Category Archives: novels by Frank Summers

Why the Moon Matters Much

It is hard to look at the news cycle at the current moment or at the state of the world and readily conclude that a blog post about the Moon and humanity’s future as it relates to the Moon ought to be our top priority for understanding and exploration of ourselves and our world. Yet, amidst all my other concerns I am sure that the Moon ranks very highly indeed. It is true that I do not get paid to think about these things and have many other concerns. So there is an element of arrogance in my persistence in exploring these ideas.

When I was a child the Apollo Program was a very big part of my life in the way that other great institutions are part of a child’s life. Apollo 11 was uniquely significant amongst all space related achievements of the human race up till now. Huge numbers of people could see that the human civilization was transformed in some profound way by the fact that we could perform a crewed landing on the moon and return the crew safely to Earth. It seemed to little kids of certain types and to many others that future would involve significant human development on the Moon.  I was eight years old in 1972 when Apollo 17 was completed. The years since have seen no return of human beings to the Moon. But the Moon remains a unique site with unique and totally irreplaceable potential for human kind.

I wrote a novel in which the first set of chapters or part or book is titled The Moon. But the novel has not been published. In that novel I set the action of the early chapters mostly on the moon in in crater cap colonies.

Of course we now know that there is some water on the moon, a significant amount. But not enough for the kind of lifestyle that I depict in my novel. I do believe that a well run colonial system on the moon would eventually find other deposits of water frozen into the substrata as the novel describes and this would be among the most valued mineral assets in such and economy. However that need not be true for colonies to thrive there. There is enough water to start small colonies and we could capture comets and crash them into craters on the far side of the moon in controlled landings.  There is no question that we can approach comets and land devices on them. That was proved in the Rosetta Mission.  We could select small icy comets and learn to steer them into craters on the far side while building all early colonies on the near side. Most comets are less that ten miles across in their frozen state and there are a huge number of them. They are mostly made of water. we could develop an industry to send a comet a year of less than a quarter mile in diameter crashing into the Moon’s surface for the first many years of settlement and supply enough water needs for a thriving economy there. In time we would orbit more and even smaller comets around the moon and then break them up using most of the water on the moon and some on the ships we would build in orbit around the moon. The mass added in water would be equaled by the mass launched from the moon in space ships and components for spaceships and space stations made on the moon. Thus over a century or so we have a satellite of the same mass but perhaps two to ten percent of it mass would be liquid water and atmosphere in the crater cap colonies. ships to mars and other places could be huge, fast, safe and luxurious and still be cheaper than anything we could build on earth according to proper economic and fiscal analysis.

The best discussions we can have about the future of human development on the Moon relate to understanding how it must function in our future. There are many reasons why we should develop the Moon and do so soon. I want to discuss a few of them. First, the Moon is an accessible place the lack of atmosphere and the low gravity make it easy to launch materials into space. Earth can support lunar operations relatively easily. Rescue and support ships could reach the Moon in a few days. Communication is very rapid. The economic potential for a fully developed Moon is vast and the uses for an increasingly complex civilization on Earth are myriad.

The real world impact of developing sizable colonies on the Moon could be transformative for our civilization. Mining, space based solar power plants, huge communication satellite communication capacity and a thousand other industries could yield large results on Earth in a relatively short time. All of these concepts are relatively respectable for discussion around the world even though many people in the discussion would never really consider space colonization as a serious option. There is a great deal that needs to be tended to on Earth it is true but there are those of us who believe that colonizing the Moon will help us to tend to the things that concern us on Earth.
Beyond that it’s essential to the defense of the Earth from an attack from outside. That means taking responsibility for a threat potential which is not given serious respect in moast places. We can say that vigilance sanning and resources on the moon as weel as continuous activity around the comets and asteroids would help us to guard against collisions from and comets better than keeping all our resources on Eath and we can see that the threats from such collisions are real. that is one way in which lunar colonies would be a protective and defensive asset.  But that is not the whole picture occupying the Moon effectively would also provide at least some real advantage in deling with any technological species coming to meet us with good, evil or neutral intentions. So we must consider whether alien threats are worthy on any consideration.

As far as the possibility of Alien contact goes nothing could be less important when it is not happening and very few things could be more important when they are happening. A framework for estimating the chances for communicating with another civilization is provided by the Drake Equation. This equation is used to estimate the number of communicating civilizations around during the lifetime  (or the present moment of) a program searching for their communication signals thus predicting the  success probability for the Search for Extra(T)errestrial Intelligence or SETI

N = R* • fp • ne • fl • fi • fc • L

  • N = The number of civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy whose electromagnetic emissions are detectable.
  • R* =The rate of formation of stars suitable for the development of intelligent life.
  • fp = The fraction of those stars with planetary systems.
  • ne = The number of planets, per solar system, with an environment suitable for life.
  • fl = The fraction of suitable planets on which life actually appears.
  • fi = The fraction of life bearing planets on which intelligent life emerges.
  • fc = The fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space.
  • L = The length of time such civilizations release detectable signals into space.

As far as security, national and otherwise goes. There is real risk if there is and it could be enormous. there are plenty of people who have claimed encounters with aliens, some may be highly credible. For examples see here, here and here. One question some people have long asked is whether the universe is more like a desert or a jungle. The desert theorists have been the most assertive in the most respected parts of the scientific establishment for a long time. But the recent search for exoplanets has revealed a lot of exoplanets and a good number of those in what is called the Goldilocks zone around their own stars (not too hot and not too cold for liquid water) and that has changed the assessment. Of course in most very ancient traditions and mythologies the Heavens were a jungle of sorts — full of mysterious and mystical creatures and creators. We don’t have to theorize about the existence of theoretically habitable planets anymore. Information about them can be seen here and here — and there are almost certainly a vast number more.

Various pieces of the alien threat assessment have to be considered.

I propose the Franksummers3ba Equation for the number of Alien First Contacts by direct visitation that humans will experience on earth and in the possible colonies within our own solar system. It is based on the Drake Equation.

N = ( R* • fp • ne • fl • fi • fs • fe• fb • fr • fp • fs  •L)M

  • N= The number of civilizations which might arrive at Earth and contact  or confront humans here or in surrounding future colonies relatively unannounced.
  • R* =The rate of formation of stars suitable for the development of intelligent life.
  • fp = The fraction of those stars with planetary systems.
  • ne = The number of planets, per solar system, with an environment suitable for life.
  • fl = The fraction of suitable planets on which life actually appears.
  • fi = The fraction of life bearing planets on which intelligent life emerges.
  • fs = The fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that develop space travel .
  • fe=The fraction of those civilizations that choose to locate planets like ours.
  •  fb=The fraction of those civilizations that build and launch interstellar craft: finding the political resources and will to do so as well as the wealth.
  •  fr= The fraction of those civilizations  which develop individual craft or groups of craft capable of reaching our solar system  from their launch point.
  •  fp= The fraction of those civilizations  which either reach a high percentage of detected planets in range or which highly prioritize reaching a planet like ours.
  • • fs= The fraction of those civilizations which use stealth or secrecy beyond our capacities of remote detection and which find it preferable to avoid electromagnetic or similar communication at a distance in advance of first contact.
  • Ll  = The length of time such civilizations launch such craft divided by the period of time humans survive in this solar system.
  • NOTE:  the brackets indicate that this is the product which gives us a number for contact from any launch site even though the next operation is also mathematically identical multiplication.
  • M=The rate at which civilizations of this sort reproduce autonomous launch sites which are in these parameter or civilizations enter these parameters which are otherwise disqualified by one or more factors through creating autonomous launch sites.



So that’s all I have time for here. But this is yet another post in favor of taking space colonization seriously. I am not sure what else I will be able to write on this subject because my Earthbound concerns are sufficient to take up my time and energy.









Lent and the Return

This is now fairly deep into Lent and it is also near the time of the time change when we will all spring forward an hour, and most of us will find our waking a bit cruel for a while.. The Wednesday that is the seventh of March I spent  some time working on a gutter system and I have been otherwise preoccupied with a variety of little things but I am also aware that it is Lent — deeply aware that it is Lent although not as deeply as I might like to be. President Donald J. Trump gave his first address to the Joint Session of Congress on Mardi Gras and did not mention that the next day was Ash Wednesday nor that the Louisiana delegation had to neglect a major regional holiday to be present there and absent from Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday commitments at home. It is not that I recommend such recognition as a Federal Duty but then again I do not recommend scheduling such an event on Mardi Gras. So that is how my Lent really began — although I left off watching the speech at my parents house and went to a friend’s house for a last glass of sherry and a last slice of King Cake before midnight. But there was a dissonance between what I wanted and had on my mind and what the national scene was doing.Now the party of carnival season is truly over and my life is Lenten although not in every ideal sense. Perhaps not very holy but very austere in some ways.

Amid the other duties, noise and goings-on of life I am going over one of my unpublished novels. I wrote it online and printed two copies several years ago. So this set of marginalized, copy editors marks and other small and medium size changes are the first writing done on paper. For me writing novels has always been objectively better than self amputation, maintaining street heroin, or robbing convenience stores. But it probably feels much worse and is less rewarding.

However, it keeps my natural effervescent and exuberant qualities in check.  But the point of all this is that if ever one feels unable to control one’s giddy inner child then writing long novels can be excellent therapy…. However, most readers probably are not afflicted with excessive joy.

Nor is is impossible see that Washington faces real and austere challenges. A recent email from the White House says.

It’s been seven years since Obamacare was passed, and now, more than ever, we are seeing the harmful effects of this disastrous law.

Obamacare has led to higher costs and fewer health insurance options for millions of hard-working Americans. Independent analysis found 41 states faced higher average healthcare deductibles last year, with 17 states facing double-digit rate increases. Nearly one in five Americans have only one insurer offering Obamacare exchange plans.

In just the past year, Obamacare premiums have increased by 25 percent on the typical plan and coverage choices have dropped by 28 percent as insurers have left the market.

Things are only getting worse. This past year, nearly 20 million American citizens opted not to get healthcare insurance, with 6.5 million paying the penalty and millions more asking for a hardship exemption from the penalty.

Now, not nearly everyone will agree with Trump’s tone and take on this issue but I am relieved that he is trying to end the individual mandate. We all have sacrifices to make for America to make it and those sacrifices are Lenten enough in nature to deserve some thought in that regard. I think Catholics often have a variety of struggles as regards Lent. But it is a time to try and take our medicine with or without sugar to make it go down. America could use a little Lent just now.

I went to mass the morning of the first day of this Lent and received my ashes for Ash Wednesday. There was quite the crowd at church at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church.  I am very much aware of all that I am not doing for Lent and all that it might be better for me to do.

In the distant times when elves abounded on Middle Earth….
Actually no that is in no sense descriptive or proper — but a long time ago — I did a lot of penance and then at other times I did a lot during Lent . Then in recent years I have more often than not failed to give up anything for Lent. I have lacked the generosity of spirit necessary to add another sacrifice to the wearisome burdens of my daily life and the lacks I feel so keenly. But I have received the Ashes and kept a decent fast. There was another period in my life when I was often in a blur and sometimes forgot what day it was and violated fasts publicly in a huge way in Catholic towns on a few occasions. My sin there was running around in a chaotic state rather than consciously breaking a fast. But this year I did give up something for Lent — nothing huge and not smoking which anyone who hangs out with me lately would be likely to suggest but I did give up something.

Back in the days when I often prayed for hours alone or in a chapel AND wore a knotted cord that bit my flesh in secret AND gave way more in alms than a normal percentage AND volunteered for lots of ministries that few wanted and some everyone did — Back then I found it easy to add on a Lenten Penance. Lately, as I aim at catching the bottom rung of the safety ladder hanging out of purgatory in the knick of time any sacrifice seems heavy. But I have small ministry in the church and it seems fitting. So as I went for Ashes I decided I would do something. I also have noticed that since Mass was early and I had a priest who is not a real brander and stainer in his approach I once again have fading ash syndrome by the time I get out into the world — that is good and bad. The pros and cons go beyond this little post. But I have Fading Ash Syndrom in both Ash Wednesday pictures here, quite a few years apart. I sometimes envy those with Strong Ash Condition late in the day. But I used to wear a cross a whole lot all the time and it sometimes irked me. Now I am an annual fading ash guy.

A Fading Ash Guy scheduling in his liturgical ministry in a busy week. Life brings us places we did not expect to be posting almost undetectable ash crosses and musing about minor penances. I am not the publican or the pharisee in the famous parable of Jesus. Maybe I am the guy not mentioned in the parable who would like longer phylacteries and a more lawful beard, a little more booze and gold and a little more repentance. Beware of being lukewarm we are warned. Those who know me would say there are parts of my psyche that always run very hot and others very cold. But perhaps the lukewarm has found much of the central region.

While I certainly know that my flesh shall turn to dust it is less clear how much I will repent and believe the Gospel this Lent. But Lent does not depend solely on me. God is God however unworthy or indifferent I may be….



There is a lot going on in my life and yet not so much as to justify spending a blog only on what is going on in my life. Problems with Mexico, Russia, North Korea and Iran are not figments of our national imagination. We must address real challenges each day as a country — we must sober up from the carnival atmosphere of the election and do some good in the world. That can mean doing some good for ourselves as well. For example,  I think it’s time for everyone to realize that North Korea is able to withstand even the very most brutal diplomatic tongue-lashing. I don’t mean to trivialize the problem but maybe they know we dislike their weapons program by now…. Sobriety and a little fasting from delusion is in order. There is a real fact that our secrets are out in the world and the White House leaks like a sieve and the Academy Awards handed the Best Picture award to the wrong movie first.

I would like to thank the academy, my parents and everyone — but I am not receiving an Oscar. On the other hand, that may not have much to do with getting to give those speeches anymore…
Also not important for determining who is crowned in a huge international pageant. Steve Harvey crowned the wrong woman not long ago. these are little things compared to the open prey our secrets and promises to one another have become but they are not extremely small things. We see a continuity to our national political life. We could use a little Lent.

I have a suggestion for major televised award shows, go ahead and use whatever approach prevented these messes in the 20th century. Maybe don’t just fumble along like idiots on your program’s biggest moment. Just saying….

Then maybe we can run our country with some sobriety as well. I have been remembering two serious older Americans now deceased this week. I have been remembering Justin Jesss Spiehler the grandfather of my nieces and nephew. His obituary from years ago is linked here.  But in the spirit of such memories, I spent a few days this Lent looking for and not finding a report of the decease of Judge Marcus Broussard, known as Buddy Broussard, a jurist and attorney in Abbeville. I hesitate to post his name first although I knew him. He and I were for a few years the only two active, dues-paying members of Mensa in Abbeville. I knew his son as well and he was friends with my maternal grandparents. I look forward to seeing the kind of character I knew in those men come to the fore — they weren’t perfect but they were good solid Americans I admired, are we?

This month I am on schedule for ministry at early morning mass. I hope to keep a holy Lent there in Church but I hope to return from church with a little Lent to bring to my country as well.

A Few Reflections on the Passing of Days

I have been working a lot on a novel about the life of Jesus Christ. You can see parts of that novel here, here and here.  I have also struggled with the vast wear and tear on my body and have lost a friend who was my most continuous non familial relationship since childhood. Dr. David Link Silar’s funeral was the Saturday before my Monday birthday. In addition I buried another friend that day. We will get to some prosaic concerns I had that day and every other day and yet politics matter enough that I made it to the Acadiana Press Club Forum that birthday when I turned fifty-one. The issues of the last legislative session matter a great deal to me.

Louisiana State Senator Fred Mills leafs through the budget...

Louisiana State Senator Fred Mills leafs through the budget…

But amid my fully preoccupied and not very smooth and easy life the shooting of a pastor who was also a state senator in South Carolina and many members of his Bible study. Nine people have died of the incident so far. Dylan Roof may be executed for it in time.  I did an earlier post linking to material relevant to this tragic outcome of an act of racial and political violence. But this is a post about my own since of things in the world being filled with reports of this man’s acts. It is about my life at the same time.

The truth of the last few months has been comparable to the years that have preceded those months in as much as I have almost always been very much on the side of things which notes and declares how wrongly the world was arranged on a variety of matters. But I think real change has also occurred in my life. That change is connected to change in the larger world but not so very directly and intensely as in the lives of some people.

I’m in the mode of just falling apart this month it seems. I’m not at all surprised as that is a kind of predictable and more or less cyclical consequence of the life I have lived as well as the world in which I have lived it. I have had many times when I was under the limits of my body or of other resources and was required to step back and slow down.

The truth is that there are reasons as diverse as my returning foot problems, the loss of an old friend Dr. David Link Silar and the assault on my life by a relatively large number of relatively minor physical and financial stresses. I’m blogging now after letting my blog slip or not.

I have been dealing with a large fallen tree limb in the lawn tthat I take care of normally. It has been an evolving process with lots of ancillary problems. Generally my life is always plagued with ancillary problems.

The orange tree panted and nurtured on the new house site on old family land.

The orange tree panted and nurtured on the new house site on old family land.

There are lots of stresses on the plants but it is my own life which is most stressed by the relationships and interpersonal situations that form the context of even my own now very limited life and work. I have dealt with the fallen tree in the context of wearing ankle and foot braces. I have done it in the context of a damaged chainsaw that I have not yet used at all and an axe that I have used. I have dealt with it in the context of having a trailer driver start driving off while the twenty five foot spread branch system was still hooked both into the trailer and into my hands — the jolt strained my back for a while. I took some of the pictures of the main limb and the branches I had cut in a driving rain that interfered with my schedule.

Fallen limb cleared of branches by me with my axe.

Fallen limb cleared of branches by me with my axe.

I struggled to move the cleared branches across the lawn at the time when they would damage the lawn the least. The rain poured down again just after I got the branches into a pile beside the driveway. As I have stated earlier this picture was taken in the pouring rain.

Pile of cleared branches in a heavy rain lit by the sun.

Pile of cleared branches in a heavy rain lit by the sun.

In addition the lawn has a fairly large wildlife population. I protect in one way or another the toads, non-venomous snakes, squirrels and other creatures. But I have had to kill a lot of pit vipers at close range with blades while I worked. That has also been a source of stress. I mind it less than most would but it affects me.


Vipers jaws protrude from the smooth and even sides...

Vipers jaws protrude from the smooth and even sides…

In addition to all of this I have been distracted from the Louisiana budget and marijuana issues of the last legislative session which mattered to me a great deal. I did attend an Acadiana Press Club Forum on my birthday. I was glad I did but Dylann Roof’s fatal shooting of nine people in Emanuel African Methodist Episcopalian Church in South Carolina overshadowed those political issues. I still think that those issues matter a great deal.

Congratulating Louisiana State Senator Fred Mills on reforming Marijuana law...

picture taken on my camera by Richard Mergist Congratulating Louisiana State Senator Fred Mills on reforming Marijuana law…

What comes next in the gubernatorial and senatorial elections matters and should be covered in this blog. The terrorist attack by a young man claiming that he is inspired by the Confederate ideals clearly demands that I confront his interpretation of a symbol that I respect. I did so briefly in my last post and will do so again. I have also stated that this tragedy occurred in a context of widespread racial political violence in contemporary American life.

Sad and troubled days will be the norm for a while at least….

The seal of the Confederacy ties the Lost Cause to the Revolution and the past long before that war.

The seal of the Confederacy ties the Lost Cause to the Revolution and the past long before that war.


Crater Cap Colony Concept and other Endeavors of my life

by Frank Wynerth Summers III (Notes) on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 3:35pm

I write many notes that I do not much tag and make it a habit not too tage heavily in my notes. At the time I write this I have 1,149 Facebook friends and dozens of them (you) were members of the group at the center of this topic. Feel free to converse or comment but please do not be offended for not being tagged. Most of those who are tagged were not memebers. Some are both. I just tagged a sampling of relevant Facebook friends who may or may not choose to read this trhough. I am comemorating the passing of one of the reasons I first opened this Facebook profile and keeping the ideas out there in the world one more day. This Note is really about a broader topic than the on I have selected for the title but the one I have selected for the title does matter. I am writing this note about the exploration of space and the colonization of the solar system and about my own life and efforts as well. So in context here are some thoughts:

Recalling A Facebook Group

Years ago I founded a group on Facebook called the Crater Cap Colony Concept Group. That group has now been defunct longer than it was in existence but it did involve people from all around the world and have a great number of images, formulations, discussions and diagrams related to the colonization of the Moon and Mars. It was perhaps one of the most difficult and daring undertakings of my life to bring that group into bing and was in many ways the very antithesis of the Obama presidency’s real inner meaning regardless of what else is going to come out of this period of American History. The time and energy freed up for me since the demise of this group has been time to do other things and I have done other things. In fact my whole life has been active enough.
The careful and methodical closing of the Crater Cap Colony Concept Group has been the putting aside of a dream which was busily working on for a few years in that context. Everyone has dreams and almost all of us have dreams that do not come true and which mattered to us significantly. My father dreamed of teaching at a university when I was a little child and he never did. It has always intrigued me to do so but it has never been as much a dream for me and I have already taught at a university and at a lot of other places. My dad has done some teaching as well but not as a regular instructor at a university. My father is retired and sort of emeritus head of a missionary organization of Catholics now but one of the reasons he was given for being refused a teaching assistantship at one university that gave him an interview is that at the time he was an atheist and that particular institution did not hire atheists as instructors. Years later he returned to his Roman Catholic heritage. Teaching, reading and scholarship are ready parts of my life and already parts of my life. I have been out of school for a long time but not entirely separate from these things, nor from the contacts I made in school. This past year I took the revised GRE and seriously considered going back to graduate school. I was serious about the Crater Cap Colony Concept Group but it was a kind of seriousness that was attenuated by the great difficulty in achieving these goals. I chose to shut down the group when the format changed and felt certain about that choice but it was not a simple or pleasant choice to make.

The Crater Cap Colony Concept Group also gave me connections to many people and an opportunity for many interesting discussions. However, that was not the first time I had ever been plugged into large groups of peopIe or had conversations that I cared about. I have spoken to perhaps thousands and certainly hundreds of audiences in my life and I have written a lot. I have been published a good bit as well. That history of publishing includes a good number bylines in periodicals read by those around me and in the places where I functioned then and still function now. These media include the Abbeville Meridional, The Advertiser, Bonnes Nouvelles (Vermilion) and the already much mentioned Vermilion. In the Crater Cap Colony Concept Group I had a chance to express my own opinions but I have often done that elsewhere. I have had letters to the editor appear in a variety of venues a few times over many years but those include Time and Newsweek. My only truly academic publication is a review of F.D.R.’s Moviemaker: memoirs and scripts written by Pare Lorentz and published posthumously in 1992 by the University of Nevada Press. The review appeared in the Book Reviews section of the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television in one of the issues of late 1992 or early 1993 on page 106 of that issue. I began that review with the words “Some memoirs and autobiographies of creative people require a sympathetic reading. Pare Lorenz’s memoirs do not.” My own brief autobiography in the Introductory personal statement on the old group cite may have required some sympathy to make good reading. But that is partly because there was a lot of my life to cover in a document like this and I was writing in the style one adopts when one knows that most of the essentials will not be covered I suppose.
My writing history has been in different categories, writing about Colonizing space was a special and useful outlet it has not and will not be replaced. I admit that one of my main motivations in founding the group was to seek out the institutional support for my own idea and to indulge my writerly interest in expressing that vision for the future which I still find essential. Since the closure of the group I have continued to comment on policy. I am (or at least often have been) a regular commenter on Lords of the Blog which has won the British Nominet awards as best public affairs blog. I am also a Grand Prize Winner on Lord Norton’s Quiz on that blog and have commented on his own The Norton View a great deal. I have over a thousand Facebook friends on the account where this note is first appearing. These Facebook friends are people who are very diverse and in many ways very select and elite as well. I have another account with hundreds of friends where I have an online novel which is largely set in Crater Cap colonies on the Moon that novel is the principal business of that second profile.

Thus if I am nostalgic about the old group that nostalgia must be seen in a realistic context. I still miss the group at times but it is not so easy to say why. I suppose part of it is a sense of being slighted or badly used in a number of ways and having suffered the effects of unfortunate circumstance. However, I have suffered a vast number of unfortunate circumstances and been slighted and ill used a vast number of times. Therefore that sense of injustice is not unique to the group either. I also have a sense of great opportunity lost and of wasted hope, energy and potential but that must be seen in the context of one who looks around the world and sees almost an infinite amount of lost and frustrated potential. One who finds a planet teaming with squandered opportunity and frustrated brilliance. The Crater Cap Colony Concept Group does not stand as lone mountain exceptional in a plain of even handed justice. Rather it is one copse of metaphorical trees of such frustration in a vast rainforest system of such ills.

I want to write about Space exploration, the space program and other things related to astronomy and other matters but I want to do so in a way which is responsive to the real context in which my own interest in Space and things related to astronautics has developed. For me the end of all things meaningful has been on a plane and trajectory at harmony with my life for a very long time. But still I am taking time to remember the end of this little Facebook group episode. I think that I have gotten too tired to recount all that has been lost
What the Crater Cap Colony Concept Was All About

This portion of the Note contains some material that has appeared on my Facebook page before now. I seek to articulate here what the CCCC Group sought to understand and bring to light in some kind of development. In origins and essence it grew from my own personal vision and beliefs as regards outer space itself. Outer space is that portion of the universe that is farther from the center of the Earth than the highest reaches of the Earth’s atmosphere. It makes up more than 99.99999999999999% of the universe which we can physically perceive. If we were to divide up all of the physical space we can see or detect equally among all the inhabitants of the Earth the amount of space occupied by all humans alive today would make a minute and entirely insignificant portion of the share belonging to each person. However, most of that space is dark empty and has hardly any atomic particles in it and it is so far away that physicaly using those particles in any way in the next 100 generations can’t be reasonably imagined. But even our solar system alone would allow us to use a fraction nearly as big as that we started this argument with or maybe bigger. In the solar sytem most of the oxygen is in outer space, most of the carbon is in outer space, most of the hydrogen is in outer space, most of the helium is in outer space, most of the metals we call precious are almost cerianly there and the metals we need for highly specialized uses abound in outer space. It is almost certain that there is more liquid water under the ice of Jupiter’s moon Europa than there is on Earth. Nothing between the Sun and the orbit of Pluto is intrinsically beyond the reach of our own basic technology to reach, tag and return from roboticaly. Cost, law, design glitches and time are clearly identifiable obstacles. I said these things were not intrinsically impossbible by rearranging and refining existing technology. Given thse basic facts, I believe that an aggressive space policy is in the interest of all humans and of the Earth and all its species so long as it is mostly a wise policy or even largely a wise policy.

What inspires me to write this note today is the small concept group which I mentioned in a previous Facebook note. I believe that the development of outer space is as important as anything else that confronts human beings in our age. The concept group was called Crater Cap Concept Colony Group. It is not the only group of people exploring the possibilities of space as a group and it is not the biggest such group either. However, it is certainly the only one that I had founded on Facebook. So that rates it an important mention in these notes.

Space colonization follows a chain going from observation, to exploration, to travel and exploration and then to stationing. After these things comes colonization. Space colonization has the chance to be the biggest change in human economy since the development of agriculture. The coming of agriculture was not an unmixed blessing but it was one of the most justifiable of all social changes in human history. Had humanity not become agricultural sooner or later things would have become much worse than they have gotten so far. Life today awaits at a crossroads as great as that of agriculture. The great works of irrigation for large scale agriculture created the mighty powers that ruled ancient China and Egypt and created societies that could pour weatlh into purchases that enabled other peoples to change from nomadic hunting or nomadic herding to a combination of nomadic herding and carrying trade goods. It enabled fisherfolk to increase their population by adding waterborne trade to their fishing economy. It enabled warrior bands to enter int0 long-term contracts with landholding kings and to earn a living partly from keeping the peace. Agriculture really made a different human world and remade much of the world as well. The best hunter-gatherers were actually richer, healthier and freer than the new farmers but in the end the choice of the species as a whole to emphasize agriculture was a choice vital to both survival and any real chance of prosperity. I think that space colonization requires a similar leap and offers similar sets of consequences. I don’t really expect to live to see a working colony on the Moon or Mars. However, as long as I do live I will apply some of my energy to that transition humanity must make towards becoming a space colonizing species. The Crater Cap Concept Colony is the model I thought then and still think now that we should be pushing towards making a reality. While astronomy has always been a discipline that was a significant teacher and leader into fields of knowledge for much of the human race’s journey into development — it must yield to the leadership of those who will build permanent and sustainable colonies. On the day when Humans have a few colonies on the moon with tens of thousands of residents each it will be very easy to make huge progress in astronomy. However, aiming only for a golden age of astronomy will not necessarily bring about lunar colonization. The larger possibility must find the rank and leadership in these areas.

Craters are distinct features which can be studied and which have common characteristics. They exist on the Earth, the Moon, Mars, asteroids, several moons of our solar systems planet and can be theorized to exist in or near many other objects around our sun or other stars. Capping a crater has an intrinsic economic and resource wisdom to it because one is using the enormous energy already expended in creating the bowl and only creating one side. Frequently one could achieve enormous benefeits in blicking our cosmic rays and radiation. All of these benefits are true even for asteroids. However, in larger round objects like the Moon and Mars it is very likely that one could use the gravity to create a highly functioning biospheric hemisphere. In terms familiar to some, one could make a terrarium including one or more aquaria. Whether or not there is air or liquid water on the heavenly body would have little to do with the success of the crater cap colony. People could live in these and that is the basis of our little concept group. that ended so long ago. It was confrimed in its hypothesis by many of the findings of lunar and Martian missions which have occurred since that time. I am including some drawings of various parts of the process at the end of this note without explanation.

I also think that once there is a crater colony (or certainly a few crater colonies) thriving on the moon then one would have a basis for many industries. Things manufactured on the moon would be easily lifted and deployed to Mars colonization, to space ships, to Earth orbiting stations and to asteroid miners. One sixth gravity is economic magic that would make all solar system operations entirely different. Producing goods in space and dropping them to earth is intrinsically cheap. Thus carbon fuels highly refined could be lifted to the moon where they will be mixed with gasses made impure for colonies by various accidents and industries. These fuels would lift six times as much from the Moon as they would from the Earth and these fuels would not affect Earth’s air and climate when burned. Very precious things would be “downported” by Earth to maintain a balance. In the distant future components of landing craft returning to Earth would be built with precious metals needed by agencies and nations on Earth. This would create a flow of commerce to bring our population base into outer space. Within a few centuries perhaps a significant minority of cities and farms could be in outer space without any flash bang science that includes things we cannot imagine.

Once we have a couple of crater colonies on the Moon we would need geosynchronous satellite and another base perhaps at an L point between lunar and Terran gravity. These would be the places where all aging nuclear weapons were disposed of by either being loaded on spacecraft for second or third explosions or used in initial explosions to launch really massive spacecraft to move very fast on the way to other colonies and smaller robots on their way to the stars.

None of this is pure fantasy. I think we should divide up most of the surface of the Moon and Mars among all of earth’s nations unequally, sell some as new national sites and keep a good portion as a permanent UN mandate. Failing to act wisely now either means we willl lose humanity’s greatest economic opportunity or else end up with a really horrible policy made under more pressing conditions. I am not optimistic that we will make good choices. But I think our behavior in this century will determine the human future’s outlook for all of foreseeable human society.

I am committed to specific goals but I support all who are sincerely striving for a human future in space that is wise and sustainable. Good luck and God Bless to all of you out there. I am not a likely expert or member of the space community but I cherish this hope for an expanding future. Perhaps the humanist and amateurish perspective will cost me a few Facebook friends. I lost some over the years of all types and besides professionals in space matters who mattered to me even lately. However, I am grateful for the professionals on my list at the time of this writing

The crater cap colony concept itself in diagram

details of a fast colonial ship design.

Chapter Eight and the last On this Blog, end of Part One of my e-novel…

Chapter Eight “Time for Parting” Last in Part One “The Moon” of a Science Fiction Novel in Progress

by Summers Progress on Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 7:24am
While Joseph and Roberta slept beneath the shell of a fortified Lunapolis cap the upper side of which was proof against a single strike by most meteors and most human weapons and which was guarded by anti-meteor devices that all doubled as anti-spacecraft weapons. In the small world which was almost its own planet they felt far from the cold and dark of the still enduring Lunar night which was ongoing where they were andacross the barren and cold landscape to Aldrinia as it had been night when they went and night when they returned. Day was now breaking at the Grand Central Spaceport. But far out from the Moon where Night and Day had little meaning and hovering on the very edge of the Earth’s outer most gravity well in a kind of engineered and assisted orbit so exotic as to be no orbit at all the Deathwind was hovering. A half kilometer ship covered in cooling tubes and energy tubes sunk in ice and covered in the blackest and most radiation absorbing materials known to man. When they want passive the only way to see them was to observe something behind them when a black object passed in front of it or to send a signal at a timed interval and have it not arrive when they crossed its path. They were totally non-reflective and nonemitive most of the time an utter darkness, blackness and silence in the darkness of space. Inside the ship they were discussing Joseph Culkathadreil and Roberta Dupuis. They communicated through a very focused beam to on of several very secure communications hubs which communicated to with a web of relatively “super secret” pico communications satelites and relays. These received radio and television signals, direct beam communications from their spies, assassins and agents and from their fortresses in the asteroid belt. When a pico sattelite was found by the United Nations or anyone else it almost never led to finding anything else.

  They were always busy where the Pirates of the Outer Darkness operated their most agressive positions in interacting with the rest of humanity. They were always thinking differently and very cunningly about human affairs.  They always were not thinking by some definitions of thought. But right now every resource they could bring to bear was abing called up. They were faced with a new flood of telemetry aboard Deathwind and similar ships about four years ealier. Normally they would have paid little attention to such a thing which offered so little opportunity for torture, extortion and robbery. But it just so happened that shortly afterwards they captured and tortured to death a Polish scientist from the Copernicus Institute whose words under torture and files in his computer had helped them to see that there really might be aliens from other stars trying to communicate with humanity. They had decided to devote some of their best resources to this project and the project had kept growing ever since. 

 Joseph had almost no idea of these new conditions. He did not find the idea of contact inconceivable however. It was one of countless things he sometimes imagined and thought about carefully. It was not a major interest but it was an enduring one as were the Pirates of the Outer Darkness. What was said and who said it Joseph did not know. But he more or less assured himself that these conversations were taking place somewhere in secret. He simply did not lose any sleep over that fact.

 At an early breakfast Joseph made sure with Roberta that she would be joining him for the Captain’s Dinner at the hotel. Roberta told him that she was indeed ready to be there and to be making the necessary connections with the wives, girlfriends and dates of the pilots who were all men. “Thank you Roberta. I don’t know what the future holds for us but this has been such a great time with you and so much seems to have happened since we got started.” With words and other simple expressions Roberta let him know that she felt the same. They left the suite together because Roberta’s first meeting was near Elevator Road and so she was going to drop Joseph off near the Armstrong Agency to start this week. She set down the hovercar between the back of Mouton’s Markets and an edge of the Armstrong Plaza where there was a very small parking lot. Joseph kissed her as he left the car.

Joseph could see as he turned from watching her fly off in the car that the young Samantha Gould and Anais Durand from the prize winning softball team were watching him from near the center of Armstrong Plaza. He crossed the plaza to greet them as he still had a few minutes before he had to reach the lobby.

“Hello Ladies!”

“Hello Officer Culkathadreil!”

“Beautifuly pronounced Miss Gould.”

“Well, a year is a long time. I hope I can speak to at least one pilot and you are the only one who came to our big exhibition game so it might as well be you.”

“Well you gals play a very impressive game of software anywhere and it was the first lunar softball game I had ever seen. I really enjoyed it.”

“Roberta was very nice too. Is she your girlfriend?”

“Actually, when a man has been married twice, widowed and divorced has buried a baby son who bore his last name he might get to feeling like girlfriend is not the right word for any woman in his life. When in addition he has had a bound concubine and still supports her and his natural son but has more or less agreed not to see her except on the days of the week of his son’s birthday then maybe he is no longer sure what a girlfriend is. I don’t want to scandalize your parents about which pilot you can talk to though. But Roberta also really enjoyed the game.”

 Samantha smirked but deftly avoided talking about sex and relationships. “Thanks to both of you for the support. We are going to play in the inaugural tournament for the big new stadium on Mars. But Anais and I don’t like our chances after six and a half months off.”

 “Yes,” Anais nodded ” We are scheduled to play less than a week after we get there and that is if there are no delays.”

 “Well they tell me that the athletic facilities on the Armstrong are very excellent. I certainly hope that this is true.”

  “Well,” Samatha acknowledged nodding. “that is why Anis and I are here today. We are going to be testing the software part of the simulated softball facilities.”

  “Well since I need to be getting inside can we go in together?”

  Joseph thought he detected a wave of relief like a dawning sun spreading across the faces of both girls. Distracted as he was by other things he did not think of the reason they were relieved right away, he noted that he had missed that cue when he found the reason moments later and he noted it as a lapse in his normal sensibility. Anais dispelled all doubts quickly because she answered with a quick and forceful eagerness. “I would feel better going in with you. All the lions and robots make me uncomfrotable.’

  “That makes sense to me. Lets make an impressive group entrance of our own.”

   Samantha nodded towards a part of the colonade which had a exhibits in various media showing a bit of the history of interplanetary travel. The visual arts depictions were modest in size and the engraved words were larger  in scale. Samantha clearly indicated a particular area of writings. It was too far off to read but all three of them knew what was written on it. “The record for a trip from the Moon to Mars is less than two weeks right?”

  “Yes,” Joseph smiled with a bit of a quizzical look. “But that was in a modified UN Blue Wing Fighter. They also left on time for a launch window. We have a freiter drone that makes a trip in a week every year.  You know that right?”

  “Yes, but what was the Supercruiser record?”

  “I think it was set by the Armstrong and was about  a month and a half.”

  “So Anais and I are wondering why we are going to be cooped up on the same ship for more than six months.”

  “I guess mostly it is because we are stopping by the ASOS 1 with tons of supplies. It is a mothball cruise and so we have space available for the job.”

  “ASOS1 means first Autonomous Solar Orbit Station right?”

  “Yes, the ASOS 1 is a United Nations orbital fort, an observatory that monitors comets and rogue asteroids all combined with a maximum security bioresearch lab. If all that did not make it special enough some people say it is designed to be a place to coordinate humanity’s defense if we are ever invaded by starfaring enemies. It’s probably our largest military asset that one could not logically get close to just by knowing where the planets and the Sun are located.”

  “Will it be a dangerous place for us to vist?”

  “I don’t think it would be all that dangerous even if we had to dock with them. Although any deep space docking is risky. But as it is we are just planning to rendezvous with their shuttle-tractor about a thousand kilometers off from the station and to drop them a half dozen modules. That sounds pretty safe doesn’t it?”

  “I guess so.” Samanth sort of shrugged towards Anais as she said this.

  “I tell you what if either of you have any safety questions you can either talk to me about them or e-mail me with them. Does that sound OK?”

 “You mentioned aliens invasion. I know going near that base won’t make it happen but do you really think it is possible.”

  Joseph readjusted his weight and pulled his e-tab out of a pocket and keyed up some addresses. Instinctively and silently the girls each produced their own e-tabs and he transferred a few files on the subject of aliens which he kept in his personal library and the links that tied those files to the right sources. “People don’t agree at all about that. The only alien culture we know of for sure is Regulus Sector X-317. In 2098 the SETI Institute received a single transmission that has proved there are other technological cultures or on very big culture in the universe very definitely.”

  “SETI, that stands for Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence  right?  But here we are being extraterrestrial intelligence.”

  “Not a bad point. But we are all still really Earthlings don’t you think?”

 “Well what was such a big deal about the 2098 message anyway. I was taught that we don’t understand most of it even now.”

  “Well it was 500 hours long and it was not addressed to us. The experts think it was sent from a planet circling a star near Regulus to another unknown object about a hundred lightyears further away from us. What we got is a sort of bounce back return to sender copy that went wide of its target. The first thing we translated was a kind of address and calendar because it was based on real things we could observe around Regulus. But whatever else it means it means that before Jesus of Nazareth walked the Earth there were creatures near Regulus communicating with other creatures a hundred light years away. That is pretty significant.” He showed a map of Regulus and the object in relation to the Earth before pocketing his e-tab. The girls looked at the image and he felt sure Regulus seemed like a more real place since they had committed to leaving the Eath’s gravity well.

  “Why is it significant Officer Culkathadreil”? Anais asked the question with sudden intensity of interest.  “What has it done or how has it made a difference?”

  “We have translated about ten percent of the total information by now. That has led to some improvements in our computers, optics, navigation and communications — but that has been a lot less so far than most people expected. But they say the chance of us are anyone picking up that transmission in an energy packet like a kind of laser beam but better was one in fifteen billion at least. So we are lucky in a few ways. We have had well over a century and a half so far to know for sure that there are much older spacefaring societies without having to meet them. There has been much more unified support for space colonization since ’98. We have United Nations and national space fortresses that have been specificaly designed to resist superior forces attacking from outside the sloar system and we have five or so giftships which are meant to act as gestures of goodwill without destroying or betraying too much of ourselves. Whether we will be ready or not we are much readier than we would have been if that day ever comes.”

 “Has anyone tried to reach those people?”

 “Well it is ilegal to try. But someone may have tried. The UN has decided it is not wise or safe for us to announce ourselves yet.”

 The pilot and the two seventeen year old girls had been walking in intervals as their conversation developed. They now walked through the lage entrance found the lions feeding on large slabs of pork while a keeper and two droids watched them and their conversation ended as the three of them entered the lobby. There was nothing but a farewell nod and a smile to mark the end of the conversation. The subject of alien civilizations was put out of mind. Today we cannot think of Joseph Culkathadreil or even of his companions and not think of about aliens but this was not how any of them flt about themselves at the time. He had taken one course in xenobiology and one in the Culture of RS X-317 in college. But aliens were a minor interest in a full life.

 That day the pilots who were present had a seminar and a waking demonstration of the new Dreamlearner programs related and copyrighted by the  Goddard Agency onf of the many sister agencies that came from Old NASA and still participated in the Old Nasa Heritage Foundation Board. The Goddard men spoke on a basic theme, ” The Neil Armstrong is powered almost entirely by huge nuclear explosions captured in your MIRROR-BOWL system and which is made workable as sustained acceleration in your WHIRLIGIG sytem. Most of the deliveries that justify operating great ships without launch windows are made with solar sails and Goddard does not specialize in nuclear or solar sail  propulsion. But did you know that the Armstrong carries over five thousand chemical rockets of various sizes and  has hundreds of chemical thrusters that you will use for steering and close maneuvers and those also dispose of some of the most hazardous waste in our socirites and civilization”. Joseph was also asked to talk about his travels to Jupiter on a largely chemical ship and what a five-sixth or four fifths sleeper cruise was like. He had worked a few  hours slept for days, then gone through a halfwaking update and orientation process and worked another set of a few hours. This had gone on for years. The Armstrong was nothing like this.

After lunch he met briefly with Dirkson, Smith and Jones to discuss some security matters that had been referred to him and a few others for pilot review. But then he was back with the Goddard group helping them really to explain the vagaries of chemical thrust as much as learning it. The day was fairly intense and tiring. The last seminar showed how the Russian Ship  the Moscow used chemical thrusters differently in its configuration. Again the Goddard men already knew that Joseph had a friend or at leat an old companion in the Russian Fleet who commanded this vessel. Joseph said a few words about Sharapov and all he knew about Russian close maneuvers training. 

He sped by everything else on his way back to the hotel and sent all of his bonus from Goddard as a copresenter to his bound concubine whom he seldom saw and to his son he also saw only a few day each year at best. He sent a brief note to each with the money. “China is still charting a path that Louisiana has been a participant in for centuries and I see again here the need for that path. I have not made it to any Chinese colonies but I believe the effort to integrate Imperial, democratic and socialist values into some kind of context that uses the disciplines of the free market is not a bad path overall”. He had little personal in this communication but hoped to write to several people including these two in China while he was on the Shuttle and setting up on the Armstrong. He then checked to make sure his corsage and other matters were ready for him to meet Roberta. While he was thinking of it he sent in a brief not on her to the Registrar of Consorts in the Clan Culkathadreil — her category was “unclassified” but he knew she was important to him. “Truly ploygamous men fall in love more easily than they fall out of it. That is how harems are best built — on that principal’. That was how his great uncle the High Prince and High Chieftan Culkatrhadreil had eplained things to him when he was a teenager. He had not known his great uncle well but the words of the Majestic Leader were usually remebered by any Culkathadreil. He was already showering as he thought over his great uncle’s words.

The dinner with High Captain Commander Emerson his wife Cilia, First Pilot Xander Xavier and his girlfriend Natsiela and Second and Third Pilot Jims and Hanks with their dates was a pleasant time. The fifth pilot was rather against type. He was redhaired very tall and covered with an odd assortment of tatoos which showed through on his wrist and neck. “My name is Thor Swensen-O’Brien and a proud Galllowglass wanderer am I who can pilot anything on or under water, in air and in space. I am the only full pilot you outrank here. This my lovely wife Rowena.” Joseph introduced the couple to Roberta andfound the man likable enough.

The Commander was an impressive man and most of all they discovered through Natsiela that there was a status and a network available for significant others who did not have formal bonds. Both Joseph and Roberta felt able to set up that account near the bar on Natsiela’s e-tablet. The men all danced with eachother’s women and Hanks who was admiitedly a Bisexual Binarian Brotherhood member gave no evidence of any but heterosexual mores or fokways. Everyone got along well and exhibited the good manners that Space Pilot Guild members were known for on such occasions.

Once the dinner was in the past the relationship with Roberta became a bit sadder. Roberta by now had hear stories of some of the many ways the Joseph had made money that was not typical of anyone’s idea of what a Prince should consider due and fitting (or even as the Duke he had actually been born before a series of deaths and two sessions of the Council of Successions Viziers had changed his place in several lines of succession). However, she had not heard about the grant he had gotten to be part of a temporal distortion study. The study had lasted five years and studied how space, high speed travel, suspended animations and many other factors affected both time sense and aging. One result besides earning quite a few extra credits was that he had discovered his own age signature. This study indicated that once awakened and engaged his emotions were more of a young adult than of the majority of his peers. However, they did not become aroused in the way a young adult’s did. He really felt that he was finding it easier to leave Roberta because he was wanted and celebrated and being pulled away. But he was careful not to ruin the relationship by being unkind or insensitive. He was not completely in love perhaps but he might be closer than he had been in a long time. He wanted to love, he knew men of action who did not but that was not his way. Even as a professional he found love made his mind work better in reasonable doses and unreasonable doses had abandoned him long ago.  He could be mor loving to other women he passed time with if he loved Roberta. That is what polygamy was and though he had not made that clear to Roberta he had always known he was polygamous by orientation. He might not work out a plural marriage here but he wanted to leave feeling he had been good to her and that there was still a tie between them. He wrote her a letter summarizing in poetic language some of their experiences together. He had the messaging software arrange to deliver it to her at work or just after during one of the times when they would have been apart the longest that week.  

Joseph had long hours with the pilots on Wednesday and Friday. He had lunch with Samantha and the flirtatious doctor Bliss on Thursday. She gave a seminar on the laws and practices of sex, reproduction and family in the Armstrong Agency, admitting she had never really operated in the agency and that “book knowledge about sexual practices is often misinformation  despite the efforts of researcher like me to make it otherwise”.  That evening in bed he talked to Roberta about her speech and also about how much he really enjoyed the brief set by her brother and his band which they had managed to catch at the Ben Bova Hotel in Lunapolis’s mines. His brief foray had convinced him that while things differed the mines in Aldrinia were more typical than not at least of the American Moon. He realized now that indentured adult workers only got a Crater pass once a month for a thirty hour window and free workers with mine addresses had access to the craters only on a plan so that each had three days in the week when they could enter the craters without business or an emergency and four days when they would be stopped at the entry port. Likewise he found that there was a restriction foreign entries to every colony’s mines. Lastly there were Lunar standards that every country was bound by and a set of Lunar inspectors that made sure the mines did not become the hells to which they bore a simplistic resemblance.

On the weekend, he and Roberta toured the forest of Lunapolis, made love and drank, she read him an answer she had written to his poetic letter. They went to Church at the Church of the Holy Magi and she stood with him as he lit a candle at the side Altar of Departures and placed a donation in the ket. He enrolled her as a nonmember participant in the parish’s caring network and payed the suggested fee for a year. She read the brass sign in the front and was duly impressed with Joseph’s great grandfather.

They made love, slept,woke on the fateful morning,  had breakfast and shared a few tears. Then he joined the rest of the Armstong’s Lunapolis contingent in a private train to Grand Central Spaceport. Robert followed in a media train. They headed off to separate parts of the auditorium for the official Celebration of the Launch of the Retirement Cruise. Then they headed off to separate shuttles assigned by remote authorities. His would dock with Armstrong but hers would only view the proceedings from fifty kilometers away.

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

End of Part One of the Novel

Part one titled “The Moon”

Seventh Chapter of my Online Novel

Chapter Seven “Training and Execution” of part one “The Moon” of a Science fiction novel in progress

by Summers Progress on Friday, November 19, 2010 at 2:31pm
“The history of the Culkathadreil Clan themselves  is very complex and confusing. Three daughters of King Solomon by a Persian wife were given as brides one to a Greek King, one to an Arab Prince and one to an Egyptian Prince. They vowed to remain in contact and during the rise of the Assyrian Empire these disparate  families formed a small kingdom together in a complex of trading posts and small fiefdoms  that included  lands reconquered from Assyria and others adjoining Greeks and Celts in Northern Turkey. So he is no Greek this Great Culkathadreil, not in the strictest sense. His grandmother was a Countess of the Acadian-Arcadian secret tribe. But he is called the New Ares because of his godlike qualities in a fight.”  Introduction to The New Ares by the Jean Nicolai Broussard-Summers, Third Baron of Broussard-Summers and Elector of LiLuna.

*    *****   ****

After getting to their room Roberta had reviewed the auto-edited version of her feature which was now complete according to specifications she had progammed into the system in their secured hovercar before she went to dinner. She then started to watch the piece on her minicamera but Joseph had insited that she connect the camera to the room’s television. For some reason thecrowd at Forest Vie Point in the opening sequence disturbed Joseph. He did not know what disturbed him but he made a mental note of the feeling.

They made love once tenderly and fell asleep in eachother’s arms. Life was feeling happy and peaceful. A once dear cousin and a beautiful lady felt like a wonderful improvement over his last few months on Earth. He was feeling the edge melting off his nervous awareness. The crowd of faces seen in a video were vaguely recalled as he reeled off a sort of habitual mental list before falling asleep.

Joseph woke in the middle of the night. He had been sleeping better since being with Roberta. At least on the nights when they made love and slept in the same bed he was more physicaly and emotionaly contented. But he awoke and he had the words of an Old Cukathadreil Training Ritual he had learned many years ago when trying to become a man and still practiced if not as often as a warrior starting to age and  looking back on years of manhood. He thought of his childhood forthe second time recently. His father taught him to shoot, fence and practice several unarmed martial arts but also hired indtructors for his three sons. The Culkathadreil Clan had checked also to see if he had enough religious instruction to take their ritual courses — regular religous instruction. Mostly it had been his now unreachable but still living mother who had seen he went to good religious training and education classes. He let the words he remebered waking to play over his mind and let the childhood memories fade into and merge with his more recent memories as his breathing and pulse adjusted to the pracitced rhythyms.  Like most of their Clan’s rituals this one borrowed pieces from various sources. In his head he realized he had run through the first part the second clearer time already:

“Christ be before me,

Christ be behind me,

Christ be beside me,

Shield in the strife.

Christ on my right hand,

Christ on my left hand,

Christ all around me,

Light of my life.”

Had he in any since really recited the prayer or remebered it only? The question had no answer. Then the verse “The eyes are the light of the body” and another “Be vigilant for I am sending you out as though you were sheep among wolves.” He felt his body adjusting the rhythyms of his meditative breathing. Verses of scriptures, poems and self commands flowed through his mind.






 There he was. No not he — they. There they stood as he and Roberta left the train station. They were wearing ski suits and very much were the tourists heading along as if checking in to the resort. One had a red moustache the other an eye patch They were behind him in the blue rental hovercar when he was picking up Roberta for supper and had gotten into their backgound shot out of the cars at Forest View Point. One had shaggy blond hair and the other a military uniform but no eye patch, moustache or ski suits. They were at the dinner table with two girls who in retrospect were obviously strangers but experienced high end prostitutes. The men had greasy black locks of straight hair and severe suits and their skin was tanned. Joseph had never even consciously noticed them. However, now he was pretty sure he knew who they were, not personaly but organizationaly. They were the Pirates of the Outer Darkness. He had no doubt that they were following him but he did not know why. He reached for the gun he had hidden in a pile of shoes and clothes by the bed. He slipped on his bathrobe and he closed the shades of the suite. He then walked to the door and looked through the peephole. He expected to see nothing but an empty bit of hall and the door of the suite across the hall. Instead he saw the heavier man hiding a piece of electronic equipment behind a wall sconce he could see the man planned on then putting the sconce back into place. Culkathadreil’s mind raced calmly through his options. He sensed several involved either his pills or the superburst transmitter and so without fixing on a specific plan he moved acrocss the room opend his valise and picked up the disguised piece of equipment. Sill the man was holding the electronic gadget, supporting part of the lighting sconce with his elbow pinning it to the wall. In his hand was a small multi use tool.

 The security light above the wall sconce had its blinking light off and was obviously de-activated. There was combination knife and stunner showing above his belt while the man’s jacket rode up as he worked.  The man was an obvious professional bad guy in this situation.Joseph’s mind rushed through complex and complete thoughts.

 “He is installing it with us inside, that makes it much more likely to be weapon with a remote, a sensor could have been installed when we were out. ”

 “So could a weapon be installed at a better time. Something is forcing his hand  to act off schedule. but the fact that we are inside increases chance it is a real weapon”

 “He is most prepared for an attack by me opening the door right now, he had to calculate for that.”

 Many other thoughts past through his mind so fast, so fleeting and then they were done. He was half wearing the space mask using eye movements and his hand to adjust the complex computer built into the small object. He was tuning the superburst transmitter as well and quickly as he could. It was good for about twenty superburst even if recharged and four on its battery. They were for secure communications. It was to be his possible secure communication system from the Armstrong. But it had other uses. He was able to sdjust its sensing components so that all the small fields and charges in both the gadget and the light fixture showed up as a receiver grid. The he dialed in the bands of transmission for the composition of the door and the peephole he added a graphic read of the man’s bioelectric field his nerves showing up on screen as bits of data. The distance was very small, negligible. He focused a full single superburst on what he had defined as a receiver. Then before he hit a button and watched the result he lifted a coffee table and put it between him and the door. He put himself between the door and Roberta. he cleared off a few objects, set them down and set the legs forward to the door and braced himself against the top. Then he pressed the button.

 The sound was not deafening or even extremly loud but it was complex with the assisted hearing field in the mask’s proximity he could hear the hissing and crackling of electricity. He heard fuses popping which were very small but very powerful. He heard the distinctive slapping pop of two balistic charges or rounds and the rush of flame on a flamable material. He heard a powerful thump against the door but nothing that shattered it. All this he heard and then the sound of a wailing fire alarm and the click of the foam drop and water mist sprinkler system on the ceiling. He evaluated the situation and pushed the transceiver under the bed and the cofee table simply upright and way just before he heard Roberta’s startled, “What is that?”

 “Not sure, but grab your robe we need to try to get to an exit.”

 Roberta appeared very quickly wearing a suit which he could just barely tell covered no underwear and holding the minicamera she kept in the room which she had just turned on and was manilpulating. “This is Roberta Dupuis with Channel Nine shooting in the Hilton & Hyatt Hotel in Aldrinia.”

 Joseph opened the door and watched the body of the man slump in as he opened it. He heard Roberta’s voice become loud and shrill as she tried to describe the man and the situation. His own mind and eyes scanned over the man’s body and assured him that he was indeed dead. He saw that his right thumb and index finger had been blown off. He the close up lacing of the clothes from the effect of a pair of scatter darts going off at launch and very close to the man’s chest. As Roberta passed him and focused the camera on the body he reached under the bed and grabbed the mask shoving it under his robe hooking to his adhesive gun. With the same motion he grabbed the bed’s top sheet. He rolled the body gently into the sheet, leaving the face exposed as though he hoped the man might still be alive. Then he lifted the man so that most of his body was in front of him. He readjusted his mask into his robe’s inner belt and palmed his small gun behind the sheet. The he stepped out of the small alcove in front of the door and looked both ways. guests were already pouring into the hall which was also filled with gel drops and mist. But there where the hotel corridor formed an elevator landing and two servobot were flashing lights toward the pneumatic elevator and the stairs and warning people not to use the electric elvator he could see the other pirate. He could see the man using a housekeeping cart, the servobots a piece of luggage and a potted plant as a sort of fortified blind. Joseph made sure he coud see a gun. A silencer on the tip of a conventional firearm. Conventional firearm posession in the colonies was a serious felony becuase of the damage they might do to the caps or vital sytems. Even cops and soldiers did not bring them below the caps. The man was seeking a good shot. Joseph shot four times. The first two shots took off the top of the pirate’s head. There was default switch on the gun and one of the guests screamed in pain and grabbed his leg. The next two shots Joseph fired destoyed the brain box of the servobot able to have made a recording.

 Guests near the dead pirate were shouting “Gun! Gun!”

Deftly sticking the gun to his back he asked Roberta to hand him a towel lying on the flooor. Using one hand and the help of the wounded man at whom he barked many orders quickly he secured a bad tourniquet around the wounded man’s leg. Joseph lifted the wounded guest over his right shoulder and carried both his dead enemy and the wounded man. Not for the first time he was feeling grateful for the low gravity. “Press on the wound as hard as you can one hand on the entry and one on the exit.”

 He ran toward the landing and found two medibots exiting the forbidden electric elevator. There he layed both his burdens on the plasic sheets the bots laid down. One bot sprayed liquid bandage on the wounded man. The other bot sprayed blood disolver on the large parts of Joseph’s own body covered with blood. Roberta was talking and shooting video and recording. The wounded man was injected with a sedative and the dead pirate was recorded by Roberta and the bots. Then both he and Roberta took the pneumatic lift to the lobby. Roberta shot interviews with a dozen people while Joseph told his parts of the truth to the police and the management. They were in a new suite in about two hours and their picked over and inspection sealed luggage was in their room. They were offered complimentary sleeping pills by by the Aldrinia Surgeon General and their ski gate time was moved to noon. The hotel had informed their friends in the other tower of the hotel and was offering them complimentary ski game passes between ten and noon so they could still start the big course of slopes together.  Roberta forwarded her report as it was and they both took the pills and went to sleep. Joseph wondered what it had all been about and then went to sleep.

 When they did wake up it was about 10:15. They turned on the Lunar News Network and watched Roberta’s Channel Nine Report picked up by the network along with the Aldrinia Police Chief’s press conference. After half an hour of that the top anchor of the Lunar News Network gave his summary of the story:

 “Thanks to our extraordinary reportage by Channel Nine LNN Afiliate reporter Roberta Dupuis and the wotk of our Aldrinia bureau we are able to reach these conclusions. Some may be ammended over time and indeed the facts are murky and confusing. But here are the facts as we believe them to be:

First, the gun has been examined. The gun recovered was definitely a silenced 38 rifle. The rounds used are not issued to anyone on the Moon.

Second, the dead men. Tattoos, e-tablet memory, notation glyphs in wallets and other material have been held to conclusively identify the dead men as both being members of the organization known as Pirates of the Outer Darkness.

Third, the fight. Some kind of very exotic weapon was used by this pirate who died first but it was so badly damged it was hard to know what happened to it. We believe another person entered from the stairwell bay at the end of the hall and exchanged fire with this man killing him and even though no blood was recovered probably being wounded. The first pirate’s weapon may have self-destructed and set off the alarm. The person in the stairwell may then have inflicted a non fatal head wound on the second pirate and then a fatal wound that did not prevent a default switch activating a shot which wounded a guest from Earth who is in serious condition in the Aldrinia General Hospital.

 The person in the far stairwell was able to slip out unnoticed and mingle with the crowd at the transit level because for whatever reason the second pirate appears to have knocked out all security cameras. Aldrinia police say they do have some leads and are working on apprehending this unknown third man. They even indicate that given the nature of the Pirate’s of the Outer Darkness organization there is a possible case of self defense here as the rounds used do not appear to have been felony rounds and no innocent people were killed and the third person did not directly injured the wounded guest. However, the stairwell shooter may also be aserial killer or bandit of any kind and is presumed to be armed and dangerous.

 As we find out more we will keep you informed. I am Jack Blandon with Lunar News Network.”

 Roberta called her station in Lunapolis and then they dressed and got to the slopes just in time to make their 12:OO noon ski time. The conversation with Daniel and Cindy rehashed the events of the day.

While they were both certifying their basic ski competence Joseph spoke to Daniel. “Daniel I know we have only been back together for a day but I have to leave Roberta in Lunapolis in a week. Truthfully I was going to ask you to look in on her from time to time anyway. But now it seems even more important. I realize now that you have an MC Astrotech branch in Lunapolis and we have a history together despite how little we have had a chance to discuss things on this trip. I would like to feel like you had an eye out for her now and then.”

 “I hear you Joseph. Things haven’t changed so much that I can’t do as you ask. I know too that you kept an eye on my ex-wife for two years, kept me in my daughter Isabela Marie’s life even paid my child support a couple of months. I do owe you and I do know it.”

 “Well this will make us more than even then. I am very grateful.

 ” Don’t worry about it, Joseph, I have other worries. I have to tell you I had a secure bot in your stairwell. But something blew it out. My man recovered it and ran out with the broken bot after the alarms went off. I am afraid that in the end it will be my security guard that the cops are following as the third man. But we should be able to prove he was not. But who the hell was? And what are the POD doing here?”

They continued to talk as they all skied flips, twists and obstacle courses.Roberta’s experience overcame all other advantages and she outshone them all. She clearly enjoyed the course and the success. The first time they reached the artificialy low part of the main crater colony they looked at the forest of geneticaly altered trees which grew straight, light and 400 meters tall in the low gravity of the Moon.

“Aldrin Coprporation was the first to use large amounts Moon grown timber in framing spacecraft. The place plates and foils outside an internal frame instead of modules attached to an external frame. The frames are about half wood and half metal and the wood is grown right here.’

“This is an amazing crop.” Daniel said sincerely.

They took the fast snowmobile train back to the top of the slope and enjoyed hot cocoa on the ride up. Then they raced down the slope. In this contest of speed Joseph and Roberta finsihed to close to call and Cindy and Danile were not embarassingly far behind. The same qualities that made the Moon great for tricks made skiing in a colony’s low gravity and thick air a fairly slow affair in a flat out race.

They made three runs of the grand course before supper and knowing that each couple had to catch two different seven o’clock trains. During the long break in their slope reservations between 3:30 and 4:25 the women bonded in a slope-side spa and Joseph  and Daniel kept talking as they went into the mines run jointly by the Aldrin Corporation and the The Amalgamated Lunar Mining Guild. Joseph made sure his e-tab video features were set up well for the mines and then headed out with Daniel to see how well over half of Lunarians currently lived ( as miners no doubt differing a great deal from mine to mine)   They drove around in a rental mine buggy that Joseph knew were the same Ford MineMoles that were used in Lunapolis. They stopped at a small shop that Daniel supplied and which sold only highly filtered cigarettes that combined tobacco with either coca leaves or marijuana in small quantities and released only lightly cented water vapor. Smoking occurred but all the recognizable smoke ended up in the filters which could be and usually were  returned for a credit and then were sent to Daniels company for recycling.  They each took one of these cigarettes and smoked them as they drove. Ornate fountains marked the small plazas scattered through the mines. Elevators and trains appeared to go off in countless directions while streets for the buggies were rare. A large office for the Indentured Labor Authority sat in front of the family village, men’s dormitories and women’s dormitories where almost all the miners working under indenture contracts lived. While they were there another van fifteen or twenty complete newcomers showed up and were being processed into the mines.

Free laborers gathered around dormitories, cheap bars, cafes, lots of theaters that projected films on polished wall sections and served fast food at arrayed tables. Some were simply cutouts or dugouts but others were really buildings that simply connected to the ceiling as well as the floor of the caverns. The squares and plazas had ceilings that were about forty feet high. The average streets with shops and sidewalks had ceiling twenty feet high. Most of the routes went through twelve foot ceiling workshop and storage lined roads. But trains ran off into nine foot high channels from many points.  Every so often a huge plaza with two hundred foot ceilings and metal columns carved like trees opened up and plants grew and bands played under sunlamps while people fished from ponds in them with rods and reels. Joseph could feel that life was hard here for many but also that it was well run and both more humane and more free than the places many if not most people lived on Earth.

  There was a lot of evidence of authority here compared to America on Earth however.     Exemplary punishments were common on the moon and he saw radio collars with signs that said “Unsafe”, “Tool-loser”, “Air-waster” and “Peacebreaker”. Rock climbing walls and aquaria full of tropical fish lay around the larger squares.  He saw children in school uniforms gardening in gardens near the two schools he saw and he also saw a group of school children headed to one of the crater floors on a field trip. They stopped for a coffee near a row of electo-booths and he saw that Aldrinia Colony Council and the Sector government both had seats reserved for “freemen” seats which meant those who had been indentured less than five years earlier. He even saw that on of the Sector Council Represntatives running for reelection was Leonard Hearthring. He was one of the famous and infamous Hearthring brothers who were US and Brit dual citizens and lived on the edge between criminality and left-wing politics. He also saw that the  Levantine and Magitic Rite Church had a collection a ministry to mining families with school and home enhancement programs. He checked his effective account and saw that his royalties on the bullets he had patented had just seen a bit of a jump and he had small excess that had gotten into his personal account. He donated half of that to the charitable outreach and then walked back to the coffee shop where Daniel was watching another news story about the shootings on a wall screen television. He signaled readiness to go and they took a long route back to the buggy return. Breach Emergency quarters and the only high school in Aldrinia’s mines were on this road. They also passed several social clubs. He saw that several advertised race and religion as criteria fo membership. These were all in a small green commons that had four small houses of worship.that touched the cavern roof.     After they  left this park they saw the great elevator trucks full of copper, iron and silver ore being loaded and driving the route to the train station. In the same region he saw two smelters processing ore into refined gold and refined cadmium. The plants that produced water from ice nd saturated dust also could bee seen working nearby. 

 While he took alll this in he chatted with Daniel and asked about the Armstrong Agency and UN wormhole studies on the Moon. He also ran his e-tab as a video camera for as long as possible. He saw a few Adults Only Zones where strip clubs and public executions among other things were zoned.  Aldrinia had about three executions in these mines every yearaccording to his e-tab.  He had learned a great deal about the life in the mines by the time he met Roberta and Cindy with Daniel.  They made their last run and then they found their luggage and travel suits waiting at the front desk. They rode together to the Aldrinia Train Station. Once they arrived they mad separate boardings in short order. Daniel and Cindy went to the Grand Central Spaceport.  While Joseph and Roberta bought tickets exercising their one free layover per round trip of this length although laying over for only for five hours instead of the allowed five day and  to Lunapolis and the Valley View Hotel. On the train to Grand Central Spaceport Daniel’s cabin had a guest. He had a long conversation with Darrel Bourque. He made clear that he wanted to know a lot more about the situation. He also wanted the best lawyers working with the security guard who had recovered the damaged security bot. Darrel could tell his boss was very uneasy. On getting back to the Astronomy Club Daniel called his people in Lunapolis to keep an eye out fo Channel Nine’s best-looking reporter.

The layover that they had chosen for a shrimp etoufee and rabbit sauce picant dinner and an evening of Cajun Music and Lunar Fusion Jazz was Arkadios-Acadia Proprietary Crater Cap Colony owned by the somewhat mysterious Ethnos Arkadios Corporation. A fourth of the stock in this corporation was owned by Special Charter Parish Government of Basileus-Beausoleil Island which was a sixty square mile artificial island in the shallows of the Gulf of Mexico and was the nearest neighbor to Culkathadreil Island.

The Mare Serenitatis-Mare Tranquilitatis Line’s Diana’s Arrow left the Aldrinia station and did not run straight to Lunaplois partly beacuse the spaceport deddicated large crater was in the way. It went first to the Boeing-Chevrolet Colony in Posidonius P Craterjust skirting the big uncapped crater. Then it continued in a straight line over the flat and opend lands of the mare to the Michigan Technology Trust Colony in Luther Crater and its station and there it made a hard turn towards Lunapolis starting with a straight run over the flatlands to the  Arkadios-Acadia Proprietary Crater Cap Colony in Menelaus Crater with one stop at the Silicon Valley Space Foundation Colony in Bessel Crater. Each station required the train on this route to take a five minute stop and they began to realize the real cost of not taking the express and wondered if they could change to an express train from the Menelaus to the Tauruntius Crater. But they never did that in the end as their time in the crater where they did layover was very tight and they were enjoying riding together. 

 There were almost no motor vehicles inside this Crater Cap Colony and it was quite wealthy because of the large ice mine but the wide floor was half lakes and wetlands and teh circulating waterfalls graced the walls. They did not sell as much as much water as they could have. St. Martin de Tours Cathedral dominated the floor and there were the major buildings of the Lunar Campuses of Saint Anne’s University and The University of Louisiana at Lafayette. They took a horse drawn buggy seating twelve passengers and went down to Parque Fais Do-Do in a large cavern cut into the wall and supported by steel columns in the shape of live oaks made from locally mined steel. The cavern housed the Summers Foundation Hall, La Rochelle City Consulate under its French and English names and the Greek Consulate but most of it was the Salle de la Musique et le Danse . Here they listened to music, danced and  ate crawfish pies, boudin balls and shrimp etoufee. When the concert was over he rushed her to the Louisiana Museuem in an adjoining cavern. He had heard that there was a twenty minute holographic tour of Culkathadreil Island available in one of its couple size imaging chambers. They took the tour and he realized that as a Lunarian she was used to the way the largest  bird sanctuary was crisss crossed with foundation top brace bars and the way that windmills covered the seawalls near the beaches. She understood why the luxury hotel must also be covered with soloar panels and the thrum of scrubbers could be heard cleaning pollution out of the Gulf all the time. He realized tha the crater caps and the islands had shared elements and figures in their early history. Suddenly he realized that he and his Miss Dupuis had a great deal in common that he did not share with others among Earth’s women. They caught the the horse drawn bus back to the station noticing the steep ramp as they had not before. They just made their connection to the punctual train to Lunapolis.

Joseph and Roberta got back to Lunapolis without problems. But at the station they had to do a brief set of media interviews. Then they took Roberta’s car and went to the Valley View Hotel. There they took their last set of free sleeping pills and settled down for a restful night.

Roberta lay awake a little longer than Joseph. She was truly attached toJoseph. He had handled the wounded and the crisis and everything else wonderfuly well. On the other hand she felt sure that he was holding something back. She felt he had seen something during the incident which she had missed. Perhaps it had something to do with his cousin. She sensed that Daniel might have a few secrets from the law. Did Joseph suspect that his cousin was involved as a target and that it would be better for her not to know? She put all of this out of her mind and surrendered to sleep for the night.

 ***  ****   *****  ***** ****

In the Apollo Bar on the Tropics Atrium elsewhere in Aldrinia  man hired by Malisha Andrievna Ryshkova  put together a file of news footage and both video and audio recordings he had hacked from dozens of security systems throughout the colony. There was quite a bit of information. He sent her a message at the end.



I believe this man is an incredibly skilled security officer but also an assassin. I have huge amounts of evidence but I do not know what he did. However, he killed these pirates, found them out, is known to be on the spot and none suspect him. I cannot prove it myself. I provide the basis for my assertions but my judgement is based on small things here. Had I not been following him for you I would never have suspected him.

You must also realize that for the POD to target him in this way in this place he must be a very valuable target indeed.  I hope that you are ready for the kind of contact he will be for whatever you are doing.”

Lars Rykavik”    


Sixth Chapter of my novel on line

Chapter Six “Family Ties” of Part One “the Moon” in a Science Fiction Novel in Progress.

by Summers Progress on Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 2:58pm
“The choice of the title of this document is very deliberate. This is the Constitutional Charter of the Lunar Government, we the Constituting Lunar Committee have in advance contracted with other relevant powers to establish what powers can be seen as duly constituted in this Government. In those areas in which it is competent the Lunar Government is a sovereign under all laws.
  • 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   


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

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.

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

 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.

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

Just another weblog

<!– #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.


Third Chapter of my online novel: includes human flight…

Chapter Three “Life Beneath the Caps” in Part Two “The Moon” of a Science Fiction Novel in Progress

by Summers Progress on Monday, November 15, 2010 at 2:45pm
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After saying goodbye to Roberta, Joseph opened his luggage case and then dropped the folding empty outer rental case into a chute in his closet. He opened his leather valise and put on some of his favorite comfortable and casual clothes. He ran a quick comb and brush through the hair he wore longer than ususal these days. He noticed the small but fresh burn mark just below his right ear. It joined more scars than he could count of various ages across his body.

Then he walked across the thick luxurious carpet of the suite to his computer workstation. To maximize the effectiveness of everything he would do he inserted the e-tab he had just won into the tablet port on the console. He linked to the Contest Committee and dowloaded all of the orientation package. He first took a virtual tour of the vast Neil Armstrong Super Cruiser. Then he took a virtual tour of Museum Port in the New Array where it was to be mothballed. He finished the coffee in his inroom coffee machine while he was making the virtual trip from the Moon to Mars a 10,000 times actual speed. He was hungry and his neck hurt him. Roberta had left at about 2:45 local time and it was now 7:30. He had hardly moved. He used his personal credit card to send Roberta flowers at work that night and sent all his link information to the Armstrong Agency. He then connected his console to the Dreamlearner set on his bed. He would leave it all set up to download some Dreamlearner programming from Armstrong while he went out.

A few minutes later he was in a hovercab setting out under the artificial stars of an artificial night. “Where to Sir?”

“The Church of the Holy Magi.”

“Rimville it is.”

The trip was uneventful, he did notice tiny lights moving between the heavy lanes of traffic in the mass of air. “Those little lights that fly all over but stay out of the main airlanes and are not the cablecars traveling the wires from the plug — are they the birders I saw during the day?”

“Sure are. Anyone can go birding during the day but you have to have a special license to go at night.”

“I hope to do that while I am here in Lunapolis. Go Birding I mean. I am a pilot but I may not get around to night flying.”

“Don’t miss birding man. I go once a week if I can. I bring the wife and kids at least once a month.”

“Pretty exciting I guess?”

“It is not just exciting. It is the fact that you own body is powering itself and maneuvering itself like a bird. It changes you somehow.”

“I will definitely have to try that.”

“Listen to get a cab out of Rimville you can take the hub bus to the great balcony or you can just text my license number to Lunapolis Taxi and I will pick you up at the church. As long as you are ready by 2:00 that is when I get off.”

“I should be ready well before that. I thought I would go to the Church and see it, maybe catch the late service and then I would get some food somewhere and visit the Military Grottoes. How long should that take?”

“I think I will hope to hear from you between 10:30 and midnight.”

“That sounds good then.”

The hovercab dove through the breach doorway on the great balcony at almost full speed and then slowed. It landed on one of the many streets that ranbetween the massive foundations, anchors and machines which were part of the infrastructure for maintaining the colony’s crater cap. There were lot of streets in Rimville lined with trees and big houses with lawns were set in the blocks that made up most of the spaces between the huge iron pilings, copper tubes and lead blocks. The hovercab had drawn all its wings in as close to the body of the car as they could be drawn and it was now moving along the streets on its six land wheels. A motor powered the wheels but the jets still provided rapid acceleration when needed. This jet boost blew up lots of loose leaves that had gotten near the streets. There was fairly heavy traffic. Joseph swiped his credit card and got out in front of the church. Stylized almost geometric statues of three wise men looking at a star of lucite and gold above the door stood in a small rock garden and near a pond. Parishoners had to navigate through this little tableau to get to the entry steps.

Joseph go to the steps and stopped at the top to read a sign. The sign was brass and the letters raised. It was lit by two arclights.

The sign read:

The Church of the Holy Magi is the oldest full time and free-standing house of worship on the Moon. The long secret rite of Magitic Levantine Christians was recognized as an official Eastern Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in 2087. This was the third church dedicated under the first public Archmandrake sometimes called Paphnutius XXX and sometimes Paphnutius I. The other two Churches were on Earth. All three were paid for in large part by a donation from Chief Basil Zargos-Culkathadreil. Masses are offered for his soul and family twice every Saturday at this altar.”

Joseph did catch a late mass. He sat in the back and did not go to communion. But after services he met the priest and introduced himself. He gave the priest a personal calling card with his hotel address scribbled on the back. He asked about his cousin Daniel.

“Yes, he comes to church here sometimes — even often. But he is not here most weeks. I think he is working for one of the astronomy companies as a maintenance tech so he spend a lot of time on the surface.”

“Well, if you see him please give him my number and if you hear anything call me.”

“I certainly will. But you have been on television a great deal today. I am sure word will reach him soon enough.”

“Well, I am only in Lunapolis for two weeks.”

“Right, I will do what I can.”

Joseph took out his e-tab and activated the camera function. He had decided to take some video of the Church as he had of the fountain and  some other views. He wanted to put together a documentary for friends and family of his first trip to the Moon and a possible keepsake album on video for himself and his possible new girlfriend. He shot the ceiling which in a Levantine and Magitic Church showed the traditional contellations of several cultures surrounding the divine eye in a Star of David which had one traingle made of fire interlocking with another made of ice. Then he shot the San Damiano style painted Crucifix and the altar of arrivals and the altar of departures as well as the High Altar but he did not take long over doing those things.  Some things were typical of all churches of his write like the huge illustrated gold covered bibleand others were unique to this church. Then he came across something really unique. It was a plaque of tribute:

  • We want to pay tribute to the several chaplains who served in meeting halls and dorms and open floor areas of various kinds before Lunapolis was founded. There names appear in the frame of this plaque.As the first regular house of worship on the Moon we recognize them. However, we more emphatically want to recognizr Dr. Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin who celebrated the Eucharisitc rites of his Protestant Christian Communion on the very first trip of humanity to the Moon’s surface. Although we have theological differences which are important his effort to honor the memory of Jesus Christ in that way is precious and sacred to us.

 Joseph had forgotten that there was a Eucharistic service on the Apollo voyage made byArmstrong, Aldrin and Collins. Remebering that made him feel uncertain about having missed the chance to receive communion. But he was now in a hurry so he turned offf the camera function in his e-tab and hurried out of the church.

Joseph grabbed a shrimp salad and and a beer at a small cafe and the rented a glidecycle and saw the grottoes. In the Hall of Honor he used their Moon Map Simulator. He saw the Amalgamated Region of  US Zones with Lunapolis as its capital and the several United Nations zones including the one  that took in most of Mare Insularum and included the very uncapped Crater Copernicus with its  many tunnel gates and towers and miles of solar collectors connected to it by armored conduits for this was  where  The Grand Central Spaceport was situated. He saw the zones assigned to each country on Earth and the corporate and royal microstates, some were pople he knew vaguely Prince Thurn und Taxis was a real Head of State here with a royal charter colony with a colony named simply Thurn und Taxis that was built in Gruithuisen Crater on the edge of Mare Imbrium near the  end of the broken lands where the Promontorium Heraclides marked the end of the Montes Jura.  He and the Prince had gotten drunk together once at a mutual friends bachelor party. Because his wristband was unreliable here he used a wall phone to send a message to Lunapolis Taxi and then took his glidecycle back toward the church to turn in for his deposit near the cafe. Just as he finished his cab arrived and in short order brought him back to the Valley View Hotel. One of the most interesting aspects of the Moon Map Simulator is that it showed video of the three crater cap outposts which came before the first crater that was classed as a colony. The first was fifty yards in diameter, the second a hundred yards and the third was three hundred yards.It was in these outposts that the basic skills of crater capping had been developed and made the development of the Moon as a whole.

 It was about one when he got to his room. The Dreamliner was fully prepped. After he went to the bathroom to ready himself for the night he lay in bed and put on the mask, the socks and the half gloves. Then he peeled a fresh chestpad and stuck it to his chest. He fell quickly into a deep sleep.

Then he began his training to pilot the Armstrong while he slept.

Joseph woke at nine. He removed his Dreamlearner equipment and took a bath, soaking the strane lunar bubbles and waves of the familiar whirlpool. He got out of the tub and put on his athletic gear. He folded out the room’s exercycle near the computer station. Then he put on the televisor and picked up his e-tablet. He booked the first available birding lessons and flight sessions. He had a coupon for just this much birding that came with this suite. He scheduled the lessons while Roberta was working but the birding itself he shduked just in time for her to get there. He had just deposited his most recent severance payment from the Catapult company in the morning’s transactions. He used most of this money just for Roberta’s flight and suit rental. Then he firmed up dinner reservations at the hotel. He did all this while watching television quarter screen. There were several versions of his interview with Roberta on the air. He got her acceptance for the birding by text and a thanks for the flowers. Happily he redeemed his coupon for a walking tour leaving the Hotel and taking Insane Lane to the Birding Aerie and back. He simply would remain there and not come back with the tour. He and Roberta would come back in her car.

Joseph rushed down to the lobby and barely got to his tour group in time. Almost all were Americans in this group anyway. The couple next to him were from that part of Wyoming where some of his relatives had a ranch and he recognized the intonations and accents of the region right away. Two apparent brothers had on Red Sox hoodies he would have found warm and so he wondered how the Yankees could be enjoying them. A tall light-skinned black man with what he thought was the pronunciation patterning and manner of one of Louisiana’s Creoles of Color was asking the clearly Afro-Lunarian guide how long Insane Lane had been called by that name. The guide picked up a set of magnetic shoe meshes and answered the question.

” The settlers who built the Lane called it Insane Lane. The path is magnetized now and everyone on this tour must wear magnetized shoe meshes. there are also magnets catch points below the path. In addition birders at the aerie run a rescue service and will swoop down to rescue those falling from the path. Further every walker will be tied to two other walkers and a flybot except for the guides. On the way back some of you will stay to do some birding and if necessary guides will tie up to make up threesomes for the return trip. Now does everyone have the meshes Bob has been handing out?”

The guide was looking over his group and checking the faces of other guides. He nodded finally. ” We will be taking this shuttle bus outside to the Pond Piers over the falls. We will have a good look at the wall nests of a very large colony of parrots which have adapted to our cooler climate along with everything else they have to adapt to here. We have five days of freeze per year in Lunapolis and when we do the falls are heated to allow animals and birds who need warmth to avoid the cold. That is what these parrots do along with many others. They come near the falls. But right now they are just enjoying their normal roost.”

In the shuttle a very attractive redhaired Earth woman and her bronzed Earth husband sat in the two seats beside him. The woman had several rings on her fingers. She turned one in front of him so that he could see the small Culkathadreil Coat of arms etched on it. He felt unexpected speed as the shuttle left the hotel. He showed the woman the cooat of arms etched small on his wristwatch. She signed to him with her fingers in a code he knew well.

“Fire is Known.”

“I promised secrecy.” He signed back.

The woman gave the general sign of respect for a memeber of the House or Clan Culkathadreil who had a very much higher rank than oneself. The same sign could sometimes translate “Your Grace”,Your Highness” or any of a number of other honorifics. However, Joseph noted that it all very properly done. ” We know you had to kill the arsonists. One was an Assasin also.”

“I had to resign.”

“Armstong Agency has secrets. Check your route and be careful. We will leave special supplies in your room tonight.”

“What do you want?”

“Only to warn you. Armstrong Agency are not the pirates but they also study them and do not tell us anything. Those loyal to your family are also on the ship to Mars.”

The old signs were slow and laborious and he did have to see the parrots for cover. They were quite beautiful too. The trip was over and they were getting out once this information had been exchanged. When they got off the bus he and the woman were careful to take no interest in one another and to end up in separate threes. He thought he might have seen her however, perhaps at his Father the Grand Duke and Vice-Chieftain’s funeral. That would have been almost eleven years ago and her breasts had been a different apparent size, she had been single and her eyes had been one blue and one green not the two nearly violet globes he saw now but  he knew she was the one who played the violin for the funeral mass and then come to his mother’s reception — they had talked. He had not seen her before and now would not, in all likelihood, see her again. 

The path or lane was really terrifying for many. It was a foot wide and overlooked a drop of hundreds of meters in many places. But the views were spectacular and the whole tour made it to the birding aerie with no major incidents. Once there they could see that most had come by hovercar.

Saying goodbye to his tour Joseph went to the building with a large sign that read “Training”. He was greeted by enought different people to get confused and was fitted with a birding suit and then had most of it removed again. He and half a dozen other classmates had to identify the parts by repeating after the instructor. “Forewings” “forewings!”

The forewings had an unusual slope or camber that set up a rise in an odd shape to the front and then across the middle that allowed for varied angles of attack that still produced lift but were all the harder to predict for their unusual shape. They also had two lines of memory ports that acted as the feather assembly on a bird’s wing acts. When the wings pushed air down and back the ports locked and the wings created thrust as well as lift. But on the return strokes when the wings pulled forward the memory ports opened and the wings offered little resistance to the air but their unusual shape allowed them to catch a little redirected lift even on those strokes.

“Midwings…” “midwings!” He yelled out with the rest and noticed that these midwings were really hollow shaped airfoils of the type he knews best – “the smeared pyramid line” a buddy called it. There was none of the complexity of memory ports on these wings. They did not beat and only cut through the air like a hang glider. They had a much smaller area than an Earthly hang glider would need however to do this job.  

“Aftwings…” “aftwings!” The aftwings were bifurcated air foils and with two they were quadrufurcated airfoils. The complexity was getting mind boggling. These had the battery chargers and a system of webbing that gathered every random pressure and tension into ennergy to power a helmet jet and instruments and they had a kind of automatic compensating beating device. They beat four times fro each stroke delivered by humn muscle to their master joint. They were almost entirely covered wtih memory ports that allowed them to push back and down and cut easily on the return.  He could not really picture the whole function but he could see that they worked. He called out with the rest.

“Power tails” “Power tails” This assemblage connected to a kind of inflated body cast. A small  standard air foil was held out beyond the main tail and had air driven across it. Another traditional airfoil wing was above it near the top and had small rudder like blades on it. However the tails themselves were covered with memory ports. pushing air back and down in a single wall they opened like a sieve on the return stroke. He repeated the name of the component with the other students.

At this point Roberta showed up to meet him. They touched hands and smiled and she joined in a sort of simultaneous refresher course where she was partly with him while he went through the first-timer’s course. She had  been birding about twelve times and this helped to even out their skill sense he was a highly trained pilot and a really gifted athlete. The suits without wings were hooked up to wires, hooks, cables and sensors. The students were hoisted into the air in in a large room surrounded with screens and holoshow projectors. Even Joseph had one simulated crash. the other newcomers had more than a couple. The three refreshers had what might be called severe wobbles as they got reaquainted with the suits but did not crash. Roberta’s wobble was the least severe of the three who had birded before and she really looked at ease after that initial reminder. But all those in the class grasped the basics and  within a half hour they were flying. Then the wings were put on and they were suspended from a leader cable-arm and a tether by arms running on a rail. Soon they all displayed some grace and control. The arms ran five times around an oval track and the lessons were finished. He walked out wearing his suit with diassembled wings just in time to see that Roberta’s refresher course had actually eneded much sooner and she was waiting for him having got them each an energy soda. He  gave her a kiss on the cheek.

They were both helped into the real rental suits  for flying out in the world (which had alalrm beacons, medikits and automatic traffic lights on the soles of the feet, the gloves and the tops of the shoulders. They had these suits quickly tested and then both had their wings properly installed and they took to the air. A rigid helium filled baloon ran as a tube from mid back between the waists and shoulder blades to a spot rigidly supported almost a meter behind and exactly two old fashioned American feet above the birder’s feet. There was a sort of tentlike structure of three large almost soft and yet rigid cloth panels covered with memory ports that went over this tube and connected with both feet there was a fine webbing that readjusted automatically to get the best angle of attack. One or the other side panel could beat alone or elese the whol three fold desin could beat like a wing as the microcomputer responded to pressure readings on the fabric and the machanical design responded to the birder. This was the powertail.

 Another wing called the aftwing ran from the rib cage all along the outside of the legs and then portruded another  two meters out and a few inches behind each foot. here a boot had gyroscopes and beater arms to synchronize three follow up beats for every muscled beat. The memory ports guaranteed thrust and brute lift while the angled shape added to the general lift like a second wing on a biplane. These were the aftwings.

 Overlapping these about inch in back or above started the very flexible midwings which ended up secured to the outside of each wrist. It would seem that the arms would be used for flapping but the legs were more powerful and the wrists in their odd “loops of control” assemblies could bend the mid wings for all kinds of direction. The midwings had pull-out airfoils sections near each wrist which somehow merged back into the main perfectly every time but could allow cool effects and more hand freedom when needed. No memory ports confused this graceful Earthly design.

The last set of wings were the forewings with complex bumping arifoil shapes and limited memory ports in the  portion pointing out sharply from the back and a  few more clustered in the large graceful front section that went out like the tops of large angel wings above and behind the head. The fronts of the forewings were joined to eachother and both the birders hands with a very flexible and springy square of rods. Then each birder had a helmet with rudder and a small built-in jet. Working together the suits were amazingly varied and flexible in their capacities. 

Rough sketch of a lunar colony birdsuit as envisaged in the 21st century

They flew near enough to caves for him to see the many kinds of wall homes. They flew above and below and around hovercar lanes. By flattening out after a dive at just abouperfect performance and after starting right against the sky plates they could match speeds with the lower portions of a cable car run and look passengers in the eye for several seconds. They played among flocks of birds and flew in among bats leaving caves for the evening. They work their way to the rail tower and back. Then they got out of their suits and into Roberta’s car and drove like lunatics to get to their dinner reservation.They ate quickly and made love in the shower. Then Joseph asked if she could forgive him wearing the Dreamlearner while they slept. She agreed to forgive him and they slept together just touching on their sides and with their toes.

As he drifted to sleep he dreamed of the fire. He heard his boss’s voice saying (as he had in real life) “You killed four kids Joseph!” He saw one of the four burning his friend Ed alive with a flamethrower as he Joseph could do nothing to help him but was running through rails and beams finally shooting the flamethrower and roasting the killer quickly alive and to death. Then the Dreamlearner took over and he was in the Armstrong performing simple tasks.

When he awoke early in the morning Roberta was already dressed. He ate with her wearing a robe and asked if should meet him for a quick supper the next day. She agreed. “Thanks for everything.” she said. They kissed and he watched her go. Then he went back into the room to change clothes.

Once he had changed his message light was on and so he called the front desk. He asked what the message was. “There is a crater cap engineers and designers convention in the hotel. The Summers Foundation has left an invitation for you to join them at their reception tonight alome or with a guest. No need to RSVP you simply pick up the invitation on your way across the lobby between seven and ten.”

“That is unusual but I am pleased. I have admired the Summers Foundation for years, my family knew the old ones you know.”

 “I see sir, very well.”

 “Listen, I will have to get back and forth to the Armstrong Agency everyday for a while and don’t want to rent a hovercar can you suggest anything?”

 “Yes take the Fall Behind Elevators from the hotel gardens to the Floor their is a train station there and take the Floor train to Twin Towers Hill which is really the east side of the base of the Central Plug. Change trains at SunTzu Plaza and get off at Mouton’s Markets. The very large red dome towering over everything else is the Armstrong Agency’s main building.”

“Part of the floor’s 30 percent they must have stroke here…”

“They certainly do.”

While he was a the desk workstation in his suite he checked into the Summers Foundation online and downloaded his convention invitation to his own e-tab though he would not be likely to need it here in the Hotel. His e-tab cross-reference feature let him know that his neighbor on the shuttle would be there — Shan Da-Jiang was his name he was reminded.He also checked to see what the Foundation would be doing at the convention. He saw that a long with a few other things they would be sponsoring a historical holocube. He looked at one of the documents in the display as it was reproduced at the workstation it was called First Public Proposal. This was dated 2009:

  • Frank Wynerth Summers III 1. Craters are extremely abundant on the far side of the moon and quite abundant on all of the moon, on Mars, on many reachable and theoretical objects in the solar system and elsewhere.2. Craters are avaliable on earth for habitat testing.3. To a large degree craters are able to hold vast pressure differentials because the planet itself is the wall and it cannot really collapse.4. Science can be done and planetology studied both from and in the crater colonies.5. Objectively building a single plane and gaining the value of vast excavations requiring megatons of tnt worth of energy is a much better investment.6. Water and resources will tend to stay in the crater.7.Air and water vapor will tend to seek escape through the cap in which all space technologies are concentrated.8. On Mars certainly and the moon possibly many chemiclas needed to manufacture the atmosphere could be found in the crater.9.An asset of almost limitless value is being created rather than maintaininga very costly resource that is always very marginal almost every way.10. One can project straight lines to having hundreds of farms and 100s of thousands of persons in mining, space industries and service industries permanently living on Mars and on the Moon

   He decided that he would try to make it to the convention. He wanted to learn as much as he could about this technology — it seemed more urgent to him than he could have explained.

*****   ******    ******   *****

Elsewhere in the Lunapolis Crater Cap Colony there was a  building embedded in a cavern in a Communications Mall. Several of the top United Nations officials in the colony of Lunapolis were in the Casual Conversation Cube Cafe simulating a conversation with officials on the major UN orbital forts, the UN centers in New York and Geneva, the UN offices in the Grand Central Spaceport here on the Moon and a base on Mars. This was where these two officials attended the monthly meetings of a special committee called the Panel on Space Crises. The Casual Cnversation Cube provided real communication and also created an illusion of real time conversation, kept minutes, attached relevant documents to the transcript and sent out called for messages during the conversation. One of the UN officials was the UN Registrar of  Intermember Trade and had a good sized office on the colony floor. The other was a man who did not really seem to live in Lunapolis but showed up for these monthly meetings here whenever he was not piloting a longterm route on a ship. Over the past seven years he had made about half the mmetings at this spot and another quarter from the ships he piloted. The last quarter he simply missed without providing any explanation or excuse. Nobody seemed to know exactly where Thor Swensen truly lived. He was the Special Lunar Commissioner for Nonmember Issues and Relations. Nobody on this panel could find any other Special Commissioners for Nonmember Issues and Relations. Everyone else on the panel knew one another’s salaries but Thor received only annual bonus pay and an expense account. He did not look like he could really work for the UN. They knew he had a different style of speech here than anywhere else but this was more than Intelligence Officer cover. He seemed to really live multiple mysterious lives. He was speaking now.

“We have to take the possibility that this is an event of great significance very seriously. If we do not respond well then it need not be the cataclysm the late Doctor Taylor’s report suggests to greatly impact the United Nations. Contact with aliens must be handled and handled very well by the UN or we will lose almost all real claim to legitimacy in the Space side of things. All of our members are very influenced by their Space establishment. I have proposed we doulble the original investment in the placement of technical equipment and experts on the Neil Armstrong”.

“Your request has been approved Commissioner Swensen”. The answer came from Subsecretary for Space Hillman Barclay in New York.

“Thank you. I do want to go on the record that my request was minimal and state that I am in favor of risking any expansion of resources the Panel may approve without my vote”.

“It is so noted. That is unlikely, however I have used your report to reschedule some military assets into a support role”.


After the meeting Thor called an old friend who was in his third home in the French Colony of Petit Bourdeaux. Jean Claude Landry answered the phone. “JC this is Thor”.

“How are you pal”?

“I am OK. Listen, there is a big event coming down the pipe involving the Armstong, UN and some mysterious science. I will not be able to talk to you about it again. I think you are likely to get a job offer somehow related to this. I urge you to take it we need the best on this team”.

“I hear you pal. It is on my tickler now. I will do what I can”.

Then Thor called into the Pilots Guild and “accidentally” dumped a partial scrambled file from  his recent reconaissance flight with a wormhole detector into a public chat center in the guild. He did not know who would look into this but he figured somebody would do this”.

He then looked at the itinerary for the Neil Armstrong and saw that one of the prize winners was a solid pilot with a security background named Joseph Culkathadreil. He was able to decide that this guy would be a good cabinmate for the trip. He was known enough on the records not to be a spook or pirate and yet not part of the UN network people he was trying to avoid being absorbed by. He also had ties to many institutions of significance which were not seated meber nations. He left he building and began to change his voice, gait and mannerisms. Soon the events inside seemed a foggy and distant memory.  

Under a peculiarity of Lunapolis law any portion of one’s name had most of the uses of of the legal and correct name. This was used by all sorts of people indifferent ways although a serious searxh of the record lines of someone not lying about their names would lead tothe full name and identification eventually. But Thor Patrick Swensen-O’Brien had a long standing identity as Patrick O’Brien who was a regular customer and ten percent owner of the corporation that owned The Boston Commons Bar. This was far more than a bar,  it had five great rooms: an Irish Pub, an American New England lobster house witrh a  bandstand, a large dance hall, a typical Lunarian Mining Engineers nightclub with pool tables and darts and scantily clad waitresses and a select market for premium garden produce.  It was one of two of the most important social gathering, eating and drinkinking places in the colony. The other was the fiefdom of the Grazzini family which was a huge first class restaurant called  The Roman Empire. Patrick O’Brien had a whole host of business dealings with Tomasino Grazzini who was one of the pricelings of the tribe of restauranteurs. Thor put in colored contact lenses sprayed on instant heir color for these meetings in person and only met him a few times each year even on a busy year.

He stood in the farmers market and accepted a purchase order for mushrooms, celery, endive, onions, and olives which met certain standards and which the Grazzini’s could not be sure of getting enough of from their own direct farmers.  This done they transacted some legal marijuana cigarette import business because together they held a near monopoly an the legal wholesaling of this product. Then O’Brien asked  the question he had been formulating. “Do you remember when we had the last names disclosed of the big bosses who won the legal marijuan production plant that supplies us and we found one big guy. Everyone in our business calls him Seigneur Daniel but do you remember his last name — I might have to look it up”  

“Well, it is hell to pronounce when you read it but yes I do remember his name. It is Daniel Culkathadreil”.

“Thank you, I really appreciate that.  I thought that was it”.         


Chapter two of the sixty four chapters of my online novel

Chapter Two “Sex in the City” of Part One “The Moon” a science fiction novel in progress

by Summers Progress on Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 6:25am

The walk to the car was already something special. He felt both attraction and something more for Roberta. But he was aware that neither one of them was really eligible to fall in love and Joseph liked being in love in much the same way that some men liked horseracing, skiing or snorkeling. He looked at Roberta and was determined he would take whatever he could find between them but he also wished for things he had not found or felt in many years.

“You made it clear that this is your first trip to the Moon and I know you just came through the Autodoc scanners. I don’t mind telling you I think you are kind of cute. I think you like me too.”

“Indeed I do like you Roberta.”

“Well, Lunarian women are pretty honest about sex. I would say that if we have a nice time at dinner I consider it a possibility.”

“Then I would consider it a very nice one. How about a kiss here by the lake as a first step.”

“I could do that.”

“They suited deed to word and lingered a while. During that time the Jim Lovell fountain went off in the middle of the pond and shot water lit by lights 200 meters into the air. He felt a tiny spray before they stopped. The taste of the apple, the spray and the thick air and low gravitydrove the experience into his mind. They held hands as they walked towards her hovercar. They synchronized their loping very well. The hovercar was a 2261 Ford Lunarabbit. It had no trunk and was not very fast but it was very popular in the lunar colonies. They lifted up into the final fall of spray and were soon above it. A screen projected on the windshield showed them drawing into one of the air ramps and then into an airlane in which hovercars only were permitted. Then they sped up to about 85 kilometers an hour and headed for one of those big Hotels by a waterfall which he had seen on his way down the elevator.

“Tell me about your home pretty lady. What am I looking at it is all pretty new. I have seen some tv tours but this is very different.”

“American Crater Cap Colonies in our district include four older colonies than ours. The colonies in Ritter, Sabine and Cronkite Craters and all of them were after the first international colony. The Brits have a lot on the Sea of Tranquility but not as much as we do. Our Tauruntius Crater is about fifty six kilometers in diameter and is one of the ten  biggest. Only the really big colonies have those thin silver steel building as office towers you see. The Lunar law requires on for every square Lunar mile. So we have quite a few as well asour large standard columnar building that have the only large elevators and vertical conduits that make our whole colony  work.  We also have the large stone and earth post in the middle that is a natural feature and houses our armory and Lunapolis University.” She pointed at all these  features as she spoke and her voice and gestures were so pleasant Joseph had trouble folloeing her gestures.  She paused to let him spot all that and then turned to the object nearer at hand “The fountain and the waterfall s are pretty but they also help keep the air fresh and humid and clean. About half the fountain water gets back into the pond. Most of the rest falls as spray and keeps down dust and helps with watering. Mist from the four big falls does the same thing. We have five scheduled rains a month during the wet months and one surprise rain. For seven months it is all sprinklers and soaker pipes but they increase the flow on the falls and double the fountain shots. Some tourists like the wet season and some like the dry.”

“Weren’t three crater around here named after Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin back in the twentieth century?”

“They sure were. Luckily none of them are prime colonizing craters. They have all been left alone and are viewable from a tourist train and a viewing tower. I have done the Armstrong Day broadcast there twice. But we have colonies in the American Sector of USA colonies called Collinston, Armstrongville and BuzzEdwinia. Aldrinia is one the best devloped proprietary colonies I have seen and is in the USA Temperate Zone Protectorate a nice train ride north of here on a direct track”.

“You really know this place”.

“Well most Lunarian journalists have worked for Earth media more than a few times telling audiences the same things over and over again. I am no exception”.

“Well, you are still an exceptionally noce looking and well informed tour guide”.

“You don’t have to flatter that much. You already have my attention”. 

 “Well, late me ask you a bit less soft of a question that qhere and how then.  Don’t you ever mind living in a place where weather comes out of a can as they say?”

 “Well it is a very nice can.”

 ” So is yours.”

 “That is as close as you have gotten to naughty.”

 “I can get a bit naughtier.”

Roberta  lowed for a moment and banked as two taxis came closer to colliding in an airlane than any tow cars he had seen so far. she seemed to have been able torecover most of her speed as she came back into the line. He saw the cars computer telling her how it was adjusting on various screen read-outs. Her firm breasts and skin never baked  in an unfettered sun for long mixed with a skill and ease he kept finding more and more attractive. She rolled her eyes from the traffic and sort of looked him over again before speaking.  

“You seem to like Lunapolis pretty well so far. Not just me I mean.”

“I think it is a really amazing place. The crater cap colonies have always amazed me.”

“Yes, 200 years ago there was no air or  concentrations of surface water or life in this crater and there had never been any air, life and almost never any liquid water. We did hit one big ice deposit in early mining but the Equatorial colonies almost all import water. We buy it from temporate colonies with  ice mines, from the UN Polar Pumping Authority and form the Space Water Market. Our population keeps growing faster every year”.

Just about this moment an agressive hovercar cut past them and Roberta banked expertly. Two small jets mounted on the stubby four wings angled down a bit and the six propellors built into the land wheels spun faster. The aftwings extended another two feet each. Then moments later everything went back to its earlier setting. Joseph thought that like everything on the moon the Hovercars looked simpler than they were. This was a sophisticated aircraft.

“Seems like things are moving along pretty well. The town really seems to work. How many people live here.”

“In Lunapolis itself we have about a quarter of a million souls. Not a very big town on Earth but the second most populous on the Moon.”

“Wow, I look down below us and I see lakes, streams, fields, orchards, parks and greenhouses. I see two huge skyscrapers that I know are mostly offices, elevators, repair shops and railworker dorms. It’s hard to believe there half that many people living here.”

“I mentioned the skinny metal buildings. They are more than half offices but have samll shops and condominiums too.  We call the skyscrapers sky holders here. But otherwise you are right, we live in the rooms attached to all those holes, gates, balconies and cave gardens you see on the walls. Most colonies have a seventy percent agriculture and nature law, seventy percent of the floor has to be agriculture or our version of wilderness ecosystem. But in Lunapolis we have an eighty percent ordinance. In addition we have a huge mushroom farm in some of the oldest worked out sections of our mines down below. Most of what we export here is food, tourism and hard science. I saw on your etab schedule when we linked ups units that you had a bus ticket to the Mushroom Malls and were planning to stay at the Ben Bova Hotel. It is the best hotel in a mine on the Moon probably and we have some good boarding houses near the mushroom farms and a small water park. But the mines are pretty rough that is where people cram in”.

“What are the homes there like?”

“Usually a few rooms in each family home sharing a small patio cave with four other homes. The real cheap livings are in dorms. People spend all they have to ship in from Earth in sleeper tubes if they have heart trouble or any of another number of diseases that are esier to treat a s poor person in low gravity than as a rich person on Earth. People come because there is no extradtion and they come to work the mines. Some come believing they will be happy if they can just end their lives off planet — some seem to be right. They all start off living in the mines, well almost all”.  

“So where do the more prosperous live and how do they live here on the Moon”.” 

“Well the best of our homes are in the Waterfall Hotel Sections, the very few private home lots allowed on the floor or in the old neighborhoods of the crater rim parks. The majority of natives live in cave garden apartments in the walls –like me, my parent and all my siblings. But your cousin’s address is where newcomers often start. They live in the dorms in the mines. They are the folks most likely to survive catastrophic breach but otherwise it’s not a very nice area. But it is not like a slum on Earth. First of all your cousin is very likely to have  moved to a cheaper colony and a better house or else has gotten established in a better place here. Some people stay in the mines for generations but mostly they are upwardly mobile people in a land of opprtunity or else they are people with a deecnt lifestyle of low status and wealth. We have no slums  on the American Moon reallly.We have few on the Moon at all.”

“You said the second biggest population. What is the biggest”?

It is the capital of the Chinese Colonial Sector on Mare Frigoris. The colony is called Xiao Beijing and it is built in the Endymion crater which is kind of shallow and insecure looking but is very wide at about 125 kilometers. They have three quarters of a million colonists there and very long, wide and developed mines that now house underground roads and trains connecting Xiao Beijing to the other Chinese crater cap colonies”.

“On the train from the Grand Central Spaceport to the Green Pyramid and Port Clearance here in Lunapolis I saw a few robots, telescope and lots of trains but almost nothing else disrupting the airless natural moonscape. Then you come through the cap and there is the whole world. It is really very dramatic.”

“The Grand Central Spaceport is the biggest development on the Moon outside of the Crater Cap Colonies. Excuse me a second this is a quick ramp to our last lane. I have to pay attention.”

Saying this Roberta accelerated the hovercar. She also pressed a glow button and Joseph felt himself slammed back into his seat. Roberta grinned at his surprise . ” We are allowed one untaxed  boost per day and I think that this will be mine.”

Although he was not sure how traffic systems worked here he could tell Roberta was moving from the main lanes to a sort of feeder route straight towards a wall. The color of several screens in the car changed from green to gold. In seconds he could clearly see the sign that read Hotel Valley View over the entryway. He could see the swimming pools and waterpark as well as the people flyfishing in the pond above the falls. Then in seconds they had landed. Once he had time to notice he saw that they had landed on a broad rubber and metal mesh conveyor belt. Two uniformed valets stepped on the belt and helped them out of the car. He pulled his small e-tablet from his pocket and showed them his contest committee information as they were walked on to a smaller adjoining belt moving a bit slower which deposited them on a still slower moving turntable. He saw that the valets had on watches that were downloading from the e-tablet. The watches had all sorts of barely visible instruments but they were hidden by large antique looking analog watch faces under a diamond sheet cover. The hands seemed to be the real mechanical kind.

Both valets were smiling as they finaly reached the stable pavement. “Well, congratulations on your win sir. You do not have any luggage with you?”

“I just got to Lunapolis. I do have a case at Port Clearance though.”

‘May we send for it?’

“Well fellows I am trying to impress the lady on my arm so I hate to ask but how much will that set me back?”

“It is certainly included in your prize winnings Mr. Cul-Ka-tha-dreil.”

“You even pronounced my name correctly. So please do send for my luggage.”

“I believe you texted in a request for an early reservation for dinner, is that right?”

“I did indeed.”

“Then we will have you escorted to your table and when you finish dinner the case will be awaiting you in your suite.”

“Sounds great. Are you ready to eat, my new Miss Dupuis whom I am calling  Roberta, or is it too early.”

“Not too early. It sounds fine to me.”

The valet affected a formal bow somewhat disguised as a gesture indicating a slight brunette holding menus and standing inside the entry to the grand lobby. “Please follow Meeza there. She will lead you to your table.”

The dinner was served after they had checked their outside vests in the coatroom and been issued temporary outer clothes. Roberta got a shawl and he a jacket. The dinner was rather grand for each of them far finer than the pilot;s bar on the station. But Joseph had known finer dinners. Roberta had not, it was the grandest meal that she had ever had in the finest surroundings.

“Well this is really nice.” Roberta was blushing a little.

“Can you imagine how lonely it would be for me without you here. I am very grateful for the company. I kind of hope you are not married, engaged or part of the prize and that you are thinking of spending some time with me for the next two weeks”.

“I am none of those things. I am willing to consider making a long-term commitment of two weeks as a possibility.” She laughed.

“My life is complicated Roberta. But I won’t ever forget you. I am not trying to be flattering — I could never forget this magical moment. I am not much of a forgetting person anyway.”

“Do you like the band?”

“Yes, Roberta. Would you like to dance?”

” I think that I might.”

They danced a great deal between courses and drinks. Later they ordered another round of drinks into his room. Then their dancing resumed in a more primal and intimate form. Yet it was not ancient or primal either for no ancient man and woman around the gatherings at Lascaux’s caves had mated in such a bed in one sixth gee and in such dense air. They had a wonderful evening. But when Joseph lay back with her on his shoulder he thought of a Culkathadreil family shrine far away, of dreams of family and children and of the days he and his exwife had shared so long ago. A single tear ran down his cheek in the dark and he thought of what two weeks might be like with this beautiful and amazing woman who lay nude and warm against him.

When he did fall asleep he dreamed. In his dream he was on the great ship which he had seen in the videos and the animations on the e-tablet. There was nobody else on the ship. He was wearing his old uniform from the Jupiter Orbiter Station run he had made on the planetary ship The Endeavor. Smoke and mist was pouring up into the corridor where he was walking from the vents in the baseboards. Then he saw his exwife standing at the end of the corridor. She was wearing his junior college rugby jersey and nothing else underneath or along with it. She seemed to be able to see him but not to be looking at him very closely.

Then she waved to him not too kindly or coldly. and began to move on down the corridor. He tried to follow her. The floor was growing hot. He called out, no he could not because the smoke was choking him. He rushed forward and his feet burned.

Then he woke. He was sweating a bit.

Roberta was awake and looking at him. “Are you OK? You were calling out. You kept saying “fire”.

“Did I really.”

“Yes, you did.”

“I am sorry Roberta. I lost my last job after a fire, I got a severance package and decided to try a new start on the Moon. Maybe it affects my dreams.”

“You said you hadn’t flown in a while.”

“I worked catapult security and it was an act of arson.”

“Sounds like it could give you nightmares.”

“Please forgive me and try to go back to sleep. We can talk about it in the morning.”

“I don’t know if we have to go straight to sleep.”

“If that’s how you feel then I completely agree.”

There was a tenderness in their lovemaking that had not been there the first time before the dream. After they made love Roberta put her head on his chest again and talked about her family. She was the oldest of three children and her father had been a musician while her mother had been a Lunar Radio Corporation Executive. She had a brother and a sister who were both married. She had been engaged to a UN Blue Wings Space Fighter Pilot who had started off as a US Air Force Pilot. But he had been killed by the pirates he had caught trying to bring a freighter of smuggled uranium to their buyers running a cap contract in a work site in a far side crater. His name had been Geronimo and she had really loved him.

After they talked a while they had sex with a bit more rawness and passion. This time they both fell asleep exhausted and they did not dream or talk again until the time for free in room gourmet coffee gourmet personal breakfast and a paper had passed. They woke and they were a little awkward as each gave the other all the contact information which they could find or think of and linked their e-tabs for more still. They ordered a brunch in the room and rejoiced that they had met on the day before the weekend in Lunapolis which meant it was Saturday morning. It turned out that lunch for two was part of the prize on weekends but not weekdays. Then they made love one more time and then went to the whrirlpool tub and had mugs of coffee from the coffee machine in the suite. Just about the time they finished the doorbell rang and they put on their robes and let the staff set up their brunch.

“I hope you can join me for supper tomorrow he said as they finished eating.”

“You’re a good listener. That is the next hole in my work schedule. I wouild be happy to help you spend your prize money on food tomorrow.”


Joseph watched her dress then he walked her toward the door and kissed her goodbye. The closing of the door made him feel sad. but he pushed the thought of goodbye away.

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

Grorgios Onassis-Papandreiou was in Crater Sinas E which was still waiting for the final paperwork on its colonial name and which was on the iregular southwestern border of the Lunapolis Sector of the Mare Tranquilitatis. It had been capped only two years earlier but it was being developed by investors with deep pockets and was tiny compared to Tauruntius Crater so it was moving fast. This was to be a joint project of the Greek and USA governments and was the central training camp and headquarters off-Earth for the Olympic Committee of each country.  He was a very well respected architect, naval architect, aviation architect and space transport engineer. He had been heired to build the Low Gravity Training Center. He was taking advantage of the opportunity to use the skill of the experts he was working with to get into shape and was finding some of his health problems were disappearing. He was eighty-seven and had been through some tough things in life. However, his health had improved so much in the low gravity routine in the last six months that he decided to take a much smaller fee to design and oversee the building of a hotel on Mars than he would normally take if they would pay for him to have a full autodoc therapy tube on the six month sleeper. He would seal in here on the Moon and take tender ship to connect with his ship while unconscious which was already on its way from an Earth Orbital dock. It was time for him to get to the Old NASA Memorial Hospital at Grand Central Spaceport. He had to say his goodbyes and had done so with everyone but one. The middle aged doctor in his bed was Harriet Bliss who had been a medical consultant with the Sports Medicine Group. She actually had published a paper on the erections of older men getting into shape on the Moon. He could not help feeling that he might just be research. But he had not had sex in four years before this relationship.

He called in the room service that only he and a few others were entitled to receive. He set the table and as his middle-aged lover came to the table he kissed her hand. “I will miss you Doctor Bliss. But we are both headed to Mars, maybe we can see eachother there.”

“I hope so Georgie. When the Armstrong arrives in port it should be on every news medium on the planet but you won’t be there yet. I am not sure when I will get home but I am sure that I will check and keep a lookout for your ship as long as I am there”.

“That sounds great, Harriet. I have sent my luggage on ahead to the train station already and have arranged for you to be welcome to these rooms for the next three days if you wish to use them. But I really must leave in a few minutes”.

“Darling, I am not as new to the spacer’s life as you are.  Bad scheduling and long separations are likely with anyone you meet. We can take this as carefully as we can. I really do like you — don’t worry”.

They talked a bit more and then kissed passionatley and she watched him leave. Mentally she rated him the thrid best octogenarian  

lover she had ever had and not as good as the ninety three year old who had just gotten out of ten-year slow-boat rejuvenation sleeper tube to mars. She liked that these men treated her as though she were young and tender. She could remeber a time when she had been both and she often missed that time. She did not stay for three days and as she caught the Lunapolis train home she rode in the same car with the Dupuis Band. She chatted with the lead singer she had met a few days before and he told her they usually played at a Lunapolis bar called the Boston Commons. He also transferred a file to her e-tab of bars and clubs worth seeing at least once in Lunapolis.

On arriving in Lunapolis through the hilly and rocky passes of the new track from Sinas E she saw the new array of meteor dtection scopes beside the old Kepler 12 Planet Search Array.  The bleakness of the landscape still frightened her more than open space. She loved the crater colnies but hated the surface more than an asteroid belt and could not figure out why.   Leaving the train she returned her fashionable tailored travel suit to her rental agency and caught the express elevator to Lunapolis University. She walked amid the students and junior faculty on Central Cavern Way to the Library.  She called on and old friend who was heading the biology research task force.  Their paths had crossed on Earth, the Moon and in space. He was eating a simple lunch in a faculty lunchroom with  a woman friend and they were generous enough toserve her some of their ample prepared meal of redfish coubouillion on rice and bacon wrapped doves with salad. It was delicious. “I am saying goodbye to an old friend the once again Ms. Guidry who was Mrs. Broussard-Summers. She is a great Acadian cook and has just come from selling the second home she got from her ex-husband in a divorce a few years ago. She is on her way to Grand Central Spaceport to catch a shuttle to a Supercruiser to Mars to meet her fiancee and was kind enough to feed me on her way out”.

“Good to meet you, I am called Dr. Bliss here. I got divorced twelve years ago, I believe it was. I wish you well”.

“Yes, it is kind of difficult right now we had good memories in that home”.

“Where was your home”?

“In the Ethnos Arkadios Corporation  proprietary colony in Menelaus Crater on the Mare Serenitatis. It was a nice wall house”.

“I have been there. It is a very nice place and I really like the casino”.

“Well we were five hundred yards west of the Casino near the Carl Brasseaux Memorial Archives and overlooking theWolves of the Wild World Zoo and the dog park”.

“That’s a very nice area”.

After exchanging some confidential research files with her friend she went to the Central Plug Cable Car Staion and caught a cable car to the station nearest the hotel  where she had her suite. In her room she opened her account on the Armstrong Agency’s webchannel and watched the interview withJoseph Culkathadreil. She ignored the female interviewer and noted that the pilot she would be traveling to Mars with was  nice looking despite a shabby ruggedness. She smiled at the possibilities this brought up.