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.

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