MTO S1E13 – “Eight” – Transcript

by D.J. Sylvis

Listen to the episode here


Broadcasting. Roger Bragado-Fischer, Communications, Moonbase Theta. The date is October 27, 2098, the time is 8:12. Current temperature is 25 degrees Centigrade; surface temperature is minus 167 degrees. Eight weeks remaining.

We have received your amended list of shutdown instructions, in response to reports provided and the updated needs of the Earthbound enclaves. Monitoring of the telescopic arrays and spaceproofing Base areas for potential future use are now downgraded, as are any non-essential repairs. Efforts will be concentrated on increased mining production, with the intermediate supply rocket – due on November 9th – fully allocated to retrieval of Helium-3 stores. Offload of the personnel stasis pods is postponed. These instructions have been noted to all staff and logged.

Operations will be adjusted as per the new requirements. Water supplies are stable within tolerance levels, a slight unidentified reduction that Wilder is tracking down. Power levels are optimal. Helium-3 stores are currently at 43% in the Base storage tanks.

Refocusing on helium-3 mining as requested will require the following reallocation: all ice mining equipment will be converted; additional power lines will be transferred; an additional chamber will be opened for regolith processing. Personnel will be reassigned as follows: Wilder, already at 90% on mining-related supervision and mechanical; Ashwini will move to 70% allocation in processing and quality control; Nessa will focus at 70%, starting with the decommissioning of the ice mining operations; and my time will be allocated on an increasing basis after I compile the additional reports you’ve requested. Michell … of course, has your separate instructions and will act on whatever those might be.

In your list of materials for station retrieval, I noted that you’ve deleted references to experimental paraphernalia and the genetic archives. While for the experiments, data is generally sufficient – and would have saved us quite a bit of trouble with the tardigrades – the archives are another issue altogether. I took over their management when Biologist Austen went into stasis, and have become well acquainted with the collection since then, rotating through the samples checking the DNA for viability. I don’t think you know … just what you’ve got here.

913 samples of animal species and subspecies, 410 of these now extinct. The hawksbill turtle, eastern lowland gorilla, red pandas. 643 samples of vegetative material, over half extinct or mutated beyond recognition. Goldenseal, ginseng-42, every cultivar of the modern banana. These were provided decades ago, they’re clean and viable copies. And that’s not even counting the genetic breakthroughs made in the experiments performed on-Base. Look at the records, look at the reports. I think you’re underestimating the revenue potential in retrieving this material, as well as the moral responsibility in our role as archivists. I’m happy to provide further information, additional examples – just let me know.

All crew members have read your response to the unauthorized message we received and provided last week. As instructed, I am reading it into the record here. “The broadcast by the so-called ‘leader’ Moddy Sarah was nothing but a prank by rogue elements attempting to stir up unrest. The claims made are provably untrue. If there are further communications, you are instructed to disregard and not to disseminate in any manner.” The crew of Moonbase Theta acknowledges these terms, and signs off as such.

Your guidance in these matters is always appreciated, though I must admit some context would also be appreciated. Not questioning your decisions here – just to save time in the future. A word to the wise, and any related idioms.

Personal message to follow: Alexandre, I’m starting to count down to when I’ll see you again. Is there anything you need me to bring home? Milk, dog food … I can get a good deal on helium isotopes. I hope you are well. I know I say that a lot, but … I love you. Home soon. Be well.

Moonbase Theta, out.

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