Fourth Chapter of the online novel…

Chapter Four ” A Day’s Work” in Part One “The Moon” of a Science Fiction Novel in Progress

by Summers Progress on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 8:41pm
Roberta Dupuis felt physicaly sore from lovemaking. Her inner passages and her lower back muscles. Her relationship with Joseph was much what she might have expected if she had taken a twenty-year-old First Class danger miner as a lover. She was not complaining. Physical lovemaking  had been less in recent years than she would have liked. Partly she had achieved those associations which men find a bit physically intimidating. She both knew and had spent a weekend with the man who was now Lunar UN High Commissioner and Vice Secretary. She was barely more than a cordial stranger with him now but she was able to drop names and mention events that cooled the hottest fires she had known to some degree. There were less  hot forms of sex but they were not Joseph’s. It was clear to her that he had a well-earned deposit of self-respect, courage and intensity that he found did not pale compared to any man. In addition he was completely reconciled with sexual desire. The wanting that flowed through him consumed him completely at the time and yet was under technical control and left no sign of serious injury to the mind or sensibility. She had a knack for putting things out of mind at work and she knew that she must try. Joseph would let her feel no shame about their shared excess of passion and so she knew she would see him again for these weeks and she could not lose her job.

She really did quite a variety of jobs in her network and one was a monthly magazine style show she edited, produced and was principal reporter for each month. This month as always she did the main story herself and it was titled “Water and Population: Lunar Limits“.

She had a holocube appointment with the Governor-Mayor of Chandraayan the Capital of India’s  Lunar Colonial Sector.  While the units were linking together she began a recorded greeting and set-up that she could then edit and overlay at will. “Tonight I am your host Roberta Dupuis and I will Speaking with His Triple Excellency Ganesh Mullanghmalangalam Governor-Mayor of the Indian Lunar Capital city-colony of Chandraayan just southeast of the Oceanus Procellarum in the Sirsalis Crater. Later we will have His Triple Excellency respond to comments by others with similar responsibilities but because of his work with water law abd the water industry I chose to start with him alone”. The hologramatic Indian was now fully present and she spoke to him, “Welcome Governor-Mayor”.

“Glad to be here Roberta”.

“So tell us about you water projects briefly if you can”.

“Well I lead a group of political and industry leaders on the Moon who think the water treaty needs to be improved now that asteroid ice mining and comet ice gathering  are really becoming going concerns. Simply, we need to create incentives and a structure to bring in much more water”.

“What do you propose”?

“Well,  First, a real integration of all governing atuthorities into a Lunar Water Exchange Board. Secondly,  a real cap and trade rquirement that for every kilogram of material shipped off the Moon for any purpose someone is bound to add a kilogram of nonterrestrial water”.

“So, Governor-Mayor, with other imports would that lead to the Moon gaining mass over time”?

” Yes, it would but it would be many centuries before it became an issue we needed to address if ever”?

“You said in your book Wet Work that overall our water purity and reclamation regime is doing passably well.  owever you gave our gross water strategy a failing grade — is that still how you feel”? 

” Indeed I do Roberta. I think the most important assurance we need is that as more ships are built on the moon they are not being sold with tanks full of water from Lunar ice mines. If we allow population to increase and ground water to decrease we are in effect murdering our own progeny as quickly as we can”.

The interview went fairly well and Roberta called several contacts at various shipyards and started asking questions and making appointments. In the middle of her work an expensive flower arrangement arrived. She smiled as she read the simple card — “To Roberta, Love Joseph”. She sent him an e-tab thanks and placed her flowers  where she would see them most often. He was certianly very romantic.

She did an interview for the same show later with High Chief Knifeweather, Governor of Aboriginal Americans Capital Cap Colony in the Sinus Armoris subregion of the of the Mare Serenitatis American Protectorate Sector. The colony was in the Maraldi Crater that  rested in those twisted lands. Here Native Hawaiians, Samoans, Chamorros and members of every registered US Indian Nation had been given a share of a single crater cap colony under a single government as a sign of good faith. It so happened that huge deposits of uranium had been found there.  TheHigh Chief spoke of the law they had made there, “We have agreed that for every pound of uranium we sell to the US government or an approved purchser we must first receive payment in kind of a kilogram of non terrestrial and nonlunar water, another kilogram of certified compost, another kilogram of healthy living vegetable matter and a final kilogram of Lunar water. Then we calculate the market value of all these products and take only the remainder in credits, coin or cash. We have the purest and richest uranium ore ever found so the remainder is still pretty much. But we demand delivery of these things to our colony itself in order to do business”.  

The chief was rather taciturn and the interview as brief but she felt that it was fairly successful.  Before the workday was over her piece she bet would be starting to take shape.

When she finished the basic bulk of the work of any average morning she had learned to leave a few minutes free for miscellaneous research. She had touched her e-tab with Joseph’s e-tab  and because he had it set on a friendly setting it gave her a list of the associations, guilds and organizations to which he maintained a public link. Before stopping for lunch she joined and associated herself with some of these and went to public sites offered by others of these groups.

One group she found he belonged to was the Culkathadreil Charitable Coastal Conservancy and she sent in her ten e-credits for a basic membership. She saw that two corporate patrons of the Conservancy were the Etnos Arkadios Corporation and the Summers Foundation and that these institutions had directors on one anothers boards as well.  Further Joseph had some kind of membership in an auxillary of each group. The Summers Foundation was open to the public so she joined it as a basic member for ten e-credits. Then she researched some of its interactions with Culathadreils and found a long list. Another long list greeted her as she dealt with the interactions with the Ethnos Arkadios Corporation. Finally she came to an entry that began to give her a picture of things:

“The Summers Foundation  was established in 2110 as a consolidation various entities after the Disolution Settlement that formally ended the Arcadian Renewal Movement. A best date for the start of the movement is June 15, 2025 which was our namesake’s sixty first birthday and began the Worldwide Series of Skirmishes. The work building up to this failed effort at reform goes back thoroughout the life of our namesake and its roots are described by him in a brief post from early in the twenty-first century reproduced below:

Franksummers3ba’s Blog

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<!– #masthead –>An Acadian Moment

Posted on September 2, 2010 by franksummers3ba

The following timeline is from memory and tapped out quickly. It leaves out far more than it includes.  Nonetheless, in this blog I often argue that we may have reached an Acadian moment in American history. Therefore, I want to give some idea of where that moment would fall in our history.

1600ish Project of founding Acadie begins in Western France.

1755 Le Grand Derangement peaks with exiles from Grand Pre area as the Brits drive out the “French Neutrals”  and burn, confiscate  or destroy almost all their possessions.

1785 Joseph Broussard Dit Beausoleil  and his company receive near state statue from the Spanish Empire on the Atakapas Prairie. Connections well established with Olivier Theriot’s Acadian Colony in East Louisiana.

 Very Early 1800s Acadians deal with numerous transitions including the Louisiana Purchase, some fight at Battle of New Orleans, Louisiana becomes a State of the United States.

1850s Tensions build toward the Civil War. Acadian Governor Mouton prominent in crisis. Comite de Vigilance des Atakapas founded.  

1860s French Prince Camille de Polignac fights in Acadiana as a Confederate general. Acadian Confederate General Mouton dies in a smaller Civil War battle in part from complications caused by new wounds affecting wounds received at Shiloh. The Confederacy loses the war.

1881 5000 or so Acadians gather for the first National Convention intended to represent the whole people publicly since the exile. August 15, Feast of the Assumption is named national Acadian holiday.

1938 the Pope recognizes Feast of Assumption as Acadian holiday.

1940s through 1950s Dudley Leblanc leads a high  profile movement of activism, study and international committees.

1960s Acadian music, festivals and crafts better organized in Louisiana. Sometimes call the start of an Acadian Renaissance.

1980s Congres  Mondial makes strong steps to restore national union of family associations.

2003 Her Britannic Majesty Elizabeth Queen of Scotland and of England Second of the Name issues a proclamation regarding the Acadians and Le Grand Derangement.

To see a bit more go to my glossary:

The Culkathadreil Clan in the largest sense included several thousand people at least. Apparently they were scattered in pockets around the world.  However, the largest was the population associated with that name in Louisiana. There they intermmarried with and established relationships more with the Acadians than anyone else. They had four official Louisiana Ethnic Liasons in the Culkathadreil Clan that were listed in the Clan Association Archive. One was to the Germans of the Cote des Allemans, one was to the White Creoles of the  Five Parishes and one was to the Acadians. She found photographs of Joseph at an important dinner or two with each of these Liasons in the Louisiana Newspapers Society Pages website.   There was a whole network here she really did not understand. And yet she knew  that she had ancestors from the region.  She would not pry. Joseph would talk as he wished and over time she would learn more.

 ***   *****     *****     *****     ******   ****  

As soon as he got off the phone with the front desk  and verified the placement of an earlier flower order Joseph began to look around for the gift left for him by his family network. He knew it was not in plain sight, in the bedclothes or in the shower curtain. So he tried his half empty valise. As soon as he lifted it he knew he had picked the right location. There was a bag with a wax seal bearing the Culkathadreil Signet crest. He broke the seal and examined the contents. there were two data disks, a proteinate polymer gun and 500 microtips to load its 50 shot magazine. There was a superburst transceiver built into a working space mask. There was also a 12 hour one use spacewalk pressure suit. There was finally a small set of familiar pills that the ranking members of the family usually carried but he had exhausted. One would turn his skin (or anyone else’s) much darker for two weeks, one would allowthe taker to survive large exposure to radiation if taken quickly and followed by treatment, a third would boost his speed, strength and metabolism and the last would kill him fairly painlessly in three hours unless an antidote he did not have was administered by a family medic.

He loaded the gun and placed it on his abdomen where it adhered instantly on its own. He let his shirt fall over the ver small gun and was satisfied. The middle of his well muscled lower back would be even better but this would do for now. He grabbed his e-tablet from the table near his computer station and put in the green disk he knew from the color that it would erase itself soon or destroy itself after being read. He activated the the disk and saw the redhaired woman and a distant cousin he knew as Melvin but some called Baron de Zargos. They were seated in a room overlooking Atlanta Georgia on Earth.

“Joseph, I hope you are well. The contest you won was not rigged but we entered your name as our bid on five contests numerous times. The Armstrong Agency is using an unusual route to mothball the Neil Armstrong. On the screen now you can see the route taken by the Neil Armstong II Supercruiser. You can also see the route taken Aldrin Corporation’s BuzzBeast Freighter. Now you will see your own projected route. Why is this being done?”

Now the redhaired woman stood up and pressed a button. She then spoke, “The screen you are watching now shows a totally unkown anomaly. A series of lines appear in sequence emmiting gravity and electromagnetic waves for no known reason. The pattern predicts that these lines will appear again during your journey. They have always been about ten times stronger than the previous time. It could be a wormhole opening up through space-time but that is a fairly wild guess. It is the only one we have not been able to disprove beyond 99% probability by our own estimate. We also believe that the Asteroid Belt Pirate Syndicate is communicating about and somehow with this phenomenon. To tell you more could mostly mislead you. We know you are busy.”

The screen showed “ERase and diSoLvE” cyciling through fonts and cases. He ejected the disk and threw it into the air. It gave off flash of light and a puff of smoke and turned into a real tourist holodisk showing an image of the Grand Central Spaceport. He left it by the computer and hurried out to make his appointments. He saw a variety of crater cap engineers and some were wearing the distinctive uniform of the Summers Foundation. He smiled at one them and gave a sort of half wave.

He found the elevator behind the great waterfall to be another visually stunning sight. The directions he had gotten to the Armstrong Agency were very good directions and he arrived on time. He saw directions to Olympiaville where all the sports facilities on the floor of the crater were located. He noted the bus schedules and a few scheduled events and hoped that he and Roberta could make it out there during his stay in Lunapolis. He also hoped that he might make a connection with Daniel and they might make it out there. However, at the moment it was clear that his priority was to hurry through the Market Street crowds between Mouton’s Market West and Mouton’s Market East. He took in the smells of fish, herbs, dried fruits, nuts and spices. His eyes saw butcher shops with chicken, pork and a few with beef. There were stands with ceramics and those with used space gear. The merchants were mostly locals and the shoppers were mostly people from other colonies on the Moon he sensed — but only a bit over half. Many were locals shopping for their restaurants and convenience stores on the walls of the crater. The further he got down Market Street the more clearly he could see the large red building behind the markets.

There was a fountain in slabs of stone and the stone formed a sort of plaza with a handful of large potted plants. There were several metal statues in the plaza that Joseph recgnized as the work of Jean Claude Bazerac. Bazerac was a French sculptor who had actualy done a small bust of Joseph’s father when he had been a struggling young artist. Joseph greatly admired his work and was amazed to see so many examples of it here on the moon. Bazerac had just recenly died and that had brought him to the forefront of Joseph’s mind.Then he had seen that in the Church of the Holy Magi there were two pieces by Bazerac. One was a bas relief of the Holy Family and the other was a scene of the Magitic interpretation of Jesus walking on the water. Bazerac he suddenly remembered had lived for a few years in Lunapolis as the Artist-in-Residence employed by the Lunapolis Government.

As he entered the plaza proper one of the nearest statues moved towards him and bowed slightly its ten foot height. While the face moved very litlle the voice coming from the mouth sounded quite natural.

“Welcome Mr. Culkathadreil, you are awaited in the Crew Conference Hall. Follow me please.”

Joseph was a litttle stunned. He felt the blood flush in his cheeks and the widening of his eyes. He was sure that Balzerac had fashioned these bodies from the metal mined on the Moon and they were fitted around the best functioning androids he had ever seen. Clearly this was a chance for the Armstrong Agency to display their skill and expertise in robotics. How rich were these people?

His thoughts went back to Bazerac though. He had only been married to Louise for six years. Four of those he spent in two colleges. He had already been to Technical school and become a shutle pilot who never commanded a ship becuse of his inferior education. Then he took the chance for three months of Officer Candidacy School and a Two month flight school for aircraft. After fighting in the US Army as an ornithopter pilot against the Central Asian Islamic Comity’s forces he had used his GI benefits to go to school. He had the rarest of double majors. He majored in aerospace business and interior design. Horribly Louise died in childbirth because CAIC guerillas shelled the hospital and nearby power plant. They were inserted by Scandinavian pirates into a series of freight shipments. A Bazerac figurine was by her bedside when she went into labor.There were electic shocks that flowed through the New Orleans Touro & Superior Hospital. His baby son Benjamin died a few days later. He took the figurine with him when he was crewing the stasis dreamliner to the Orbital array around Jupiter. When he got back he married Louise’s cousin Elsie Charlotte Didier much younger than he. They had lived together as he coached rugby at his old junior college. After five years they divorced without children and he gave her the Bazerac figurine because Louise had cared about her young cousin who had also been nearby when his first wife died.

He had used all his elective programming on the dreamliner for psychotherapy protocols. While he often used Bazerac in his academic interior designs the man’s work had become a symbol of great pain. Now he was following the work of his favorite and also least favorite sculptor into the place where he would become a crewman and officer on his next deep space journey. These thoughts carried him through the colonade and into the tall and stately doors of the building, Inside the lobby giant fountains of gold, silver and bronze burbled and splashed. Three real living lionesses and a real lion wearing gold studded neuromatch collars languished on the rich carpets.The ceiling of the room was thirty meters high, athin webwork of steel, silver and amalgam was embedded into the ceiling, walls and floors. Crew Conference Hall was etched into a large slab above bronze door and between stone columns. He followed the stately robot through the door and was greeted by a man the robot introduced as “Chief Agent Saul Rojas Netanyahu”. The rather heavy man greeted him with, “Really Grand you won there Culkathadreil — Really Grand.”

The hall was a bit less overblown than the lobby. However, there was a mosaic on the wall of the Neil Armstrong with the Moon in the background. The huge room was an elongated rectangle with the lobby entrance in the middle of one of the long sides. The only other doors wre locate in the opposite long side but were not directly across from the lobby entry. Instead each was about a third of the way in from eith of that walls corners. they were wide enough that he could see a bit into them but eah was hung with double doors that swung into the next room and he could mostly see those door panels. The short wall to his right was lined with obvious one person holospace simulators he noted that five of them fit and took up almost all the space. The small wall on the otherside was equally filled by ten computer workstations. In both cases there was good bit of space between thes entry side of the aparatus nearest the wal and the place where the door stood in the long wall. It was a huge room. Between the two doors were about 30 highback chairs with the tops of their backs just below the bottom of the mosaic. This all takes a while to write but took Joseph a split second to observe.

“Well, I assure you it is grand to be here — fantastic really. I am impressed to see such fascinating people and robots here. I hope these are mostly my fellow members of the Armstrong Complement.”

“Quite right they are. Grand people Culkathadreil. We brought in the seven contest winners today as well as some of the people who might be working most closely with each of you. Now most of the inners are individuals but one of the winners is a group. That is the group of lovely young ladies in the softball uniforms.”

Joseph smiled at the large groups standing about just inside the door. “I am pleased to meet all of you. Hopefully we’ll be properly introduced soon.”

It turned out that servodroids with trays of drinks and treats were moving around as well as several fairly famous human photographers. The first part of this first day was about introductions and photographs of various kind. There were twenty four members of the Armstrong High School Strongarmers Softball Team. The Captain was a very shapely seventeen year old pitcher with the look of a practiced athlete in her eyes. He also met the co-subcaptains Anabella Rodriguez and Anais Durand. Anabella played first base and Anais was a catcher. He was friendly to these girls and took several posed and candid pictures involving one or more of them.

He met Harriet Bliss who had won a berth by winning the award for Lunapolis Physician of the Year. She was a flirtatious recently divorced redhead. She was meeting with the man who would be her direct subordinate as she was the New Ship’s Medical Officer. He was of real interest to Joseph who had some varied knowledg of medicine. He held eight acredited allied health licenses. Thus he was certified as a Nutritionist, AutoDoc Technician, Physician’s Assistant, Vedic Medical Practitioner, Sports Medic, Herbalist, Massage Therapist and Accupuncturist. There were more pictures and introductions. The old Ship’s Physician and Medical Officer was a man named Bloomfield but although he was present his aged appearance made it easy to see why he was not going on this trip.

There were two winners of security contests. These men were named Dick Smith and Harry Jones and assured him that those were not cover names. These were meeting with the regular security officers Wang Li Cheng, Bob Dirkson and Ivan Kaspersian. He knew he ha been entered for these slots by the Culkathadreil machine and wondered how different that win might have been. The group were still sizing eachother up and trying not to show it too much. There was alternating silence and excessive laughter.

The two winners in the Aerospace Technology also had slots he might have won. One was a young woman named Cynthia Blair and the other was an amazingly tall black man named Kweisei Hanzu. They were there with several regular techs whose names he missed and with a bright eyed engineering officer named Henry Enrique Ramirez. When they shook hands Joseph felt a familiar rhythym of pressures in the man’s fingers. He was another member of the network called the Culkathadreil Clan. Joseph returned a suitable signal.

After photographs and introductions they all watched a two hour orientation film. They had lunch and sat in a two hour Holoshow as a group. After this each winner went into Evaluator and Bio-accelerator. When they got out they were given Dreamlearner enhancement disks and told to show up at the same time the next day. The softball team would only come for two days but the other winners would be in training for two five day weeks.

As Joseph was waiting to process out he met Alan Germany the white coated trainer in chief. The man introduced himself almost deferentialy. “Just come in at this time and plan to leave at five. You can be a tourist whenever you are not here or in the Dreamlearner, the Dreamlearner will handle the homework with you. There will not be banquets and photo opportunities everyday so we will get a lot done.”

“Well, I plan to be here on time and ready.”

“I am sure you will be. Your piloting aptitudes are far above the minmum. But I did notice something. Your combat aptitude is the highest ever recorded in our machines and we have tested some very fine security officers here. Are you sure you have the right job?”

“Yes I am sure.”

“Well would you accept a bonus to serve as Bridge security liaison? We are running short crewed you know.”

” How much for how much?”

“Ten thousand dollars up front and fifty thousand upon arrival at Mars. You will move from thrity official duty hours to forty two per week. You will be relieved of some routine duties and have more high responsibility hours.”

“I accept.”

“Very well, sign this e-tablet and the money will be in your account in five minutes.”

“Good enough. I would like to keep the score kind of need to know though. Is that possible.”

“That is policy!”

Joseph smiled and gave his half wave. He wondered to himself how it happened that he as a pilot had not met the Ships Commander and High Captain or any of the other pilots. He just had to go with the flow on some of these things. He could not afford to cause to o much trouble or attract to much attention.

Early twentieth century Acadian scene from a Regina Oubre Hollier painting on Summers Foundation website.


One response to “Fourth Chapter of the online novel…

  1. Pingback: The First Eight-Chapter Part Of a Novel with Eight Eight Chapter-Parts | Franksummers3ba's Blog

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