by D.J. Sylvis
Broadcasting. This is Roger Bragado-Fischer, Communications, Moonbase Theta. It’s November 17th, 2098; 6:18 standard time. We are at … five weeks before shutdown.
Your latest has come through, fragmented in parts and with some significant dropouts. It seems strange that the flares would still be affecting communications on Earth when the interference from our position has passed. However, I believe we received the essential information.
Confirming – what I understand from your instructions is that the scheduled – amended scheduled – supply rocket is no longer coming at all. Not a delay but a cancellation. All noted resources and … personnel will be retrieved at station shutdown; sufficient transport will be provided at that time. We are to continue processing Helium-3 as a primary focus and topping up permanent storage – additional shipping tanks will be provided at shutdown. Non-essential resources, including scientific paraphernalia, personal items, and the genetic archives, will not be allocated space for retrieval.
I’m sure the delay is necessary to ensure a … safe and profitable result. Make sure you mention that to Agriculturalist Cheong’s family.
Base operations are within acceptable levels. Helium-3 stores are at … technically 100%, I suppose. Water is stable. Power is stable. Rations and supplies are stable. Personnel … not so much.
Wilder has thrown themselves back into the mining operations, you’ll be glad to hear that. They’ve got one working leg, one working eye, and a fairly ominous tick somewhere in the mechanism every time they straighten their arm, but they’re working double, sometimes triple shifts. Ashwini has done almost the opposite, retreated into their observatory, but with none of the feeds turned on. I think they’re drunk as well, though I couldn’t begin to tell you on what. Maybe they found a corner store that delivers.
I’m considering raiding their stash. I don’t even see the point of talking to you about Michell. They’re the same today, tomorrow, and forever, amen. I’m sure their report will be attached. Myself … I’ve been reading, playing senssurounds, doing my job. I’ve spent a lot of time up on the surface of late. Not for my duties, but … it helps to stare out into space. It helps to think somewhere out there might be …
You’re going to hear about an incident, I don’t debate any of the details. Ashwini suggested this team-building exercise that … Nessa used to organize to bring us together. It did do that, decidedly, for Michell and I. The bruises are flowering nicely. So … yes. That’s where we are.
The rumours aren’t helping either. It’s funny how four people, on a Moonbase where the company authorizes all communication up and downstream … word still gets around. We’re hearing that you’ve got big problems down there; that the hands on the wheel keep swapping places; that you can’t hold the land you’ve taken. We hear you weren’t able to track down that Three Rivers freehold, and it’s not the only one by a long shot.
I don’t know why I’m being this candid. Maybe this won’t even get to you. Maybe you’re too busy to listen. Maybe I’m hoping you’ll come up to try to stop me.
To my husband, Alexandre: Your message came through this week, it was … so good to hear your voice. Plus what sounded like about a hundred and one puppies – watch out for old women in fur coats. I hope Cas and Pol are getting some rest. I hope you’re getting some rest. I hope everything there is … keep it together, okay? Stay close to home, work the garden, stock up the pantry. Keep safe. I love you.
Moonbase Theta, out.