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Friday, February 6, 2009

The Friday Challenge - 2/6/09

In response to the 1/30/09 Friday Challenge, we received the following entries:

Giraffe: untitled

Vidad: "Non Semper Aurem Facilem Habet Felicitas"

WaterBoy and Arisia also contributed entries, but wrote them in the Comments attached to the original post, and I just now notice that unlike HaloScan, JS-Kit does not provide permanent links to individual comments. I'm sure there must be a toggle somewhere that will switch this feature on, but until I find it, I'll have to ask you to open the original post, and then scroll down in the comments until you find WaterBoy's and Arisia's entries. Apologies for the inconvenience.

As always, even if you have not entered the contest this week, we invite you to read, comment on, and vote for your favorite(s). The winner(s) will be announced Sunday evening.

I now turn the microphone over to WaterBoy.

War. It has been with Mankind throughout our history and followed us into space as we began expanding into the rest of the galaxy, inevitably encountering other sentient life. The current strife involves the Kalmari, a race of tentacled beings who have begun raiding human outposts on the fringe of disputed territory.

You are a scout assigned to reconnoiter outposts with which communications have been lost. Your commander is only willing to risk a single scout on each trip to minimize additional losses, so you are alone on your trip through space. If you fail to report back, Sector Command will assume the outpost is lost and reposition forces accordingly.

Your next assignment is to the airless moon orbiting Epsilon Gamma III, a military outpost close to the ever-shifting boundary between Human and Kalmari territory. In the tradition of scouts everywhere, you take your favorite ________ with you to pass the time and keep you occupied on the journey. Unfortunately, the space in the cargo bay for a personal bag is a small tube 1 meter in length and 75cm in diameter, while mass is restricted to 25kg.

Arriving at the barren moon, you start to lock-in on the landing beacon when a flash of light off your starboard viewport catches your eye, a split-second before the onboard sensors announce the presence of a Kalmari cruiser firing its charged-particle cannon at you. Desperately you manuever your own weapons around to confront the enemy and fire, just as another pulse flashes out to strike you dead-on, flooding the ship with an immense power surge that fries your communicator and knocks out or damages almost every other system. Your ship now crippled, you seek out the landing strip at the outpost and prepare for a crash landing, donning your helmet and locking it airtight onto your survival suit. But you also notice that your
counterattack was successful, as the Kalmari ship tumbles in pieces towards the surface below you.

After a harried yet ultimately successful landing, you grab your emergency kit and personal bag from the cargo bay and head toward the main airlock, as your ship silently dies. A quick recon of the outpost, which is arranged like a spiderweb, shows that the weapons, crew, and communications modules are all destroyed, and the tunnels connecting them are shut off behind airtight steel pressure doors. The power plant, air generator, water extractor, warehouse and hydroponics mods are all intact. There is no sign of the crew or their ship.

Now what? You are utterly alone, stranded on this remote moon with no communications and little chance of rescue while the war rages. What do you do? And what was the object in the bag you brought with you?

As always, we are playing by the loosely enforced Official Rules of the Friday Challenge and playing for whatever is behind Door #2. The deadline for this challenge is midnight Central time, Thursday, 2/12/09.
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