Day 31 Evening
We were sitting at the bar at Hanna’s place and I was buying for the whole Hydro Project crew.
“Ya’ll done good, all thats left now is to bring up the grid in a manner that won’t blow up those precious transformers. The ‘Mad Doctor’ done us right by those things, be a damn shame to blow them up cause we do something wrong.”
JoAnn looked at me with that classic Aussie stare, ”And exactly how are we to do that fearless leader. I am a Civil Engineer not a damn Electrical Engineer. I have never brought up a distribution grid and I am sure no one else has either!”
I was stunned, “John have you never done this?”
John took a long draw on his beer,”Nope Boss, I am a General Contractor. At this point I tell the Electrician to do his thing! How about Ash, has he ever done this?”
It was my turn to take a long drag on a stein of Stuarts Worst, “Damn, that means I have to be here tomorrow. The problem is, there is a valid security requirement on that shuttle flight tomorrow. I was supposed to take it and the best Young Gun to handle it is Sgt. Mike Reye.
“So, are you willing to grab this Candidate Reye? The Security screen I know you can handle, you are the best Young Gun at Security. But, if anything goes wrong you are the Strike Force Alchibah shooter on site. Can you handle that part Son?”
Mike sat stunned, I was not sure whether it was the job or the out of the Blue promotion. True to the legacy of the Young Guns he looked me right in the eyes and uttered one short sentence.
“Sir, Yes Sir!” At which point he was mobbed by about half of the females in the room.
Ah Damn, I almost wished he had refused. Raising my wrist comp; “L. Reye, A. Stuart: Secure and Private.”
Lester’s reply came quickly, “Col. Stuart, what could make you use a Government channel?”
“Sorry to disturb you Lester but it seems I cannot be on that shuttle tomorrow. It seems no one else on the planet has ever brought up a distribution grid and we just can not chance blowing those precious transformers.”
“But Andy, the security component is a quite necessary part of this mission.”
“Quite right Lester, that’s why I have assigned it to the best of the Young Guns at security evaluation. Officer Candidate Michael Reye.”
“My Son,” Lester gasped out.
“A legal adult and a volunteer member of the Alchibah Militia not to mention the best available member of said Militia for the mission at hand.”
“You have to forgive me if I am not ready for my Son to be a grown man.”
“Lester, show me a parent who ever is! Stuart Clear!”
I turned to the group, “Look out at the upper bridge and see those lights. Tomorrow we do that to Liberty, tomorrow evening Hanna can finally turn on all the lights in this place. Those windmills can be moved to outlying settlements till we can get distribution to them also. Already the surveillance that Ash secretly put on the port is working and tomorrow the Security Center will be up and running and we will be able to use it.
“Quite simply, tomorrow we turn this refuge camp into a damn Civilization. Now go get some sleep!”
I was having one last drink and bantering with Hanna when Mariana walked in.
“Stuarts Worst please Hanna. Andy you gonna get me power to the Community Center tomorrow? Hilde Garonde and Rachel LeGuin just passed their Physicians Assistant exams; the Primary Care Center is a go as soon as we have power.”
Day 32 Morning
First thing I had to do was make the call to Bartlett. “Damn Bart, I got one more thing to finish up here at the power plant and I’ve got to do it myself. Just can’t get away. I’m sending Officer Candidate Mike Reye along for the ride. He’s shaping up quite nicely considering the gene pool in his background, and a trip like you have in mind will do him a world of good. Wish I were going with you though. Stuart out.”
“Stuart to Group Alpha, everybody in telephone mode?” The replies poured in!
By the time Bart’s shuttle lifted off we had the Lab / Hospital, Community Center and Hanna’s Place on the grid. We were just starting work on the commercial buildings that were going up.
We had the street lights hooked up and the light sensors tested when the call came in from Ash.
“Andy, we just lost contact with the shuttle. I need the damn security center up NOW!”
“Alpha Group you heard the man. Let’s get it done.”