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Source Melchizedek.0294
Approach β Hyi
Ascension 00h 25m 45.07036s
Declination –77° 15′ 15.2860″
Distance 24.33ly
Equinox J2000.0 SOL
Year 3781, QEC adjusted

[Autotranslator enabled...]

Stephanie Janssen, Specialist First-class
Hey universe, it's Stephanie again.

So, Seriph Adeyemi had a talk with me and now I've got to send out
another message since the last one wasn't great. It was not okay
for me to talk about the crew like I did, and so I'm here to set
the record straight. Navigator Hämäläinen and I were celebrating
the spirit of the season a bit too hard and made things seem worse
than they are. We're not fucked, okay?

I mean, things really did look pretty bad, and we have spent
a month in the dark. On a traditional ship we'd be suffocating in
the heat from our bodies without any way to rad-out the excess,
but the grav-sheer drive sucks so much energy from Melchi's
surface that it's colder than lunar balls on a dark side squat.
Eva joked that we don't need to go back into cryo cause the whole
ship will do it for us. It was funnier when she said it.

It sounds bad, right? But it really isn't, or it's getting better.
Our people know what they're doing. I mean, they're all pretty
much geniuses in what they do or they wouldn't be here, right?
It's like the slime--

Seriph Adeyemi and Captain Pasani were taking the slime in cryo
really seriously at first, thinking it might have screwed with the
crew in some way. Once we figured out it was harmless Adeyemi was
ready to cleanse the whole patch and be done with it but the
captain made us go in and carefully move it into containment.
I was worried we were prepping the worst dinner in the 'verse, to
be honest. Not even Prezzi knew what he had planned. I guess
Jerome has access to all our personal docs in the pads or
something because he knew all about Kroups genetics work back on
Gamma. He didn't even need to thaw her out. He just plucked her
notes out of the pad and passed them to Doctor Idjani.

I was there when he did it, too. We were in flex--that's our
muscle tensioning training to avoid low-G wasting, even though
we're at a full G and I don't understand why we need to do it
every other cycle. But anyway, we're all strapped down and
sweating. It was me, the doc, and Eva who was singing some old
farming songs from the way back. She was warbling or undulating
or something with her tongue in her throat (it's supposed to sound
like some Earth mammal) when Jerome pokes his head in. He didn't
give Eva a second glance! When he's into it like that it's like
the rest of the 'verse better just get out of the way or shut up.
He locked eyes with the doc and slipped over.

Then he's like, "Doc, you have the slime-shit all locked up?"

And doc nods like, "Yeah, it's under my bunk," or something gross
like that.

And out of nowhere Jerome goes, "Kroups has a phenotypic allele
psuedogene mutation that causes the daughter cells to be
heterozygous at the fragile sites," or some utter gibberish like
that. Jerome's no geneticist and I'm pretty sure he wouldn't know
the first thing about phytology, but he's spouting out syllables
all over the place. Doc keeps on nodding like he understands any
of it, but I can read him and that shit was going right over his
head too. The captain keeps it up for another couple minutes and
starts getting into detail about Kroups notes and that's when my
ears perk up. I had no idea he could read our private logs, but
apparently it's a thing and of course my mind immediately goes to
some stuff in mine, and then I look at Jerome's butt, and now my
face must be red from more than the flex. Thank the stars the
captain was all focused on the doc.

At the end of it, the two of them put a plan together to mess with
the slime's DNA and make it into something useful. I guess it must
have been on his mind because of the arabidopsis. If fucking empty
space can play DNA lottery, why not us? And thank the stars he
thought of it because the Melchizedek just got a 2^6 times better.
In less than a cycle the doc had that slime glowing like our
Christmas lights. No really, literally glowing. Bio-luminescence
it's called, and it's a thing of beauty. The slime is smeared all
over the vents now on all decks since that's where the moisture
collects anyway. The gunk glows with this really amazing
blue-green light. It's not that bright yet, but you can see well
enough to walk the decks again, and Jerome says that as the slime
continues to spread it'll get brighter.

So yeah, we're not fucked. We've got glowing slime! Take that,

Speaking of science, last time I mentioned that our beloved and
trusted captain was doing some funny math about us arriving on
schedule without getting the old bug-splat from deceleration.
Well, he finally came clean and explained it to the rest of us and
I. Am. Not. Impressed.

Apparently we can get to β Hyi safely without going back into cryo
and without the big squish, but it's going to take an extra four
deceleration orbits skimming the atmo of β Hyi 3. We'll gradually
work our way in closer on each slingshot and cut thrust. That's
not exactly quick, though. The first orbit will take an extra
month. The other three get progressively faster but all together
it means that three months left is actually six months left.
Orbital mechanics can blow me.

Prezzi tells me this is not a problem. Got that? I am to say that
this is not a problem. There, I said it.

So this not-problem means we're going to run out of rations about
halfway to touchdown. This lack of problem means that our
temperature is going to drop below freezing about a month before
touchdown as well. There's absolutely no problem at all with
sticking around out here where space may or may not chop up your
genes at any moment. It's an adventure!

For real, though, we're going to make it. If the captain can turn
fucking space-slime into hallway lighting then he can sure as hell
figure out a way to keep us fed and warm for a bit longer. These
people are geniuses and beautiful and they're going to save
everyone. Got that, Prezzi? Everyone.