Oh Crap, A Staff Meeting

Day 170 Stuart Compound, Liberty, Alchibah

Andrew Stuart

It was defiantly going to be a working lunch so we were set up with soup, sandwiches and beer. No one would want to get buzzed on the hard stuff.

Once everyone had dragged in and found a seat, I got things rolling.

“OK all, I’ll start this off and try to set the tone. Robbie, I am behind on getting you those grenade casings. The can making process works well but, we are having some problems adapting it to the requirements for the grenade.

“Probably a good thing,” Fortson said with the hint of a smile. “We wouldn’t want all those cans exploding now would we?”

“Yeah Joe, I would sure hate to lob a can of Hanna’s soup at a compartment full of Goonies. The worst part would be later when everybody was ducking every time somebody opened a can of Soup!”

“Rocco, I am behind on that Electric Kiln for you, the thermostatic control loop is frankly kicking my tail. As the object of the exercise is to improve your quality control, I don’t want to hand it over until I am sure it works right. We will of course continue to purchase your sub-standard stuff; I don’t care what the ablative material for the compound looks like.

“On the positive side some things are looking good. We are drawing copper wire and the last parts for the motor shop are due off on the CNC’s on the overnight shift tonight. We can take that load off of Mayflower and let them concentrate on whatever it is they are building. Initially we will have one large station and one small station. The large station will be tied up for the wheels for the upriver power plant and the line transformers we will need to get that site tied into the existing grid. The small station will be available for the specialized motors you have all been wanting.

“The production list for that will be on a ‘Needs of the Colony’ basis, so send your requests to Walt Davis’s e-mail. If we can not put it in the queue from a straight Engineering standpoint, we will put it up to the Council.

“We’ve got Gabe here in charge of firearms production, with some assistance from myself and Robbie. He knows more about putting them together than just about anyone I’ve ever met, yours truly included, so we’re in good hands on that front. Gabe?”

“Thanks Andy. We‘re going to be starting production of weapons for the non-military within three weeks.” He waited for the startled stares. “That will be a rip off of the Remington M-700 with the pre-74 trigger group. It will only for a short while be available in 30-06 Springfield. Production of the Alchibah MK 1 MBR will commence in four weeks. Simultaneous with that will be production of the Alchibah MK III standard sidearm. It will take an additional three weeks for the start of production on the Alchibah MK II Close Assault Weapon, Alchibah MK IV shotgun in 12 ga two weeks after that and then the MK V sniper six weeks later. That un I really want to tweak a bit. I’m sure I’ll be able to come up with some other things after that. . And I think Connor and Rajnar have a bit to say about our efforts on more of, shall we say, the receiving end of my work.”

“Right. Well, hopefully not your work,” Connor started to the confusion of most of the assembled crowd. “We’re working on bullet resistant armor. The pillowbark trees we get much of the fiber for our clothing from also have layers of a material that’s akin to Earth’s spider silk. It’s about twice as strong as Kevlar, though it does cut well so it will be less helpful in that regard.”

“The bottom line,” Rajnar chimed in, “is that we’ll can produce in small quantities armor equivalent to what the Goonies will have – good enough to stop pretty much all handgun rounds. Pretty much all,” he rolled his eyes looking at Gabe’s giant sidearms, “and some rifles at some ranges. I’m working on various solutions to the slash resistance and ways to generally improve it. Within ten to twelve weeks I expect we will be able to produce level III or even IV armor, to put it in the old NIJ terms.”

“Thanks,” I continued. “And backtracking a bit, after we have sufficient metal for the production of the weapons marks we will be able to make available metal from Red Iron up to Tungsten-Carbide tool level on a ‘Needs of the Colony’ basis.

“Once again send your begs to Walt.

“In summation, we are going to double the capability of the power grid within six months. We will be able to arm the Colony and provide for the meat hunters. Basic needs for construction will be meet and we will continue to expand.” As the general intake of breath occurred, I shifted gears. “Ash, you are up. Do try not to soil your panties!”

“Thank You, I think Cuz. First up, I have this most wonderful Atmospheric Drive that anyone can think of for the Shuttles. Unfortunately, neither Hibbs nor myself can figure out why we cannot take the sucker out of the Primary gravity field of the Planet. Hibbs is going to come down here next week so we can crawl into the guts and see what’s going on.

“On my positive side, Walt and I have figured out how to network the CNC’s to where we only need one Brain Unit per four machines. Tim claims that he can run up to eight out of one Brain Unit inside the next four weeks. Feed us enough metal and we will give you a mechanized society.

“Tim has offered to Honcho running Copper Network to all of the new households, so we will not radiate locally anything that the Goonies can detect; the Guardians, I have no idea what they can do.

“Kara, Elana and JoAnn claim they can produce Fiber Optic glass within six months. I am doubtful but, would not put it past them.

“Back to you Cuz!”

“Joe and or Bart, how goes the wood business?”

“Couldn’t be much better,” Bart began. “I would like to have some spare blades and other replacement parts made up. I’ll get Walt a list of what is critical. My current wish list includes rollers, blades, and a motor for a finishing mill. The mechanical problem I see as critical in the near future is keeping the chainsaws functioning. I’ve already had to hand make chain links and guide bars rollers will be next.

“Another thing I’d like to see is a small say 10 or 20 horse steam engine. With as much scrap wood as we put out I could power most of my equipment with steam and save the bio-fuels for more important things. Another thing that steam has going for it is, we can take it anywhere there are trees and water. I can put in an order with the blacksmith shop for a boiler. But for connecting rods and crankshafts and maybe even cylinder blocks it would be nice to have some cast Iron parts. That means most likely some kind of a sand casting setup near your furnace.

“Now when it comes to things we don’t have yet or have enough of the list is long but a few items include water well pumps and components. In Liberty City the water supply is in and secure. Out where Janie and I live, hundred feet above the river, the robots can keep my cistern filled. If we go outside the township and away from surface water, it would be good to be able to put in a well.

“If I can interject,” said Walt Davis, “Bart if you can get me specs on those chainsaw parts we can cover you in a hurry. Those are the kind of small projects that we can put on the overnight shift and the Boss over there has pretty well given me discretion on. I can probably have you enough parts for complete overhauls in about a week.

“As for the cast iron stuff, if you or any of your crew knows enough about sand casting to show us how; I promise you at least one 500 lb pour a day of metal. We have thought about it but back burnered it because we just didn’t know how.”

“Joe, you are up!”

“Bart’s pretty much covered it from the business end but I am about to start on my house and have some different wants. For a bit of difference and especially if we get a planner mill going, I intend to use a different type of lumber than the log trees for my flooring and any paneling. We have got some very nice hard woods here that unfortunately we can’t glue. Nails and wood screws would come in real handy.

“I heard Phyllis Underton talking about metal roofing. That would be something I could use and free up lumber capacity. And band Iron would make shipping some of our products a bit easier. Not my specialty but I was talking to Frank Turner and he has a lot of things on his list in the agricultural area. I’ll let him know your looking to expand.

“One last thing, totally off the subject. Ever since Mariana took care of Jack for all of us, Burt Buchanan has been a model citizen. He does his labor pool work and seems to be tending to his own business. I don’t buy that for a minute. Keep an eye on him, he’s up to something.”

I just had to answer that. “Joe, you may rest assured that one of Robbie’s community service jobs is keeping an eye on our boy Buchanan.

“Bart, as soon as anyone registers a holding far enough up to need a well or can just flat justify the need, come see the Seaworth, Andrews and Pierce Wells business agent. They are just waiting to get their Drill Bits up on the needs list. Meanwhile they are running around doing water table studies and mumbling things like bore size and flow rate. Also Joe, nail production starts in about three days I think. Screws I believe are about a week after that, this building boom caught us a little off balance.”

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Colony: Alchibah is a science fiction blog novel.
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