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04 April 2011 @ 12:30 pm
What... is your favorite color?  
I'm "reading" Allen Steele's "Spindrift" right now. The short version is that it's about an expedition sent to explore a rogue planet with evidence of alien artifacts on/around it. However we know from earlier books in the series that the expedition lost contact with Earth and was presumed lost for... 40-60 or so years i think, until three survivors made their way back through a very roundabout route in the ship's shuttle, reporting the loss of the main ship and all other crew members.

The beginning of the book starts with the return of the shuttle and the three survivors turning over the logs, at which point it flashes back to the departure of the expedition. So far there have been references to "Larry and Jerry", and they've quoted from War of the Worlds. And when four of the crew, three of whom are the known survivors, take the shuttle down to the surface of the planet one of them jokes about how they're "going where no man has gone before." Immediately after that when three of them suit up to go outside their suits are identifiable by the colored stripes on their helmets. The team leader (and first officer of the ship) has a gold stripe. One of the scientists has a blue stripe. The other scientist has a red stripe. Anyone want to guess which of the three is the one we know won't make it home again? :)

Interestingly the guy with the blue stripe was the one who made the joke, and not everyone else seemed to get it (it is around 2288 AD or so at that point, so it's rather ancient history.) I wonder if they got to choose the colors for their helmets, and he made sure not to end up with the red one? :)

On a similar note it's kind of amusing that the shuttle from the "lost with all hands and nobody knows why" ship is named the Maria Celeste. Clearly the Navy of the future is a lot less superstitious than sailors of the past. Either that or they've done a crap job of paying attention to their history.
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