Le chapitre 25
Jean let his foot fall down off the final step and planted it upon the leveled surface. He was inside their igloo. Their safety refuge in case of solar flares. Woof had done much of the building. Every time the Sun lit the surface and they had slept, Woof had gently mounded a shielding layer of dirt above the refuge. The material came from the rock borer that had excavated a space underground. Sure it wasn’t like anything imagined for Balin the dwarf king of Moria made famous from Tolkien’s novel. But, Jean felt great pride in what they had achieved.
The steps into the refuge were angled toward the Moon’s southern pole so that the solar radiation would never directly enter in. While there weren’t many in number, perhaps 20, they were scaled according to the Moon’s gravity. Thus, each step was similar to a small platform on Earth. At the refuge’s base, no door separated the interior from interstellar space however the long-term plan was to sinter all the surfaces to immobilize the rock and then add a hermetically sealed door. Eventually, a more robust seal inside would enable the interior to be used as a shirt-sleeve living space. But for now, it was simply for shielding.
Jean let the spool unravel a bit further as he laid its cable on the ground toward the cabinet up against a wall. The cable contained two wires; one to carry power directly from the Hab, the other to carry power from a solar array directly overhead. Though the four colonists would have to remain inside their space suits whenever huddled inside the refuge, at least they would have a simple work station to keep them connected to Earth and to give them an estimate of the radiation level. He wasn’t looking forward to having to use this chamber but it was vital for their long term survival and a necessary feature for them to provide a service to tourists. He thought it odd that he wasn’t looking forward to the tourists and felt them to be interlopers rather than paying customers.
“Oh well” he said to himself “nothing to do about it but get through the visit so that we four can return to normal”.