We have been adrift for just over 6 months, and tension on the ship has been very high. Random fighting among the passengers has increased over the last week, but nothing serious. Overall, that passengers have been wonderful, but I feel this is only because the ship has had enough supplies to meet our basic needs. Although limited, there has been enough food for all, and the solar cells have supplied enough power for basic life, but now this ship is strictly no frills.
On a good note, we have been informed that we will be in tow from another charter in a couple of days and we will get to mars in about a week give or take since the tow ship will have to cruise at a slower rate. Funny to think that we will arrive at Mars in about the same amount of time that the first people took to get to Mars hundreds of year ago. One thing I don't understand is why it took so long for a rescue ship to get to us. There are passenger ships through the area of space that we have been drifting in every couple of days. We should, in theory been under tow months ago. I've tried to ask the captain on several occasions, but he aways skirts around the subject. I just don't understand. Maybe once we get to Mars all will be answered. I personally agree with some of the passengers that somehow the ship became way off course some time during the first part of our journey and the captain doesn't want to admit to it. How this would happen, I just don't know. The captain of this ship is quite experienced, and has flown this route countless times in the past. There is just no sense to it.
Since I have had so much time on my hands, I have been working in the ships hydroponics lab. I figured I could use the extra skills learned when I start my life on Mars. Even though the colony on the surface is now quite advanced, everyone there needs to pull there weight in order for the society to flourish. I'm excited to lend my hand in the farming efforts. I'm also love to idea of working along side my new friend Ted. Over the months we have become wonderful companions. I have been surprised at what we have in common since there is so many hundreds of years between us. Even after all this time, as people still have the same basic needs, wants and goals. I have been comforted with that idea as of late.
1AM: The ship shuttered, and a low thud came from the engine room, and then silence.
1:10AM: Another sputter, and a whir sound, and silence again.
1:25AM: The sound of feet running back and forth, the yelling of commands, but still nothing from the engines.
2AM: The lights go out. emergency power back-up comes on. The ship is now running on solar power only. There is enough power for emergency lights, life support, artificial gravity, and basic food prep. The ship is now adrift in space with still four days under full power, to get to Mars. Automatic S.O.S was sent. If all goes well, a ship will be able to get to them in four or five days.
Met with James again today. Our conversation was absolutely fascinating. The things that he has experienced over his vast life amazes me. We talked mostly about the 21st century. I was most interested in what the first personal computers were like. Giant hulking boxes that would take up half of your desk. And when they first came out they were so expensive that they were a luxury. It made me laugh a little. Of course since we don't use money anymore, well it was an altogether different time. I can't imagine having to trade coin for goods. Anyway, we figured that one thread in ours shirts had thousands of times more computing power than one of the first, what did he call it? Oh, I know desktops. It all still makes me giggle a little.
I'm looking forward to learning more. We will have the rest of our lives on Mars to swap stories. I very glad of that. I only with I could have the length of life James has had.
I had a great lunch with James today. I can't believe or even completely understand how he is the age he is. I knew that there was some experimentation with extending human life, but I didn't know that the scientists of the past were so successful. According to James, after DNA repairing experiments had been stopped, some of the knowledge learned at that time, were covered up by the government, and no more people were allowed to do the DNA repair except for the people have already done it. James is the only one left. I wonder how he has been able to adapt all of this time. It must have been hard over the centuries of life to watch as everyone around him died off. I don't think I could do it. I have a great deal of respect for him just for that fact.
We are meeting tomorrow, and I can't wait to learn more about his life. I'm Especially interested in the 21st century. For whatever reason I have alway been interested in that time. A lot of the technology that we take for granted now was just beginning. I mean James would have witness some of the first people to venture into space. Now we travel through space and don't even give it a second thought, but then it was a very dangerous proposition. There are so many things I want to ask about. I guess we will just see how this conversation goes. Wow! I just can't get over the thought of living then!
After my lunch with Ted today, I think that I will have enough in common with Ted that I think we will be good neighbors. I very much enjoyed talking to him about his various farming ideas. He mentioned some seeds that have been genetically engineered to require less water. He has brought them with him, so I will be able to see how they grow as soon as we get to Mars. Maybe he will even let me try some of the left-over seeds that he might have, or the saved seeds for next year. I would love to be able to experiment with them. Also, it sounds like he will have a fairly large parcel of land since he works for a farm based on Earth, and he will be responsible for a good portion of the food for the Mare colony. The colony has alway produced its own food, but there has always been a small need to get some food supplies from Earth. From what Ted told me, his farm should be able to produce enough to fill the gap. At that point Mars will be a completely self sufficient planet. I'm so glad that I will be able to see that.
During our lunch, Ted and I were able to talk for a couple of hours. I let him know about my age and a few things about my life. He seemed to be fascinated with the vast amount of time that I have been alive, and how technology has advanced over that time. He was very interested in the 21st century. He had learn about it in school, but said there some big gaps in the history books about the way of life. So, that was a large part of our discussion. I loved talking about my early life with him. Most people don't even care about that time. It made me laugh when he asked, did you even have computer when you were born? He was amazed to hear that we did, but even the most simple calculations would require a computer as large as a house basically. It was very fun to think about those old times. In fact my mind is still wandering back, and Iv'e had a chance to laugh and cry a little while Iv'e sat here in my room.
We have decided to meet again tomorrow. He said, if I was willing He would like to know more about my earlier years. Of course I will be happy to tell hime a little more about my past.
On a side note. I wasn't able to talk to the captain, and I'm still a little worried about the ships shutter that woke me last night. I'm sure it is minor but I need to set my mind at ease.
A little bit of fear has entered my mind about this journey. After feeling the shutter of the ship yesterday, there hasn't been any announcement from the captain about it. It wasn't huge, but it was enough to wake me up after we got back to our cabins. Today, I have heard other people talking about it so I know other people are starting to get a little bit worried about it. Although, there hasn't been any further disruption on the ship that I have noticed. So, maybe I'm just over reacting to the whole situation. I have been known to do this in the past. If I do see the captain I will ask him though.
I'm looking forward to meeting Ted for lunch today. I'm really hoping we can be friends since we are going to be living so close to each other on Mars, and we have common interests in that we are both fond of growing our own food. When you are as old as I am, It is hard to make friends. Most of the time with the age difference it is hard to find common ground. That is the worst thing for me. A lot of the time I feel out of touch with the current time in history. Sometimes my mind is still back in the 21st century not the 27th. I would say that is why I'm the last living from that time. All of the others that were allowed to have there DNA repaired just felt too out of touch. They all eventually let themselves die by not getting their DNA repaired and aging like everyone else. Maybe some day I will feel so out of touch that this will happen to me, but for now I still have too much to do. There is just too much out in the universe to see.
Well, I'm off to lunch with Ted.
The computer has run a full diagnostic of the engines. The conclusion is that one of the power cells is starting to fail. We have ten power cells, and can run on only five. I have decided that we are going to press on without replacing the cell for now. We will be able to replace the cell when we get to Mars. They have informed me they have ample in supply reserves. I have informed the crew that we will have to stay on at Mars in order to do a full work-up on the ship.
On a more uplifting note, I have informed the crew that they will receive five extra days of shore leave on there choice of Mars or Earth, and I feel thins is much needed since we have made five trips without any break. I'm also very much looking forward to seeing my family on Earth. Some two months is just far too long to be away from the people you love.
A shutter. Very slight, but it was noticeable. Voice on the bridge. "Warning. The engines have experienced a power fluctuation. If the power fluctuation persists the engines will shut down for the safety of the ship. Captain how would you like to proceed?"
The captain. "Run a diagnostic, and report back computer."
The computer. "Yes captain, this will take thirty minutes time.Running now."
It is 9:00 PM Earth time, and we are just getting back to our cabins and the other parts of the ship now. I'm so glad we didn't have to spend the night down in the lower holds of the ship. People were already getting restless and it was only about eight hours. I can only imagine how people would be like if we had to stay down there for a few more hours, and god forbid if we had to be down there for 24. For a short moment I had a flashback of commercial airline flights of the 21st century. It was just how people bitched and moaned if there flight was slightly delayed back then. I had to chuckle. Here we are on a journey that used to be considered extremely hazardous, and is now routine. Some people even take the trip as a vacation with there kids it is so safe. And yet, there is still so much that can go wrong, and you are far enough from Earth that if there is a major problem it would be hard to rescue the survivors.
There was one woman in particular that threw a huge fit, and was demanding that they let her out of the safe areas of the ship. The crew had to tell her, very calmly, I might add, that she would likely have radiation poisoning it she were to leave, and they couldn't allow her to exit. She said, "I don't believe you. You are just playing us all for fools. Isn't there some kind of waiver that I could sign so that I could be let off this part of the ship?" The crew just came back over and over again stating why they couldn't let her leave, and in the back of my mind I was hoping, just a little, that they would come back and say, "OK, here is your waiver. you can now have free rein on the ship." This went on for about half an hour until the lady just gave up and sulked for the rest of the time. Ever once in a while I would here her say, "This is so stupid! Don't they know how much we paid for this trip?" It was very hard for me not to laugh.
Me, on the other hand, just waited patiently and read a book. Besides, we were well fed, and they arranged some entertainment. There was games, and a couple of the crew knew how to play musical instruments. I was very happy. Of course, I would have been happy with the food and my book. I have always been very laid back though. I just go with the flow. I think life is better if you are laid back. Life isn't hard. We make it that way.
This is your captain speaking. "Due to the severity of the solar flairs, we will need to keep you in the safe areas of the ship for a couple more hours. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. We will try to keep you as comfortable as possible, and will move everyone into the other parts of the ship as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience."