Bit of a delay posting today’s update, but it’s here at last! We’re getting close to the end of the chapter, folks.
Jerran: Ma’am. I did figure out where we are.
Jerran: We haven’t moved.
[Fusella gets angry. Steam bursts from her ears. Mushroom cloud emerges from her head.]
I doubt they haven’t moved at all. Rather, I suspect they’ve moved an enormous distance. Like, the kind of distance that would require -centuries- of travel without FTL. And -that- would force them to – weeks later, after their engineers recover from their injuries and repairs are made – try to use that accursed jump drive again. And, thus, they end up going back.
Or, maybe they ended up in yet another parallel universe?
I mean, if they are within spitting distance of where they started their experiment, that might mean the end of the comic, right? Or would we see them on entirely new, sub-light-speed “planetary survey” adventures?
Actually, after zero jumps without incident but with spectacular failures, almost no understanding of what has happened or where (or when!), they were, not even trying to decode/analyze new info obtained planetside, absolutely no assurance that a new jump would get them any closer to home – rushing into another jump was totally irresponsible and unbefitting a captain of a ship.
However, it is consistent with landing on an unknown planet without environmental isolation suits. It is not just the probable danger to crew from unknown microorganisms but the probable contamination of the planet from the crew. As dead as we thinks Mars is, NASA still goes to great lengths to sterilize all equipment sent there. Even H. G. Wells was well aware of the dangers in his War of the Worlds – to the detriment of the invading Martians.
Galaxion is an interesting story but the major breaks with human nature and common sense makes it a struggle to suspend belief.
Hi Skulker, while I won’t try to defend against your first point, I wanted to post about the second one because it’s an interesting topic for me. You are absolutely right, of course, and when I was first writing the comic script I considered using some sort of suit because, as you say, it’s common sense. Eventually I decided to hand-wave the issue into a different style of uniform because of the medium I’m using to tell the story. This is a comic, and the visuals are at least half the battle. It’s really tough to make readers care about the characters and develop their personalities when their faces are hidden away behind masks and thick suits. So I chose to skip the full suits, in the interest of keeping the readers’ attention. If I were writing a novel, I would totally go with a more sensible suit. I often end up altering things from my scripts when I get to the drawing stage, when I start thinking more visually instead of all in words.
I expect this is true with all the different storytelling mediums– comics, prose, film, radio plays, etc. The creator makes subtle changes to the original concept to make sure the story works and the chosen medium is used effectively.
On point #2, enviro suits:
Yes, it -should- be procedure to wear enviro suits on missions to unknown planets. (Indeed, whether lunar or just orbital, astronauts returning from missions went through quarantine procedures after missions.) And I seem to recall a few movies where this was done. But, the vast majority of film and television that involves planet exploration do not have the crew in full enviro suits as long as the planet or derelict ship has a breathable atmosphere. Tara’s reasoning on the suits obscuring our view of the crew’s faces and for aesthetics/audience appeal is compelling and no doubt what Hollywood directors and execs consider.
On point #1, making another jump:
I never expected them to immediately try again. Their ship is a mess and needs repair. And the engineers – those vital to making repairs – were injured and won’t be ready for duty for weeks. Anna will probably be laid up for a month or so. Meanwhile, they have time to crack the encryption on the Haiwatha’s logs.
But, Mierter may not have a choice. If they’ve ended up in yet another alternate reality, they’ll have to jump if they don’t want to be stuck. And like when Voyager was lost in the Delta Quadrant, if they’re stuck on the other side of the galaxy they’d -jump- at a shortcut home – even if it involves risk. It’s better than sleeping away centuries in cryo while your ship falls apart from age and lack of drydock service. And better than never getting home.
Besides, Captain Mierter is level-headed. She’d be the last person to risk her crew unnecessarily, especially when it comes to the jump drive. She distrusts it and seems to hate on it. (Reminds me of Dr. McCoy’s distrust of transporters.)
I only predicted that they’d EVENTUALLY jump again because it seems necessary to keep the story going. What else could the next chapter be about? Them going about their duties as General Nelson and her crew extract the jump drive and restore the ship, then we see the Galaxion’s crew going into cryo sleep until they arrive at their next survey target?
It would make little sense to entirely drop the main plot without pursuing it further as it hasn’t reached much of a conclusion. (Also, it still has great potential.) By this point, readers are invested in both the characters and the plot – especially in the dynamics between Mierter’s crew and Nelson’s team.
I just wanted to jump in on a point about contamination. While I can’t argue against protecting the Galaxion explorers against unknown viral/bacterial infection from the new planet, the opposite argument is already moot. They knew the Hiawatha crashed here before they went to the surface (pg. 92/93), so contamination had already occurred.
Spacesuits make sense because an alien planet is not likely to have the correct atmospheric pressure and composition to support unprotected humans in the first place. I don’t believe any sterilization is 100% and mistakes can be made. I believe any attempt to prevent forward/backward contamination is futile, it will happen sooner or later. At best it might allow you to study the alien environment in pristine form for *some* time until it is contaminated. Thinking humans will establish a permanent base on another planet and yet not contaminate it is … silly.
Just a tidbit: while bacterial/viral issue is much harder, we currently can get a pretty accurate read on the atmospheric composition and pressure from space, so you would be able to know if suits were needed as far as those aspects were concerned before going planetside.
“I think we’re on deck two.”
I like AndyL’s idea.
While I don’t have a definitive word from Tara about the page we all expected this morning (6/2), I strongly suspect the page has been delayed because her internet went out a couple of days ago. Everyone send “get fixed” internet thoughts her way, please.
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