January 6th, 2552 Cross-Training
Wrench Monkey in Training- Katherine ‘Kat’ James Reporting
It seems that my apprenticeship to the chief mechanic had been planned before I was even accepted to the Vision Project.
Chief Charles “Cookie” Pentecost, told me that the justice department had forwarded our psych evals along with recommendations on how to best handle our tendencies to create havoc.
For me they recommended lots of training and learning what makes things tick as well as keeping them ticking. It makes sense- we’re going to be some twenty-five thousand light years away from the nearest machine shop, which means we have to be self-sufficient.
My first class in how things work was a discussion on FTL propulsion while tuning an engine. It is also where I learned just how ‘one way’ this mission really is.
To get to unexplored space in our lifetime, we need to move faster than light. There are a lot of theories behind this but method of choice is wormholes – you create one and follow it through to its end.
Over the past three hundred years, we’ve gotten better at creating the wormhole. You send out a pilot ‘ship’ in our case an orb about the size of the moon. you energize the pilot ship to the point that it creates a gravitational well which then pulls your ship along in its slipstream.
The entire fleet of the Vision Project was transported this way, tethered together in a long chain, and slipped along the well created by the pilot ship. The pilot ship itself burned out in the process.
It’s a fascinating process and I knew we’d launched probes using the technique. The only downfall is the fact that we have no way of controlling where we’re going. We were aimed for Canis Major, but so far, we have no way of knowing where we ended up.
I did learn that the last three probes sent out before us didn’t even come close. One ended up too close to a double star that tore it apart, The next ended up in the Horsehead Nebula, and the last one crashed into Phobos.
The good news, we made it through and are no longer anywhere near home. The bad news? It’s going to take us at least three months to figure out where we are.
On the bright side, we did do our part to help clean-up Earth and the colonies.
Yes, the pilot ship was a giant ball of compacted garbage.
I’m just glad I didn’t know this when I agreed to deep space exploration.