Duncan cut in “What are you guys talking about?”
Max said “Yeah, what ARE you talking about?”
John pointed to the specifications of the old Apollo landing module on the wallscreen.
Duncan shrugged “OK, but why is this so exciting?”
Blue answered him “We’ve been thinking about sending a radio beacon over the horizon…but how much do one human and a few dogs weigh?”
Duncan thought for a moment – “I don’t know – maybe 500 kilograms
John grinned “Getting to orbit on Earth is a huge deal – you don’t just have to gain altitude, you’ve got to get up to Mach 20 or so. But here on the moon -”
Duncan finally got it. “Holy crap! You two think we can build our our spaceship!”
John nodded. “Something simple – an open frame, four seats, and an engine. We scavenge through the wreckage of Gamma’s facility to find some propellant, we salvage a CNC machine, hack an interface to it, and we turn a small rocket bell.”
Max raised one skeptical eyebrow. “You’re proposing that we try to ride a pillar of exploding hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide – salvaged from a facility that was nuked less than a day ago – and channel that thrust through a rocket bell created by a bunch of amateurs using CNC machines that are utterly out of calibration after being hit with an atom bomb?”
John and Blue said nothing.
Max shook his head. “Look, I’m all up for dangerous stunts, but if I’m going to die, I’d like it to be in a shoot out with the PKs –
Duncan whined. “Guys?”
Max continued ” – surrounded by fifty or so of their corpses, having run out of ammunition -”
” – not barbecued in my suit when a rocket bell explodes!”
John turned “Yeah, Duncan?”
“The second PK ship is down there in the crater. Why don’t we just salvage an AG module off of it? It came down softly – there must be at least one of them still working.”
John opened his mouth and realized he didn’t have an answer to the question.