Chapter 8 - Dead on Mars

Chapter 8: Sol One, Robots Do Not Need Sleep

Translator: CKtalon  Editor: CKtalon

Tomcat didn’t say a word as a form of tacit admission.

Speaking of which, Tang Yue and Mai Dong were only colleagues. They were in no way close.

Although Tomcat’s words were cruel, there was nothing wrong with the logic. If you were with her in a desert with only one cup of water, and whoever could drink it could live another day, why should one give up the water for the other person?

Resources were limited. Tang Yue and Mai Dong were competitors.

Furthermore, the ball was in Tang Yue’s court. Mai Dong was unable to go anywhere while trapped on the space station. As long as he shut off the communications link, he could choose not to accept any cries for help or communications.

Then, that woman would live a maximum of a week… After a week, Tang Yue would be the sole proprietor of all the resources.

Tang Yue suddenly shivered and snapped back to his senses… He didn’t know why he would come up with such terrifying thoughts. This was murder.

Under normal circumstances, Tang Yue believed that he would never have thought of killing others for his own survival, but in this uninhabited red desert, the evil weeds in one’s humanity were slowly sprouting. Without him realizing it, it had taken root in his brain, causing his back to break out into a cold sweat.

“I’m not a machine. If you want me to live the rest of my life alone on this godforsaken land, I’ll definitely go mad.” Tang Yue patted Tomcat on the shoulder. “I might well just enjoy a quick death. Therefore, if it’s possible for her to live, I hope that will be the case.”

Tomcat sighed slightly. The robot no longer made any comment.

The resources were Tang Yue’s, and he had the right to handle and allocate them as he wished.

Tang Yue began contacting Mai Dong.

“Miss Mai Dong! Can you hear me? Don’t panic. Tomcat and I have thought of a solution.”

The eyes of the woman on the screen lit up as she came close to the camera. “Go ahead, Mr. Tang Yue, Mr. Cat, I’m listening.”

“Listen up. Miss Mai Dong, I plan to send the food in Kunlun Station up to you. Kunlun Station has plenty of resources.” Tang Yue pointed outside. “We have an Eagle shuttle over here. It has a carrying capacity of a few tonnes.”

“Eagle shuttle? You mean the lander?”

“Yes, the lander. We have nicknamed it the Eagle,” Tang Yue explained. “What we will do next is put the goods into the lander. It has the ability to automatically dock with the space station. You just need to take receipt of the goods.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Mai Dong nodded like a bobblehead doll on speed, as her eyes beamed with immense joy.

But she suddenly thought of something as her smile subsided. She felt somewhat doubtful and worried.

“But Mr. Tang Yue, what about you if you are giving your resources to me?”

“Don’t worry. We have plenty of food here.” Tang Yue smiled. “You don’t have to worry about me.”

Mai Dong felt skeptical.

“For real?”

“Yes.” Tang Yue nodded.

Following that, Tomcat nudged itself into the picture. “Miss Mai Dong, try to conserve the food you eat as much as possible and minimize your activity. How long can you last?”

Since Tang Yue had decided on helping this lady, Tomcat no longer persuaded him otherwise. It needed to do its best to help Tang Yue to send the resources into orbit.

“A week at most?” Mai Dong pondered for a few seconds as her black eyes darted around. “I can reduce my daily intake. I’ll just eat one meal a day.”

“At your present energy expenditure, how much food do you eat in a day?” Tomcat asked.

“Uh… Not more than a kilogram.”

“Three hundred grams,” Tomcat said. “Three hundred grams a day, not exceeding four hundred grams.”

The woman slowly nodded.

“Listen up, Miss Mai Dong. You have to reduce your expenditure. From now on, keep your activity to a minimum. Reduce the number of meals you take and sleep more.” Tomcat’s tone was very solemn.

Tang Yue tugged at Tomcat’s claws and leaned in to whisper, “How much time is needed to prepare the lander if we start now?”

“Three days,” Tomcat answered indifferently. “Launching an unmanned shuttle under such circumstances requires five days. We might have to make a thorough inspection again.”

“It takes that long?”

“It’s because the computer system on the lander was updated two days ago, by a bunch of Indian programmers who reset the unmanned control program.”

Tang Yue and Tomcat had now decided to send the resources on the Kunlun Station to the United Space Station.

However, this matter wasn’t as easily said as done. Even though the United Space Station was about the same distance to Tang Yue as Hangzhou to Hefei, this wasn’t some FedEx delivery that could promise next-day shipping. The Eagle needed to escape Mars’s gravity and successfully enter orbit. Afterward, it would dock with the space station. It was a precise operation that had to be taken very seriously.

Typically, such matters were monitored by a whole crew of people, afraid that a problem would be encountered. However, there were only three people in the crew if Tomcat was included.

There was only one Eagle lander with no redundancies. If something went wrong with it, not only was Mai Dong doomed, but the resources it carried would be wasted.

Therefore, Tomcat and Tang Yue needed to be careful at every stage. They had to come up with a precise and perfect plan with no room for error.

“It’s now half-past three.” Tomcat looked at the time. A sol was on average 24 hours 37 minutes, slightly longer than Earth’s 23 hours 56 minutes. Therefore, the scientific team on Mars basically adhered to the time-keeping method on Earth. One day had 24 hours.

They independently created a “Coordinated Martian Time.” This had a time difference of four to five hours from Coordinated Universal Time, and the team members called this interplanetary time difference.

“There’s still another three hours before the sun sets. Tang Yue, tidy up the Kunlun Station first. I’ll be in charge of formulating the plan needed to ship the goods.”

“Tidy up?”

“That’s right.” Tomcat pointed at the messy crates and food strewn across the floor. “Is there even any walking space? This is your home from now on. You need to keep it clean!”

Tang Yue turned around and began tidying up the Kunlun Station. He had previously checked on food, water, and oxygen, but that was far from sufficient. If he wished to live here for a considerable amount of time, he had to guarantee that the power source and other facilities would remain operational.

Following that, he needed to do a thorough inspection of the power delivery system.

It was no wonder Tomcat wanted Mai Dong to try her best to buy herself time. Tang Yue first needed to finish his inspections of the Kunlun Station before he had the free time to help Mai Dong. Otherwise, it was easy for disaster to brew.

“Tang Yue, you still have three hours. You have to sleep once the sun sets.”

Tang Yue was taken aback. “Why sleep so early?”

“Hurry up and get some rest,” Tomcat said. “Tomorrow’s mission will be laborious. You need to have ample strength and energy.”

Tang Yue nodded. “What about you?”

Tomcat was taken aback.

“I have to do the calculations to formulate the shipping plan… I’m a robot. A robot doesn’t need sleep.”

“It’s good being a robot. You don’t need to sleep, eat or breathe. Going out to the Martian surface is like a stroll.” Tang Yue shrugged. “Why wasn’t I born as a robot?”