June 2011

Night Driving on Mars: Hydro Bar

There's very little danger to nodding off on the Martian highways. All the cars here have automated safety features. If you start running off the road, the autopilot will take over and drive you to the next stop. Sure, it's a little freaky to fall asleep going 100 KPH and wake up in the parking lot of Farpoint Shower Station, but it's better than driving off the lip of a canyon. That happened to me once (the shower station, not the canyon) and when I was still groggy I thought I was on a road trip. That's what it always feels like to fall asleep in a car and wake up safe in civilization. Like somebody else was driving and just let you get your rest. That day I wiped the drool off my chin and mumbled, "Nan? Where in blazes are we, Nan?" But she wasn't there. Hell, she was on the other side of the planet that day. Memory's a funny thing.

Night Driving On Mars: Born to Ride MW-1

Earth folk don't remember the song of a purring engine. They all drive clean cars down there, those folks who still drive. Gotta watch the carbon emissions and all. Not here. In these red sands we're encouraged to put as much junk into the atmosphere as we like. The little bit that sticks around helps thicken the atmosphere so maybe in a century or two we'll have weather. Took an age just to get the planet spinning again, so it's slow going. Some exogeologists stick around to keep the turbines running, others go into deep freeze waiting for the day when there's a proper ecosystem. Yeah, like some cluster of scientists from 200 years in the future is going to have anything but grunt work for today's guys. Honestly, I think the cryo-stasis set just wanna see how everything turns out. I've known enough scientists in my day to know that none of them are all that interested in what's going on right now. They all want tomorrow, and tomorrow's tomorrow. Me? I just want Highway MW-1 and Radio Orbit and the pie at Stop 33.