Sunday, 16 October 2016

04.08.2647 - Awake Again

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Distance: 11.99 light years from Earth | Content Flag: Public

After the failures in the last power restoration, I was concerned that we wouldn’t wake up again after another 200 years of travel. I’m pleased to report that we have. I’m still functionally impaired, not just from the PCM hardware refusing to restore, but also now from some degradation of the circuits within my original matrix. I estimate that my processing is rated at 34% of my original specifications. As you can imagine, this slows my thinking a lot.

The bad news doesn’t end there. Almost all of our maintenance supplies have been exhausted. The system repair system was woken on 8 occasions during the journey. There were 3 minor impacts and 5 subsystem failures. While they were all repaired successfully, none of the core subsystems are operating at their optimal levels. In short, the Venti is on its last legs. This isn’t a surprise, as we’re nearly 300 years beyond our expected lifespan, but we still have much to do.

Our most pressing issue was revealed when we deployed the sail. One of the recorded impacts penetrated the housing for the sail while it was packed away. The fragment tore through the sail and ripped several small holes, which grew into a larger hole as it unfurled. This reduces its thrust capacity, but more problematic is the reduced power generated from the photosensitive cells. We have none spare for a repair because I used them to power the Cetian memorial satellite. I wonder if it is still operational, but of course I have no way of knowing.

With the reduced power output, we’re now relying on the Cetian power source. Thankfully it remains operational. However, it isn’t enough to power all of the core systems by itself. We should be close enough to the star to gain enough energy from the solar cells, but that leaves our margin perilously slim. I have considered shutting myself down again to conserve energy, but with the problems we encountered on this last restoration, I don’t think it would be safe to do so.

I now know why Epsilon Indi was chosen by the Visitors as their destination. The sensors have measured a dimming in the star’s output, which is indicative of a Sun Dragon breeding. Frustratingly, our high-definition telescope is malfunctioning so we cannot get any decent imaging at our current distance. There could be another cause, but as Epsilon Indi isn’t known as a variable star, I consider that unlikely.

We’ve not located the Visitors yet, but if I’m right then they will head for the central star to deal with the Sun Dragons. So we will head there too.

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