Day 7, Evening, after Town Meeting.
You’d have thought we were at a county fair back in the states. Two big tents set up plus the smaller round one commandeered by Hanna for her Cafe. People milling around, chatting, drinking, eating too much, basically just partying! Lights strung up around the perimeter that cast bright glows over the scene and created strangely angled shadows about all in attendance.
I was sitting at a table outside Hanna’s tent and enjoying — perhaps that’s too optimistic a word — slizzard — which, while tougher than beef, tasted sort-of like it. I had just finished a talk with Walt Davis. Nice fellow and I consented to his cause. I would deal with it tomorrow when I returned to the Mayflower.
After Walt left, another young colonist I didn’t know much about came over and sat next to me. He said his name was Bradley Jones. He addressed me with respect — something I’ve only recently received in my life — and said, “Captain Travis, might I have a word?”
I said, “Of course.”
Jones said, “You probably don’t know me from Adam but I am a communications officer from a large hotel. Actually, the one that you and we escaped from; the Hilton. I’d like to be of service.”
“What can you do for us,” I said, still munching on slizzard and enjoying it very much.
Bradley said, “There is nothing I want more than that our voyage should result in success! I’m a nobody but I like to think that I can help our survival.”
“Really,” I said, “How?”
He became flustered and said, “Well, I have these dreams…”
I said, “Go on…” and he did…
Day 8: Early Morning.
It was the day after Town Meeting Celebration and Glenda and I lifted off in the Galileo and headed back to the Mayflower.
It was still early morning. As was the custom on the Mayflower, we all met for the “morning meeting” to discuss anything and everything we needed to attend to. It was 7:00 in the morning, Alchibah time, and we were sitting around the table in the Cafe eating scrambled eggs and home-fries.
“Glen,” Hibbes said, “We’re — Chandler and I — are onto something big.”
I muttered while swallowing a bunch of home-fries, “Tell us about it.”
Hibbes said, “Soon. When we’re ready.”
I shrugged and continued to eat my breakfast.
Later that Afternoon…
We had loaded four “H” Beams that had been floating uselessly within the cavity of the Mayflower, into the cargo hold of the Galileo. Steven had welded six-foot steel beams at right angles to the ends of them. Each “H” Beam was 70 feet long and we planned to use them to build two bridges across the river in Liberty.
I returned to Liberty along with Steven, Glenda, Natasi, and myself.
We collected Historian and Rocko along the way, planetside, and continued to the sites we had picked out for the bridges.
The talented Darren Calver was watching the helm of the Mayflower and Monroe had come down in The Surprise, recently fitted with a laser package removed from the Lancer. Under my instructions, he burned holes on both sides of the river where we would install the beams.
Also under my instructions, two colonists had gathered sand and lime from nearby and made concrete.
I hovered above the new land of ours, the beams, with their “pug stubs” attached at the ends pointing down, were attached by chains to the underneath of the Galileo. I piloted the Galileo to place them across in two spaces: m36 to n37. The “Lower Crossing”. We, those on land on foot, we in the Galileo, headed North and reached our next placing.
Monroe burned down four more footing holes and we placed the beams there, at g18 to g20, the “Upper Crossing”. I know that Historian would plead his case to Bart and and the Council, and company, to produce 4″ x 12″ by whatever length” boards to lay on top of the pairs of beams at each site to create bridges for the colony.
Our work was done, with Steven and Glenda and Natasi and the ever present Historian helping to twist and turn the chained beams into position at each site. Other colonists filled the holes that the beam “stubs” were sitting in, with a native made concrete to secure the footings. I thought: The rest is up to the colonists. I’m sure Historian would see to that.
The Town Council had met early in the day and assigned various folks to different tasks that needed doing. It was exciting in a way because all of us, town folk and spacers, were starting to build our “civilization” here on our new home world.
The Surprise headed back to the Mayflower while I headed to the Space Port and after landing, sought out Walt and when I found him, gave him his supplies.
My crew was already aboard the Galileo, waiting for me. I turned towards the ship but then I heard Ash calling my name…