Monday, 15 June 2015

Day 6: Not a drop

They say that the space rat that doesn't stay clean doesn't care about life.

When its a closed volume of space, and you rely on all of your systems working at high efficiency, then a messy ship is dangerous. A leak could be an early sign of imminent failure, or a strange irregular sound a harbinger of trouble.

If the signs of danger are difficult to spot amongst the dirt and the loud noises then the dirt and loud noise must themselves be a danger to life. So a space rat keeps his ship clean, quiet, and tidy, taking comfort from the flash of console lights and hum of safety devices keeping the ship functioning and you alive.

Which is why the breakdown of the water reclamation unit came as a complete surprise. A stream of cool and refreshing water one minute, then only a drop or two from condensation on the cooler. Then nothing.

Stopping for investigation showed no sign of a problem that needed to be fixed. Just no water flowing.

A quick calculation and I had just about enough water to get there and back if the rationing started now. The practice of using the recycling devices at this early stage in the journey meant I'd caught an issue before it was critical and there was a full reliance on it being operational.

Onward then. I haven't quite reached the point of no return. Knowing what was recycled to become fresh water - well lets just say the storage tanks can cope and it won't be missed for a while.

Then a cruel twist in the exploration gives me a hard to shake sensation that the universe is having its own private little joke at my expense.

A water world to the left of me.

A water world to the right of me.

A chilled ice world at 223Kelvin, with only a thin layer of unfrozen water caps.

And even a water world that acts as a moon.

None are within reach and landing on one would probably solve my water problems for good, though the ship is not yet equipped to do that kind of exploration.

So you probably can't blame me for finding the sight of water worlds a little bit too much at the moment. I'd give much to see something forest-like and with carbon based indigenous life of its own.

Not furry though... definitely not furry.