Below is a short piece I wrote for chemsitry homework…
November 4, 2050. It is a cold Friday morning on Beltra. The surface sensors recorded -30˚C last night. We stayed pretty warm in the bunks, although I’ve noticed Johnson says a good deal of nonsense in his sleep. Waking up to bacon and eggs was a pleasant surprise. Lt. James cooked it himself. He says he wants us all to be in top shape today – it’s going to be a long day at the surface. Although I’m looking forward freezing my tail off for 12 hours, breakfast with everyone was nice. It reminded me of maple syrup season back home – everybody getting up early for the rush.
We’ve got two new reaction towers to put up today. One CO2 and one CFC. I suspect with all twelve of us we can assemble the CO2 rig before 14:00. I haven’t seen a CFC plant put together yet so no guesses there. Johnson says there’s no way in a cloudy frother we’ll get enough Fluorine in it anyway, at least before winter. The carbon comes easy though. With that and a 500-year supply of snow-froze oxy, the new CO2 tower should be chugging along before dinner.
Rough day. After the CO2 tower went up, Johnson and I were sent to the Southern valley with two dozen scanner units and enough tie-downs to secure a horse. We used them all though. Temps read -10˚C at 12:30 and stayed there the rest of the day. Naturally I suited more clothing before leaving base. Both of us knew it was going to be difficult. We had to cover four square miles as best as the Fluoride scanners could reach. We put down ten on the main channel going out. Four branches with two more each left only six in the parallel crater. Johnson has affectionately nicknamed the place ‘hell’ as he discovered the downward wind gusts will knock a large man flat without breaking a sweat. Not to mention psychotic 10˚ temp fluxes. We both got minor frostbite through our shoes, but I was thankful to get back to base in one piece.
Winter is coming shortly. If we get temps up 3˚ more by 12/13, Lt. James says command will send us a party container. We’ll see about that. We’ve brought temps up 12˚ since we got here. It’s been a long road though. We didn’t get to watch the scenery on the flight out. On landing, our pilot missed target coordinates by two and a half clicks, and eight months of living in an underground silo complex just gets old. I could go on complaining, but even that gets cold.
I got a satellite call from Mom and Dad tonight. I told them once we’re finished they will have to send me some Maple seeds. With greenhouse emissions looking so good, we’ll be done in fourteen months. Mom’s been telling her students how I am a ‘brave frontiersman’ and Dad impresses his work buddies with my chem. and temp data. I never thought I would be on an alien planet warming up the atmosphere by CO2 production so people can live here on purpose. Here I am though. It is kind of cool being one of the first scientists out here. Maybe they will name a weather pattern after me. ‘The Everett Effect’ doesn’t have a nice ring to it though. I guess I’ll work on that later.