Looking out onto the lunarscape from the observation deck was normally good for meditation. However today Juan was annoyed by the muffled chatter of three people in muted conversation at the opposite side of the deck. Trying to regain focus Juan looked out on the reliably static and stark lunar horizon. The contrast between the inky black and washed out greys often provided a good focus for starting the slide away from the noise of normality.
However to spoil even further their quest for tranquility, Juan noticed a flash of light peaking over the horizon a little bit to the west and it then went away. Annoyance gave way to curiousity in Juan, so they tuned into the less than adequately quiet conversation for hints at what the flash may have been.
“Coming all the way from the south pole? That is quite a trek”
“And they are heading back up that way, once they have recharged sufficiently.”
“First lunar circumnavigation, that is one the record books”
“First manned lunar wheel based circumnavigation, you mean. Satellites do it all the time”
One of the conversants, a short heavy set woman, noticed Juan looking their direction. They made the slashing hand gesture used by lunar inhabitants asking if they could interrupt. Juan sighed and nodded.
She asked, “Juan, you’re managing power at the moment, right? How long are they going to be here?”
“We won’t know the full details until they have docker and our phloem systems are paired. The preliminary unencrypted details they sent indicate it will take about 5 days, we don’t have much spare energy capacity at the moment”.
“They may want to stay longer, explore the area and make use of our welcoming facilities. They’ll be given guest access to our phloem so they can see how much energy we’ve budgetted for them and make requests for more if needed.”
“We could always shut down some experiments or fabbing, if they want to get back quicker, but then that would be a discussion between the departments.”
The conversing trio started to leave the deck having made first site of the Chinese rover. They were arguing about the material to make a lunar ping-pong ball out of as they left.
Juan settled down and got back to meditating, trying to put the brief excitement behind them.