Chapter Six “Family Ties” of Part One “the Moon” in a Science Fiction Novel in Progress.
- The Lunar Constitutional and Intergovernmental Court is made up of Eleven Justices-for-Life. The UN Security Council appoints three of these Seats of Justices, the UN Lunar High Commissioner and Vice Secretary appoints five with the Advice and Consent of the Lunar Senate and three are elected by and from the Lower House of the Lunar Legislature they are the venue for defining most constitutional issues.
- The UN Lunar High Commissioner and Vice Secretary serves a twelve year-term as appointed by the UN General Assembly and the Secretary General unless his term is shortened by a vote of no confidence of the Lunar Legislature after a three year period of service. This official wields the executive powers of the Lunar Government.
- The Legislature has a Lower House and a Senate. The Lower House is composed of fifty seats elected from the national protectorate sector sub assemblies or caucus which every host nation is required to have as part of its Lunar colonial government under all laws. There are fifty seats directly elected by the non-national colonies in the UN Protectorate. The other four hundred seats are elected from the national sectors of the Moon. In the Senate the home governments of every colonizing nation elects or appoints one Senator from Earth and the colony of that nation on the Moon elects the other. Then there are twelve senators seated for life from the greatest propreitary and royal colony heads of State who serve by right alone and twelve more elected from the roll of the Lunarian Elite by the Virtual Convocation of all Lunar Colonial Assmeblies”. Preamble and Explanation of the Lunar Constitution of 2250
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Daniel was looking through the brochure on the holoshow extension of his e-tablet. It was a very expensive e-tablet but even the best of these did not have very good holoshows. Nonetheless, he had only been to Aldrinia twice and never for pleasure so he was very interested in both the discussion of The Aldrinia Hilton & Hyatt Hotel and the attached Lunar Prime Snow Skiing Resort. He noted that in some of the tagged notes Joseph had sent him there was an ID that showed Joseph was staying in the Valley View Hotel in Lunapolis. Daniel liked that Hotel and a company that was really his but hidden by a dozen corporate shells had the very small legitimate marijuana concession in the drug room of the hotel’s casino. The place was booked two months in advance and so it was unlikely his cousin had smoked any of his dope. But he knew Joseph would not mind it he had been a promoter of drug rooms in the casinos that leased land from Culkathadreil artificial islands when he was a teenage junior leasing agent for Culkathadreil Leasing &Lands Corporation. He knew his cousin had worked some private cop and security jobs sense but doubted that he was either a narc or a dirty cop in any of those positions. It was not Joseph’s style and Joseph had a very distinctive sense of style.
The text screen floated in front of the three dimensional diorama of the Aldrinia Corporate Colony. As he read the machine scanned his eye movement and allowed the holoshow images to evolve.
“The Aldrinia Hilton & Hyatt Hotel is one of the largest hotels on the Moon. While it provides exclusive accomodations for the most discerning guests it is also required by concession charter with the colony to provide full accomodation from the Middle Better Price Point all the way to the top of the spectrum. Our most appealing feature is the largest ski slope facility on the Moon. There are two conjoined crater colonies in Aldrinia joined by mines and tunnels. The upper crater colony is located in a crater on the piedmont of Mount Buzz and the larger colony is in a larger crater in the plain nearby. Our slopes begin in the upper colony go through snowed tunnels and then into the lower and larger colony.”
The holoshow now showed the skiers moving from the ski chalet to the lower crater. Then the direct photographic video changed to an architectural animation as he continued to read. “When Lower Aldrinia was being built the floor of a this half of the crater was strip mined before populations were brought in to live there. Metals were used for the upper colony, the very strong cap and the tunnels. The best protosoils ware set aside and mixed with sewer wastes and organic materials from earth in a Caterpilar Super Composter 5000z. The finest silicates were made into the dome complex nearby. However the best spoils materials were used to build slopes from the new ultralow floor to the half that was not strip mine. The same technology was used to build a slope to tunnes halfway up the crater wall which let out from Upper Aldrinia. This stucture is the terrain of our ski slope. The snow is produced by the air warmers for the dome complex primarily. The domes are covered with a film which removes eighty percent of the nonvisible energy from sunlight reaching the domes and a twenty percent of the visible light energy as well. So even in the daylight there is not enough heat for the air coming through the dome directly In the night period the air would be deathly cold. Warm and hot water is passed through the Aldrinia Hyper Exchange to heat colonial air and the snow is produced and blown out onto our slopes. During our half Earth month long day we produce ten percent of all of our snow and during our half Earth month long night we produce ninety percent of our snow. The snow melt goes into the farms throughout the coloniesand begins our water cycle Aldrinia also has a substantial ice mine and exports about ninety-eight thousand gallons of water per year to other lunar colonies and the Grand Central Spaceport. Aldrinia’s own water reserves increase every day as well.”
By the time he finished reading these lines Daniel had seen enough of the slopes, the colony and the hotel’s present and history to be glad that he was going to spend some time there. He also saw that Joseph had included a note saying that he was hoping to get a bit of perspective from Daniel about his new employer. “Very influential people Cousin Joseph” he whispered to himself. “but I am sure you have figured that out and are hoping for more detail. I will see what I can do.” He then called up some details on the Neil Armstrong and was duly impressed. His cousin seemed to have landed a pretty sweet gig for a newcomer to the competitive economy of the Moon.
He closed down the holoshow feature. He turned his eyes to Cindy’s perfect ass under the sheet which was propped up by a wing from his e-tablet. She was thirty and as a woman born and reared on Earth who had moved to the Moon in late adoloescence whe was typical of that minority of such women who were possessed of an almost impossibly perfect and luscious shape. That particular combination of gravitational influences had produced some women whom most admitted were simply living dreams in appearance and Cindy was one of those. He pulled on his twinfiltered smokeless marijuana cigarette andpatted his fiancee’s perfect bottom. “Cindy, sweetheart — It is half an hour before Astronomy Club Guest House check out and an hour till our train leaves. Time to wake up.”
Cindy moaned a bit. He leaned over and blew in her ear. “Wake up honey. I know you are sleepy but we have to get going.”
“I am waking up. I promise. Could you get me a cup of coffee?”
Daniel rose from bed and let the sheet fall to the floor leaving himself and Cindy fully exposed to the cold air. He drew coffee from the coffee machine for himself an Cindy and finished his cigarette and flicked it into the Club incinerator sytem. He handed Cindy her coffee and still felt a thrill of wonder as she propped herself up on one arm and exposed her nipples. “Thanks.”
“You’re welcome. Joseph is a big coffee drinker as I remember. I imagine that you are going to have more than that in common but you will at least have that.”
“You feeling alright about this now? I know you have not been in touch with anyone from your family since we met except for your cousin Larry.”
“I am. I don’t want you to think Larry Fitch, whose real name Larry Zagros is never used, is all that there is of a great family.”
“I like Larry. Fitche’s Riches in New Devon is my favorite pub casino on the Moon. I know you are proud of your family but I also know that you have avoided them for a long time.”
“Well, I am glad you like anything in New Devon since I have to go there to the British Imperial Drug Certification Office so often. I think Ross crater was one of the poorest colonial site on the Mare Tranquilitatis and Brits that go to New Devon are kind of a sorry lot. So I did notenjoy going much at all untill you startrd going with me. I think my family would approve of my astronomical technician repair company and even my legal pot concessions. They would not approve of any of the unlicensed grow fields and the cocaine Larry distributes for me. They do not much mind breaking some particular laws but they always have drawn the line at heavily organized and permanent drug dealing. These are my principal sources of income, Darling.”
Cindy put down her half empty cup of coffee and swung her feet to the floor. “Alright, so I won’t offer Joseph and his girlfriend joints then.”
“Not unless I do first.”
“But you are sure he is not a narc huh?”
“I don’t think he’d ever be a narcotics agent sneaking in unannounced on me. But it is not impossible for family members who start off friends to end up enemies. It has happened in my family quite a bit.”
Cindy nodded solemnly. She could see that there could be a lot of her future riding on this vsit though perhaps there was more to gain than lose. She had almost gone skiing at the Russian colony Rosc-Novgorod but had cancelled it at the last minute and so had never been skiing since moving to the Moon from the Earth. She hoped it would be nice. “What about the skiing then is it nice?”
“I have never been. But I was looking at the holoshow before you woke up. I think that you are going to have a good time, it is not Aspen but it is nice.”
They continued to talk about the trip while the valets came and Cindy pulled on her shoes as we stepped out into the hall. They took a luggage cart and left the club through the train station entrance. Soon they were boarding their private cabin. The footman smiled as he helped them in and placed their luggege in the sealed locker. They had walked because despite their love of luxury they each valued siezing chances for exercise.
“Pretty nice train, Daniel. We never take the train.”
“Well I and my companies own a tenth of the privately owned nonrail transport on the Moon.”
“Well no offense but sometimes it’s nice to go a lot faster and safer in one of these than even in your fanciest Mercedes-Benz or Toyota Super ATHLETES. ”
I can undestand that. I don’t love public transportation but I do understand it.”
“Even a private cabin is to public, I guess.”
“Well, hey, we are on it aren’t we. You know what I compare it to when I talk about private rail service. You were with me for the Proprietary Crater Certifactes Ball this year”.
“That was pretty scary for me. The demonstration ride on High Commissioner Rivera’s train was terrifying to me”.
“Well it was an emergency support train he was trying to make a point”.
“Travelling at two thousand miles per hour in a train is not making a point. It seems like you will hit every cliff on the moon”.
“I understand that. So why don ‘t we declare a truce about transit and look forward to this social event”.
“I am pleased to go out and really relax with another couple and we are connecting with family so you are a man of surprises.”
“I think you have always known that.”
The rest of the trip was fairly uneventful. The two green pyramids and Mount Buzz were artficialy iluminated. Daniel and Cindy had been met by Darrel Bourque at the station. Darrel managed the Aldrinia branch of MC Astrotech Coproration. They had discussed that business as well as efforts to get a lease on a crater fo a grow field in Aldrinia. He had introduced Daniel to Cindy. They discussed security for his stay in the colony and the limited resources available for that. He had asked Daniel to look aropund the colony and send him a report if the Armstrong Agency seemed particularly active in town this weekend. The Agency he was assured would be watched by the colny cops -the two were very competitive. But he was also assure that his boys would ne alert. Then Darrel had left them the company’s best hovercar while his assistant picked him up in another more basic model.
Once they got into the suite Daniel saw that their message light was lit on the room phone. He picked up the phone and depressed the light . The front desk told him that his cousin had gotten in last night and left a voice message. “Daniel welcome to Aldrinia. Roberta and I have gone out to see the colony and have supper after she finishes getting the basic photography for her piece on the freighters. The I will drive the rented hove car while she takes some colonial background photography. That means we will get in late tonight. We will be similarly tied up much of the day tomorrow. I have taken the liberty of getting us four tickets to the hotel’s dinner theater for tomorrow and that will be my treat. I think you will enjoy it, it is a Robertson piece. That is for eight o’clock Saturday evening. You’re more than welcome to call when you get in but you do not need to you can just show up for dinner.”
Daniel looked at his watch and saw that it was three thirty. He left a return message with the voicemail sytem that they would indeed make the show.
“Cindy why don’t we go for a swim and have a drink at the pool before we dress for dinner at eight.”
“I could use a dip and a tan. I will get my suit and robe on and we can go.”
The pool was a pleasant space and the bar sevice and tanning section were very good as well. It overlooked the main crater floor and both the slopes and the assembly plant in the higher portion and the slope’s end and the forest in the lower half. The view was sealed off behind glass because it was cold in the open areas. The crater was much smaller than either Lunapolis or Xiao Beijing where Daniel had rented his established mistress Cindy her apartments. Nonetheless it was bigger than the average crater colony and was linked to the upper crater colony and the dome complex. It was much larger than Arago B where DC Crater Cap Colony was his and was on of the few proprietaty Crater Cap Colonies in the Lunapolis Fedearl American Sector rather than the Protectorate just a bit further North. He really liked the place and was determined to enjoy it.
“How about a rum and coke?”
“I would rather have a pina colada if they have it. But if not rum and coke would be fine.”
Daniel drank half his rum and Cindy drank half her pina colada and then they got into the pool. Daniel went through a set of watery martial arts routines that he and Joseph had often practiced together as boys. Cindy did a couple of disciplined laps and then did water yoga. Then they got out and sat together in the tanning section. He put the tanning lotion on her backThey nodded off into a peacful nap until the tan alarm woke them.
Joseph had sent some of his pictures (which would not be used in Roberta’s piece) to Daniel’s e-tab. He had pictures of he and his new girfiend smooching on a scaffolding made of steel at a place where planks hundreds of yards long were being jointed together and then sprayed with hyper-reflective metal paint. He had pictures telescoping masts that could extend three hundred and fifty meters which would be stong enough to hold fifty square miles of solar sail in the solar wind. Danil had to admit that both the woman and her work seemed interesting. Once again he hoped for the best from the weekend.
The two cousins and their dates finaly met in the foyer of the hotel’s dinner theater. Joseph was eager to introduce everyone. He seemed really delighted to see his old friend. He could see that family worries that Daniel had lost all of his wealth and was nearly starving somewhere were about as far off base as possible. In fact he wondered how much money Daniel must have because he could see Daniel was in the mode of being concerned that he Joseph might be looking for money and help. It was not a strong vibe or intimation but it was one he could read, “My cousin, I have missed you but don’t you remember me at all“? That is what he thought but it is not what he said and what he said was just as sincere: “I want everyone to know that this was meant to be. Roberta Dupuis my lovely companion suggested that he and I be sure to visit this dinner theater. Daniel suggested we meet in Aldrinia and fate has decided that Robertson’s play “Heavenly Bodies” is playing. Juan Robertson was Daniel’s creative writing teacher at the University of Georgia. Isn’t that right Daniel?”
“Yes, that’s right. He published the short story “Heavenly Bodies” the year he taught me. The play came out years later after he quit teaching.”
“That is really neat.” Roberta said enthusiasticaly. “You will have to give us some notes over appetizers.”
“Let’s go in shall we? Ladies first.” Joseph smiled as gestured towards the hostess waiting to lead them to their table.
The food was good and the play was about love affairs on a freighter drifting into Saturn’s atmosphere and the efforts of the lovers to save the ship and their lives. All four of them enjoyed the sexual banter and the feeling of attraction with which they could relate so well. There were five intermissions and they establishe what most of Daniel’s legitimate occupations were, that Cindy liked Roberta’s work on television and that Joseph was trying to get Daniel’s impressions of the Armstrong Agency. About theAgency Danile indicated that he hoped they could have a longer conversation the next day. But they also did here Daniel tell stories about his old teacher.
After the play they had alcoholic desserts of the exotic kinds these hotels were famous for and they continued to relax. Every one was getting along alright.
“So how does the protege of a major playwright become an astonomy tech entrpreneur. Your cousin has described to me how you wrote poetry for a living for a while. That is really impressive.”
“Well Roberta, I was a sargent in the United States Space Corps Signal Division before I went back to finish my undergraduate degree in literature and the graduate degree. I had the GI Bill but I kept myself in car fuel and beer by working for Univerities Space Net both as a tech and hosting a Poets Corner show which began with one of mine each week. That job led me to a job as a teacher and tech with Space Net Lunapolis Campus. I got more money fom Astrotech Repairs. Then I bought the company and changed the name to MC Astrotech.”
“You and Joseph have both done so many interesting things.”
“Well that may be a family quality but we are also at least fiteen or twenty years older than you and Cindy. So we have had some time.”
“Well that’s true.”
“Cousin, neither of us will complain about accompanying beautiful young ladies on the slopes tomorrow.” Joseph smiled. “On the other hand that ten o’clock ski gate will come early if we don’t turn in soon. Can we continue our visit on the slopes tomorrow After you let me get us each one more round.”
“Joseph, I think we can all vote for stopping after one more and probably for having another. But maybe Cindy and I will go to the girls room together and then come back — I think you know our drink orders by now”.
“Roberta, I think I can handle yours. I believe Daniel can do his part as well”.
“Yes indeed he can and one more is just about right for me.” Cindy said sincerely, “I don’t want to be falling over my skis tomorrow morning.”
Daniel and Joseph were alone for the first time in any real and substantial way and they knew it would neither be a very brief snippet of conversation nor a very prolonged continuation of privity. They had long used istincts that guided them quickly through a bit of personal small talk to another place. Joseph began it: “Daniel, I came here to put some distance between myself and some killing that came up in my old job and to find you but it seems that others in the Clan may have been guiding me here in some wayys and for some reasons which were theirs and not mine. It is in the grand policy area of the Clan I would say. I know you have dropped off the grid but when I was looking for you. I noticed MC Astrotech seemed to be plugged into the Humanities Roundtable — is that right”?
“Yes, Cousin Joseph — I sit on the darkside of the table here but we have a large chapter grouping of the order on the Moon. It is my principal outlet for voluntary giving”.
“Well, I sit in the Right Brighter Twilight Seat and have four percent of my income skimmed off of most of my rents, fees and royalties to the Order. I have also remained active and alive — like you! You know we seek to preserve rank, competition, compassion, charity, courage, ferocity, sexual desire and all the nineteen major principles and we have to say that we are doing better than we could have reasonably hoped. The Culkathadreil Clan is a major player in the order. I am just trying to repeat everything for clarity. Right now human nature is doing pretty well despite the fact that an elite controlling the air in colonies could have a power which breaks all we care about to pieces. But that is not happening too much yet. Now I think they all fear a new factor emerging which will destroy the balance we have achieved”.
“You are supposed to find out what the Armstrong Agency, UN and USA know about all of this threat?’
“Yes, Daniel and maybe confront it directly as well.”
“We will be in touch when we can. I will start looking into it and we can talk more as soon as it is convenient”.
The women came back soon and everyone enjoyed their drinks. Everyon made a few more observations about the play and then were ready to leave the table. So they went to their rooms looking forward to skiing on the moon. Roberta looked forward to showcasing a familiar skill and the others looked forward to doing something new.
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Nitta Fujikawa was looking over the new Emergency Services Train the Grand Central Spaceport had bought for the Equatorial lines. The Boeing-Chevrolet representative was congratulating her by describing the product she already knew so well. ” Director the thing is that our rockets are not the min way we get lift, it is very complicated but we use WHIRLIGIG technology from deep space travel to hurl the train into the sky if we come up on a wreck or damged track. We can land with repulser rockets and we can even travel slowly over natural ground that feature allows us to take advantage of one sixth gee and not much measurable atmosphere as never before. Without so many safety concerns we can reach rail speeds of three thousand five hundred US miles per hour. That is vey fast”
“It certainly is fast”. Director was only one of Fujikawa’s titles. But she looked dwon the long railway as Infrastructure Director, “Let’s see it”.
The representative nodded to the engineer and they all checked their safety harnesses. The train accelerated and she could see the rates in several systems as the numbers grew larger and larger and the speeds faster and faster. They were at 900 miles per hour at the UN Marines Crater Cap Base at Guy Lussac Crater. They were at 1,500 when they reached the Draper Crater Complex where the UN Cap Colony Services had their base. Climbing into the dangerous Montes Carpatus they still gained speed as the passed the UN Mining Service Capped bases in the T.Mayer Crater systems leaving these at 1,700. They kept the speed up at the Border with German Protectorate at Berlinburg Cap Colony at the Euler Crater and curved west not falling below 1,800 at that turn. Over the flats of the Mare Imbrium theyreally sped up and at the Metzburg Cap station they were at 2,500. Not far beyond this they reached 3,000 and she signaled the test a success. As they reversed engines and headed back she signed the final receipts and transferred fund. Everyone also received a notice on all their machines that they had just set a new recognized ground speed record on public or commercial infrastructure before they reached the Grand Central Spaceport at a liesurely pace of two hundred MPH.
Soon she was back ot her office where Becky Owens her Office Manager greeted her with a smile and some messages. They would be on her station in the office but she handed her one of the rechargeable FLAKES (Fast Loading Administative Keynotes Edtorial Slates) which were passed aound the Spaceport for a million uses and were always going through various scheduled cleanings and scubbings of old data marks and field. There were quite a few messages related to the ceremony with the Neil Armstrong. There was a message from Daniel Culkathadreil regarding the export to the Amalgamated Medical Buyers Union of Great Britain of one hundred tons of varied Lunar conditions anasthetic herbal derivaites such as marijuana suet, cocaine and morphine. He had attached all the forms and was also buying two of the Spaceport owned one-way dispositron rockets for the delivery. Daniel Culkathadreil and she met occasionally as members of the Humanities Roundtable. There was little enough they had in common there she was a woman and a bright sider and first generation whereas the Culkathadreils had been among the founders in 1948. One of the Constituent Orders was the Military Order of the Stars and Bars of which the Culkathadreils were also members. She was a junior member of the Samurai Circle of the Order. She was also a member of the Korean Turtle Ship Explorers. Thirdly, she was a third class member of the Christian Chivalry Circle of which DanieL was the ranking darkside member. However, she was treated with great respect in the order because of her job. The Roundtable was increaingly in trouble on Earth and the leadership on the Moon was playing hard to sieze enough influence to see the future of the Roundtable secured. This odd collection of ancient enemies and odd groups of old reunited friends somehow worked on the Moon. She knew very well how much she could and could not trust Daniel Culkathadreil. She transferred his message to her computer approval systems before proceeding.
Next to read there was the Forced and Indentured Labor Importers weekly declaration of how many Orphans from Earth With Low Survival Probabilities, Juveniles Sentenced to Death or Life Imprisonment, Entirely Distressed Young Prostitutes, Destitutes with Ailment allowing for Low Gravity Work and other registered classes had been imported tot the Moon in ten and twenty year forced labor-minimum pay contracts. They also showed how many had gone to each type of colony, how many for mining and how many for plantations and who the conditions auditor was for each. The last message she saw was from the Population Undersecretary of the Lunar Government. It was a rather rambling letter written not only to her but to two others of Undersecretary rank (which she was without being known as undersecretary). The Population Undersecretary reminded her reader that the Vice Secretary was a very serious and grim kind of man who liked policy carried out. Then she continued:
“Under the Treaty of Brazilia the Moon was divided according to the satus of nations at that moment and then kept so forever. Then percent of the surface area was reserved to the UN directly mostly at the poles, the GCS ‘s Copernicus Crater and Mare Insularum area and the military reservations on the Far Side. Three percent was divided as a bonus among the five permanent vwto-wielding members of the Security Council. Seven percent was sold and awarded to non-nation entities in varied ways. The rest was divided according to a formula first proposed back in the twentieth century. The surface area of the globe of the moon (not the uneven surface) was calculated and was divided into five equal portions. The first portion was divded equally among all nation-states which existed at the time even if they were not full UN members, The Russian Federation and Vatican City received the same share of that fifth. The second fifth was divided among all nations in the first group according population — two thirds of this fifth was awarded by resident population and one third by full citizenship population. The third fifth was divided by wealth –one third on the basis of Gross Domestic Product over the past ten years, one third based on cash and metal reserves and one third based on a Venture Capital Index. The fourth fifth was divided up on the basis of the Space Index — this took into account the contribution of the nation to Sapce industries and exploration over time as well as its current commitment and assets in and towards space. The last fifth was divided by an aptness index including colonization and artificial environment history, ecological wisdom, experience managing large territory and an interacitve element where nations could pledge resources to colonization by the UN to increase their own share. Once these numbers were fixed each country had a total number of square miles. Then the Cartography Committee developed a territory for each country of preciely that many square miles. No county’s territory was divided nto more than tow completely spearate blocks. It is to that map that we are all committed. Whether it was perfectly right, fair or good we do not know but we must be committed to it. The Colonization boom on the Moon and the similar one under the similar Treaty of Manila has very probably saved human civilization. It is our duty to be fanatical in support of that colonial structure”.
Fujikawa finished leading the letter . She was aware that there was discontent in some sectors but the undersecretary’s letter made it seem worse than she thought it was. What she saw a constant stream of trade and imigration. What was she not taking the time to see?
She looked at the paper books on her office bookshelf. The Book of Five Rings by Musashi, the Art of War by Sun Tzu, the Bible, Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, Basketball for Women by Nancy Lieberman-Cline and Robin Roberts and the only book by a living author High Speed Space Fighter Combat by Jacques Broussard-Summers. She might spend a few hours reading from one of these texts. But first she had work to finish.