Of particular concern on my part is an ongoing issue with the towers connecting us with the larger comm system – I’ve submitted requests on several occasions that are currently bottlenecked due to Security, and I’d like to resolve this issue as soon as possible.
Several crew members have asked if HR could forward an updated version of the Moonbase Employee Compensation and Benefit package, if any changes have been made due to the transfer in ownership. Of particular interest was whether we retain unlimited decontamination coverage.
Personal message follows – please see my file if you have questions, this portion of the broadcast is to be provided to my legal listed contact.
Alex, love, it was wonderful to finally hear your voice. I hope you’ll all be able to move back home soon, and please, if things are anywhere near as dire as you say … hire a cleaning service. I promise, as long as you keep replying, I’ll ease off on the poetry. I love you.
Oh. Non-personal message, additional – I received the note from Entertainment about the verses I read into my last broadcast. The work of Amy Lowell is certainly within the public domain, and I will not sign the agreement you’ve provided.
Moonbase Theta, out.