Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Eagerly reporting for duty your heart sinks as you get directed to the Maintenance Foreman. Has something gone wrong with your enlistment? You were so eager to get onboard the Starship maybe you hadn't read the small print properly...maybe you ticked the wrong box? You quickly check your documents and staff pass - it seems you are indeed destined to Life Aboard a Starship as a Maintenance Grunt!
You begrudgingly grab the mop and bucket assigned to you (Be careful with this - replacements for loss or breakage are deducted from your salary) and head on down to the Maintenance Deck. On the way you try and bolster your morale a little - This Deck, you remind yourself, is off limits to the public and regular crew which is cool...ish. Not many people see inside a starship's Maintenance Deck! That being said, it would be much cooler if it wasn't a little rusty and didn't smell of stale jumpsuits and old gym shoes.
You find the pump room and fill your bucket with scalding hot water and just a dash of disinfectant. The peeling sign above the spigot reminds you that you should never mix chemicals and to always observe COSHH!
Your brow furrows a little as you try and remember what that means. What on Earth is COSHH?
2. The launch was a little rocky, but successful. Not that you got to see anything of it. When you first got accepted onto the crew you longed to see Earth disappear from view behind you. Not that Earth was a bad place, but what a view that would be. Unfortunately the Maintenance Deck has no windows!
You spend the first hour of your shift idly flicking through some faded copies of "Mars Weekly" whilst you wait for your first dispatchment. The call crackles through the outdated loudspeaker, disturbing your chain of thought. You are needed up on C Deck. One of the passengers has had a bout of Kinetosis. Sighing you put down the magazine and head back to the Pump Room to refresh your water. You're gonna need that mop.
What is Kinetosis?
3. You're not quite sure how you made it to your lunch break. The morning passed by in a blurred haze of Kinetosis puddles, faded COSHH signs and pine disinfectant. The timer beeps signifying your alloted lunch hour and you eagerly rush down to the Food Deck, dreaming of all the exotic dishes on offer.
No Dice. Your Foreman collars you as you approach and hands you a Vendomatic Xpress Card. Your heart sinks. You had these machines back on Earth, dispensing borderline stale sandwiches, soggy crisps, lukewarm cola and sausage rolls that looked anemic.
You take the card, your already battered morale taking a further blow, and head back to the dingy Maintenance Deck. You can't stop thinking about anemic sausage rolls...but your mind gets stuck.
What is anemia?
4. You soon find yourself staring through the surprisingly grimy glass of the Vendomatic Xpress machine at the paltry offering inside. It takes a few swipes of the card before your meal is dispensed. It's clearly an old machine that could do with a bit of maintenance.
You take a seat back on the beaten old couch by the dog eared copies of "Mars Weekly" and start to unwrap your sandwich. Then it hits you. What if you were the one to maintain these machines? You haven't had training for that. You briefly smile at the memory of an old Sci-Fi comedy programme with Second Technician Arnold Rimmer - Alphabet Head and Vending Machine Maestro working for The Jupiter Mining Corporation.
What was the name of this space based comedy show?
5. Your first call after your break makes you wish you'd skipped out on eating entirely. A malfunction on the processing unit has made all the Human Waste Units up on B-Deck back up and overflow. As you take the elevator up, you try and think what could have caused such a stomach churning error in the system. These Human Waste Units (HWUs) were chock full of tech and a series of failsafes, so should something go wrong, the human effluence would be effectively contained. Nothing worse than open sewage aboard a sealed Starship!
These HWUs are much more advanced than the toilets back on Earth. What year was the first 'flushing' toilet invented?
6. That was really something else. You managed to clear up all the mess, but the image (and smell) is burned into the back of your brain forever. You feel like a ceremonial burning of your mop and bucket might just be enough to cleanse your mind...but the smell...you feel you could really do with a shower.
The clean up was a long one - it's almost the end of your shift - you hope you might get the chance to slink away early and freshen up, but an urgent call comes through to your pager. The Heating Control System has glitched and the heating is failing fast.
This instantly fills you with dread. Without heat, things are gonna get cold fast. Just how cold can Space get?
7. Hurrah! You fixed it! Some ingenious implementation of an adjustable wrench, some elbow grease and good old fashioned botching and the system is running as sweet as a nut.
That gets you thinking at what an odd turn of phrase that is - Are nuts really all that sweet? Your mind suddenly flashes to those hours you spent in that dusty classroom on Earth: Class 7B English Literature. You are pretty sure you remember William Shakespeare using the phrase 'sweetest nut' in one of his plays....but which one was it?
8. After the heating victory, the rest of your shift passes relatively easily - a spilled drink here, phantom smells there and the odd not-very-slidy sliding doors. Wearily you dump your mop and bucket in the corner of the Maintenance Deck and head to your foreman for the keycard to your bunk.
Its not too far below the maintenance deck and far enough away from the main body of passengers to be rather quiet and secluded. You swipe the key and the door slides open to reveal modest but comfortable accommodation. There is a recessed bed tucked in the corner of the room, a small desk with a data pad, a holograph compatible media screen, a small locker style wardrobe, a porthole style window allowing you to see outside the starship and, most importantly to you, an en-suite bathroom pod. You inwardly jump for joy - you don't have to share like you did in university. This space was all yours!
It isn't long before you have ditched your overalls and thrown them down the laundry chute. It isn't long after that you find yourself stood under the gushing shower head of your bathroom pod, the hot water washing away all the aches and the smells your first day on the job has afforded you.
Your mind wanders whilst you think on the topic of showers. You remember an article you discussed in your University Debate Class - according to a study conducted by Abcotechbrand Speakers in 2015, what percentage of Americans admitted to peeing in the shower?
9. Post shower, you flop on down on your bed and flick on your media screen. You're just in time to catch the latter half of one of your favourite space movies of all time.
Currently in the movie a shirtless Captain James Nesmith, ably portrayed by Earth actor Tim Allen, is trying to avoid getting bludgeoned to death by a massive rock monster.
What is the name of this movie?
10. You barely make it to the end credits before sleep takes you over. It has been a long and tiring day full of disinfectant, disappointing sausage rolls and broken dreams. Pulling back the sheets of your bunk reveals the last pleasant surprise of your day.
You had expected the mattress to be that same sad little plastic coated thin rectangle of sponge you usually find in a prison cell (long story - Don't ask!). Instead you find a nice thick memory foam mattress that you gratefully sink into, feeling it caress and contour around your body.
Being a bit of a trivia hound back on Earth, you smile as you remember the surprising origins of memory foam.
Just what organisation first invented it?
Source: Author Half_Orc
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