by D.J. Sylvis
Okay … broadcasting. The controls are a little off here. Sorry. This is Roger Bragado-Fischer, Communications, Moonbase Theta. The date is December 8, 2098. The time is 14:52.
Please note that, for the first time, I am not broadcasting from Moonbase Theta. I departed from there on December 5th on a trip to inspect the microwave towers meant to connect our Base with the larger communications network. This network, of course, has not been in operation since May of this year, when the last Bases on the near side were still cycling through their shutdown sequences. No explanation was ever given for the network going down; it was blamed on ‘standard system outages’ and messaging rerouted through satellite communications instead.
We planned a route for my trip extending from our base to the closest optimal location, Moonbase Delta, on the close side near the Mare Fecunditatis – the Sea of Fertility – passing by all intermediate towers. The bulk of the trip was in negotiating the terrain from our side – there were numerous occasions where the Rover slipped on the edge of a crater, twice when I took a spill and had to rest and effect repairs. I took naps as I could after performing inspections.
The towers on our side were relatively undamaged and seemed in working order. To be fair, these also had to be constructed to survive a higher chance of meterorite impact. On the near side, this isn’t a consideration … but it was here where I found the actual issue. Several microwave towers after passing the terminator line were severely damaged, one actually torn out of the rock and beyond simple repair. One of the reasons I’ve lingered here at Base Delta is looking for materials to put that tower back in place.
The damages I found were … of a low likelihood to be accidental. See images attached.
I have to admit, I was in awe when I came up to a close-side base. There’s a lot more to see from the outside – again, surface construction is a lot safer, but even the architecture is more impressive. They … kinda swoop, and they’ve got fancy pointy bits that can only be for show. I guess you pretty them up because they’re the ones visible from Earth. Anyway, the airlock worked, that’s the most important part from my point of view.
Speaking of points of view … in here, I’ve been able to use Delta’s equipment to focus in on what’s happening planetside. I had to wait for you to spin around, of course, but … At least there’s still lights on in Rio. That’s got to be something.
Base operations report, Moonbase Delta. I thought while I was here, I should take a look around. Naturally, water and power are minimal, as the base has been completely decommissioned. There weren’t a lot of supplies worth raiding, they appear to have been meticulous in following their shutdown schedule. However, I thought it was worth checking their storage level … and I’m sure you can guess what it is that I found there.
Stasis pods for all thirty-six Delta crew members, still plugged in and awaiting retrieval.
I checked the logs, retrieval was scheduled at the end of their sequence on June 14th, almost six months ago. That’s a long time left waiting in the cold.
From here, I’m plugged into the computers for the full network. I was able to pull up statistics on the other decommissioned Moonbases. Alpha, thirty-three personnel, thirty-three still in stasis pending retrieval. Beta, twenty-six personnel, twenty-six still in stasis pending retrieval. Gamma, twenty personnel, nineteen still in stasis pending retrieval – one pod shows a critical failure, didn’t close correctly. Epsilon, thirty-one crew, thirty-one pending retrieval. Zeta, nineteen. Eta, twenty-three.
But hey, those pods seem to be working better than we thought.
This message will broadcast through the network and should appear in your feed momentarily. I’m gonna wait for twenty-four hours … in case you have a reply. At that time, I will load up and start the trip back. You’ll know where to find me.
Moonbase Delta, out.