Logbook #28


Le chapitre 28

Desai watched the progress of the visitors with mild interest bordering upon disdain. He knew they brought hard cash into their existence. But he was more worried about any problems they might bring. While their craft had brought more food, water and air than needed, they might bring something else. What if they brought a disease? What if they brought an electronic snooper? And, what if they broke something? He wasn’t particularly sure they were worth the effort.

Yet, he saw that the electronic media sites on Earth were reverberating with the news of their landing. Every time this occurred, the donations into the Lunar Colony Fund jumped. Such was the means of their success. He would humour the cause and help entertain their guests but nothing else. Under Xu’s directive, he kept himself busy but available within the Hab. Xu wanted to keep some of the research and results out of the prying eyes of the Earthlings. On the Internet, they’d heard some under currents of dissent for a self-sufficient, independent colony off of Earth. The bloggers believed such an entity would represent an immediate and potentially threatening competitor. Hence, Xu wanted to keep knowledge of their progress to self-sufficiency as a ‘national’ secret. In any case, given his advancing economic prowess, he knew that information was a very valuable quantity. And he was going to be sure that no guests were able to secretly access any of their systems.

He monitored the progress of the visiting land assayer. That fellow followed a prescribed route already agreed to by the colonists. He’d sweep the route afterward, looking for anything left behind.

More worrisome to him was the occasion of a guest’s visit into the Hab. Inside, it would be more difficult to safeguard the equipment as so much was simply in the open. Much had been shut down and safed. Yet, a simply relay that sent a piggy-back signal onto their communications channel could open up their lives to any listener. He knew that sweeping for these types of bugs would be much more challenging though probably more essential. Yes, he wasn’t so sure of the benefit of the guests. But it was too late now.

He saw the assayer continue along his route. As Woof carried off another supply package toward the Hab, he next saw the lander’s door again open. From within, he could see the tourist getting ready to descend. He had on a brilliantly coloured fluorescent space suit. And given the communications, apparently he had a spirit to match. Everyone’s eyes in the Hab watched as he descended. Desai also saw, according to his media watchers, that apparently a vast number of Internet viewers on Earth were watching the exact same thing.


Dear Fellow Lunar Enthusiasts,

We’re getting into tax time here. Think about this normal act in our lives. From a grand perspective, we contribute to a singular entity so that as a group we can accomplish so much more than an individual. At one time taxation raised funds for continent spanning railroads or intra-national motorways. And as we all know, we funded exploration in space through tax dollars. So while we may not like to pay taxes, don’t forget to remember what the taxes provide. As well, if you want more space activity then maybe communicate this desire to your government representative in the hope that they will allocate more tax dollars!

Now what’s been happening Moon side? First, think of taking pictures of the backside of something. Normally this phrase has negative connotations. But this time, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has brought us a fabulous image of the back side of the Moon that we just don’t get to see from planet Earth. Do you think these will be helpful in site selection for our lunar colony?

And speaking of taxes, we’ve just completed our audit and submitted our forms to our national revenue agency. While we don’t expect this to be the impetus for a great increase in national spending on lunar activity, it does demonstrate that we at the Lunar Colony Fund are committed to being fiscally responsible. We will take your donations and membership fees and use them to the utmost utility. And we will continually provide proof as need.

Mark Mortimer

Lunar Colony Fund

What can you imagine here?


Getting the Bucks for Buck Rogers!

Logbook #27


Le chapitre 27

Thanking good foresight, Valentina was using the encrypted communications channel to talk with Max (short for Maximillian) who was inside the lander that was descending to the Moon’s surface. Amongst some other personal effects Max carried a data drive that held plans for an energy production plant that used tritium fusion as its source. She preferred to get this information privately and this was her first attempt at surreptitious deliveries.

Valentina was again thinking long term. A tritium based power plant on the Earth had too many challenges. But here on the Moon, in the vast emptiness of space, many of those challenges simply disappeared. If tritium could be shown to be a viable energy source then using the abundant tritium on the Moon the colonists’ lives would be almost luxurious from the power supply. More telling though was the possibility of using tritium as a fuel for intra-solar travel. First though she had to prove it. While she didn’t want to monopolize the technology, equally she knew that some on Earth did. Therefore she skirted around normal channels and was assembling essential data and components. She somehow knew that part of the reason for her selection on this team was due to her independence and initiative so she felt almost obliged to use these traits to the best of her abilities.

Also, Max was a dear friend or at least he became a dear friend after they mutually attended a few too many conferences. Her second challenge then was to figure out how to get some alone-time with him and without Xu over watching. Yes, her fellow colonists had become dear friends as well. But Max had a spirit about him that set Valentina’s heart and body quivering for more close encounters.