Wednesday, 10 February 2016

MORE FROM THE PAGES OF 'REACH FOR MARS' :

“No,” he replied.
“OK…so what did you want me to come over and look at then, Dick?”
He led me back down the corridor to the flight deck, where Courtney was fiddling around with the flight-control consoles, which were also lit up and flashing, scrolling, and blinking.
“As you can see, we’ve got the ship up and working. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you could take her up for a flight.”
“Well, I would be—I have no intention of even trying to do that. What else have you found out about this ship?”
“After close examination of the outer skin of the hull, I am reasonably certain that my original theory about it being sheathed in one continuous solar panel is correct. The primary power source and engine for the ship appears to be some form of electromagnetic field generator. I have also noticed in my observations that although the ship has suffered immense damage to the hull from the crash, it is still airtight, which of course means that you do not need to keep your helmet on. I also would not anticipate any problems in flight performance were you to take her up.”
“Yeah, like I said, that’s not going to happen. My question to you now is do you know how to shut it all down before we leave to head back to the city?”
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Courtney swivel the pilot seat she was sitting in around so she could watch us, and I knew what Dick was going to say before he said it.
“We’d like to stay here for a few more days to thoroughly examine the workings of the ship.”
“Not a chance! I have a lot to do back in the city, and I cannot waste any more time hanging around here.”
“Well, we were thinking that you could fly back to the city and we could stay here.”
“Are you crazy, Dick? You have no food or water and you wouldn’t have the Albatross here as backup if something went pear-shaped!”
“We could take provisions from the Albatross’s stores and containers of water from her tanks before you leave. The life-support systems and everything else we need aboard this ship are working perfectly, and we have our space suits as backup if we need them. Plus you’re only a little over an hour’s flight from here if we find that we need further backup.”
I thought about it for a short while (mainly because if anything went pear-shaped I would cop the shit for it) before I grudgingly capitulated.

“Yeah, all right. Put your helmet back on and follow me back to the Albatross to select and collect the rations you want to bring back with you.”