Tag Archives: communication satellite

Proof of Life, Part 18

11 Sep

June 27, 2126

Nassor’s response opened with the big, booming laugh she loved. “Only you, Hidaya, would lay down a science and communication system worth trillions of dollars and then pirate space on that system to play Settlers of Catan with scientists several astronomical units away! Only you! Very well, I won’t tell Sir Zuberi, but I will tell this story to all my future grandchildren.” He chuckled again, adding, “I’ve started thinking of such things because Aleah is fifteen now, and growing into a fine young lady. And I am very glad you sponsored the girls in martial arts classes three years ago because her first-level black belt intimidates the local boys.”


Proof of Life, Part 17

10 Sep

June 26, 2126

In the message packet she prepped for Nassor, she recapped the deployment of four more satellites, noted that she would cross Uranus’ orbital path in two days, then confessed to reprogramming part of the satellite system’s carrying capacity to play delayed-time strategy games with the Europan scientists: “….and the cover story involves me prospecting in the Greeks. If somebody tries to connect the dots, it will match up with my record as an independent asteroid miner with a desire for solitude.

“The safeguards Memre’ programmed into Sci-Com 3 keep Europa from being able to trace incoming or outgoing transmissions in any way. They can triangulate their signal up to the satellite and figure out where Sci-Com 3 itself is, but they can’t use that to find the others or to find me. I told them I found the satellite a couple of years ago and hacked into it for my own use. They have no reason to suspect African involvement.

“I hope you approve, but I don’t regret it. It has been so nice to have regular human contact again. I understand why Sir Zuberi wants radio silence, but I need to talk to a real person more than once a year.”

Proof of Life, Part 16

28 Aug

March 9, 2126

Hidaya checked her ship’s link with Sci-Com 14, deployed ten days before. The link to the fully functional, fully powered satellite was strong. Before today, when she’d sent messages, she’d sent them straight to Sci-Com 1, which relayed them to Earth through some process she hadn’t been curious about. Now she wished she’d asked something about it.

“Memre’, can you send a message to Sci-Com 3?”

“Yes, Captain. I can program a message to stop at Sci-Com 3.”

“I don’t want the message to stop at Sci-Com 3. I want the message to go from Sci-Com 3 to the science outpost on Europa. Jupiter and its moons should be within reasonable com range for about the next eleven months.”

Hidaya knew she hadn’t programmed Memre’ to be curious, but she felt pressure to justify herself anyway. “Those scientists must feel almost as isolated as I do. I’d like to talk with them, maybe play a few strategy games.”

Memre’ spoke, “I found the command codes in the technical specs. I can get Sci-Com 3 to send messages to somewhere other than Sci-Com 2 or 4. I also found a clearance override so that Europa can access Sci-Com 3 to talk to us.”

“I hadn’t thought of that. Would talking with Europa compromise the security of the satellite system?”

“No, Captain. We can program the clearance override to apply only to the transmitter on Europa, only for this destination, and only for the time window you wish.”

Hidaya exhaled with relief. She wanted to try this, but not so badly that she would risk compromising the security of the whole project. “Then let’s do so.”