Man has established bases on the Moon. A lot of work is done with remotely operated vehicles (R.O.V.s) exploring, mining, hauling, and transportation. (Like buses or taxis. I'm not sure about this one.)

EDIT: These ROVs are being controlled by operators on the Earth. Not someone living on the Moon.

A high school student was able to get in on the ground floor of operating these types of vehicles, I think because the MC started by operating a pizza delivery ROV (which might have started as a gag but turned out to be popular to the residents.) The MC got a reputation as a great driver and got called to do other ROV jobs because the MC was always willing, and did fast an efficient job.

It's possible the MC also drove under different accounts to bypass working hour restrictions, but it might be he was part of a team of young people who pooled their jobs, and he ended up doing a majority of them. I think no one realized how many operating hours the MC had, and no one else even came close to the number of ROV hours accumulated.

I think at the time of story the MC (a college student now?) had spent many thousands of hours running ROVs and had built up a large database of good paths and bad paths to take so the MC was always very efficient in his driving. He may even have a large area of the Moon around the base(s) mapped image-wise in the database from the ROV cameras.

An accident occurs and a craft is down on the Moon's surface. He recognizes an image from the distress call, and logs on an ROV to go to the rescue with extra oxygen.

The story is very light hearted and amusing. (Especially the beginning, before the accident.) It's possible the MC is female, but I don't remember. I believe no one backs up the MC's location theory, because they only think WTF does the pizza delivery driver know.

It is possible this was an online story, and not from a book.

1 Answer 1


Wildly speculative, but on the off chance the question conflates two different stories I'll suggest Inappropriate Behaviour by Pat Murphy. Originally published on SciFi.com in 2004.

The story fits with the themes and matches some of the details of the question, but the setting is wildly different.

The Remote Operated Vehicle in Inappropriate Behavior is a mechanical mining device, it is shaped like a cockroach and suitable for underwater mining, returning with its finds to a beach on a deserted island. The RoV is operated by a young girl with neuro-divergent characteristics, possibly an extreme autism with an obsession with appropriate and inappropriate behaviour and the use of the Mechano, as it's referred to in the story, is part of an experimental therapy program.

The two Main Characters are the Mechano operator, a young girl called Annie, and a stranded man called Evan Collins. The story revolves around Evan trying to get Annie to help him, while she is withdrawn and confused by his 'inappropriate behaviour', most obviously being on the island at all. Annie tries to tell her therapist about this, but he dismisses her report mixing up the survivor's presence with a work crew sent to fix the cameras on the island that are supposed to monitor at least part of Annie's activity. Annie struggles to get anyone to listen to her because she finds the ordinary world difficult to cope with, being distracted by flickering light or anything out of place. Her therapist is brutally dismissive of almost anything Annie tells him, focusing entirely on trying to make her conform behaviourally to standard norms.

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    No this is not the story. as you said the setting are totally different. The story I describe takes place on the moon. Your answer seems very serious. Wheras the one I described starts initial very light hearted, (the troubles of trying to operate ROVs so far away, and over coming the limitations imposed due to time lag.
    – NJohnny
    Jan 30 at 18:46

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