Logbook #14


Le chapitre 14

Jean couldn’t quite believe he was hopping about the Moon’s surface on his own. He wasn’t really alone as Woof rolled along on a parallel route. Of course the eyes in the sky, the orbiting situation assessment satellites (OBSAS) were also tracking his every move. Still, no other person was anywhere close. And, he could say that he was the first person to have ever walked here. It was a truly astounding, surreal sensation for him.

He had become the most adept of all of them in transiting over the surface. His laid back lifestyle and slow reactions wonderfully suited the lack of air pressure and much lesser gravity. To move, he firmly placed each foot, got his balance, judged his destination’s distance and let his legs propel him. He didn’t really think about the motion as a few weeks of activity on the surface had got him pretty accustomed. Now, rocks and outcropping a metre high did not even slow him down. He could also smoothly ascend and descend gentle gradients and he was trying steeper slopes though he was in no hurry to find his limits.

Today he and Woof were looking at a nearby crevasse. It had stopped Woof’s assaying and Valentina wanted to know if Jean could descend into the crevasse and get a cross sectional assessment of the rock structure. Being that the Hab was situated on a crater rim, the only real direction for them was down, but the colonists were approaching any elevation changes very warily. They wanted to be certain of not falling all the way down and also of being able to climb back out from any descent. They’d already stretched their safety margin with Valentina’s accident and Xu had forbidden any of them from taking optional risks until their next resupply vessel had safely delivered its cargo. Therefore, Jean’s first foray to the crevasse was to get a more accurate assessment of its shape; its width, depth and slope. He liked exploring, especially when he could do so at his own pace.

“Maybe this was how Christopher Columbus felt” he thought.

The edge of the crevasse neared. As always, he was a little unsure of the actual distance as almost nothing gave him perspective. Woof was rolling along a little ahead, as had been ordered by Xu. Woof’s transmitter gave a continual update on the ground’s slope and the distance to the apparent edge of the crevasse. For a robot, it seemed almost eager. Jean followed it, shuffling his feet through the dust. Bouncing toes off the occasional rock. The crevasse was just ahead.

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