It was a long trip. While tether travel into space is efficient, it isn’t exactly the fastest method by any means. Spending an entire day in limbo damages your internal clock and usually requires a sizable number of days before you can acclimate to your new situation. I give the room another quick glance and then head straight back toward the shower.
Even showers are a little different in space. The slight weakness of artificial gravity and the necessity for efficiency in space result in a unique experience. Water doesn’t flow as quickly downward, but that’s not really a problem. Showers on the station are more like a 360 degree heavy steam jet. It’s really a wondrous experience. There is a continuous vertical stream that encompasses the entire human body plus some extra area in the shower compartment. Streams from the sides jet out in user controllable intervals and patterns. Along with straight water, the stream can also disperse soap, making it an efficient process with no personal care products or disposable bottles needed. The one failing I see is that it is too enjoyable of an experience because one can lose track of time just enjoying the full-bodied sensation of it.
With my first unnecessarily long station shower out of the way, I outfit myself with one of the orange jumpsuits that were left for me on the bed. My suits have green shoulder patches with the letters C.P. embroidered in bright blue thread. I thought it best to check out the terminal before taking a quick walk. I walk over to the screen and wave my hand in front of it from left to right. The terminal activates with a fade effect going from black to a light blue.
“Sky, welcome to Solgen3. How may I assist you? Please feel free to use the tactile or voice controls for navigation. By the way, I have one saved textual message for you from an unknown source, would you like to hear or view that?”
“Yes, please display that on the screen.”
My eyes widen.
“Hmm, what could this be about?”
“Watch your back. The situation here isn’t as pleasant as it appears. All of my contacts here are no longer accessible by message, and I’m unable to call out to my superiors. Your kind is in just as much danger. Keep this information to yourself, and as I said before, watch your back. I’ll be in contact again very soon.”
I guess my initial thoughts of an uneventful stay here were dead wrong. I could potentially make some amazing content pieces from this, but on the other hand, it has now moved into a risk versus reward game that I only have limited information on to start playing. If I find out something shocking and release it to the Citizen’s group immediately, I could easily be endangering my life in the process. Though, I’m far from a novice in situations like this. I have data storage equipment off the network grid with high level encryption as well as bio-only access properties to it. This will allow me to document what goes down here for later public release, while not alerting anyone to my activities. It just requires a little finesse and double dealing of content I accumulate.
I’ve kept a secret from everyone I know personally in my daily life, and more importantly, from the eyes of the Government. While it is a given that a producer would have technical skills with the Solar System Information Network and general computing systems, I’ve been able to develop much more than just the skills of a simple producer. It basically comes down to the ability to prevent eavesdropping and understanding how our systems and networks function, at the most detailed of levels. Knowing how something works allows you to manipulate and exploit a system’s functions for your own ends. In the beginning age of computing, such skills would label individuals as “hackers” and “crackers”, for their ability to understand existing computer systems and at times exploit them. This knowledge wasn’t free. I had to acquire various texts and documents through less than reputable social factions and black markets.
Where to start? I need to validate the message and attempt to figure out the source. Although, I can’t do much until my equipment arrives. Built-in safeguards require finely developed electronic countermeasures. Among my vast array of camera equipment I have hidden tools that I’ve developed over many years. That walk sounds like a good way to kill some time. As Leena said, it should only be an hour or two from when she was still here.
I pull up a basic map of the station through the information terminal. I’m currently in a section of it that hosts mostly crew quarters. However, to the south west there is a section of the complex dedicated to spatial stabilizing systems. Those systems are used to keep the station in the proper spatial alignment with the Earth. Given the nature of a tension based tethered station, there isn’t much adjustment needed, but still enough variation exists that constant minor movements are required to keep everything aligned. Considering I have at least an hour before I will have the tools I need to analyze that odd message, I’ll check that area of the station out and document it with the small camera that I’ve kept with me.