title. USSR - NEPTUNE

name. Hunor Deak

right now. Fourth year studying Geology at the University of Edinburgh

Glasnost… Perestroika… Demokratizatsiya…

Clearance Codes:

43576457-BDFSGSF24235-353545

234525-354353453-86781025005

BBFGSGINJKS-354536-363646345

Station: Deep Space Exploration Habitat for the Greater Expansion of the Soviet People’s Knowledge (DSEHGESPK) … -Раи́са-

Planet: Neptune, Sol.

Collective Sector: -Under Exploration-

Date: 20/12/2132

Time: Earth Time … 13.34 … -Soviet Universal Standard-

I.D.: 23454436_366663_DBH_4897_RSFSR

Metrika: Nikolai Arkhipovich Leonov … 25/09/2105 … Male … Eye Colour –Blue- … Height -175- … Mirny … Sakha Republic … RSFSR … Moscow State University -Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics- … Military Maritime Fleet of the USSR –Multirole Helicopter Carrier_Mikhail Gorbachev- …

Propiska: Standard Internal Passport … Seaman Passport … Scientific Envoy Diplomat Passport … Soviet Inhabited Space Passport … External Exploration of the Greater Solar System Passport …

Party Membership: Standard … Committee of Soviet Science … Committee of Soviet Deep Space Exploration …

Social Credit System I.D.: 234222320555594839561219ARBEZ

Social Credit System Score: 97%

Rank:  Military Maritime Fleet of the USSR -Senior-michman- … Soviet Deep Space Exploration Core -Scientist Cosmonaut- …

Message I.D.: 43536-NEPTUNE-23423-DFGDDN-RAISA

Title of Message: A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

For the glory of the Soviet People!

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A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

To answer your previous message, I am in good health. You should not worry. Natalya is doing enough worrying for the two of you. The station is well built. It is not on a high orbit. And we learnt a lot from the Titan incident. I am safe. The News channels make radiation storms sound scarier than they are. Everything is going well. I went on a spacewalk to inspect one of the satellites. My crew took a ‘stroll’ on Triton to collect a few surface cores. With this rate of progress, I hope we can change crews early. The months have been long…  I hope we can spend the next Christmas together.

How was your visit to Moscow? The Holiday lights must have been wonderful. The Red Square is always nicely done up.  When I was a child, visiting the square was always the highlight. I hope it was the same for Natalya. How is she doing? How is school going for her? I know she was interested in joining the Young Pioneers. She told me that her classmates can’t stop asking questions about me. That I am ‘Mr. Space Man’. (American expressions seem to be everywhere nowadays). When I left, she asked me to bring a piece of the universe. Such a lovely request. Therefore I grabbed some of the small meteorites orbiting in Neptune’s ring. I shall also try to acquire a piece of a deep space comet. I attached a few photos of me in the station, I am not supposed to, but I want her to have some chance to see my face. For her to see what I am doing out, here. I might get in trouble for sending you the photos, however it is Christmas time after all.

By the way thank you for all the Christmas cards! They were a nice surprise hidden in the package. It might have taken 5 months for the re-supply mission to get to us, but I am so happy that it made it before Christmas. I really appreciate the vintage cards, hard to believe that they are older than 100 years. Nice to see that old Russia was as ambitious in space exploration as today…

I can’t repeat enough how much I would like to spend Christmas with you. We are 2.6 billion kilometres apart. Too many kilometers to count. My brother is lucky. He is posted on the Moon so at least he can talk with Dinara on video link. It will probably take 2 days for you to get this message. As long as this gets to you before Christmas I will be happy.

Sometimes I have my doubts. We are told that we are lucky. We are told that we are pushing the boundaries of man’s existence. We are told that we are taking the Revolution to the stars. That we are following the footsteps of Gagarin. Yet… It is not that I am not grateful. I managed to get much further than my brother, the Party has been good to me. My face is on the wall of the Bureau. Unlike my Comrades I can travel the economic zones of the world. I have the chance to look at alien landscapes men haven’t seen before. Yet, the journey has been trying. I miss you. I miss our daughter.  I miss Earth. While our station has a beach I wish I could take a dip in the Black Sea at Odessa. When I get back we need to push hard to get permission for you, for us to travel the rest of the Earth. The beauty of Los Angeles is comparable to the spires of St. Petersburg and Leningrad. Well… maybe we should force in a trip to the Moon. You only appreciate the true beauty of our planet by looking back from space. You have to travel far to find a piece of your lost self at home…

I really hope that once my mission is over, I can spend more time with you.

I am still amazed by the design of the station.  It hangs above the clouds. Violent storms rage bellow with bolts of lightning racing between the abyss of whirlpools. The ‘landscape’ bellow us is pure violence. It is unsettling. Yet above… The thin Purist Blue atmosphere hugs us in peace. At sunrise colours of rainbows dance across the windows. Endless shapes of shadows run across the corridors as the sun emerges from the horizon. You can see the bright rays cut through the blue haze of the atmosphere. We float in an endless sea of Purist Blue. Around us the cold emptiness of space beckons. Yet the station provides all the luxuries we need.  We have an orchard with fields where we grow our own fresh food. We have an entire aviary with parrots from all over Earth dancing in the trees. This station is a little pod of life floating in darkness.

The Cuban Government even sent over a full year supply of cigars (which we can’t smoke due to Health and Safety, the one thing the world governments agree on, I guess shrimp can fly.) The station despite being so far from the fringes of inhabited space is far from being an old Soyuz.

I walk across the vast corridors. Both sides of the walls lined with posters of people who came before us. I wonder how they felt. Did they have the same worries that I have felt? Did they face the same pressures that I did? I guess from Lenin to Gagarin, to Valentina I am the lucky one. My path is guided by computers, charted by probes. Gagarin went in blind…

I know, you will remark that I am too lost in my songs. However they are the best way to explain the fleeting, yet often many emotions of the spirit. The range of records found in the station’s library surprise me. My recent favourite is Rocket Man by Elton John. The way the lyrics and tune blend together. They fit perfectly with life on the station and the distance between us.

You know, every signal that is sent out, doesn’t just get to the satellites but continues on, out of the Solar System, towards the Cosmos. I hope that someday an alien might pick this message up and marvel at our far away civilization. Maybe even successfully decrypt the song. But even if that doesn’t happen, this message along with our love will live on in the Universe.  Miss you both…

 

And I think it's gonna be a long long time

'Till touch down brings me round again to find

I'm not the man they think I am at home

Oh no no no I'm a rocket man

Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone.

 

Have a Merry Christmas my Valentina and my Natalya! To a Great New Year! I love you all.

 

Nikolai

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Files Attached: … File Type(1) -AUDIO- … File Title –Rocket_Man_Elton_John- … File Type(3) –IMAGE- … File Title –Image_232; Image_457; Image_1452-

Message Received: … Deep Space Communication Satellite Brezhnev-B 1917 (ONLINE) … Iapetus Communications Base Igor Kurchatov (ONLINE) … Military Operations Satellite Jupiter-342 (ONLINE) … Deep Space Communications Satellite Brezhnev-B 564 (ONLINE) … Inner Asteroid Belt Resource Extraction Base Georgy Zhukov for the Greater Prosperity of the Soviet People -Deep Space Antenna- (Classified) (ONLINE) … Lunar Deep Space Communication Array Rokossovsky-B (ONLINE) … Security Screening Satellite Kryuchkov-25B (Classified) (ONLINE) … Baikonur Cosmodrome Communication Array-67B (ONLINE) … MESSAGE DELIVERED

Address of Message: Comrade Valentina Arkhipovich Leonov

Party Membership of Receiving Person: Upper Party Bureau for RSFSR … Committee of Soviet Agricultural Science …

Social Credit System I.D.: 234512320998494839561219ERGEG

Social Credit System Score: 89%

Location of Registered Address: 34, Greater Gagarin Street, Klushinograd, Smolensk Oblast, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Sovereign Republics, Earth, Solar System … 55°40'11.7"N 35°01'13.8"E

Date of Message Received: 22/12/2132

Time of Message Received: Earth Time … 11.25 … -Soviet Universal Standard-

Words Flagged: … Christmas … Triton; Neptune; Re-supply; Odessa; Earth … Los Angeles … Rocket Man by Elton John …

Actions Required Based on Message: … All members of the station need to be reminded to use this channel of communication for official purposes only … Inform sender that the correct term to use is not ‘Christmas’ but ‘Holidays’ to respect the wide range of cultures within the U.S.S.R. … Inform sender not to talk about elements of the assigned mission as communications could be intercepted and decrypted … Message to be sent for review to –K.G.B. Deep Space Communications Division- - Supreme Secretary of Committee of Soviet Science- -Internal Security of Committee of External Exploration of the Greater Solar System-

Additional Information: This message is subject to ALL security agreements between the Soviet States, Allies of the Soviet Union and Soviet Colonies outside of Earth. This message after review by the relevant security bodies will be archived for historical and security purposes.

We are marching in a compact group along a precipitous and difficult path, firmly holding each other by the hand. We are surrounded on all sides by enemies, and we have to advance almost constantly under their fire. We have combined, by a freely adopted decision, for the purpose of fighting the enemy, and not of retreating into the neighbouring marsh, the inhabitants of which, from the very outset, have reproached us with having separated ourselves into an exclusive group and with having chosen the path of struggle instead of the path of conciliation. And now some among us begin to cry out: Let us go into the marsh! And when we begin to shame them, they retort: What backward people you are! Are you not ashamed to deny us the liberty to invite you to take a better road! Oh, yes, gentlemen! You are free not only to invite us, but to go yourselves wherever you will, even into the marsh. In fact, we think that the marsh is your proper place, and we are prepared to render you every assistance to get there. Only let go of our hands, don’t clutch at us and don’t besmirch the grand word freedom, for we too are “free” to go where we please, free to fight not only against the marsh, but also against those who are turning towards the marsh!

- Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov