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."
We have been the area of the ship the crew is calling the safe zone for three hours now. We have been assured by the crew that the solar flairs are dissipating, but it will be a while longer before we can move back into the other parts of the ship. People have been very patient, but you can tell some of the passengers are getting nervous. I have watched the crew, and there doesn't seem to be anything mechanical wrong with the ship. They don't seem nervous at all, and I think this is helping to keep the other passengers calm for now. I'm hoping this will be the only time we have to do this on our journey since we still have about seven days left to go. We have been told that we will have an announcement from the captain soon. I guess I will just hunker down and read my book for a while longer.
On a lighter note, I'm planning on meeting up with Ted tomorrow for lunch. I think we really clicked the other day. Maybe we can make a day of it and spend some time on one of the recreation decks. There is all sorts of things to do including viewing and or interacting with one of the halo novels. The last couple of year I've had great fun with the new halo technology, and this new form of entertainment has become very popular on earth. Iv'e heard that it is starting to become popular on Mars as well. With the total emersion into the story, and the ability to become one of the characters it is a great way to get away from life for a while. Some people will use these stories as a cheap replacement for an entire vacation. And, as you can imagine, the fantasies have run wild. People have even started to install rooms in there home dedicated to the experience.
We are in the process of moving the passengers and crew into what the crew calls the safe zone on the ship. Iv'e never seen such powerful solar fairs from the sun in the ten years Iv'e been transporting people to Mars. I might even have to extend the time that everyone stays in the more protected areas of the ship. I never like to do that. There always seems to be problems when people are confined that smallish area of the ship. I guess your mind starts to wander, and when that happens people tend to get scared, and some people tend to get angry. We have even had some fights in the past. Anyway, we are all hoping that the storms will pass as quickly as they have come. I have to say that this has been one of the best deployments of people into the safe zones in quite some time. I'll call a meeting, as soon as this is over to give praises to the crew.
The ship is running well this journey, but it is time to run maintenance on the ship. When we arrive in the space dock at Mars, I will order that we stay a couple extra days for that task. The crew wont be too happy with the prospect, but they will have shore leave when we get back to earth. This being much needed. Some of us have gone six months without a break; only having the weekends. I have to admit, the transport business can be very hard at time. It is hard to spend a long time away from family, and for some reason it seems to be harder on people in space.
This is your captain speaking, "To all passengers and crew. Please move to deck 5, meeting areas B, C, and D. We will be experiencing larger than normal amounts of radiation due to recent solar flairs. These meeting areas are equipped to more shielding than the other parts of the ship. We are sorry for any inconvenience this might have caused. The higher levels of radiation will pass in a few hours. There will be access to refreshments. These area are equipped with medical supplies if needed. If you require assistance there will be crew members to assist until all are in requested areas. Thank you."
I have been reminiscing about the past today when it really donned on me that I was really doing this; I was going to Mars. I was going to start over with my life. Most people would think that the decision to move to another planet would take a long time of pondering, but not me. I guess that says a lot about me. Iv'e moved about a lot over the years, and I've never really figured out what I want to do with my life. Oh, I've had various office jobs over the years, and I've never been out of work for very long, but I have never found anything that has really satisfied me until the last couple of months. I quit my last pitiful office job, and started an apprenticeship working for a farmer. I find that working with the plants, having my hands in the soil has somehow grounded me. No pun intended. After working for the farmer, his name is Henry by the way, for a month he asked if I would be willing to work on the Mars colony. After a couple more weeks of work, I thought to myself what the hell! I didn't have anything to loose. My whole life I had been wandering around trying to figure out what I wanted to do. Why not start over, besides I finally found something I like to do. Maybe now my parents might be proud of me.
I never have had a very good relationship with my parents. I'm not sure why. To people looking in from the outside, I would think they would think that our family was pretty perfect. We did things together, we celebrated all the holidays together, and when were together, it looked overall we got along. But, I always felt like I was the black sheep in the family. It's like I never fit in. I think that my wondering enforced that feeling of being an outsider in the family. It is my hope that me moving to Mars will help me find my way. Somehow I feel that this will be my last move. I'm looking forward to starting my work on Mars.
As a side note I met someone the other day named James. We were able to talk for a while. It sounds strange, but he seems to have more knowledge than his year. I just can't put my finger on it. We did find out that we were going to be living fairly close to each other. Maybe we will be friends. He seems very nice anyway.
I had a tour of the ship today. I was able to see the entire ship except for the bridge module which is strictly off limits to everyone except the captain and bridge crew. I would have loved to see that, but I guess I would have to join the space program in order to do that. The ship is just over 1200 feet long and has 20 decks, and has every convenience of home. I was interested to know that everyone has the same accommodation. There is only one fee, and one type of state room for our travels across space. I guess I didn't pay attention when I booked my passage. Most of the ship is what seems to be endless passageways with common areas dispersed throughout, along with three restaurants, one being formal and the other two being a casual affair. The 20th deck has a wonderful garden that takes up most of the deck. It includes some 200 different species including a vegetable garden that the crew uses in our meals. The deck uses lighting that simulates natural sunlight, and has several huge windows that have spectacular views of the stars. There are quite a few places where people can sit and just enjoy there day. I would have to say that this is my favorite part of the ship. It's absolutely marvelous. The last part of the ship that I was able to explore was engineering. Located in the belly of the ship, in places, it took up two decks. Even though I was able to see this part of the ship, there was extensive security measures taken. The amount of technology crammed into every area of engineering overwhelmed the senses. The sound was also massive, churning, beeping, and humming. It all fascinated me, but the concepts were so beyond my knowledge that it was like the tour guides were speaking another language. You see, throughout my long life I've tried to keep things as simple as possible. Although I have enjoyed the advancement in technology and have been able to use it, I don't pretend to understand how it works. I had a wonderful day. It very intriguing.
Day one of my travels. The new transport ships are far faster, and are able to get to Mars in ten days. It amazes me that we can travel such vast distances in such a short time. When I was young it would take months to get to Mars and it was extremely dangerous. There were numerous people that lost there lives making the journey. Now that I think about it, it's incredible that we even have a colony there. And, it's a thieving one at that.
The accommodations on the ship can only be described as very similar to that of a luxury cruise back on Earth. The rooms are not huge by any means, but they are about 600 sq ft. There is a bed with the finest linens, a place to sit, a small kitchenette, and a very nice bathroom. Each room is equipped with a port hole and the view of the stars is spectacular. The food on the ship is also wonderful. It is all prepared by hand, and with the freshest produce, and meat if you want that credits can buy. I could get better from my own garden. And, I certainly couldn't prepare in a better fashion.
I met someone today as well. His name is Ted, and we were able to talk for some time. He is from London, and also has a passion for growing his own food. He will be living not far from me in the colony. I hope our relationship will grow into a friendship. Also, I have to say that he is very good looking. Yes, even after 700 years I still have strong drive for that sort of thing. He has just the most stunning green eyes and large frame. Listen to me. I sound just like a school boy.
The year is 2674, and I'm 700 years old today. My name is James and I've been living on Earth my whole life, Iv'e decided to start a new life in the colonies on Mars. There is nothing left for me here, and the over population has become overwhelming. There isn't a place on the planet that doesn't have at least some people living on it. Even the moon is overrun cities and people. Funny, I thought the year 2000 was complicated, and there was too many people, but there is no comparison. I would say there is thousands of times more of us humans, and now we are spreading throughout the cosmos like some type of virus. I guess it's a good thing that the universe is a very big place. I suppose that whatever form we are in the future, we will live wherever we can survive. Or, eventually we will just die out as our sun slowly fades away in about 5 billion years. It is still strange for me to think that there have been several generations of people that have never known the Earth. Oh, they might have learned some facts about the Earth in there history classes. And sure, they might hear some news stories about the politics of Earth, but they don't know it. All it is to them is a small blue dot in the night sky. Most people on Mars wont even see Earth through a telescope. They will know it's there but wont even give it a second thought.
Well, I suppose you are wondering just how I'm the age that I am. Not all people are able to live throughout the centuries with virtually without age. You see I'm an experiment of the year 2045. At that point I was getting to be very advanced in my age, but at that point we had started to develop ways to repair DNA. At that time there was a select group of people selected for the experiment as part of a lottery, and I was one of the lucky ones selected. Needless to say the experiment worked. At the age of 700 I look to be a man of about 45 to 50, and as long as I keep up the DNA treatments I will stay this age seemly forever. Will I keep up the treatments. I just don't know. I think as long as life is fulfilling I will keep on going. I was happy on Earth for 700 years. I don't see why I couldn't be happy on Mars for 700 more, and be that point there might be other places in the universe that I might want to go. The Universe is basically endless, so why shouldn't my life in it be?
You might ask, why doesn't everyone have the ability to live for hundreds of year? Two words, politics and religion. The two things that have stopped any real progress for countless centuries. Shortly after the small group of us were able to have our DNA repaired, there were several groups that were formed debated that the whole process was unnatural. They said that there is a whole natural order to thing. You live, you reproduce, and you die. Non-sense, at least I think. Anyway, It was decided that there was to be no more DNA replacement therapy, but those who already had DNA therapy could continue with the therapy. There have been fights ever since, but nothing has been resolved. I believe I'm the only one left. The rest of the people involved either couldn't adapt to the changes that the centuries and to bring, or they just got tired of living. I never understood that. There has been so much for me to learn, and do over the centuries that I never want to die. There is simply too much to see, and the universe is just too big.
A little background on Mars. Around 2060 we started the process of colonization, and terraforming. It was a huge leap and sacrifice for the first to go to the planet. They left everything behind, and never came back to Earth. They couldn't, if they were going to get what they needed to get done. In fact, there were several generations that lived on the planet that never had the chance to go back to Earth, and by that point they didn't want to unless they were very curious. It took several hundred more year before the people of Mars were able to walk on the surface without a space suit. And, only now are they able to walk around outside without a little oxygen mask. It has only been the last 50 or 60 years that the sky has started to turn blue. For the past 20 year or so, we have been in the process of building a moon for the planet to help to stabilize it. Essentially we are trying to keep the planet from wobbling on its axis. The new moon is absolutely amazing in its engineering. A scale of construction never seen in history before. We have even incorporated Mars's two tiny moons that were orbiting the planet before. The moons Phobos and Deimos fit very nicely inside the structure. I myself think it is a great monument to them. They are like the little moons that could. On Mars today there are about 300,000 people that live there full time. So, its only about the size of a small city on Earth. The colony is arranged like a spoked wheel that has a center hub for commerce and pleasure, and spokes coming off of that for living centers. In-between each spoke for living there are farming spokes, and the colony has done very well being self sufficient. Most of the food on Mars are fruits and vegetable. They do have some livestock suck as chickens for eggs, but it's not like you can get a hamburger. I would say that over-all the people live a much healthier lifestyle. All of the transportation is done on foot and mass transportation. From what I'm told it is extremely easy to get around. I'm so looking forward to that kind of life. It has become so difficult to get around on Earth. There are just too many people. I would think that is why the Idea of living on Mars is becoming so popular. On average there is 5,000 people a year that decide to make the move. I have gotten myself a job on one of the farms on Mars. Over the centuries on Earth I have been able to produce most of my own food, and I sold a great deal of it to locals. I was able to make a pretty good mane for myself, and I hope to be able to do the same on Mars. Working with soil is when I'm the happiest.