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Take to the Stars Episode Ten: Silas Critchton

Published on Monday, October 9, 2017 By Tatiora In Offworld Dev Journals

From the desk of Silas Crichton
CEO and Founder, New Meridian Corporation

Antarctica was nothing compared to this.

Yes, I used the “frozen north,” as my assistant liked to call it, in order to run trials of what would be necessary to sustain life on Mars. While my research was successful and my findings accurate, I wasn’t fully prepared for what it would actually feel like when I finally got here. 

It was quite awe-inspiring, I’ll admit. The chance to test my science on another planet, the chance to bring new experiences to humanity...it’s what I’ve dreamed of since I was a boy. But in order to sustain our operations, research isn’t enough - we need to compete for resources with other businesses here to seek a crude profit. 

When it’s a matter of pursuing science, I am never one to balk at challenges. I will overcome them for the good of my team and for the good of humanity. When scouting a location for our headquarters, we were quick to snap up the only silicon deposit in the area. I knew that glass production would be an important aid to our research, not to mention a resource that the colony would desperately need. 

This colony serves as a security center for the unsavory sorts that Earth doesn’t want cluttering the planet back home. I suppose that’s fine and well, though there’s always the concern of what these people might do if they were ever able to escape and revolt. The authorities here are surprisingly watchful, though - most illegal activity is pretty stymied and carries a huge risk.

It doesn’t tend to stop pirates, though. I feel fortunate that they didn’t target our shipments; at the time, it seems like our competition’s convoys of carbon and iron were of more importance.This allowed me to turn my attention to a promising young woman who applied to run our recently acquired optimization center. She knew precisely how to make our operations more efficient and increase the value of the goods we shipped. Everything was proceeding smoothly.

People warned me before I came here not to get too comfortable. The others who have journeyed out here to the stars have just as much invested in these ventures as I do, which made them potentially very dangerous. I was expecting dynamite or electromagnetic storms, or some other form of overt sabotage - I never saw it coming from within. 

The worker strike cost us days worth of research and production. By the time we’d fired or re-motivated all of them, we had losses we simply wouldn’t be able to recover. We came close, however, with some sincere promises of excellent compensation for exemplary and overtime work. I suppose our competition hadn’t crippled us nearly as much as they thought.

I don’t think our competition cared much for me returning the favor regarding diminishing their worker satisfaction. I’m positive that the slowdown strike hurt Mikhail more than me, and although I know I shouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I did, well… that’s just how it goes.

We didn’t have nearly the power troubles I was afraid of. The only affordable solution we had at the time of founding was to use solar powered panels, which are great...when there’s sun. Mars’ nights are often long and harsh, and I wasn’t entirely convinced that solar power alone could sustain us. I’ll admit to being pleasantly surprised.

Our research here has only just begun. I wasn’t prepared to have to fight others to get the things that I need, but… science must press on, and so will I.

I’m ready.