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StarBase 1

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Long beads of sweat ran down John Verin’s face. It wasn’t that he was hot, he couldn’t possibly be. His suit’s Life Support system regulated all internal conditions, and kept them at an average for sustained life. His suit was kept at a constant 65.3 degrees Fahrenheit.
No, it was the stress. If he could’t install the new Bio-Mass Conversion unit, the StarBase’s power would cut out. Within eleven minutes, the emergency batteries would die, and the whole of StarBase 1’s systems would fail. If the power died, and all systems failed, so would all Life Support. If Life Support dies, the so does everyone on StarBase 1. With-out Life Support, the Oxy-Filtration system would stop working, causing the suffocation of the 1,289 military personnel on board StarBase 1.
And if StarBase 1 dies, then Earth Defense will be crippled. Earth and its inhabitants would be almost completely helpless against an attack. And, considering Humanity is at all out war with a race known only as the Verdauga over the occupation of Mars; an attack at home is only too likely.
A lot of stress on John Verin. The lives of over 21 billion people depended on him. All Humanity and its continued survival rested on his shoulders. “Its 3085, you’d think that this sort of job would have become automated already, like most everything else!” he muttered under his breath. He turned a glance at his wrist. On it was a computer interface piece. He pressed a long sequence of buttons, and a metallic voice filled his helmet. “VOICE COMMAND?” it inquired. “Computer, open Gridlock 52.913 and cut off electric relays.” A 4 by 5 foot metal panel slid aside, exposing a jumble of wire and silicon chips. John reached an arm inside, feeling his way through the “organs” of the StarBase interior, and pulled out a long thin tube. Its glass was cracked, and a place green gas streamed out of it. He reached into his pack and pulled out a thin tube, just like the first, with the same green gas swirling inside. His slid it snuggly into position. “Computer, close Gridlock 52.913, and reengage electric relays.” John commanded.
As the panel slid closed, a pale teal glow filled the small chamber.
And as he took deep breath to relieve the stress, he turned to the stars. H might hate the stress, but he’d hate even more the day when a Positron Android took over his job. The Zero G gave a feeling of total freedom, and the stars were breathtaking. He loved it.





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