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Literature
Space Dragon, for GURPS Supers
True Identity: Altaniun Alfada' *
Species: Wazagan.
Gender: Female.
Height: 7’2”.
Weight: 325 lbs.
Eyes: Gold.
Skin: Deep blue.
Hair: Purple with black ends, usually worn in a French braid.
Outfit: (Outside Armor) Black skinsuit with silver highlights. (Inside armor) Anthropomorphic, winged, mechanical, armored dragon painted black & silver, with a glowing red visor slit.
 
Attributes: ST 15 [9]*, DX 14 [80], IQ 12 [40], HT 12 [20]
 
Secondary Characteristics: Dmg: Thrust 1d+1, Swing 2d+1, HP: 20 [10], Will 14 [10], Per 13 [5], FP 15 [9], Basic Speed: 7 [10], Basic Move: 8 [5].
 
Build: Size +1, Appearance: Attractive (impressive) [4].
 
Features: Tail.
 
Social: TL +2 [10], Culture: Wazagan Empire [0], Western
:iconSir-Talen:Sir-Talen
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Mature content
The Martian: Earth or Bust, Conclusion :iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 0 2
Mature content
The Martian: Earth or Bust, Part Eight :iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 0 0
Mature content
The Martian: Earth or Bust, Part Seven :iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 0 2
Mature content
Judy's Recovery: Social Mammals :iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 5 8
Mature content
The Martian: Earth or Bust, Part Six :iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 0 0
Mature content
The Martian: Earth or Bust, Part Five :iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 0 0
Literature
GURPS Foxen 2.0
Description
 
Foxen are bipedal, digitigrade mammals resembling anthropomorphic Terran foxes, native to Foxen Prime, a lush Earth-like world. Though not the most numerous race in the Allied Worlds, they are hearty adventurers with both deeply held curiosity and a reverence for nature. Though their world is not united, the Foxen Protectorate projects an outward show of unity, which masks some widening cracks.
 
Foxen Racial Package, 36 Points
 
Attribute Modifiers: ST -1 [-10], DX +1 [20]
Advantages: Acute Hearing/1 [2], Acute Taste/Smell/2 [4], Blunt Claws [3], Discriminatory Smell [15], Sharp Teeth [1]
Perks: DR 1 on palms, bottoms of feet [1], Fur [1]
Disadvantages: None
Quirks: Dislikes wearing shoes [-1]
Features: Tail
 
Status* Examples Monthly Cost of Living
6 Countess of the
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Mature content
The Martian: Earth or Bust, Part 4 :iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 0 1
Mature content
The Martian, Earth or Bust, Part 3 :iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 0 0
Mature content
The Martian: Earth or Bust: Part 2 :iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 0 2
Mature content
The Martian: Homeward Bound :iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 0 0
Literature
Judy's Recovery: Baker's Mammal
Judy looked down at the slice of warm apple pie on her plate, a scoop of ice cream nestled beside it, and worried her incisors against her lower lip. “Maybe I shouldn’t have this,” she said.
Nick looked up from his own slice of apple pie, mouth already full with a bite, and mumbled around it, “Y’ gonna inshult t’ chef like ‘at?” He nodded towards Gideon Grey, who was whistling happily as he filled a cherry pie with filling behind the counter of his bakery. Judy was sitting with Nick at one of the small tables set near the front window of the shop, for customers coming in for a quick snack. He swallowed and continued, “Besides, you earned this reward.”
She had actually. Judy had jogged the six miles or so from the farm to the edge of town, huffing and sucking on a water bottle as Nick kept pace with her. It had been her furthest sustained run since she’d come back home four months ago. Better still, she’d finished i
:iconSir-Talen:Sir-Talen
:iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 2 3
Literature
Dragon Mom: Sir Simon
The argument between the barbarian and the knight seemed to finally reach a conclusion, with the barbarian walking off grumpily, his paperwork balled up in his first. The knight in the white enameled armor nodded in satisfaction, walking up towards the mouth of the cave, halting about halfway up the slope leading to the entrance. He doffed his helm and Miriam saw that he appeared to be an older man, perhaps in his early sixties, with neatly trimmed grey beard framing a round, grandfatherly face.
“Oh, Great Dragon of the Green Hills,” he bellowed in an impressive baritone, one hand resting on the butt of his sword. “I, Sir Simon of the Broken Lands, call you forth to engage me in single combat, for the life of the innocent maiden you hold in your clutches.”
“Is he serious?” Miriam asked the dragon, finishing the last of her popcorn.
“Yes, but don’t worry. He means well,” the dragon reassured her. She stood up from her relaxed sitting
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:iconsir-talen:Sir-Talen 1 5
Literature
Dragon Mom, Part Two
She didn’t actually have a name. Indeed, she would have been insulted if she’d been told she needed one. “The Dragon of the Green Hills” was a lovely title, and it fit her perfectly. Well, if you wanted to get really technical about she was A Dragon of the Green Hills, but her son would earn his own title in time, assuming he didn’t accidentally spear himself on the end of some poor knight’s lance before he grew old enough for his own cave.
Another half-century and I can kick him out to find a home of his own, she reminded herself. She loved her son, but she’d be the first to admit that sometimes he didn’t have the sense of a cow, looking up into the rain with its mouth agape and wondering why it was drowning.
She sighed and shook her carriage sized head, trying to shake off her mood. It had been over seven years since someone had offered up a princess for her to kidnap. Seven years of dutifully patrolling the kingdom during
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Literature
Dragon Mom, REBOOT
It was getting awfully cold, Gilly thought. Here she was, wearing her best party dress and tiara, standing in the middle of the front lawn, at midnight, chained to a post, and the blasted dragon was late.
She gave the chains desultory tug, then unlatched her right wrist and scratched her nose before resecuring herself. It was midnight under a full moon, and she was a princess. The dragon had to show up, those were the rules.
I’ll give it ten more minutes and then I’m calling it a night, Gilly thought irritably, feeling the chill wind blow against her dress, her silk slippers growing damp and cold in the dew covered grass. She should have brought a shawl just in case, but it had seemed to clash with the whole “Princess Waiting to Be Devoured” thing. It had been hard enough to convince Daddy to mount this ugly pole in the middle of their nice, manicured lawn. She wasn’t exactly looking forward to the Look he’d give he
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Groups

Journal History

Activity


True Identity: Altaniun Alfada' *


Species: Wazagan.


Gender: Female.


Height: 7’2”.


Weight: 325 lbs.


Eyes: Gold.


Skin: Deep blue.


Hair: Purple with black ends, usually worn in a French braid.


Outfit: (Outside Armor) Black skinsuit with silver highlights. (Inside armor) Anthropomorphic, winged, mechanical, armored dragon painted black & silver, with a glowing red visor slit.


 


Attributes: ST 15 [9]*, DX 14 [80], IQ 12 [40], HT 12 [20]


 


Secondary Characteristics: Dmg: Thrust 1d+1, Swing 2d+1, HP: 20 [10], Will 14 [10], Per 13 [5], FP 15 [9], Basic Speed: 7 [10], Basic Move: 8 [5].


 


Build: Size +1, Appearance: Attractive (impressive) [4].


 


Features: Tail.


 


Social: TL +2 [10], Culture: Wazagan Empire [0], Western [1]. Languages: Wazagan (native) [0], Galactic Basic (native) [6], English (accented) [4].


 


Advantages: Acute Hearing/2 [0] @, Acute Vision/1 [0] @, Daredevil [15], DR 2 (Tough Skin) [0] @, Empathy [15], Fit [5], Gizmos/2 [10], Night Vision/2 [0] @, Sharp Claws [0] @, Sharp Teeth [0] @, Social Regard/2 (superhero) [10], Unusual Background (stranded alien) [10], Wazagan Racial Package [43] ++.


 


Perks: Accessory: Built in comm [1], Deep sleeper [1], Penetrating Voice [1].


 


Disadvantages: Charitable [-15], Clueless [-10], Duty (to Wazagan Empire, Extremely Hazardous, Rarely) [-7], Impulsiveness [-10], Pacifism (Cannot harm innocents) [-10], Secret (utter rejection) [-10], Selfless [-5], Sleepy (12 hours) [0] @, Slow Riser [0] @, Sense of Duty (friends, small group) [-5].


 


Quirks: Doesn’t let anyone help her with her armor [-1], Minor Addiction: Chocolate chip cookies [-1], Plays up the “Funny Alien” schtick [-1], Verbally distracts when questioned about the Empire [-1].


 


Skills: Aerobatics 15 [8], Area Knowledge: Galaxy 14 [4], Armoury (Battlesuits) 13 [4], Armoury (Small Arms) 13 [4], Beam Weapons (rifle) 16 [4], Brawling 16 [4], Climbing 13 [4], Computer Operation 13 [2], Crewman (spacer) 13 [2], Dancing 14 [2], Electronics Operation (Comm) 12 [2], Electronics Operation (Sensors) 12 [2], Environment Suit (Battlesuit) 16 [8], Explosives (Demolition) 13 [4], Fast Talk 13 [4], First Aid 14 [4], Forward Observer 13 [4], Free Fall 15 [4], Gunner (Beams) 16 [4], Innate Attack 16 [8], Interrogation 14 [8], Intimidation 15 [4], Jumping 15 [2], Melee Weapon (Force Sword) 15 [4], Melee Weapon (Two-Handed Axe/Mace) 15 [4], Melee Weapon (Two-Handed Sword) 15 [4], Navigation (Air) 13 [4], Navigation (Space) 13 [4], Navigation (Hyperspace) 13 [4], Observation 16 [8], Parachuting 15 [2], Piloting (Aerospace) 15 [4], Piloting (Flight Pack) 15 [4], Piloting (High-Performance Spacecraft) 15 [4], Running 13 [4], Soldier 14 [8], Stealth 15 [4], Survival (Desert) 13 [4], Tactics 12 [4], Traps 13 [4].


 


Super Equipment:


Space Armor (Breakable, DR 25 -5%, SM 0 -25%, Can Be Stolen -10%, Total -40%), ST +15 [75] **, 360 Degree Vision [15], Absolute Timing [1], Binding/15 [18], DR 25 [75], Discriminatory Hearing [9], Doesn’t Breathe [12], Enhanced Move (Ground)/1 [12], Enhanced Move (Flight)/5 [60], Flight (Winged -25%) [14], Hyperspectral Vision [15], Innate Attack (Omni Beam)/5 (Blaster, (burn), Armor Divisor (5) +150% [38], Stun Beam (fat) [6], Force Beam (cr) Cone, 5 yards width +60,% Double Knockback +20%, No Wounding -50% [1], Parabolic Hearing/5 [12], Pressure Support 1 [3], Protected Sense (vision, hearing) [6], Scanning Sense (Para-Radar) [24], Sealed [9], Telecommunication (Radio) [6], Telescopic Vision/5 [15]. 351 pt.s





Background: Altaniun Alfada' arrived on Earth in a ball of fire, when her singleship suffered a disastrous malfunction and her hyperspace jump ended ten light years off course and inside the Earth’s atmosphere. She managed to eject just as her ship blew up, landing in the woods a few miles outside of Seattle. When she woke up, Alta found herself in the infirmary at the headquarters of the Sea Strikers, Seattle’s premier superhero team. Fortunately the building’s AI managed to quickly figure out the Wazagan language, and Alta was able to explain that she was a member of the Wazagan Space Patrol, and that with her ship destroyed she was likely stranded for life.


 


To Alta’s delight, she was welcomed into the team, and with the help of her armored suit, established herself as one of the Striker’s more effective bricks. If she didn’t like to talk about what life was like back home, the team was alright with that, understanding that Alta didn’t want to dwell on it.


 


Actually, the reason why Alta doesn’t want to discuss life back home, is that she’d have to admit to how much she’s been lying. Instead of being a member of the Space Patrol Alta is really a long range scout for the Wazagan Star Empire, an aggressive and expansionist government that developed superluminal drives on its own, unlike the Wazagans from the Red Vixen universe.


 


When she crash landed on Earth, it was the first time in her life that Alta had ever met aliens that didn’t cower in fear in her presence. To her surprise she found herself gladly making friends with them. Unfortunately this is tainted by the fact that the Star Empire is out there, and its scout ships are at best perhaps five years away from finding the Earth and new a planet full of servitors to be conquered. Alta is terrified of them arriving, and worse, what her new friends will think of her when they discover she’s been lying this entire time.


 


* Which is Arabic for… um… “Space Dragon”. Face it, subtle naming schemes are not traditional in superhero comics.


** -10% for Size +1.


@ Wazagan racial package.


++ Note: This version of Wazagans does not include the Low Tech disadvantage, since it represents a space faring race visiting 21st century Earth.

Mature Content

This content is intended for mature audiences.


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LOG ENTRY
MISSION DAY 875


Among the other supplies NASA provide for a mission to maintain morale, is a supply of decorations for various holidays that we can put in the rec and other non-critical spaces. All non-flammable of course.

It’s the day after Thanksgiving. I can put up the Christmas decorations if I want. I’d have done the Hanukkah and Kwanzaa ones too, but no one on the Ares 3 mission observes those holidays. We’ve even got a little plastic Christmas tree to put in the center of the rec’s table. I spent a good hour spreading the cheer on the walls of the rec and the hallways. It’s nice to see some colors like red and green and ice blue to contrast all the grey metal, white plastic, and beige paint of the Hermes’ interior.

Sure (barring complications) we’re gonna be back on the ground by the time the holidays roll around, but you can’t tell me we don’t have reasons to celebrate. A little less than four weeks and we’re going to be home.



LOG ENTRY
MISSION DAY 875 (2)


For the record, I am not the one who sat Beck’s EVA suit on the rec’s couch with a Santa hat on top of its helmet.



LOG ENTRY
MISSION DAY 875 (3)


Martinez swears it wasn’t him either. Either Commander Lewis hasn’t noticed yet, or she’s deliberately ignoring it, in order to give the idiot who put it there a chance to put it back before she starts chewing our asses off.



LOG ENTRY
MISSION DAY 875 (4)


Oops. Lewis noticed. Here’s the memo she sent us all on the ship’s intranet.

To: All Ares 3 Crew
From: Commander Melissa Lewis
Re: Inappropriate Stowage of Ship’s Equipment

As both the holidays and the end of our extended mission approach, I realize a sense of relief, and perhaps outright giddiness, may be overcoming certain members of our crew. However, let me remind you that we must be careful, and not take any action that might endanger the safe operation of Hermes and the health of the Ares 3 mission team. To that end I wish to point out the following:

1. When not in use, EVA suits and related equipment are to be stored in their protective bags in the Airlock 2 vestibule. They are not snowmen.

2. Likewise, to prevent critical crew errors, please do not spike the eggnog.

3. Hermes features the most advanced space life support systems ever designed to keep the ship’s interior at a comfortable operating temperature. It does not have, nor does it require, a fireplace.

3a. If you really want hot smores, you can warm them in the microwave.

4. When disagreeing with any of my orders, please address me in an adult manner. My name is Commander Melissa Lewis, not “Mrs. Scrooge.”

5. I can assure you that Santa will come to visit us at the Crew Recovery Center at Cape Canaveral on December 25th. You don’t need to leave cookies and milk in the rec for him.

6. Happy Holidays. I know finally coming home and seeing our families again will be the best present of all.



LOG ENTRY
MISSION DAY 875 (5)


Wow, Lewis really does have a sense of humor. Who knew?

Also, Beck’s suit is stowed properly again. It really wasn’t me. It couldn’t have been Lewis, and I swear Beck and Johannssen were busy in her cabin when the incident occurred. Which leaves… Vogel?

Couldn’t have been...

Could it?



LOG ENTRY
MISSION DAY 891


Another milestone: We have crossed the orbit of the Moon. Earth is now the proverbial big blue marble in the window. In seven days we’re going to be in orbit around it. We’ll be home.

When the Apollo astronauts left the Moon, it only took them three days to home. Right now we’re actually travelling a lot slower than they did, because Hermes’ ion thrusters can only slow the ship down a max of 3mm per second. Even then we won’t be able to lower our velocity to come into a stable orbit without some tricky maneuvering.

Six days from now we’ll begin a maneuver called “aerobraking.” What that means is that Hermes will dip into the upper layers of the Earth’s atmosphere, using the air drag against our hull to slow us down, without having to expend fuel. Once we’ve slowed enough, Martinez will fire the engines bring us back out of the atmosphere and match orbit with the OSIC, where we’ll finally dock.

If that sounds dangerous, well it kinda is. If we don’t dip down low enough, we’ll skip off the atmosphere and fly back into space, with no hope of altering our orbit again to reach Earth before we run out of food. Dip too far, and we’ll slow down too much to pop back up to a stable orbit, and we’ll just keep falling lower and lower, until we reach the mesosphere and start burning up like Skylab.

I’d be terrified if it weren’t for Beck’s prescription from his Dr. Feelgood cabinet. As it is, I’m keeping myself busy double-checking all the ship’s systems so we’re prepared for the maneuver.

On a more positive note, we’re close enough to Earth that we can spare the bandwidth for real time video conversations with our families. I’ve been talking to Mom and Dad, telling them how much I’m looking forward to seeing them, and letting them know how much I appreciate their emails both when I was stuck on Mars and after the Hermes rescued me. They look a lot better than when I got that first video message after I got rescued. Both of them said how much they love me, and that they’ll be there to meet at the Cape when we land. It’s so damn good to be able to talk to them again, hear their voices, see their faces, I don’t really have the words to describe it

The only problem I’ll be spending Christmas stuck in rehabilitation instead of back home, but at least they’ll be able to visit me.

Assuming we don’t all die a fireball in a week.

Think positive!

* * *

On the eight hundred and ninety-ninth day of their mission, the crew of the Hermes took to their stations in the control room. It was the first time they had all gathered there since the ship had entered Martian orbit a little over two years ago on Mission Day 124, and the small room seemed even more cramped than it usually was.

Martinez sat before his console with the complex controls that would guide Hermes, should the ship’s computer suddenly fail and it could not make the course corrections required. Behind him, Johannssen and Watney sat at their own stations, where they would monitor the ship’s overall health during the upcoming maneuver. Further back, Vogel kept track of the Hermes as it traveled down the narrow reentry corridor it had to fly to successfully complete aerobraking, ready to compute the numbers for any course correction if so required. Beside him Beck sat, monitoring the both the ship’s life support and the crew’s health.

Finally at the front, next to Martinez, keeping in contact with Houston and watching over the rest of the crew, Commander Lewis sat. Though the ship and its crew were her overall responsibility, ironically she had the least to do directly in deciding the success of the maneuver. All she could do was watch, ready to intervene if some unforeseen circumstance made action necessary, and hoping nothing would come up.

None of them had slept very well the night before. The previous day had been a rush of activity as they locked down the centrifuge and secured loose items in preparation for today’s maneuver. Even with the work to occupy their minds, the excitement of finally reaching Earth had kept them too wired to really sleep. In the morning, they ate the last of the protein bars they’d learned to despise during their long trip home, and drank a cup Martian coffee to finish waking up, the supply of real coffee and tea being exhausted over a year ago.

Though the windows of the control room the Earth loomed, its surface a swirl of bright brown land, deep blue oceans, and white clouds. For the first time since the Earth portion of the gravity assist maneuver almost a year and a half ago, they were too close to be able to view the entire planet.

“Houston, this is Hermes,” Commander Lewis spoke crisply into her microphone. “We are conducting final checks for atmospheric braking maneuvers.”

“Roger Hermes,” came the reply from CAPCOM. “You’re coming in straight down the pike. Begin radiator translation.”

“Roger, Houston. Go for radiator translation,” Lewis repeated. She turned in her seat towards the back of the control room. “Engineer, proceed with translation.”

“Roger,” Watney replied, “beginning radiator translation.” He flipped back the protective covers back on several switches and activated them, unlocking the stoppers that prevented the radiator vanes from moving freely on their own. Then he threw another set of switches, activating the rotation motors.

On the hull of the ship, by its VASIMIR reactor, the heat radiators began to turn slowly. Normally the large rectangular radiators were kept with their long edges perpendicular to the ship. Now they rotated ninety degrees, and would appear to an outside observer as large flat metal sails. Except that rather than propelling the ship, they would act as massive brakes, dragging against the Earth’s atmosphere and slowing the great ship down until it entered a stable orbit. It took a bit over a minute for the rotation of the four radiator vanes to be completed, upon which the motor locks were set back in place by Watney, ensuring they would remain in this position for the next portion of the maneuver. “Cooling vanes locked into aerobraking position,” he reported.

“Acknowledged. Vogel, time to entry interface?” Lewis asked.

“Five minutes, twenty-five seconds,” Vogel replied, checking the reading on his computer display. “We are at an altitude of 95 kilometers, descending at 45 meters per second.”

“Thank you. Johannssen, reactor status?”

“All non-essential systems offline,” Johannssen reported. “Reactors are at minimal power.” With the radiator vanes acting as brakes, they would soon heat up as a result of atmospheric friction, interfering with their ability to cool the reactors. As a result, the VASIMIR reactors were operating at the minimum power necessary for life support and control of the ship. Even the ion drive was shut off until it would be needed again.

“Beck, life support status?”

“All green,” Beck reported.

“Thank you. Martinez, are you ready?”

“Ready, willing, and able,” Martinez said, cracking his knuckles briefly. “We’ll be in a stable orbit in less than thirty minutes.”

“Let’s hope so.” She turned her attention back to Mission Control. “Houston, this is Hermes. We are go for aerobraking.”

“Acknowledged, Hermes,” came the reply from CAPCOM. “Good luck.”

As the crew waited in tense silence, Watney spoke up, “Remember what I said about barrel rolls, Martinez.”

For a brief moment, laughter filled the control room.

* * *

Around the world, attention turned briefly to the event. This was the third time that Hermes had performed this maneuver in its operational lifetime, and it lacked the unique  human drama provided by Watney’s escape from the red planet. The audience was barely a quarter of what it had been on that day,

In Houston, the families of the Hermes crew, more acutely aware of the significance of the event, had gathered to watch in the VIP section of Mission Control. Watney’s parents had been drawn from their Chicago home at the behest of the other families, finally meeting them for the first time. Beck’s sister, and Lewis’s husband sat with them, as they kept each other calm by talking about how wonderful it would be to see their loved ones again.

In her seat, Marissa Martinez sat a squirming David in her lap. He had entered kindergarten in September, and didn’t quite understand what all the excitement was about. His father was someone his mother spoke of often, but the boy only really knew as a spaceman they sometimes watched on TV.

Johannssen’s mother and father sat together, gripping each other’s hands tightly, her mother openly crying. She was pale, having undergone bypass surgery six months earlier after a heart attack. They had debated telling their daughter about what had happened, but had elected to keep silent, not wanting to distract her from her duties.

Helena Vogel sat with her children, everyone holding hands. Two weeks previously, Vogel’s mother had quietly slipped into a coma. She was not expected to survive long enough for her son to escape the required medical monitoring period after the crew returned to the Cape, so he could see her one last time. Like Beth Johannssen’s parents, Helena had elected to keep this information secret, to avoid unnecessary stress on her husband during this critical period. She knew he would understand.

In Mission Control Mitch Henderson paced, watching the graphic on the big center screen, showing the Hermes traveling dead center between two lines that represented the highest and lowest safe altitude for the aerobraking maneuver. Even though all seemed well, he was acutely aware that could change in a second’s notice.

With everyone else, he watched, and waited.

* * *

Hermes dropped down in the Earth’s atmosphere, entering what was referred to as the Mesopause. Eighty kilometers above the surface of the planet, it marked the division between the Thermosphere and the Mesosphere, the two highest sections of the Earth’s detectable atmosphere. At only about 0.1mb in pressure, it was also the highest point that water vapor was able to form. By comparison the pressure at the sea level was 1000mb, over ten thousand times as dense.

Even with that miniscule amount of pressure, Hermes’ tremendous velocity was slowed, as pressure waves built against the nose of the ship and its enormous radiator vanes. Martinez and Vogel kept careful watch as the ship shed its momentum, looking for any sign that it was losing speed either too quickly, or too slowly.

Lewis kept in contact with Houston, relaying the ship’s status, letting them know that the crew was still okay. Even though Mission Control was receiving a constant stream of telemetry data, the numbers didn’t convey the most important information, the state of the crew. Even decades after the disasters of Challenger and Columbia, the belief that the crews of those ill-fated ships survived their initial catastrophes long enough to understand their doom persisted in some circles, even within NASA. More than anything else the team at Mission Control needed to know that the crew, not just their vessel, were all right.

Strapped in his seat, Watney drummed his fingers unconsciously on his control panel, keeping his eyes glued to the figures on his screen. Trying not to the think about the doors to the VAL. The tough outer door had been undamaged in the controlled decompression. The inner one had a twenty centimeter wide hole blasted in it by Vogel’s bomb, which had been repaired by Johannssen and Lewis in the days following Watney’s rescue, using a large plastic composite patch intended for meteorite impact repairs, sealed by more of the resin that had proved critical to Watney’s survival on Mars. Even if the outer door malfunctioned by some dark mischance, the repaired inner door should hold. He’d inspected the repairs himself once he’d healed enough to move freely again. And even if that door lost pressure somehow, the compartment behind it was sealed as well. There was nothing to worry about, he told himself, and wished he could believe it.

“Two minutes to periapsis,” Johannssen announced.

Watney snapped out of his worried fugue. “Ready to translate radiators back to normal flight position,” he announced.

“Standby,” Lewis called to him. “Vogel, how are we on velocity?”

“Current velocity 28,500 km per second and falling,” he replied. “We are safely within normal parameters. One minute thirty seconds to periapsis.” In other words, they were less than two minutes from the lowest calculated point in their orbit around Earth. Which in the laws of orbital mechanics meant it would be the most energy efficient point to apply thrust to change their orbit.

“We’re good, Commander,” Martinez confirmed. “Ready to burn the jets.”

Lewis checked the event timer on her control display. “Watney, prepare to translate radiators on my mark.” When the timer reached sixty seconds to periapsis, she called out, “Mark!

Once more Watney began flipping controls. The motor locks were released, and slowly the radiator vanes rotated back to their original positions, presenting the minimal amount of drag while the ship rose back out of the atmosphere.

With one exception.

“Malfunction in Vane 3,” he said, his voice not showing the jolt of terror that suddenly ran through him. “It’s jammed at 41 degrees.”

“Houston, are you seeing this?” Lewis demanded.

“We confirm your reading, Hermes,” came CAPCOM’s reply. “Do you have a visual on Vane 3?”

“Confirm visual, Commander,” Johannssen reported. “I’ve got it on Camera Five. It’s definitely stuck. Thirty seconds to periapsis,” she added.

“Martinez, if the vane remains in its current position, will you be able to put us into a safe orbit?”

“I can try,” he said, furrowing his brow in worry. “I can use the remaining fuel in the maneuvering thrusters to give us an extra boost and compensate for the offset the drag to put on our course.” His fingers danced over his console, running numbers. “Yeah, but it’ll use up so much we won’t have enough left to dock safely at the Shipyard. We’ll be stuck until someone can come along and refuel the OMS.”

“Watney, can you get it unstuck?” Lewis asked. “Johanssenn, reactor status?”

“Fully online,” she reported. “We’re ready to start up the ion engine.”

“Standby,” Martinez interrupted, touching his controls. “Starting main engine. We’re accelerating.”

“Commander, we have three minutes until we must begin using the thrusters to shape our orbit properly,” Vogel said.

“Working on it,” Watney said tightly. He flipped the switches controlling Vane 3 back and forth, hoping to free the jam. It was the equivalent of rattling a stuck door handle, hoping the parts would shake back in place to function properly. Back and forth it went, Watney’s sweating fingers making the switches damp. Once. Twice.

Finally on the third try the recalcitrant radiator vane moved past the 41 degree mark, returning to its normal flight position. Watney quickly locked it in place, and Johannssen confirmed his success with both the ship’s telemetry and Camera 5.

“That’s it,” Martinez said triumphantly. “We’re back in the green to reach a safe orbit. Might have to give the thrusters a short burn to circularize it, but that shouldn’t eat too badly into what we got left.”

“We confirm Major Martinez’s evaluation, Hermes,” Houston reported. “You’re green for orbital insertion.”

Within ten minutes, Hermes rose back to a low earth orbit, just a hundred and twenty kilometers above the surface of the planet. In an hour they reached apoapsis, where Martinez burned the main engine briefly to circularize their orbit, having no need to use the thrusters.

The great ship orbited the planet Earth at 7.8 kms, fast enough to circle the planet indefinitely if it wanted.

Ares 3 had finally come home.



LOG ENTRY
DECEMBER 24th, 2037


Y’know it took me three tries to enter the correct date in there? I kept wanting to type in “Mission Day Number so-and-so.” I’m so used to using sols and mission days, it’s gonna take me a while to remember how to use a normal calendar again. Shit, I’m still trying to remember what year it really is. I left on the Worst Camping Trip Ever in 2035 after all. It’s hard to believe it’s 2037 now.

Doesn’t matter. I’m home. On the ground. On Earth. There are no more mission days, or sols. Just days, months, and years. And thanks to everyone on the crew and here on Earth, I’m going to have a lot of years to enjoy now.

After shitting myself over that jammed radiator vane during the aerobraking maneuver, Martinez got Hermes to orbit and then piloted us for six hours to rendezvous with the OSIC. Actually it only took five hours to reach it. The last hour was spent very slowly inching Hermes into the OSIC’s docking module. When something as big as the Hermes and the OSIC try to make beautiful music together, you have to move in millimeters per minute. It’s the only way to make sure neither of the craft get seriously damaged when they finally dock.

Once we were successfully docked, there was a half-hour of fooling around to make the pressure between the station and our ship was equalized properly, and then we opened both the hatches. As the Hermes’ engineer, it was my responsibility to open our side up. When I did I kinda just stared for a minute, looking at the OSIC’s crew. They were the first people, aside from my own crew, that I had seen face-to-face in over two years.

Thankfully the silence didn’t last long, because the first words out of the station commander’s mouth were, “You said ‘30 minutes or it’s free’ man!”

Once I finished laughing my ass off, we kinda floated together and hugged each other. After that we got down to business connecting the Hermes to the OSIC’s umbilicals, and running through the shutdown checklist.

It was a pretty melancholy moment, putting that ship to sleep. It had been my home for over a year, and everyone else’s for over two years. It had gone far beyond its design specs for a single mission, keeping everyone alive and saving my ass. I hope they’ll be able to overhaul it so it could continue doing its job. I’d hate to think we pushed it so hard it would have to be written off.

Next I got to try on my shiny new flight suit, with its really expensive tailored gloves. It all fit perfectly. Once we were assured that was problem was out of the way, the rest of the Ares 3 crew got dressed in their own suits and we piled into the Orbital Science Corp. mini-shuttle, which was docked to the OSIC’s other airlock. Since we’d be flying back into Earth normal gravity for the first time in two years, Martinez was stuck being a passenger while one of the OSIC’s crew did the piloting. In less than two hours we deorbited and came to a rolling stop at Cape Kennedy’s runway.

I’d like to say I hopped out immediately and kissed the ground, but the truth is I just sat in my seat, sweating in my flight suit and feeling like someone had dumped a bag of bricks on my chest. Even though I’d been doing my exercises once I’d recovered from my injuries, I was still three times heavier now than I’d been all during my journey to Mars and back.

Fortunately there were plenty of helping hands to ease me out of the mini-shuttle and onto a reclining wheelchair. From there I was whisked into an ambulance to be transported to the recovery center, where all returning long duration crews have to spend several days going through medical evaluations and getting physical rehabilitation to re-learn how to walk in Earth normal gravity. Given the extended and extraordinary nature of our particular mission, we were looking forward to being stuck in there for at least two weeks, with periodic medical checkups to follow for months after our release.

After I was helped out of my flight suit, I went through a quick medical exam and got dressed in sweatpants and a t-shirt, and the sweater that Mom made for me. Then I was wheeled into a little lounge area. There I found my parents waiting for me, looking older, more tired, and happier than I’d ever seen them.

I’d love to say that I did something really manly like fist bumping my dad and telling my mom thanks for the sweater. But I didn’t. What I did do was hug them both and sob like a little lost kid for about fifteen minutes. It wasn’t until I saw them that I really, really believed that it was finally over, that I was home.

There’s part of me that still believes it can’t be real. That I can just walk outside without a spacesuit and not have worry about exploding. That I can get water from a tap without having to break down rocket fuel. That I can light a fire in a room and not have worry about it being instant death. That I can eat food, any kind of food I want, and it won’t be potatoes, or protein bars. Heck, I could eat ice cream if I wanted. Real ice cream made from frozen cow’s milk and sugar (and who the fuck thought that was a great combination to try two hundred years ago? Seriously.), not a chemical brick you can buy at the National Air & Space Museum’s gift shop.

I think the hardest thing to take is that I’m never going to be able thank people enough for what they did to save me. “Pay it Forward” is a nice idea, but short of me discovering a cure for cancer, I can’t pay forward or back the fact that five of my crew sacrificed a year and a half of their lives for my sake. That so many others paid so much.

NASA and the Chinese National Space Program poured hundreds of millions of dollars into my rescue. How do I pay that back?

Martinez has a son who doesn’t recognize him. How do I pay that back?

Bruce Ng separated from his spouse due to the stress of overseeing JPL’s operations during my rescue. They’re in counseling I’m told, but it doesn’t look good. How do I pay that back?

Mitch Henderson tendered his resignation the day we landed at the Cape. I can guess what he was responsible for. How do I pay that back?

How do I pay any of that back?

I guess the answer is, “I can’t.”

Of all the problems I’ve faced over the past two and half years, this is one that just doesn’t have a solution. Except to accept the gift that was given to me, paid for by their unselfish efforts.

Maybe someday I’ll be able to pay it back, at least a bit. Give blood. Donate my time and brains to a good cause. Point somebody in the right direction when they’re lost. All little things, compared to what was done to save me. But it’ll be something.

Humans like to help each other. We’re funny like that.

Merry Christmas.

The End

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LOG ENTRY
MISSION DAY 837


Big day today. We’re exactly sixty days out from Earth, and it’s time to do the turnover maneuver to start slowing down enough for EOI, or Earth Orbit Insertion. Normally this would be done over thirty days from now, but with the enormous amount of velocity we’ve picked up from the Rich Purnell Maneuver, we have to start it early.

It’s kind of a pain in the ass. Everything in Hermes’ centrifuge has to be secured for zero-g, since we have to stop rotation, as Martinez turns the ship around ass backwards to fire the ion engine in the direction of Earth to kill our velocity. Turns out spinning a ship around a giant gyroscope isn’t the easiest thing in the world, so it’s safer if it’s stopped.

Of course stopping it isn’t easy either. Newton’s Second Law means that when we put the brakes on the centrifuge, its velocity is transferred to the Hermes’ central hull, which will then start spinning. To counteract that, Martinez has to use the ship’s thrusters to cancel out the ship’s need to spin. That’s why it was critical to save that remaining 20% of thruster fuel when the ship intercepted the MAV, requiring our fearless commander to come up with the stunt with the bomb and the airlock door.

Once we’re going tail first towards Earth and turn the ion engine back on, the centrifuge will be spun up again and we’ll start slowing down. Even then we’re going to have to dip a little into the Earth’s atmosphere to complete EOI around the planet. It’s a shitload of complicated maneuvers, which makes me glad all I have to worry about these days is plants.

I’m trying to not shit my pants over this. It’s a perfectly routine maneuver that the Hermes has done a dozen times before in both testing and during the Ares 1 and 2 missions. Every system on the Hermes has been working perfectly fine since that little incident with the M3. The worst problem we’ve had is having to turn off some of the lights because Johanssen had dial the reactor back a bit more because of that pitting problem on the reactor’s radiators.

My brain knows everything is going to be okay. It’s just my imagination that’s being a nervous nelly. I suppose I could ask Beck for a dose of Temazepam to get through this, except that would mean telling him why, which would obligate him to make a report to Dr. Shields back in Houston, which would mean…

What? I’d get kicked off the flight rotation for the next mission? Like I fucking want to go back in space?

Okay, I’ll talk to Beck. No reason to be an idiot about this. Every day the Earth is bigger in the window. We’re almost home.



LOG ENTRY
MISSION DAY 839


The turnover maneuver was completed without a hitch. With Martinez at the controls I’d expected nothing less. After that we spun the centrifuge up again so we could walk on the floors and went back to our never ending science and ship maintenance duties. I knew I didn’t have anything to worry about. I just needed the Temazepam to help me believe that.

Fortunately Beck didn’t give me any shit about it. “I’m a little surprised you didn’t come to me before for something,” he told me, as we floated in the privacy of his cabin/medical suite.

“I’m not trying be manly about it or anything,” I admitted. “I just.. I dunno. I thought I was doing all right. I mean we haven’t had any real emergencies or anything since I got back aboard. I’ve got nothing to worry about.”

“Jesus, Mark,” Beck said. “You were alone on Mars for a year and a half. Your only contact with the outside world was through a bodged together email system using a broken space probe, and you lost that after only a few months. You were almost killed, what, four or five times? You went through more stress than some combat veterans experience, and with a lot less support. It’s only natural that it would still be eating at you.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” I said. “It’s just…. I don’t like needing meds like that.”

“I know you don’t like the idea, but think about it. This,” Beck tapped the Temazepam bottle in his hand, “isn’t a crutch, and it isn’t a cheat. It doesn’t mean you’re weak if you take it. It just means you have a problem, and you need help. Same as if you had an infection and needed antibiotics, or a bandaid for a cut. That’s all. And if it helps,” he added, ”you’re not the only one on this ship that’s taking it.”

I could take a guess who he meant, but I didn’t say anything out loud. I only had to worry about myself. Commander Lewis worries about all of us. “Okay,” I said, taking the little bottle. “Thanks, Beck.”

“Just doing my job,” he said. “Speaking of which, you haven’t been logging your exercise the past few days.”

I gave him a glare. It didn’t work worth shit. “I’ve been busy keeping up with keeping the air filters clean,” I said. Then I gave in, and said, “Okay, I’ll stop slacking.”

“Good,” he said. “Oh yeah, don’t forget to take your vitamins. And eat more fiber!”

I told him to go fuck himself, and we were both laughing when we left his cabin.

So. Moral of the story: I should quit being a moron and talk to people when I feeling stressed out. Because I’m not alone anymore.



LOG ENTRY
MISSION DAY 874


Thanksgiving Day. Our third since the start of the mission. How fucked up is that?

We’re celebrating today with a reduced work schedule, only doing critical maintenance and science tasks that require daily observations. After that it’s going to be a hearty Thanksgiving meal of… well, more protein bars.

Yay.

Martinez has threatened to take a bunch of them and fit them together in the shape of a turkey. Which is the closest we’ll probably get until we’re back on Earth.

God I miss real food. I’ve been eating protein bars for so long I think I’m actually looking forward to eating mashed potatoes. That’s assuming there’s a lot of gravy involved.

Mmm, gravy.

On Thanksgiving Day back on Earth, I’d wake up at my aunt’s house in time to watch the Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade (fuck Macy's), then read a book or play on my tablet while my family watched football or the MST3K marathon until dinner time. Then we’d stuff ourselves with enough carbs and L-Tryptophan to drop us all on our sorry Thanksgiving asses from the food coma.

God, I miss that. Well, at least we’ll get back in time for Christmas dinner.

Assuming nothing else delays us.

Sigh.


LOG ENTRY
MISSION DAY 874 (2)


I just finished Thanksgiving dinner. Which, I am happy to report, was not fucking protein bars. Turns out the freeze dried steak waiting for me when I got back to Hermes wasn’t the only surprise food item sent up on the resupply probe. There were also six specially prepared Thanksgiving meal packs, which Lewis and Beck conspired to hide in Beck’s refrigerated medical supplies cabinet all this time. Lewis had them brought out this afternoon for our evening meal, much to the delight of Johannsen, Martinez, Vogel and yours truly.

I was seriously shocked. “Are you telling me you held onto these even through the first Thanksgiving you spent traveling back to Mars?”

“I wanted to wait until we had you aboard. It wouldn’t have seemed right for us to eat hearty, when we knew you were being reduced to an all potato diet,” Lewis told me.

“Geez,” I mumbled. That choked me up. I got even more choked up when Martinez led us in a brief prayer before we ate. I’ve never been particularly religious, and when my aunt did the same thing before eating Thanksgiving in her house, it had seemed like an unnecessary delay before stuffing myself.

It reminded me though, that whatever their beliefs, or lack thereof, there were compassionate people on Earth, and traveling between Mars and Earth, that were willing to put their own needs aside, spend hundreds of millions of dollars, sacrifice so much else, just save my ass. Just because they saw a person who needed help, and wanted to give him a hand.

And for the record, dinner was turkey in gravy sauce, with corn, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie. With stuffing instead of mashed potatoes.

Belch!

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LOG ENTRY
MISSION DAY 827


Of all the dumbass…  Sigh.

As we get closer to Earth, NASA is prepping to receive us when we arrive. Normal procedure is to first dock with the Shipyard, or rather the Orbital Ship Integration Complex (OSIC), where all the parts of the Hermes were put together after being launched into orbit, and also where it goes through its overhaul after every mission. Once we’re docked it takes about a day to shut down all the systems, including life support and the reactor, and hook Hermes up to the station’s umbilicals to take up the load while it’s refurbished. Once that’s done we take an orbital vehicle back to a landing at Cape Kennedy and get to spend a week or so being checked out by NASA’s doctors as we make the transition from the Martian gravity maintained on the Hermes to Earth normal 1g.

Now on the trip from OSIC back to the Cape we’re required to wear pressurized flight suits in case of unexpected cabin depressurization (AKA “Oh, shit! There’s a hole in the ship!”). Ever since the Challenger disaster that’s simply non-negotiable.

We wore the same suits on the launch to Hermes, the landing in the MDC, and the launch in the MAV, which we’ve been carting around this whole time on the ship. Except of course that my flight suit is sitting back in the remains of the Hab on Mars, still sporting a bigass hole in the side where I got speared by the antenna array.

The solution to this is pretty obvious: Just send up a new flight suit! Which is what NASA had in mind. Except there’s one teeny, ten fingered problem: The gloves.

Flight suits come in three sizes: Petite, Average, Tall. That gives enough range that a suit can be found to fit pretty much any astronaut with a bit of adjusting. In the 1960’s suits were basically custom made to each astronaut, and not expected to last more than one mission. With the coming of the Space Shuttle, EVA suits were made from interchangeable parts allowing for it fit a variety of body sizes. Those suits lasted for over fifty years, until the end of the original ISS’s lifespan. Today’s suits are similar. However, the one thing common to all suits of all eras is that the gloves have to be custom made. They’re the most important part of the suit, and are designed to fit closely to an astronaut’s hand. Even with well-fitting gloves EVA’s can be murder on your fingers. Just grabbing objects requires far more effort than it does in a standard Earth atmosphere, because your hand is basically stuck in a thick balloon inflated to 4 and half pounds of pressure per square inch, and fine dexterity jobs in even modern suits is difficult. NASA can’t just send up a generic pair for me to use on the way down. If there was an emergency that required me to maintain a handhold or manipulate tools I’d be screwed.

“Ah,” you say, “but can’t you just use the gloves from your surface operations suit?” Well, I would, except NASA is understandably a little leery of making me use gloves that I’ve worn on nearly daily EVA’s for over five hundred sols. It’s a fucking miracle that they didn’t lose seal integrity during that time, especially at the rubberized fingertips where most of the wear was occurring. That’s not something I could have gotten away with repairing using resin or duct tape.

“But surely, Mark old boy, when they made your original gloves they would have taken measurements! Those have to by lying around somewhere at JPL. NASA never throws any records out.”

Yes, they’ve got my original measurements, but those were for Mark Watney 1.0. Remember, I was on ¾ rations for over five hundred sols, and I lost over thirty-five kilos of weight during that time period. I was, almost literally, half the man I used to be by the time I made it back aboard the Hermes. I’ve gained a lot of it back over the past few months, but the overall experience has changed my body’s shape severely. My hands went from normal, to pretty skeletal looking things with knobby knuckles and visible tendons, and back to something approaching normal again, but different from where they started. I have to get remeasured for the gloves again to get a pair that fit properly. Which is a problem.

The way NASA does it is to make a mold of the astronaut’s hand with silicone, create a duplicate of the hand’s shape using the mold, and then use that as a base to build the glove around so it fits perfectly. The problem is that I’m still a few million miles from Earth and the lab where they make the molds. So, no mold, no gloves.

I can, maybe, make do with my Mars EVA suit gloves. But I don’t like the idea, and neither does Commander Lewis or the nannies at NASA. The alternative would be to somehow make the mold at the OSIC dock, shuttle that down to Earth with my crewmates, leaving me to wait for the next flight up to the station with my new gloves aboard, which could take weeks, or potentially months, and would seriously fucking suck on toast.

I gotta think about this.


LOG ENTRY
MISSION DAY 830


Remember how I talked a lot about all the smart people at NASA when they were helping me (in between the loss of vital communications equipment) figure to how to survive? Well, they came through again. I am not going to have to sit on my ass while at the OSIC waiting to be measured, have gloves made, and then shipped up to me. They’ll be waiting for me on arrival, and it’s all thanks to a big fucking truckload of Science.

Or rather a small box of Science about a half meter on each side, known as the ship’s Multipurpose Manufacturing Machine (M3 to the nerds at JPL who built it.) Basically it’s a MakerBot like your dad fooled around with when they started becoming a thing twenty years back, except built to NASA standards. Since being in transit between Mars and Earth is a really shitty time to find out you don’t have the washer or bolt you need to fix something, Hermes was equipped with the M3 to construct parts as needed, in case we ran out of spares, or needed something unique for a special project.

Unlike the makers you give the kids at Christmas these days, it doesn’t just 3D print little toys out plastic. It works with plastic, metal, and can even shape ceramics a little. Compared to a dedicated assembly line it’s woefully inefficient. You could build your own desktop computer using it, but you’d have to do final assembly of the components yourself, and it would cost at least twice as much as buying a conventionally manufactured model. Nevertheless it’s been vital in maintaining the Hermes’ systems during its extended mission, and now it’s going to be vital for me getting my damned new gloves.

How? Well, to cut stuff like metals, it doesn’t use a blowtorch or a water saw, it uses lasers. Mostly during the final polishing process, but they’re there. They’re powerful enough that the M3 has to have multiple safeguards built into it to ensure that any mistakes in programming a build doesn’t result in zapping a hole in the unit, and potentially the Hermes’ hull.

Which makes me slightly nervous, because now I’m going to use them to scan my hands.

Okay, it’s not that dangerous. The techs at JPL are putting together a software patch for the M3 that’s going to dial the power on the cutting laser way down to just above what you’d get on your average laser pointer. After a few rounds of testing to make sure that no, it’s not going to cut my arm off at the wrist, all I have to do is stick my hand into the box and get it scanned.

On the plus side, if it does cut my hand off, we can use it to build me a cool bionic replacement. Just like Steve Austin.

Wish me luck!

Seriously, wish me luck. I don’t want to do the Steve Austin thing at all. I’d look stupid running and jumping in slow motion all the time.



LOG ENTRY
MISSION DAY 835


After several days of back and forth with Bruce Ng’s people at JPL, the software update for the M3 was uploaded, and we tested the lasers at “full” power by trying to set a piece of tissue paper on fire. As was hoped, absolutely nothing happened. While that was going on I used the directions they sent up to breadboard together a light sensor that would record the bounce back of the lasers against my skin. It took another day to install and test the sensor, and then some fiddling to insert a frame in the box that would keep my hand perfectly still when the scan commenced.

I’ll admit I was still a little nervous when I slipped on a pair of protective goggles and stuck my bare hand in the open box. But I sat still and waited as Johanssen cranked up the M3 to start the scan.

Which was when the M3 let out an upset beep and refused to function.

It turned out to be a really stupid error. With all the work to make sure the laser was safe to use, JPL forgot one little detail. For obvious safety reasons, the M3 is programmed not to activate if the damned door is open.

It was just a little detail, but everyone on the ground and up on Hermes completely failed to think about it. While it’s not exactly something along the lines of  “We forgot to check the voltage of the cryo tank stirrers when we tested them, before installing them in the Service Module,” or “I’m sure using the same airlock each day won’t stress the Hab canvas too much,” levels of stupidity, it was an obvious error that should have been caught during the planning stages.

The fix was simple. JPL’s programmers looked at the problem and updated the software once again, we tested it again, and everyone double and triple checked the resulting data to make sure the reports the M3 was sending matched reality. After that it took all of five minutes to scan each of my hands, and then download the results back to Houston so the manufacturer could start making my new gloves.

Still, it was a dumb little error that was only caught because the M3’s safety interlocks were doing their job. JPL missed it. I missed it. Johanssen missed it. Lewis and Mission Control both missed all of us missing it. Just a dumb little mistake which didn’t really mean anything. Except the next time it might be a dumb little mistake with seriously lethal consequences.

I know we’re tired up here. The protein bars are dull, no one has clean clothes, we are fucking sick of being in space, and we all want to be home already. Bruce Ng and a lot of other people down on the ground haven’t had a vacation in over three years as they guide Hermes back to Earth, and I can only imagine the exhaustion they’re feeling right now.

It’s late and I need to get some sleep. Tomorrow I’m pulling out the breadboarded sensor and upload the original software so the M3 will be able to do its normal job. Then I’m going to test the shit out of it to make sure I don’t make another mistake. I want to rest first though.

We are so close to home now that I can almost taste it. The Earth is visible to the naked eye as a bright star now when I look out the observation cupola. In a week or two I’ll be able to make out the continents and seas.

But right now I’m terrified that the universe it going to yank the rug out from under us one last time.

My original works, as opposed to fanfic. More here than I originally thought.



Print on Demand


Prisoners of War. Self-published. November 2016


The Complete Red Vixen Adventures. Self-published. May 2017


The Dragon’s Companion. Self-published. 2006


Unexpected Diversions. Self-published. 2009



Ebooks


Captive of the Red Vixen, Self-published. March 2011


Demon Eyes, Self-published. April 2011


For Your Safety. Self-published. July 2012


Good Landing, Self-published. April 2011


I Fought the Claw, and the Claw Won. Self-published. September 2013


Mimsey’s Tale. Self-published. July 2013


Prisoners of War. Self-published. April 2011


Shadow of Doubt. Self-published. May 2016


Shadow of Her Sins. Self-Published. February 2014


Shadow of the Red Vixen. Self-published. November 2012


Teal’s Bargain. Self-published. January 2011


Teal’s Choice. Self-published. January 2011


Teal’s War. Self-published. January 2011


The Complete Red Vixen Adventures. Self-published. May 2017


The Dragon’s Companion. Self-published. January 2011


The Fall of Man: A For Your Safety Collection. Self-published. June 2016


The Red Vixen at Sea. Self-published. May 2017


Triumvirate. Self-published. October 2011


Unexpected Diversions.  Self-published. February 2011



Magazine Articles


“Characters and Campaigns on Colony Worlds for GURPS Space”, Pyramid Online, Steve Jackson Games, April 13th, 2001.


“Scrapyard Battles, Gadgeteering Entertainment for GURPS Discwold”, Pyramid Online, Steve Jackson Games, December 13th, 2002.


“Supporting Cast, Deacon Paul, Bioroid Rights Activist for Transhuman Space”, Pyramid Online, Steve Jackson Games, September 26th, 2003.


“Terra Incognita, Mog the Half-Orc’s Pit Fighting Circle”, Pyramid Online, Steve Jackson Games, October 3rd, 2003.


“The Dustmaster, Road Trains for Transhuman Space”, Pyramid Online, Steve Jackson Games, December 9th, 2005.


“Weird Prisons as Campaign Settings”, Pyramid Online, Steve Jackson Games, August 10th 2001.


My original works, as opposed to fanfic. More here than I originally thought.



Print on Demand


Prisoners of War. Self-published. November 2016


The Complete Red Vixen Adventures. Self-published. May 2017


The Dragon’s Companion. Self-published. 2006


Unexpected Diversions. Self-published. 2009



Ebooks


Captive of the Red Vixen, Self-published. March 2011


Demon Eyes, Self-published. April 2011


For Your Safety. Self-published. July 2012


Good Landing, Self-published. April 2011


I Fought the Claw, and the Claw Won. Self-published. September 2013


Mimsey’s Tale. Self-published. July 2013


Prisoners of War. Self-published. April 2011


Shadow of Doubt. Self-published. May 2016


Shadow of Her Sins. Self-Published. February 2014


Shadow of the Red Vixen. Self-published. November 2012


Teal’s Bargain. Self-published. January 2011


Teal’s Choice. Self-published. January 2011


Teal’s War. Self-published. January 2011


The Complete Red Vixen Adventures. Self-published. May 2017


The Dragon’s Companion. Self-published. January 2011


The Fall of Man: A For Your Safety Collection. Self-published. June 2016


The Red Vixen at Sea. Self-published. May 2017


Triumvirate. Self-published. October 2011


Unexpected Diversions.  Self-published. February 2011



Magazine Articles


“Characters and Campaigns on Colony Worlds for GURPS Space”, Pyramid Online, Steve Jackson Games, April 13th, 2001.


“Scrapyard Battles, Gadgeteering Entertainment for GURPS Discwold”, Pyramid Online, Steve Jackson Games, December 13th, 2002.


“Supporting Cast, Deacon Paul, Bioroid Rights Activist for Transhuman Space”, Pyramid Online, Steve Jackson Games, September 26th, 2003.


“Terra Incognita, Mog the Half-Orc’s Pit Fighting Circle”, Pyramid Online, Steve Jackson Games, October 3rd, 2003.


“The Dustmaster, Road Trains for Transhuman Space”, Pyramid Online, Steve Jackson Games, December 9th, 2005.


“Weird Prisons as Campaign Settings”, Pyramid Online, Steve Jackson Games, August 10th 2001.


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Sir-Talen
Royce Day
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
I'm a 40 something amateur writer with a half dozen original stories and collections available at Amazon www.amazon.com/Royce-Day/e/B00… and Smashwords www.smashwords.com/profile/vie… and entirely too much fanfic based on Peta Hewitt's Terinu webcomic.

FYI Llama badges shall be ignored.

Current Residence: Columbia, MD
deviantWEAR sizing preference: Large
Favourite genre of music: Rock & Roll
Operating System: Windows XL
MP3 player of choice: Phillips
Skin of choice: The one keeping all my organs inside my body
Personal Quote: "Do we have any idea what to do for dinner?"
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:iconzarpaulus:
zarpaulus Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2017
Hey, looks like you can play as the Groupmind now twitter.com/Martin_Anward/stat…
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:iconmarine2622:
Marine2622 Featured By Owner May 25, 2017
What do foxen think of earth foxes?
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:iconrubbervixen:
rubbervixen Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2017
Happy Birthday!
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:iconfail-seeker:
Fail-Seeker Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2017
Happy Birthday! Try everything: www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6rP-Y…
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:iconconnor18:
Connor18 Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Happy birthday!
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:iconchibi-bony:
Chibi-Bony Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2016
Thanks for the watch and Welcome to Chibi's World!
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:iconztvfemdomtales:
ZTVFemdomtales Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2016
Thanks for watching
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:iconcatspaw-dtp-services:
Catspaw-DTP-Services Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2016  Professional
Thanks for watching! :-)
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:iconoboroten:
oboroten Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2016
Happy birthday!
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:iconrubbervixen:
rubbervixen Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2016
Happy Birthday!
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