Logbook #13


Le chapitre 13

A routine slowly returned as Valentina regained her strength. She accommodated her reduced mobility by keeping very busy within their living quarters. She took on all the menial chores; planning meals, cleaning surfaces, routine maintenance and Earth communications. She was also getting quite adroit at disappearing into the background. Especially when Xu was nearby.

With time on her hands and a leg to heal, Valentina looked for opportunities within her reach. She was becoming a master at manipulating their external robot, that they’ve affectionately called Woof as if it were a pet dog. She had been using Woof to inspect the immediate lay of the land centring on their habitation module and slowly travelling in spiralling circles outwards. The occasional crevasse was causing problems. But otherwise she’d completed visual inspections of the complete region. Other sensors recorded the Sun’s reflections off the surface in various bandwidths. With this and vast numbers of assaying, she’d almost mapped the surface geology out past a radial kilometre.

The routine was simple. Woof would regularly carry the assay samples back to the habitation module and deposit them into the transfer chamber. Minutes later, Valentina had them in her hand and she carried them over to the lab bench and began the chemistry assessments. Her goal was to find a construction medium like the bricks used so ubiquitously on Earth. She lacked fluid and a convenient binder such as lime but she was learning to use energy from the Sun as a sintering agent. By heating a few milligrams she could estimate the structural integrity and strength. So far, she’d made at most, some cubes about the size of Lego blocks. Soon though she was going to send Woof out with a much larger home-made, or really a Hab-made sintering ‘oven’ to make a useful brick like a cinder block.

With any luck, soon Xu would let her try standing on her leg and having short walks inside the hab.

“That’d be an excellent step in the right direction.” she thought with a certain amount of impatience. She wanted to be outside. She wanted progress and she wasn’t getting that by rolling around the Hab.

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