Somebody’s Got to Build the Thing.

Day 0:2 was definitely looking like it was going to be a good day. The Lab Rats wanted to keep the temporary array they had going up until the containment building was finished. Simple compatibility tests for local flora and fauna did not require containment and were more important in the short term.

So I shouldered the 60 KG of Antibacterial Spray Sealant and had R. NUG and R Mycroft haul the heavy gear along to the excavation site. We were just in position when Joe Fortson wandered up and began to engage in the type of banter I swear that Cesar’s Legionnaires would have recognized if not understood. Joe finally getting down to business asked why I wanted the wood slabs. I explained to him my concept of how of how I was going to build the containment, even though I doubted that it would gives us adequate free space and that the rest really were going to become charcoal. Joe said I should hold to my plan and he would comm me if anything changed.

We had just finished squaring up the dirt walls and I was trying to figure how much space I could stabilize with the Sealant I had when Joe returned. What he had was worth its weight in gold. Rougher framing lumber I have never seen but, it had a beauty all of its own. “Damn Joe where did you cop this stuff?”

“Don’t thank me Andy,” he replied “Thank Bartlett, he’s in charge and said there is a load of roofing and flooring cuts in the next load.” He then proceeded to describe the problems with the self-gluing of the fresh cut wood and said he would be back.

I then had the Metallic Duo start on taking the cut back another 20 Ft. into the hillside. I decided to play with our lumber and gauge its real potential. Taking a shoring piece and a cross member I used the energy knife from my survival kit to cut a fresh dovetail in each. Fitting the two together, I laid them aside and started on a second pair. When I finished the second pair, I checked on the first. They might as well been metal and welded together. I once had a professor who said that every problem is really a solution looking for a place to happen.

By the time, Joe returned we had a 16 x 32 foot frame with the frame for a dividing center wall anchored into the solid dirt. Joe’s look was worth the effort it had taken.

“How the frack did you do that?” Grinning I filled him in on the method we had used. “How,” he asked, “did you get a Top Secret energy blade out of the Armory on your way out the door?”

I gave him the dumbest stare in the world, “Joe, you mean this thing was classified?” When we had both finished our laughing fits, He headed back for the lumber operation. The robots and I began laying roof and floor.

We had just finished backfilling dirt on the roof when Dave Webber and to my surprise Kurt Kellerman came up with the massive storage cell carried by two bots’.

“Gentlemen,” I said, “She’s all yours! The pipe is in place to the top of the bluff for the solar array, the pad is ready for the storage cell in the back room and the sealant is in place. Y’all have a nice day. I’m going for a walk.”

Returning to the camp, I paused only long enough to pass the robots off to Mariana and walked down to the rivers edge. I was squatting and staring off at the falls when I heard Connor’s voice behind me, “What you thinking Andy?”

“That we have this big mother of a resource out there and we don’t have the energy base to exploit it.”

‘So,” He asked, “What are we going to do?”

Without looking back I asked, “Want to take a walk upriver in the morning?”

Comments are closed.



Colony: Alchibah is a science fiction blog novel.
Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Probably.

All Contents (written or photo/artwork) not attributed to other sources is
Copyright (C) 2006 - 2011 by Jeff Soyer. All rights reserved.