Literary Challenge #10 : Replicator Rations
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Join Date: Dec 2007
01-10-2012, 08:40 PM
That was an interesting story, and only mildly disturbing. Let me say that, with all due respect, if I was to be marooned with you on an alien world, I’d seriously consider the alternative of taking a walk out an airlock first.
Now, I do have one question. Did you ever get that taste out of your mouth? No, please. On a second, and better thought, I’d rather not know after all.
It does bring to mind a recent incident of my own where the dangers of starvation loomed, at least for a little while.
I was commanding the
Lewis & Clark
—still am, unless I’ve been replaced without my knowing. She’s a
class, modified for our particular brand of missions. No families on board, or else they’d be asking awkward questions I’m sure.
We’d been in Deferi space on a mission of some consequence, when we were ambushed by the Breen. Now, we held our own, but only after losing one of our nacelles and having to eject the warp core. We’d been expecting to be home in a few days, but, without warp drive, that short trip back to civilization stretched into weeks.
There was talk of rationing, of spending time in shuttles to save on life support, of abandoning the ship at the nearest barely inhabitable piece of rock we ran across, even of mutiny, though to be fair, I was mostly responsible for the last.
I called an emergency meeting of the command staff to consider our situation. I can see them all there now, furrowed brows, wondering how we’d get by.
And then it occurred to me. I should have thought of it sooner, or someone should have. You’d think someone on the ship would have known a little something about physical law.
All we had to do was to get up to a decent veolocity, something close to the speed of light, and a few days for us would be a few weeks for the rest of the universe.
It took a bit of work. The impulse engines had taken a few hits, and even in the best of times, they could only get us to about 0.9c. We needed something more like 0.97, and that 0.07 didn’t come easily. It took some serious modification of the main driver coil, but nothing we couldn’t handle.
We got up to 0.968c, good enough to make the four week trip back take about 7 days. We still had to tighten our belts a little, but a little deprivation can do the soul some good.
And all thanks to Saint Albert!