|The Search for Curiosity - Pt.1|
|Date||December 24, 2041|
|Internal Series||The Search for Curiosity, #1 ▶|
December 24th, 2041:
The Search for Curiosity - Part 1:1
It was not unexpected that I would be banished to one of the most remote stations shortly after my arrival. My ideas are too radical, my theories too advanced. My dreams too complex. They could not turn down my application to join this expedition, as my qualifications within academia are significant. Yet, I knew before setting foot on this dusty hell of a planet that I would more than likely see only the fringes of society.
Little do they know that is exactly what I wanted.
I am Doctor Cornelius Lorenzini. Outlaw and renegade physicist, revered by some, hated by most. I came to Mars for one reason.
Not the old fashioned, tired sense of human curiosity. I mean Curiosity. Capital C. The probe that landed on Mars in 2013 and set the foundation for humans to eventually come here. Atmospheric, gravitational, radiation data, and most importantly, the existence of water on Mars. Without Curiosity, and all the information she shared back with us, it is quite plausible we would never have bothered, or at least not in my lifetime. In 2019 she went dark. Vanished, exploring the area around the Noctis Labyrinthus, this mysterious series of deep cracks and fissures in the planet. Most assumed it had fallen prey to the many geological faults in this area, and now lays buried under thousands of tons of rubble.
I do not believe this. I came here to find Curiosity, and bring her home. Where she belongs. I watched the landing as a young boy, and knew from that moment that one day I would travel to this planet, no matter the cost. I will do her justice.
I did everything I could, passively, to get assigned out here. While my official mission is to study the radiation levels around the Noctis (which are unusually high), I intend to go out and search for Curiosity. I have her last known location. Tomorrow I will head out to that location and begin my search.
December 27th, 2041:
The Search for Curiosity - Part 1:2
Journal Entries by Doctor Cornelius Lorenzini, astrophysicist stationed at Helios Outward Station, 200 kilometres from the Noctis Labyrinthus.
Today was my first venture out of the base. I report that I am dusty, exhausted, frustrated and found no clue of where she could be. Not that I expected on the first day of my search to find something groundbreaking and remarkable, but I fear now that my search will be much harder than I anticipated. TeraForm Inc. has begun their work on the southern hemisphere of the planet, and one of the results of their extracting water is that massive earthquakes have impacted height seismic activity zones. As a result of these, dust and sand storms are now flourishing all over the planet. I expected to be able to find remnants of tread, or perhaps a trail that Curiosity left behind her. It has been 23 years however, and with all the recent storms there is no sign or remnant of her passage. I went close to the Noctis but my sensors were not able to find any power readings.
Powered by a radioisotope thermoelectric generator with a maximum life span of around 90 years. Even if Curiosity has been damaged, that power generator will put out enough energy for my scanners to detect it. It's that blasted radiation in the Noctis! It's higher than anywhere on the planet, and I can't for the life of me figure out why. Global scans would have picked up concentrated pockets of any radioactive heavy metals, and as far as Senate records say there's never been any "sanctioned" dumping of hazardous materials on Mars.
I cannot help but feel that the disappearance of Curiosity is somehow tied to this unusually high radiation. There hasn't been any formal investigations or studies done on the area, as terraforming won't hit this part of the planet for a few months yet.
I realized today that I am running against the clock. Once those rumblers hit Noctis they'll probably knock it all down, and any chance of finding Curiosity will be buried beneath millions of tons of radioactive rubble.
I must find a way to refine my search. I cannot personally cover over a thousand kilometres of such terrain. Perhaps something about the radiation signature.... If only I can find a way to cut through it.
Damn. I must also prepare some actual findings to send back to Harmonia. The last thing I need is for them to wonder if I am wasting my time out here. Or dead. Either would result in some pesky young assistant being sent out to "aid" me. Or check to see if my corpse had finished cooling.
Perhaps I will tell them I have found some wonderfully fascinating rock formations. That ought to satisfy their blasted inquiries.