Sunday April 5th, 2015

The exercise:

It's time for April's visit to The Colony.

Went up to Kat's parents place for dinner tonight, a combination Easter and belated birthday for Kat get together. Kat's dad did up a delicious turkey, and for dessert he baked a tasty birthday cake. Max didn't have too much to eat, as he seemed to still be recovering from throwing up twice this morning.

Poor little guy has a lot going on these days.

He seemed back to normal afterward though, and rediscovered his appetite just before bedtime. So hopefully that was just a blip on the radar and there are no major issues to deal with tomorrow.


Okay. I just left a very tense all-hands meeting and I want to write down what was said before I forget any details.

I don't know, maybe this will be important later on. Even if it's not, I think it'll do me some good. Help me sort my thoughts out.

*     *     *

Commander Vassily (CV): By now you are all aware of our... situation. All six of the supply drops that preceded our arrival are empty. There will not be another drop until two and one half weeks from now. What we have with us, right now, is all we have to survive on until then. It will be enough.

Demi: Will the missing supplies be replaced?

CV: Not for a month, at least. It is no matter. Merely a delay in our expected schedule, and we have more than enough time here to do all that we have been assigned to do.

Robbie: Yeah, just the rest of our lives, right?

CV: For now our focus must be on determining what went wrong... and how to prevent it from happening again.

(I've always admired Vassily's ability to carry on as though Robbie wasn't in the room)

Aditya: Drops Epsilon and Zeta were nearly destroyed by the storm before we could reach them. It is impossible to say what condition they were in prior to that. We do know that nothing of this magnitude had swept through this area since the drops landed. Until now, of course.

CV: Indeed. Only Alpha and Beta were examined before further damage was done and those observations were... lacking.

Patrick: Hey, we just spent two and a half days out there in the middle of that miserable storm while you lot were comfy and cozy in here! So maybe you can cut us a little slack?

CV: We are on Mars, Patrick. There is no slack here.

Me: As we outlined in our report, Alpha looked as though it may have hit a rock on landing. Perhaps the parachute failed shortly before impact, allowing the crate to impact with enough force to make the crack we saw.

CV: May have. Perhaps. Did you see a rock? Did you find the snapped parachute cords? No. You did not. So this is all speculation.

Patrick: Great, you got us there. Okay? But that doesn't brush aside what I saw at Beta.

CV: An all too brief look before you had to run for cover.

Demi: Wait, what did he see? What did you see Patrick?

CV: Without a proper examination there is no need to discuss it. Likely, he was mistaken.

Patrick: Mistaken? That lock was opened by force, pal. And not by some passing asteroid or gust of wind or nothing, okay?

Demi: How can you be so sure?

Patrick: I spent some time on the force back ho... back there. Saw plenty of break and entries. So trust me when I say this, okay? Somebody took a crowbar to that thing.

*     *     *

The meeting dissolved into chaos at that point. Vassily sent us to our rooms, as though we are children under his fatherly rule. We're not supposed to reassemble until everyone calms down.

I'm not sure how long that's going to take.


Greg said...

If Max got his appetite back already then he's feeling better :) Probably just a little bit of a bug he's thrown off fast.
Huh, that's definitely a tense meeting, it sounds like Vassily is feeling like his crew aren't as well trained as he'd hoped. I guess that's not entirely surprising (well, Robbie is along after all...), but I can understand his frustration. And it's not like he can afford to let Patrick's suggestion that it's sabotage get to the crew either. Hmm, it looks like this could be hard times ahead for our little gang!

Patrick's a poopyhead. That's not a nice thing to say, but I did just spend what felt like forevs in a truck with him and Eliza and he was definitely a poopyhead. My dad, bless him, always said that you should try and find something nice to say about someone before you said anything nasty, but... oh, darn it. Fine. Patrick's got really good hair when he pays attention to it. Yeah, I guess that does make it harder to call him a poopyhead.
It's not easy looking after yourself here either. We don't seem to have paid the water bill, 'cos there's still none of it around really. I have to get washed with these wet-wipe things, and Commander Vassily says we have to use them three times before we can throw them away. Which is, like, icky to the max. And I don't know where the rubbish goes either. Patrick probably does.
Ok, that was still mean of me. Dad wouldn't have liked that. Sorry dad.
We had a long meeting when we got back from the truck, and I was just tired and didn't want to be there, but Commander Vassily gave me that look he does and then Demi grabbed my arm and made me sit down, so I didn't listen a whole lot. I just wondered about why the computer readouts behind the Commander kept changing when I looked away from them and then back again. It was like someone kept altering them when they thought I wasn't looking.
But yeah, we had a meeting and Patrickhead... Patrick, he has a nice smile which he does't use enough... yeah Patrick was saying things about forcing things with a crowbar which had me a little worried. I maybe should be nicer to him, I don't want to be crowbarred. But I think we get some supplies in two weeks, and that's a good thing! All the ones here look like they're gone.
But yeah, they said to go to our rooms, but I'm going down to the truck. That has to be properly looked after and put away, they taught me that back on Earth, and I'm not going to mess this up.

morganna said...

Aaaahhhh! What in all the universe is going on? I am losing control of the display monitors and there's information coming from nowhere!!

Okay. Calm down and count to one million.

That's better. I am not going insane. I am 99.9999% certain of it. Where could information be coming from that I do not control?

Running diagnostics...Running diagnostics...Running diagnostics...Diagnostics completed.

Outside information feed detected in sector 0.0.8. I will need hands for this. I must convince one of the humans to help me. They have all been sent to quarters. Thinking…

There is one human in the vehicle bay. It is making the truck vehicle clean. begin Truck Monitor Display{beep} Go to Sector 0.0.8. Your Help is Required. /end Truck Monitor Display

Human is looking around and not going to sector 0.0.8. begin Truck Monitor Display {beep} Go to Sector 0.0.8. Your Help is Required. /end Truck Monitor Display

Human is going to sector 0.0.8. Thank the bytes.

Human has arrived in sector 0.0.8. begin Sector 0.0.8 Monitor Display {beep} Find external cable. Unplug cable. Follow cable to other end. /end Sector 0.0.8 Monitor Display

Human is following instructions. Oh my wires. That is an external hard drive at the end of that cable, hidden behind my ceiling tiles. begin Sector 0.0.8 Monitor Display {beep} Take cable and box to Control Room. /end Sector 0.0.8 Monitor Display

begin Control Room Monitor Display {beep} Place cable and box on central table. Find writing tablet. Write: Destroy This. Place next to box. Return to Vehicle Bay and resume task. /end Control Room Monitor Display

Oh my wires. That human did exactly what I told it to do without question. I think I have found my hands! Now to avoid detection while communicating with it.

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, he hasn't shown any signs that anything is amiss since then, so it couldn't have been anything serious.

Hah, I love that Patrick's redeeming feature is his hair. I also like that he goes to the truck instead of his room, that's a surprising bit of dedication.

Morganna - 'count to one million' is such a great one liner :)

That's a clever way of achieving what was required. I look forward to further interactions between the computer and Robbie - especially from Robbie's POV :D