Department of the Exterior
Deep Space Division
Volunteer Captain’s Log – Supplemental and Psychological
Voice Recording Transcript
CT Satellite – Research
Dr. J. Sindhu
Day 224-236 2162
I am initiating FO-EMA protocol for multiple consecutive missed mandatory transmissions from the planet. No signal at all being received from Canes Turnbull. Log truncated to allow maximum speed of diagnosis and correction.
It has become clear that there is a significant problem with communication equipment; however I have been unsuccessful thus far in identifying the source of the problem. I am unable to verify the reception of any signal from anywhere on the surface, although I am able to confirm the successful reception and decoding of extra-solar signals when the array is reoriented. Despite the anxiety this causes I am going to rerun the initial test sequences and then attempt a first-hand physical examination of the array. Research logs still meet Mission standard, but they’re starting to lack some of the detail of earlier entries.
I have personally examined the Ku-band transmitter and photon entanglement transceiver array and the computer system as thoroughly as I am able. I have space-walked without radio contact, despite the insurance ramifications. I have reduced the allocation of energy to heating and have re-rationed all food and water. The current exposure tests have been paused; it is fortunate that this is possible at the current juncture.
It seems at this point more probable to both Harold and me that there is a problem on the ground. I have activated the distress beacon, set all of the systems to the most efficient levels I can endure, and at this time I anticipate . . . well, [laughter] probably death. I wouldn’t have come here if I wasn’t comfortable being alone. Wouldn’t have been chosen either, I guess. So I guess I’m not going to let it bother me unduly now.
The protocols that seemed so exhaustive and formidable back home no longer seem equal to the situation, in terms of gravity. Not gravity, but . . . severity. Mental gravity. The meditation regimen is becoming itself a source of vexation, and more errors have been identified in the research review than previously, making the additional work also frustrating. But what am I to do? It is resumed, anyway, all but the bombardment test, which Harold believes is the only one the minimum power draw will not support. We are lucky. We are not feeling so lucky!
I have consumed the entirety of the galley’s wine: this is the reason that I have missed a day. I am penitent but also believe this was inevitable. It is all gone now, except for the increased burden on the recycling system, and the last of the headache. Harold is certain that the current sustenance level, although lower than the minimum insurable amounts, will be sufficient for several weeks. I will consider the associated psychological challenges and remedies today.
There is no response to the distress beacon yet, and I am reasonably certain of isolated death. Humanity is unable or unwilling to contact me, and God is as silent as ever. I will begin to significantly decompose only weeks after my death, due to the low temperature and sealed environment. I anticipate continued indifference from the Lord. It is presumably too much to ask for a dust cloud to abruptly mince the station and myself.
I will shortly be space-walking blind, as it appears that will allow me to manually check on the dichroic mirror without taking too much of my remaining power. As long as the solar continues to hold I will have time until I run out of food, which I now estimate will be almost two more weeks. At this point I am forced to assume that something catastrophic has happened in or to the Canes Turnbull dome, and that my only hope of rescue is that a previously unscheduled inter-stellar voyage will arrive. Therefore I will also attempt to redeploy the old s-band array, which Harold has never actually used. Harold says he is looking forward to writing the new program. I say it will enable those stranded in the future to more quickly confirm their situation’s hopelessness. Harold says that is being negative.
<recording stops and resumes>
Guess what? The damned dichroic mirror is flawless! I might have believed the instruments. I blame Harold. [laughter]
The residents of CT are almost certainly not in contact because they have suffered. . . a mishap. They are dead. I can see the dome is still there, but that’s all. Not thinking about the people is easy. Well, I mean, I don’t find. . . no. It’s true. I’m long cried out anyway. What’s nagging me now is how far the loss of the labs will push back true mass interstellar shielding. Even if I could solve all the problems in this station’s mandate, colonial launch could be pushed back years. Years. Too long.
I have exhausted every possibility, and have no significant hope of contact. Trying to resign myself makes me . . . think back. I am thinking a lot about when they died. My love and my baby. Of course that’s why I’m here. I think of them as in – I think of their souls. Sometimes my soul. I am unable to consider rationally the problem of what to do with myself, and so have decided to dose myself with Biphenicylate and jettison my body into space. At least the waiting will be over.
<recording stops and resumes>
The following will be my suicide note: To humanity I leave this station’s work with all hope it will be useful. I hope for the residents of Canus settlement. I carry all of my love with me to my beloved angels.
It seems that Harold’s capacity to override his own override program is greater than I had been led to believe. I could never have imagined why a few days ago. I am now sitting in the lab eating a sandwich, regretting my hasty suicide note, and trying to decide what to do about it. What to do, I suppose, in general. Harold says ‘the work.’ I do believe the species can survive and make a new home if we can solve these problems. I suspect I have several more hours to think about it before I can walk again. The mental effects of Biphenicylate persist much longer than I had expected. My plan would have worked perfectly if not for Harold’s refusal to open the door.
<recording stops and resumes>
They asked several times during the screening process if I was coming out here to get away from my family’s tragedy. I said ‘partially.’ I said I knew I couldn’t get away. My wife and child and the accident will always be with me. But for a while, it wasn’t as much. Now I feel close to them. As they are now. We are almost all dead people. Except that I have a task.
Harold refuses to shut off the Q.E. transceiver, and the radio requires almost no power whatsoever, but all other communications equipment has been disarmed and even removed. Power is allocated to preserve essential lab function indefinitely, while maintaining my survival for as long as possible. This is my only option. It will be necessary for the continuance of the research for me to cope with my impending demise rationally. I will die in all likelihood between two and three weeks from now, and my corpse will remain here for some number of months, depending on the reason for my isolation. It is my goal to leave the research in a state in which Harold can continue to collect data after my death, and there is reason to believe that the exposure tests can be mostly completed, even without me. The small influence that the end of my life has on these samples may indeed represent a contribution to the ongoing improvement of humanity’s understanding of our physical reality. If I can reach through the vast emptiness of space far enough to brush the fingers of my fellow beings, then the remainder of my life can join my spirit closer to spirits of all life, and death can be my route to awe. All devotions made by a man, of anything he has, are most holy. Have we not expanded for all our breasts? Weighed down our backs? So verily, with every difficulty there is relief. Therefore, now I am free, I will labour hard, and to my task turn my attention. Mount me on your streamers and let me blow to nothingness with the rest.
This is anticipated to be the last entry by DRL Jonah Sindhu, Research Volunteer Captain, UNSAS 3401225. I will soon run out of food. The measurements will still be recorded in the appropriate tables, until such time as I am incapable of doing so. Life is short and science is long, but Harold is optimistic. Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord! [laughter]