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Take to the Stars Episode Five: Ilana Kamat

Published on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 By Tatiora In Offworld Dev Journals

Ilana Kamat

From the desk of Ilana Kamat
New Meridian Scientist - Lead Research Developer

My current analysis of the situation is - it could be worse.

Sure, it could also be a hell of a lot better, but it definitely could be worse.

They call space the final frontier, but I personally think that it’s only the beginning, a stepping stone to greater things and larger horizons. There are plenty of people who think that this is as far as we’ll ever go, and that’s fine by me - let them think that.

It will be that much more surprising when we prove them wrong.

I’ll admit, Mars is still a frightening place, despite what time I’ve taken to acclimate. Knowing that many of my colleagues died here during the disaster doesn’t make it any easier.

What makes it worse is that we still don’t fully understand why. 

These somber thoughts most certainly cause me to court caution whenever I consider forging further ahead in the name of science, but still, progress doesn’t push itself...which is why I’m here.

I would prefer to devote all of my time to researching and sleuthing out what happened to the other scientists, but the colony here has needs. More importantly, if I’m to continue my research effectively, I will need an adequate source of funding. It seems that I can aid both the colony and my cause by establishing a business that will supply them with many of the goods they need to expand and thrive.

Isidis Planitia

My team is small, but determined. We chose to settle in Isidis Plantitia; due to its limited resources and hard-to-reach location, we expected that we would face less competition here. The nearby colony has a monopoly on power production, which is a minor nuisance since they control the price as well as the supply. Still, we begin to set up our facilities and look into some early expanding.

Our biggest obstacle was obtaining water. My team lacks someone with the knowledge of water pump setup and maintenance, which made it difficult for us to gain enough for life support as well as development. Others who have come to Mars drove the price up so high that we had to abandon the idea of building anything that would require large amounts; instead, we bought what we could afford in order to keep ourselves hydrated, then focused our attentions elsewhere.

I’ve always taken pride in my team. In fact, I hand-selected many of them. We all worked hard, developing new technology for the betterment of all, ourselves and the colony included. I never would have imagined any of them turning their backs on what I -- what we -- had built, but it happened. A man named Paulo Rubini managed to bribe one of my scientists, who signed over two of our precious patents.

While this set us back more than I cared for, what it really did... was make me angry. Quietly moving off to a corner to research and develop wasn’t going to be permitted, not here -- not with these people. If that was the case, then I would rise to the occasion. 

Silicon was scarce and all of the competent miners had already been hired by my competition. But, a few discovered carbon deposits put me in a position where I was able to produce chemicals that no one else was able to provide. My refusal to sell to them and instead only to the colony drove prices up to a place where I was able to make a tidy profit.

But, this was only the start. If Rubini and the others wanted to compete in such a manner and disregard the importance of scientific advancement, then so be it.

I am ready to rise to the challenge of their ignorance.