20, 19, 18...
You're captain of a new spaceship that's just about to launch.
17, 16, 15...
You'll be going to a recently discovered planet that some of the scientists got radio signals from, and think may contain life. It's the kind of mission you've been working to get for your whole career.
14, 13, 12...
Except for one thing. At the last minute, there was a big budget cut.
11, 10, 9...
Some brainiac came up with the idea that the mission could save both money and weight by replacing most of the human crew with trained ferrets.
8, 7, 6...
The mechanic and engineer are ferrets. You're hoping nothing goes wrong with the machinery. The medical doctor is a ferret. You're also really hoping not to get hurt or sick.
5, 4, 3...
The science crew are both ferrets. You're not too sure what they're supposed to do. You're the only human; someone needs opposable thumbs.
2, 1, **liftoff**.
Well, at least the launch seemed to go without a hitch. The computer should be able to control the ship for the bulk of the voyage. First you can [[learn about the crew|Inspect the crew]], and then you could [[engage the autopilot|Engage autopilot]], or [[manually fly|Practice flying]] the ship a little to get some practice.You engage autopilot in the ship. It'll stay this way for most of the ride, so now you can go explore. As you walk out of the room, you examine the map of the spaceship on the wall. [[The lab|The Lab]] is where Turmeric and Nutmeg are supposed to be. You haven't met them yet. [[The sick bay|The Sick Bay]] should be where Dr. Cardamom is, and people say she's nice. There's also [[your room|Your Room]], which you've seen, but haven't really examined.
You start flying. Obviously, you had done some of this during your training to be in this ship. A meteor approaches you, and you swing down to avoid it. After a few seconds, you go back up. **Rumble.** Maybe you didn't wait long enough. Pepper and Paprika rush in.
"What?" Pepper asked, sounding annoyed.
"I may have bumped into a meteor," you answer, not sure whether she meant "What did you do?" or "Why are you flying?"
"Please, help," Paprika said urgently, but saying it in that tone of hers that sounded like you did it wrong.
They rush to the back of the ship. You put it on autopilot quickly, and follow them.
The back of the ship was where the engines are, but luckily it didn't damage them that much. Apparently, the fuel tank was starting to leak. Pepper and Paprika sat down on the pile of ferret spacesuits, looking up. You're not sure whether they were looking at you, or the window above, showing the stars. Maybe they want you to [[dress them in spacesuits and you go out with them|Dress ferrets in spacesuits]]. But they're ferrets, right? So maybe they're just oblivious of what's happening. You could [[go out yourself|Go out yourself]], you don't know really where the damage is.Your crew consists of five ferrets. Most of their names seem to reflect their coloring. Each has a little electronic box that enables them to say "Yes", "No", "Help", "Look", "Please", and "What?" The voices are smooth and human-like, as the scientists tried to make them sound like humans as best they could. But the best thing is, they each have different voices, not the same old monotonous voice for every ferret.
A dainty female ferret of a light tan color, Cardamom is the medical doctor and she's had at least two weeks of training. Her voice is high-pitched, but not too high, and she sounds smart and knowing. Right now Cardamom is looking attentive and intelligent.
A black and white female ferret, a twin (not identical) of Paprika. Pepper would possibly be pretty good at her job, if she had opposable thumbs. She has a voice that is quite normal, except she always has this tone of voice that makes her sound slightly annoyed. Her trainer says she's nice once you get to know her. Right now Pepper is looking like she's up to something.
A white and black female ferret, the twin (not identical) of Pepper. She's the only ferret who's name doesn't seem to match her coloring. Right now she is looking at an instrument panel. Maybe she's reading it, maybe she's just looking that way. There's no way to tell. Her voice sounds like Pepper's, except it always sounds like you did something slightly wrong. Paprika and Pepper shared the same trainer, and she said that Paprika is also very nice, but it's the voice box's fault that she sounds that way.
Nutmeg is a large, traditional-looking sable male ferret. He seems to enjoy running around a lot, and he spends a lot of time in the tubes that run across the ship. Right now he's glancing back at the entrance to the closest tube and seems to be ready to jump back in. Nutmeg has a slightly lower voice that Pepper and Paprika.
Turmeric has an almost orange fur and is a male ferret who is a little bit smaller than Nutmeg. It's not clear how much he knows about rocks and minerals, but you've already seen Turmeric collecting little samples of whatever he can get and hiding them somewhere deep in the ship. Right now he's yawning; the launch wasn't too exciting for him. Turmeric has a normal voice. It's just normal. The scientists didn't want to spend too much money on voices, so all the voices sound pretty normal.
Now that you've checked your crew, you can start your journey. [[Engaging autopilot|Engage autopilot]] can help you relax a bit during the journey, for who knows what could be on that planet (maybe the computer in your room can help), or you could [[practice your flying skills|Practice flying]] for a bit. Your tests never gave you too many flying missions.
You dress Pepper and Paprika in their ferret-sized spacesuits, and then you dress yourself. You go out the air lock with the ferrets, spacesuits quadruply checked, a cable holding us so we don't go very far, and a cable connecting us, so we don't lose each other.
The two ferrets look around. They've never really been in space, floating. They peddle with their little legs, propelling them around. Paprika slowed down at the place with the leaking. This may be because there's stuff leaking out, which is interesting, to a ferret, and there's a hole that's possible for them to climb through, //or// it's possible that they know it's damaged and want to fix it. Possible. There's not any proof pointing either way, but you're glad that you can see where the leak is. You open up your FixIt fixing kit, looking at the contents, restrained by a lightweight mesh.
//What to use, what to use...// You think, trying to remember whether you should [[weld the opening|Weld the Patch]] or [[use SuperEpoxy|Use SuperEpoxy on the Patch]] to close up the leak.You put on your spacesuit, check it over, attach a cable, and head out of the spaceship through the airlock. Slowly, you paddle around the ship, finally finding the leak. You notice less fuel is coming out now. There's not a lot of time. How should you fix this? You take your FixIt fixing kit out, but you accidentally let go of it. It flies off into outerspace, too far away with the cable attached. And you can't fix it without the kit. There is no fuel coming out now. Traveling back in, you know that hope is lost.
Would you like to [[restart|Countdown]] or [[go back|Practice flying]]?When you walk into the lab, you see Turmeric, stretching up, sniffing his rocks on the desk, and Nutmeg tightly gripping his topographic globe, looking out the window.
"Hello," you greet the ferrets.
"What?" Turmeric asks, finding the wire on part of the desk, and pulling himself up.
"Just exploring," you answer.
Suddenly, a robotic voice comes on the loudspeaker.
"Approaching planet. Prepare for landing."
Nutmeg looks out the window. The planet is large and beautiful.
Should we [[get the ferrets ready|Get ferrets ready]], or [[watch the monitor|Watch the Monitor]]?The sick bay was a clean, sterile place, with 6 ferret-sized beds and one human-sized one in the corner, like it was stuck in as an afterthought. One extra ferret bed. You see Dr. Cardamom on a cart, used for easily transporting medical supplies across the room. On the cart, there were a few different tools, and she was holding one in her mouth. She looked up at you as walk in.
"Hello. Just checking out the ship," you tell Dr. Cardamom as you walk in.
"Yes," she responds, but then the loudspeaker announces you've arrived at the planet.
You could [[watch the monitor|Watch the Monitor]], or go [[prepare the ferrets|Get ferrets ready]]Your room, like the rest of the ship, has white walls, and a white floor. Unlike the ferrets' rooms, yours is all to yourself, and has a bed attached to the wall, unlike the hammocks which the ferrets sleep in. The bed is to your east as you enter your room, with a computer to the northeast, in front of the bed, and a few circular bookshelves and circular drawers built into the wall. The room is pretty barren except that one computer and a fuzzy, but thin and light, black rug covering the floor. In the drawers there's mainly clothes, on the bookshelves there are papers and pencils, mostly for drawing and doing math problems, and on your bed, now pulled out, is a white pillow with a white mattress.
You remember putting everything in your room the day before. So many things have happened that you barely remember yesterday.
Well, you might want to [[play around with the computer|Research on Computer]], because who knows what kind of interesting things you might find. Of course, you could [[sleep until arrival|Rest until arrival]], or you can [[go back out|Explore]].You research the crew, finding that they each had their own dedicated website, with over 250 followers each. Determined to find your own, you look up yourself, and find you have your own site too, but with only //3// followers. Must've been your family. You finally decide to research something more serious and look up "space ferrets". There were several things, like an interactive fiction game called Space Ferrets, but you find something interesting on a conspiracy site.
"On July 22, 2018, Russia sent ferrets to space with one human and five ferrets on board, to save weight and money. The mission was assumed failed, as no one came back, covering it up so the rest of the world could not see their failure.
Although the public believes nothing happened, we at the-space-truth.info have obtained photo-copied papers stating this."
That was all you could read before announcements came, stating that you've arrived at the planet.
You might want to [[watch the monitor|Watch the Monitor]], or you can go [[get the ferrets ready|Get ferrets ready]].You burst awake by the sounds of the computer announcing that you've arrived. Should you [[get the ferrets ready|Get ferrets ready]], or [[watch the monitor|Watch the Monitor]] for activity on the planet?
You look again at the map on the wall. Turmeric and Nutmeg should be in [[the lab|The Lab]]. You haven't met them yet. [[The sick bay|The Sick Bay]] should be where Dr. Cardamom is, and people say she's nice. There's also [[your room|Your Room]], which you've seen and furnished, but haven't really examined.You start welding the patch, but then you notice that fire has engulfed the leak. It starts to spread around the ship, and the ferrets pile out of the ship, probably because of some sort of alert. You watch the ship burn, and know that there's no hope.
Would you like to [[go back|Dress ferrets in spacesuits]] or [[restart|Countdown]]?You carefully open the tube of SuperEpoxy. Dripping it over the leak, it seals it with ease. You are distracted by the beautiful planet right beside you, and head inside to either [[get the ferrets ready|Get ferrets ready]] or [[watch the monitor|Watch the Monitor]].You hurry into the ferrets' room, and tell them to get ready. Here, you notice there's a bin filled with extra ferret beds and straps to attach them to the wall and roof. You notice there are six beds already set up. One extra. Maybe they were thinking of replacing //you// with a ferret!
After hurrying all the ferrets to the area outside the airlock, where the spacesuits are, you help them get into their spacesuits, and you open the airlock to [[explore|Explore planet]].Using the computer to scan the planet, you pick up some radio signals. This may be what the scientists found. Centering in on the location, you notice a little bit of movement, as if something small were crawling around. Maybe you should [[check it out|Explore Radio Signals]].You've reached the end of the preview of Space Ferrets. I hope you enjoyed it!You've reached the end of the preview of Space Ferrets. I hope you enjoyed it!