Just some little pieces of ice, traveling along, as they’d done for billions of years, they just recently met up with Marconi's first signals, as they got near the sun, invisible, to small to form a decent comets tail. They traveled, along with the Beta Taurids, and every 30th of June, they met Earth’s orbit, like they had been doing since the time of the great Ice Age actually.
Down, on the now approaching planet, the reindeer were not at ease, that day there was too many mosquitoes; the taiga’s air was alive with them, almost singing, at a very high pitch. Trees, trees, and trees, reindeer moss, rocks in the soft muddy soil, permafrost preventing the ground to properly drain.
“Where is the rope?”
Ev wanted to know who had the tool he needed to get one of the reindeer; they caught up with that afternoon.
“The rope is with me, we (with you) will get the beast”.
It was hot, Siberia in mid summer is hot, but this was only June 30, so it shouldn’t be this bad yet. It was though, and the reindeer suffered, the insects were early too this year of 1908.
They were Tungus/Evenks, their lives had until very recently been the same since forever and before. In the last few decades more Russians had come into the Yenisey river basin, and down the Tunguska River. Fur traders, strangers, they came from the south, were there were towns along the great railroad, at Vanavava there was even a trading post. About 650 km to the south lay Krasnoyarsk, more to the east where the railroad crosses the Kan River, lay Kansk (56 degrees 13 minutes north, 95 degrees 41 min. east).
At the train station people noticed a second sun setting in the north, and it was a long time yet till night, wrong, something’s not right. No sound was heard, it takes time to cover 600 km. for a shock wave to travel, even for this wave; the laws of physics don’t allow exceptions.
Ev didn’t hear any thing, he was deaf, most of the trees were standing, still strait, but they were all waving at him, and waving and waving, one tree was waving with their tent. The reindeer had all decided this was not a nice campsite, a hoof insight. His brother was snoring; he slept right through everything.
About 3000 km 2 of taiga lost every tree standing strait, no crater though, only trees flattened. Not one bit of material was found, not even deep in the muddy soil, though even as far as 60 km away from the center of the blast, people were thrown on the ground. The comet Encke, a man down west in England, Frank Whipple, thought, had had a hiccup, and spit on the earth, 50 km/sec. It must have been a small piece exploding several km up in the air. It took a revolution and 20 years before the place was investigated. And sixty years more to get it investigated on a yearly base. When they brought along a mass spectrometer, they finally found traces of extraterrestrial material.
(Date a nice summer day in the year 2020).
Bright light and, and a shock wave coming down, it pushed the waters aside, on the gravel banks 20 meters down, (that’s 40 L!), you could see Mammoth’s teeth smiling at ya they say. Well just for an instance, than the bank was hit, pushed down, and it came up again, (Far above its original level). So, for Mr. and Mrs. Herring: no more spawning here. Part of the waters turned into clouds of mud together with the Bank, most of the water moved away in a few big ripples. Such a wave can travel from Alaska to Hawaii in just 4 and a half hours, (over all speed, 800 km/h.), and when it breaks its legs over the floor, the threshold being the coast line, gets as high as any building. Harbor wave, Tsunami.... Within an hour the North Sea’s coasts were wiped clean. Part of the coast had been evacuated; we watch space these days, wise thing to do. There were some big things moving in the sky recently, things got out of hand since the UNO gave away the sky to the wrong people, and greed took over. They had discovered D2 ice in some comet heads, and enormous veins of Iridium in the planetoid “Ban Hoff 2001b”, the first planetoid that got its name through the telephone.
“What are you going to call the planetoid? I don’t understand Munich, lousy telephone line...hallo? Ich versteh Banhoff!”
That’s German for I can’t make anything of what he’s saying, I understand train station of what he says, somewhere down the lines the computers and the bureaucrats took over. Several ore probes visited Ban Hoff, and plans were made to get it to the Moon, or better to LaGrange.
There’s a lot of story to be told yet, before we know what must have happened during those years. But who had time to write thing down, the sky was falling on our head. Some one Surfed for 20 miles, land inward, (California.... and lived to tell the story), but 4/5 of Earth’s population just didn’t make it, and as for us still here, we’re after the ones who done it, yeah, who done it?
The Velikovski Project.
“My first impression of the place?” There was not a metal object in sight that was not rusty, or corroded. Oil drums, what you have? Leaky ones, airplane-bits and pieces all over the place, and small rocks dwarf trees and mosquitoes. I mean the insects.
Some low hills and a gravel beach, there were no bigger animals insight, there was absolutely no sound at all in the air, except for the crackling sound of the Geiger counter of one of the team members, and the noises our shoes made. You hear the sound of some one hitting him self with the flat hand, and kicked at the reindeer mosses.
“Aye, but lots of flies! Shit they bite”. We finished the last bit of our investigation. It hadn’t been a very large base; this isn’t Nova Zemlya you know. My nose started to itch, as did my wrist.
“Take pictures and lets get out of here, far off from Midjungards!”
About 39 years ago nobody would have dared to even think about this place up north. Today no one took the trouble.
There was no oil, no gold or fur to be found, and all in all everything was still rather radio active, after a slight mishap, that failed to reach the networks, or even the grapevines. And yet, yeah what, I got bitten quite nasty by all those little critters. I looked up at the backside of the moon and walked back to the Zep, and to decontamination, don’t want any dust on the carpets. That might spoil the pictures still in my Hasselblatt.
No trouble during take off, this Zep has a lifting body, and boosters that can turn, to blow the sand in your eyes, Flame says, who’s she? First the other Lady, she even has a sister, Jeannette, we listened very carefully to what she had to say too. There are lots of places to hide away nasty old secrets up here. Henrietta: that’s the other Lady, she’s a cold-hearted Lady, even in august, we checked her out, and we left her, as she was, (156 east, 77 north, or something). Maybe we’ll come back later. I went into my pod.
The Zep isn’t that much of a craft, for a Durable rather small, actually. But it does the job. (The first airship reached the North Pole on May 11, 1926. And we’re not in an Italian build, "Semi Rigid". Construction methods have somewhat improved over time, one could say). The big Pumpkin could fly through a hurricane, (and get in trouble with the lawyers for damaging rainfall in Guatemala). Still... We have to travel large distances, over rough lands, mountains, Glacier fields, your basic Tundra, mosquito infested, vast, so we are mighty cautious.
From Krasnoyarsk to Anchorage, with a lot of places where we stop in-between, that takes a lot of time, using any kind of craft. Anyhow, I’m not the skipper. I’m an investigator for the Northern Federation, I’m a Goth by name of Afhaimeis, and that’s how I feel anyhow, they call me Far-out, (or is it far off). And sometimes I’m called Wolfs, my first name. I’m an investigator, as I said, for the Agency. So now I fly high up in the sky. Mostly Siberia, and sometimes Cyberia. What do I seek? Well, some odd years ago somebody did a lot of writing, asking, calculating, on the Net, (it’s still intact), so I fly, and investigate. And I write my log as I’m ordered. And, what? Coffee break. Oh, aye, in Russian it’s Genrijetty to be correct. She’s an island.
===== “Far, coffee break, get out of your coffin, sunjon, sorry”
“Yes, right, I’ll let the computer go on with the novel logs (Enter Lg.). I got out into the cabin we use for our job, me invest, Flame, and Sparks, now taking over a set of headphones from Flame, comm. I kept one eye on my computer; I got about 16 sites here on board, ways in I mean. It often plays tricks on us....
“I want Darjeeling, not coffee. Henrietta should have been in the pack-ice, it wasn’t, and not so much veggie’s!”
“ Yeah, and them little flies, they liked me too, munching grumpy old Goths was too much for them I guess!”
“Aye so they had a Red-head for desert”. Flame looked rather gnat stricken at that time, the Arctic is full of Life...But more about our ship; I took my Velotype along with my tea, I’m always making notes.
“Right” Sparks, (a rather sinister name, for a communications officer on an air ship, even a Helium/Hot air version), had come down the spine of the ship, to take over communication watch from Flame, (the second Com person). Sparks (coming down the spine)? Aye, 600 L., 300 meter that is. I’ll try and describe the ship. It looks like half a peanut, a long one, I guess, (without the scales). It’s Six hundred Ells long, and Two hundred wide, and a hundred high. The part we use is near the bottom. Right, about six hundred, I wrote… The total ship is a bit more, you can make such a ship as big as is needed, it’s made out of Nano stuff, carbon-fiber, Buckywire, Buckytex, tubes as big as a C60 molecule, the electronic wiring inside the tubes, so thin that a hundred backups don’t make no difference. So we got a thousand for everything. So every thing is very strong, very light, and very Nano. Nano stuff is nice, as long as you know where to find it. (We lost an entire factory on the ship). The ship is rather old, odd looking now, silver and black, the solar collectors and heat control-device woven into the skin, bucky tubes, gold filled, but it is strong and fast, and able to go into the stratosphere, and thus the jet-stream. Saves a lot of time, when we fly with the stream in our backs. Our average speed is 500 km/h that’s a million L/h. The inside? ...Sparks is nosing over my shoulder. Adjusting earplugs all the time. “Don’t look, story’s not finished yet!”. The structure goes back a long, long time, under a different moon, and a different flag, old ideas, before the airplanes, and just after. You mix a squid with the Hindenburg (the), and take away the arms, the tentacles, we’ll talk arms later, in go the bones of a Barracuda, air, gas rather, compartments, like those of the Titanic, that’s an old ship recently re rediscovered, and partly laying in the restored Smithsonian. I’m not a Greek but I do write long lines don’t I. Air compartments, so that we don’t sink. Fall out of the heavens, whatever. All the electronics and wires and stuff you need, fly by light, we’re not a kite no, are either woven into the skin or inside the fish bones and the spine, fly by light, also in the dark, glass-cable to send signals all over the ship. Static’s killed the big H. remember: A spark in the dark. And sparks, we don’t want them to steer the ship, or to look over our shoulders. So not all the lines, or nerves are electronics. Some are laser. I’ll let MANIAC 2 tell you the rest of the story for a while.
“Where’s my tea? ...” Computer on:
“I’m the computer, I’m the backup for Sparks, (Mr.Richthoven), Flame, (O’Connor), no Flame and I don’t have a relation, what? Far, (Afhaimeis), and 60 others, all 67 of us, yes I can compute, and even count. I’m the cutest computer you can imagine... Well the sweetest anyhow, my memory banks are sugar-based, one or two bytes please? I’m not talking about the captain’s daughter; she’s the only one who plays with me, not on the Puskin. More about the Great Pumpkin, what did the Inspector write? The Puskin I mean, a rather Russian name, for a ship stationed at Constance and Friedrichshafen, where else, Z. was born here, and built in Chicago, Illinois. Mew. Much of the technical concepts are British/Dutch, they worked with carbon all the time, and with enzymes. The Enzymes build the Carbons. Arms; a squid can change colors so can we, and we collect energy, solar cells, and static electricity, so sometimes, I spark in the dark, I have to, otherwise the crew will look too much like the ship when they make earth, carbon. I can change the ship into an imitation of a thundercloud, if the captain tells me to, to get rid of electrons, and enemies, this is not a peaceful century, like for instance the 20th was. But who wants to know my personal opinions, I’m a Computer, a very sweet one.”
I took over from the computer; it has a tendency to gossip. I spilled tea on my knee…
“There goes even more linen. Far, you should wear a space suit when you drink your stuff”.
I showed my teeth to Flame, and watched the computers. Several of them were doing my job now....
“That’s enough for now, Maniac off: no wait, it forgot about the Heliofoamstuff, foam filled with Helium, made in orbit, light as air, the walls and sealing are made out of it. “
Want sunflower seeds Sparks?” Every body is always reading along, as I write it, over my shoulders.
“Get your hair out of my tea!”
“Wulfs, (Far out!), you left the computer babbling on again, or did it switch it selves on again? “
“Right. Del. please.” Flame reached out to the board
“Flame leave it on, use the other one, this one is classified. I’ll take over and see what it wrote.”
“It wrote mew... I’ll check it out...Mew?” " I left, and went into my Coffin for a while to have some intimacy with my computers. I don’t want it to gossip over us again, the brain of the babbling balloon, (from Friedrichshafen, or was it Constance). My computer, and me Wolfs, we talk too much and listen well to. We have to figure out what happened, so I launch my Drones, (Thramstei 5.) The micro planes we carry on board. Not the ones which defend the Z, I mean the spying ones we use we take probes, fly over Siberia and central Asia. The Comity wants to know what happened, and so wants everybody else, a thousand million of us. We’re rather in the dark, shaken, and I’m afraid also stirred. Take Henrietta for instance, the land we just lost sight off, she’s much too green, hasn’t been so green since the mighty Mammoth roamed the lands. Sure the sun still rises, and so does the moon. But the year has 360 days now, and we’ve been lucky I guess, it takes just as much time to get through those 360 days as it used to take through the 365 days, some decided to make our seconds longer, to eat up those 5 days we lost. Loosing 5 days in a year is enough to make ones heart beat slower anyhow. So know you know why we are looking at the backside of the moon. Don’t you? You don’t you’re a Thramstei, that’s grasshopper, right. “Mew!”
On Henrietta there were only dwarf Mammoths, back to the story. Well, this is what the Comity wants to know, (and all 1000.000.000 of us):”What happened?” And: “Who done it?” So I’m digging up old computer disks, sometimes really out of the mud, not many days ago we were at lake Amsterdam, (near Utrecht-Euro gate that is), 12 L deep looking for disks, fat chance. What we found out thus far is that somebody, or a group, has been very busy, a decade or so before we had the avalanche up high up in the heavens, (IN TANDJAN), (!). Some one was writing a story, or that was what she said. Using the Internet, for background studies, calculations. The work you have to do to fill in the background colorings of a story. BURN (!) The story was called, “The Velikovski Project”, didn’t sound very exiting, and if you wanted to you could help write the story, there were many such scenes those days, interactive games they called them, that’s what I think. Well not many people were interested in this particular story; it was a bit of a SCI-FI-story for math lovers. That was what it looked like. There was a problem to solve in the game; Throw a little pebble at the right spot, on a steep slope, of a hill, there are looser boulders on the hillside, and the rocks will start to slide down. You’ll end up with a chain reaction, no not a stains reaction. (Right; one moment...) What did it write here? I’ve got a Gothic computer, which is getting too “K” lately. Yes Chaos theory...It is extremely difficult to control such an avalanche, get the pebble at the right place, know where all the boulders are, how they interact with each other and the hillside, that kind of a math puzzle did the story contain. Nice...Only, the boulders were planetoid, asteroids and sky rubble, and the pebble was stolen, ripped-off from Henrietta 98. One of those places which didn’t exist, and were nowhere to be found all over Siberia, that why the soldiers and technicians based in those kind of hideouts didn’t get their salaries probably. Because they didn’t exist. So to keep the folks back home alive and afloat they did a bit of trading sometimes.
So they lost a few marbles, only the last one the sold away from Henrietta got a bit broken. Its kind of hard to figure out where the fantasy parts of the Velikovski project ends and the historic facts enter into the story. Some of the facts were written down as fiction, in the inter-active game I talked about. Well...Somewhere down the line some large amounts of money started to move around, from Osaka to Vladivostok, to Saint Petersburg, to who knows where, Japanese firms were building and constructing all over the place in those days, they had their eyes on the railroad, the Big one. So there was a lot of money and stuff moving around after the Russians sold the northern Islands back to Japan. And used the money to let the Japanese fix their infrastructure. A Transe Sib. Bullet Train. And there was also the Pakistan /Uzbek/ Kazakh Space program, oil money reviving the Old Russian Space program. The Russians had moved their new Space program to French Guyana. Using their information banks as currency to buy themselves into the European/American Space station, and there were others nibbling at the edges of the Universe. And there was the Great Fire of Hong Kong, after which Hong Kong took over power in China, Changing it into an Empire, and letting go of Tibet. This caused even more money moving around, as the Triads of Hong Kong took over from the Communists in Peking, for a while that is. The Chinese Bankers from Hong Kong decided to have elections all over China. Everyone with a bank account and a computer could vote, and could try to become one of the four Emperors, who were going to rule China, if You wanted some one to become Emperor you send him, or even her, 10 $, over the net. Every candidate got an empty account. And nobody could send money twice. The vote took a year... But that’s an entire different story, you cannot “af aikan”, (deny) that. They had a space program though. That’s where I come in. It was in the year everybody sent probes to Mars and the Asteroids, to look for rare elements and for life forms. I’ll get out now. Ouch! I bumped my head again, I’m rather tall, for an air ship crewmate I am, one fathom. Got to get out...
“Flame! Where are we now, (is she still around?)”.
“We’re over Longa Strait, you should tell your log about De Long, and Henrietta, and all that, I think. And Jeannette, his ship.”
“No I won’t that’s the 1880s, I’m checking out things a hundred years later, same places though. When do we arrive at Ingeloothloogragramiut...?” “Gesundheit!”.
“Thanks Swistar, That’s on Nunivak, there’s lots of islands and places you haven’t heard of, Nunivak, Maniac; (shut up)”
“Wolfus, we know, yes Daddy.”
“Don’t eat all the sunflower seeds, Flame at Inglooyounowho we will pick up some stuff, its a village, made out of driftwood and tinplate most likely, that’s all we saw since we lost sight of Krasnoyarsk. In winter it looks much better I guess. Yeah no sun...The people who live there also call it Ingeramiut, without the "Loothloog", (shut up Sparks), so don’t worry about what to say, on the station, they all speak Russian, and English too I guess. Some of the very old have worked with DEW, and with the Pipeline companies, now they are into trade with Russia, Canada, the U.S. and the other Northern Fed. Partners the Free Inuit Republic, the coldest state in Fed, and the biggest, from Kent 170 east, to east Greenland. The Inuit State is very, very, interested in our Meteo. Information”
. “Is your log running Far?”
“I guess so, yep, I’m still in my monologue mode? Again, logging all day, like a lumberjack. I ordered tea, 6 years ago, Darjeeling, Darling. No sunflower seeds in my eye! Anyhow, they’d like to know Henrietta is not in the pack ice, in august, or in December, it should, always. Sparks, who can I let check this computer console? (I showed him the Velotype). And the ones in the Virtual Reality Chamber too.”
That’s my coffin, its a egg shaped room, (with a too low door), the wall inside is a view screen, so when I want to fly one of my Thramstei-machines, it feels like I’m flying all over the place. Added info. Even on the walls in front of me, and all the controls under my fingers. So that’s why I’m a bit worried when my Maniac 2. Computer Companion starts to print odd things in front of my eyes. Our computer systems can be fed with a keyboard, or you can talk to them, I usually type, only when I fly, I use voice control partly, its faster sometimes. There’s something wrong or somebody is having fun with my computer terminal, that’s not funny, that’s strictly forbidden, top secret, red stamps on the door, and what’s more; I’m the only one with a key. Only Heisenberg’s photons can get in without my permission. The ship has 40 of these eggs on board, for the defense force of the ship, for all sorts of investigation flights, and the pods, coffins, eggs, nobody calls them by their proper name, can also be used for normal work with the computer. (Or to get away from the crowd sometimes.)
“I donno Wolfs, several people, I can’t help you, I’m only debriefed, etc, for communications, not for investigations. I’m not aloud in. Use the trained Virus on your mew, but my guess is; you dropped sunflower seeds on your console, pushed the mike button, and sneezed, and the dear old computer tried to print out the noises you made.”
We were in a small room; did I already tell you that? Three coffins and a floor, Window, amidships, portside: Our Office... Flames, in front of a computer, earplug in her left ear. Sparks having coffee break again, or still, stealing my sunflower seeds. “I think I’ll make some phone calls about the mew, where’s my tea, cold, there’s a little hair in my tea.” It was 3 o’clock in the night, 2 o’clock in the afternoon in Friedrichshafen. Sun shining low over some broken up pack ice down below, (2000L.), no clouds over Chukchi Sea, and I have hair in my tea.
“That came with the milk, there’s hair on my stool to wair!” Sparks speaks Gothic but not much, usually he says: “ Man! “ That’s normal for a 4L guy from Chicago. (Aaaa maaan!) We dim the lights in our office, before we jump into our coffin. And there wasn’t that much light before I ate this hair, but Flame wanted to see and behold the hair, she can listen to two things at the same time, (some girls can), the earplug and every thing else, so; she turned on the light. “Mew”. That was not in print....
“Well Wolfs, you don’t have to phone the Special forces”.
“It’s a she”. Said Flame. “Three colors that’s connected with the x gene, or what have you”. “Like they say in the Sub fleet: We have a Biological...On the Sonar, mew?” Sparks tried to grab the “Biological”; it gave him a nice set of cattoos of course. Flame had a rather guilty look on her face… Sparks turned a bit pale, not easy for him, with a skin is as black as a lawyers bank account, and tried to put his hands in his mouth.
“It likes you Wolfus, and it just slipped into your pod again, you left the lid open”. I went into my pod, bumped my head, again (TANDJAN!) grabbed the cat, and we had a meeting. Luckily they are also keeping radio watch on the bridge, and the computers are scanning the waves, I think Sparks and Flame got a bit off guard… They would have missed Elvis coming back to earth...
“Right” said I. “Who’s cat is it, what does it use for a toilet? Not my pod I hope, where does it come from, (go potty in my pod?), and....”
Sparks looked at the “Biological”, now playing on the table, with the cable of a head set, and hissed back. (No response.)
“It’s not a cat, it’s not, officially it’s a husky, remember, we were going to take along 7 polar dogs, the deal was off after all, but they were in the computer any how, so when Heisenberg came along”.
“Well, she has to have a name doesn’t she, what ever, Heisenberg is her name, she can walk through any wall, Far just found out, I was going to let you guys into the feline conspiracy, Gizmo...”
‘That’s the other one, he’s the other husky, lives with the cook, the Chinese one I mean,”
“You want iodine for your hand Sparks?” Mr. v. Richthofen didn’t want that, cats do crazy stuff to people, our communications officer was now saying, “meeuow”, to a cat. (A six weeks old cat.) I tried some communication-ing myself....
“Miss Heisenberg, would you be so kind and leave my tea alone?”
“Hiss”. She said. Flame was explaining they picked up the kittens at Krasno, used emergency ballast stuff for the cat, and tried to bribe us, not to tell any body, Sparks and I agreed, on one condition, we wanted a share in the husky. Meanwhile, the sun was still shining, it will do so for weeks and weeks and weeks at these latitudes, and breakfast time was getting closer, the end of our working hours. Far took Heisenberg to her quarters, Spark went down the spine again, their place taken over by the morning shift.
“We have nothing to report”.
“Godaay”, (Australians?) I locked my Pod, nobody, (Mew?), no body this time can get in. I don’t work in shifts; my team members are all over the Globe. So I lock mine. “Top secret: (Beware of Cat!)”. I went to the tunnel we call, “Spine”, to the Cantina. I read the “Daily Lama”, the paper the cooks hang on the wall, with the menu of the day, and the ship’s gossip. What’s for dinner? Yak! (The same as always), what ya expect; cook’s from Tibet... I grumbled to the cook and stumbled to my bunk, it had been 18 busy hours for me this time... I investigate...For the Federation, and the rest of us...Good night, day (what ever). “Mew”. There was a Gizmo in by bed. Grayish stripes, white socks. Blue eyes. Yak! Those gnat bites itch... I started to scratch myself.
I woke up looking at the backside of a cat, cats always look at you, sometimes only with one eye though...
“Hssj, go to your Daddy in the Canteen!” Off went Gizmo, tail high in the air, like an antenna, high frequency. I grabbed my Velotype/hand- top, to get in touch with my computer, sixteen incoming notes, lots of work to do lights on!” No lights on, I caught a cold yesterday, now Maniac doesn’t want to know my voice any more...Where’s the switch? I did my morning stuff, found my green linen Tunic covered with hair, grayish. “Today is brown day I guess, thanks Gizmo, for the dressing tips” Brown linen, sandals, belt, beeper, electronic junk, more communication junk, lots of pockets and a belt. I dared to look into a mirror. “Do You Look Gothic Today”! Yep, like a Ruin in France...One eye red, one normal, it will soon be blue again says the Doc. Yeah; she hasn’t noticed the good eye is green. Should I worry about my image, or over the eye? Tea. Cantina. Sandals, with teeth marks... Huskies... Flame was talking, (and talking, and talking), with our
Gastronomical Tibetan. Tea...I looked out of a window; they are at an angel of about 45 degrees, starting from the floor falling away from the middle of the Cantina. Twelve L./ six L. Hole in the wall opposite the windows, out comes a Tibetan head. There are two Cantinas, in the front of the ship, near the Bridge, and in the middle, left, port (?), in the morning my English is what it used to be, before I joined. Thishwaruh, we’re at Providentija, where ever, 65 North, 174 west. I overslept...Or we went fast, high VV, Vomit/Vector. Everybody air sick? Well, there is not much of a weather system at the moment. We’re flying South now to Ingloothloograniutloofloo; it aches... Nasty cold. I’m not a morning-early-sunshine kind of person.
“What is that, in them bowls? Wolframdisulfidesause?” It looked like Lubricant to me, if any thing.
“Porridge, you eat, did you see my Husky?”
“Ja, it slept on top of me, and when it woke up it took off, didn’t he come to the Cantina?” It didn’t, thishwaruh, I ate the lubricant, didn’t taste bad. I lost track of time, and of the time zone too... 14 hours. I grumbled to Flame, looked under a table so help the Cook, and went off to my Pod. Phone calls to make. I called Ingeramiut Base.
“Wolfus here, we’re scrambled” I phoned a college.
"Ermanaric, astronomic department, and earthquakes"
“Errm...Yeah, my head is scrambled too, what? Listen we did find traces of a UnoHoo on Genrijetty, that’s consistent with the archive’s information we have, (KGB On Line), you have more on the launch dates?” He had.
“No there’s no hole in my Balloon, I be seeing you, today... what... Send it to Maniac... Scrambled? We are already, always”. Errm is difficult. I got my info. Went to work. We flew to Ingloothloogramiut. The cat was found with the Captains daughter. (Hush, hush, it’s a Husky.). This is a small ship for mankind, but for a cat, it can make a big leap here...
The Base was all under ground, to save energy, and to keep the birds happy, and all the other animals, exempt the flies. Forty L. into a hillside, twenty-two-century kind of stuff, Sparks almost started to drool. He likes technical things. I’m not aloud to write about it. Sensitive Inuit. Grumpy Goths, Australians when I go to bed, my eye is much better, that’s something. Errm was in his office, looking at some pictures on his monitors, red soil, dust rocks, some sort of desert somewhere. We talked about the UnoHoo's, they helped some Asteroids change course, and the asteroids helped even bigger Asteroids change course, until a big moon was stolen, and send on his way earth bound. Earth swung the moon to Venus where it stayed in orbit.
“Where is that?” I looked to the view screen.
“That’s our next problem, that’s Mars, it was bombarded with ice, same time we had the close fly by. There are still people alive on Mars today they landed the day you was born?”
“I was born 2010 they were walking on the Moon that year, so I’m told, this is 2031, have you been looking into my files again?”
“Sure, I always do, how’s things in your flying Police station?” I handed in my reports, and I got my info, more and more information. Tea time again.
Ingloothloogramiut Base is Big. Big Cantina. Well it’s a town actually, has been here for ages. So half the crew went shopping. The Captain asked us not to buy any more huskies, Zebras, or any other animals, including cats. The Captain is from Tubbermory that’s on the island of Mull, Scotland, his name’s MacLeod. Before he was an engineer at the Z. Company Friedrichshafen. After the troubles the Z. Company saw its chances to get back into its original line of trade, no more pots and pans, with a 1997 design for a New Technology Zeppelin. Now they are like the Boeing Company of the 21st century. To fly around in a Zep you have to do their school. Eckener Academy. MacLeod, aye... He loves animals. So we got extra passengers usually, but for the rest he hasn’t any blind spots what so ever don’t screw up on the Puskin. This morning the Captain has a few stripes extra I see, and not on his sleeves. Heisenberg no doubt.... Tea. No Darjeeling.
“Flame! Are you trying to melt the rest of the ice cap?” She was wearing her zippers again...
“Yeah, yeah, get your selves a shave...”
“I’m undercover, that why the beard, right?”
“Aye, (Under a cover of hair)”. Flame checked all her zippers, she wear some sort of an overall like yesterday she did. Tight... She should lay off the sunflower seeds. I didn’t see many of the gang the rest of the day, more phone calls, it’s very boring to be an investigating agent, you can’t imagine. Office on board of the ship, near the bridge, the Zep has pinned it self to the ground, harpooned the planet. There are lots of birds here. Everybody is busy; this is our last stop before we land at Anchorage. We mainly use Solar energy, but also we use some sort of metal powder which contains hydrogen, which is used to make electricity, very old 20 century space technology, I told you this is an old ship. Sparks is in the neighborhood; I can hear his records making noises, Led Zeppelin? He dug that one up last year, under water trip. You should go and see the Eckener, the firs big Z. build after the world crashed, 1990s ideas, the first models flew in 97? That was before all the Troubles. The Z. company was making pots and pans at that time, hadn’t build any ships in 50 years, I wrote that down before didn’t I, well, any how the big Hugo still flies today, The Hugo Eckener New Technology Zeppelin Airship. You should read that in German, the name I mean. Half the world’s coastal big cities were under water, the weather had gone crazy, and the Germans were building a Zep...Flying at 500 km p/h using almost no fuel, lifting body, switch off the engines and they floated back to 1500 meters, that be, 3000L. Usually they flew much lower saving people, and information, the world was in chaos for a while. But the company survived. They branched out to Chicago, among places (the Capital off the good old U.S.A.) After the Tsunami it became that. The Hugo had a lifting body shape, and engines, to push it down to earth, or up like an old fashioned helicopter, that’s an Airplane that can stand still in the air, look it up for your selves. Big Mayfly. The E. was as much an airplane as it is a Zeppelin I guess. It still flies. Did I say that before? And now is the summer of 31. You have really no idea what the world looked like 40 years ago, I know, I’m an investigator, so I have to study history, every aspect of it.
“Wolfs, where are you?” It’s my beeper...
“Who’s asking? I’m writing my Novel Logs, I’ll...We’ve got incoming, on stations, Schiff Hoch!” I pulled out the earplugs I use for my writing, every body’s moving around. People, coming back to the ship.
“Schiff Hoch!” Up ship, we always have our Drone scouts out, and radar is up. The usual stuff, we have three defense circles, one 150 km out, one 50, and one as far as the eye can see, much like a 19th century Air Craft Carrier. Like the Enterprise, the Island at Stolwik, or is it wijk? Just off the coast of Utrecht, that be the Netherlands. The Enterprise was taken there by the Doggersbank meteorite incident, well, by the splash really, now it’s a town and an isle. The Dutch still have a bit of an argument with their eastern neighbors, and especially with what’s left of France, they reclaimed northern France, to gather with the Flemish they did. “Only temporarily Monsieur’s, to house our refs.” There aren’t many French left so the Dutch are still there of cause, and in parts of Northern Germany along the former border, the north Germans and the eastern Dutch mixed, the local dialect has pushed out High German, and Western Dutch. So now I have to translate all my reports for Utrecht into Low West Saxon, and Friesian. I ran to my emergency post, and now, nothing, usefully it’s nothing, a meteorite, or an old piece of Space junk falling out of its orbit, or wild geese, having eaten too much Chernobyl weeds. So I have more time for my work all the stories I can think off. Well the Dutch, they are friends again with the high Germans, have to be, the Germans need excess to the coast, and the Dutch need High Ground. Sea level is up only one L. That ‘s where the L. came from, everybody knows what these fifty cm. did to the world... But let’s give them a name... But nobody knows what will happen next. So no engines with CO 2 output, no more cm. to our L. shall be added. No output...Except for usage in Space Vehicles, no burning of fossil fuels, everything on Hydrogen; steam as a waste product, so now you know why the Z is in the skies again. “Wolfes!” Sparks is calling me...“Yeah, what, I’m looking at the screens”. “Your writing Wair Wulfes Man, I can tell, your always are, we’re going to fly the big Pterodactyl. You had enough Pod Training, we have to look at the Blip, in person, it’s a very slow blip, blip, no radio, but it is coming this way.”
I don’t like to fly in person, and Sparks is afraid of heights, (he’s a real v. Richthofen though, his Great Grandfather was a soldier in occupied W. Germany, his Great Grandmother a von Richthofen).
“Feeding the birds are you”. Flame got airsick. One of the Australian blokes making fun of her, wait:
“You wanna really get down under?” Can’t have them making her sicker can I. “Swistar go to your Pod, fly a drone, don’t barf on the keyboards”. I gave her a fist on the shoulder kind of and ran off. I don’t like the really, real flying stuff. Flame was out of side now and almost out of mind. The two of us are getting to close for airship life. Down stairs, trough a hatch, Sparks is to big for this line of work, he’s the co-pilot for this one, and stays in the pod at the drop hatch, the Z. is high up in the skies over Ingloothloogramiut now, stony beaches, arctic scenery. You know the usual, shoreline crawling land inward, so all human activity... Well, everything is brand new. “Check, check, check and more check, this is not a world war one Spit fighter or whatyacallum, this is a State of the Art, brand new Pterodactyl. Dumping a plane out of a Zeppelin has already been done many times before matter a fact they did that a hundred years ago remember the Macon, in the 1930s, the first flying aircraft carrier. But for now, I’m sitting in an artificial “Bat” made out of carbon fire, and they gonna dump me.
“Wolfman, you’re on” .So I fall out of the belly of the Peanut, flap, flap, flap, this thing is slow, and you can not see it with artificial means, slow, 600 km/h, faster than the Z. usually flies, strait west. Kwigillingok, swamps down below, trees, caribou, lucky, they can’t hear me, so no stampeding today. Going fast, the headgear I wear, doesn’t show my craft. Everywhere I look, only air. And information projected in mid air it seems I fly with my gloves. Blip thing is 12 km away now, up a big river mouth, still heading for the Puskin. Sparks in my ear.
“Return to the ship, friendly blip, we have identification code, return, return, return”. Nice, Blip, couldn’t they have phoned first, “Have visual” I can see the thing now, and hear it too, very noisy, two props, never seen anything like it before, except in a movie about an old battle.
“Sparks, have visual’ it’s a DC3.”
“Repeat?” I’m the escort it seems to we’re on the same course any ways.
Where did they dig this one up? Is there a place to land this thing at Ingloothloogramiut? It has a name written on its hull, “The Yellow Rose of Texas”.
Check rest from here.
The Canteen: In the Zep. I got hooked again, and some others too, all personnel not needed to fly the ship have to be on standby always, usually we fly only in Spirit. The DC3 is Canadian, it brought somebody to the ship couldn’t phone, couldn’t wait, mustn’t tell “af hwapjan”, and it scared the air out of my longs.
It also brought a letter for me; right...wairs, (that’s “worse”).
The walls of this place look like colored lizard skin, the cook’s put the radio on, and I’m of duty. Some singer singing, “I had her name eternalized, until the window got deiced”.
“Balalaika baby bogie?” Ameruskians, the cook always tries to find local stations. I’m staring at the Lizard skin walls, mind’s drifting’, sometimes I dream away in the middle of a conversation. Sparks came in, orange linen, green baseball cap.
“Got a splinter in your paw, Wolfman?”
“Mwhyez”, I say to him. The ship landed again, taking in supplies for the trip to Anchorage. At Anchorage we get new orders, and part of the crew goes on leave, not the “Detectives” though, we’re staying on board, Erm will get on board to today. The man in the Antic was the Earl of Texas, Mac is mad. Emergency takeoffs take lots of energy. The Big Cheese has been hunting? Probably hunting for deals, on a diplomatic mission of some sort? Texas took some distance from the rest of the Northern Federation some 6 years ago, after an ice boulder made its impact near Nederland (94 west, 30 north). Houston, we have a problem...its near Houston. At first every body thought they got nuked. Ice Meteorites of a certain size tend to explode high above the surface. Big roughs in Chicago, afraid of "The Atom" Is the computer working?
“Did Sparks fly too, Afhaimeis Mister?”
“Sorry, Cookie Sir, Sparks, no didn’t, wouldn’t trust him with a burned match.” “Wolfman!”
“Von Richthofen Sir, you like where we fly? Looks like home from me sometimes, mountains snow, much rocks”.
“You’re home sick Cookie Sir? What’s for dinner by the way?”
“We have: Hamburgers, Spaghetti, and something”.
“Interesting, I’d like to come back to this place later in the year, last year they had 4 Ls of snow, skiing...”
“Two meter, than you not ski very far...”
“Flame! Save Woof and me from this Cook! And don’t eat the Some-thing...”
“Someday you won’t be surprised, we’ll find Pygmies in the kitchen, comin’ to dip their arrow heads in the soup”
“I heard that! You leave my kitchen!” Angry Cook? Nah… He’s smiling. Canteen was filling up slowly; I left Flame talking with the Cook, about Felines no doubt. Sparks is dreaming about skiing to the North Pole. Down to my Pod, chased a cat out, a black one, white socks, and yellow eyes, half-grown. Haven’t seen that one before, I have to fix the lock. Phone call, all in Gothic. (“Ne? Ja” ”Ne, Ne?” Runa? Rodja? (Very Secret, Talk). Liufs. Swikns”). You don’t kneed to know everything I say in Gothic. Computers have ears you know. They’re not sweet and innocent, like they used to be. More phone calls, in English, (About money, and about corruption, stealing a planetoid, and about greed). If you try to steal a star, please, don’t let it slip out of your fingers, and fall into the sea. I think it’s time for one of my secret reports. I’ll start with our flight plan. 15082031. 0204.0111001110101. Covered thus far: Lake Constance. Warsaw. Moscow. Follow the railroad east over the 55-par. Novosibirsk. Krasnoyarsk: 93 East, 56 North. (Where we picked up about 3 cats). Udacryj, that’s 113 east, 66, and one half north. Siktjach, on the Lena rive: 125 East 70 North. Kotelnyjon, New Siberian islands, 137 east, 75, and a half north. Genrijetty, (see 0201.), 156 and a half east, 77 and a half north, Longa strait, just south of Wrangle, 180 east/west, 70 north. Providenija; 174 West, 65 North. Gambell. St Lauren’s island; just south of Pro. Ingeloothloogramiut. On Nunivak Island. About 166 West, 60 North. Present location. Next: Umnak pass, around the Peninsula, to Cooks Inlet. Anchorage. We are not trying to fly over Alaska Range, Mt McKinley, that’s 12988L bit rough now? What more to report? We picked up a Politician, and a DC3. The DC3 left us again though, amazing technology, flies on H2, dangerous stuff. Petrol is off limit of cause. A bit more on Project V: More and More the picture appears, of big companies, competing for raw materials, being cheated, and used, what company? Some semi legal intertwined Japanese organizations, Russian Mafia, American traders in software, I mean Software, the richer they are the more cloth they wear, (that’s why they are called the More Ons). Never mind... Why bombard Earth, and Mars, and make Venus spin, and give it a Moon. Was it all done on purpose? Or did an attempt to steal the biggest nugget of them all out of the skies, (Jules Verne, le chase de Météore), go terribly wrong, somebody sure screwed up the heavens. How must I faura gasatjan. Thaha, gathaha. I’ll say no more. End report. (150831).
“Mew, mew, mew, mew, krrtch, kritchchch, mew” Ooogh, always bump my head.
“Heisenberg! I’m busy! Phone. Swistar... Barn theins, ...Ja... leikains? Ya, I like cats...us saljan? You please pick up your kitten child, it wants to take up permanent residence with me, and I’m not ready for such permanent relationships, kssht! Get off the Tandan keyboard! ...Thank you, see you bye!" Got to get out of this thing without letting Heisenberg stay inside, hairing her hair allover the computer Gizmos. Speaking of which.
“Ouch, my back, hi Flame, one cat for you, I’d like some advice...” Erm had told me I was put on a list 56 people’s names list, as a volunteer no doubt, there are only 40,000 of us Goths just about. And still we have to get bureaucratic and mixed up, Chaotic Gothic, and confused, Sauhts! Sickness!
“ Flame, they put me on a list, they want me to leave the ship at Vancouver, and join a training program”.
“Yeah, so, but....”. “They want me on a trip to Mars, one Chance in 4, Mars is a bit far off for Far Out”.
“Aye, would you like to go there? That’s what you should ask yourselves, not me, this is War brothar Wolfs, let’s not say the things we mustn’t say, half of Ireland is under water, come”. We looked at each other, the ship’s too small, I told you before, and I’m not a communication specialist, I.… Big silence, the cat didn’t like it, and took off. Flame pushed me into my pod, and sat in the door.
“I’m not coming in....”
“I wasn’t thinking that...”
“You’re sweet but slow, you have the right heart... I was maybe. If you have to go you have to go. I have to do this job for my Land, you, you’re a Goth, they are made out of leftovers, after the nations all got drawn”.
“Be a Goth, or be, what? Spanish, Mexican, Aztec, Crimean, Northern Italian, Swedish. All had Gothic forefathers, somehow, I’m related to the King of Spain, let’s go drink coffee, are you angry with me? I’ll hold the cat.”
“Wolfs, let’s pray together”.
We’re the children of the great revival; war gets you close to God. Flame and me we got to close, working too much together, the same ship same job same war, same church, this is a small tight ship, lots of stress.
“You’re too much looking inside, instead of outside”. She hit me on the head with a cat toy, and pulled me out.
“Oogh, right, lets pray about it...Atta unsar Thu in himinan weihnai namo thein, qimai thiudinassus theins wairthai wilja theins, your will be done, we did enough with the Universe for a while... Amen”.
We talked for 25.3 minutes, says Maniac, then we both went to drink coffee, I never drink coffee, but now I did, double sugar, double milk, Sparks, gave us a look, he’s always around in the canteen lately, maybe the Cook and him are into the Moonshine business again.
“Sparks, lend us some rocket fuel”. Sparks is into communications, he really is, and he didn’t say “Nothing”. Flame got an extra milk can though, so we sat and said nothing for a while”.
“Now I really get nervous, shit, Swistar, right or wrong, I think I’ll give space a try, and....”
“You let me free, but write me, I’ll .let you free, and I don’t know, let’s drink to us, this is a Zep... We will see each other all the time, everywhere. I’ll bring you to Vancouver, and we’ll hit the town, and than we won’t be seeing each other no more so...”
There was a head sticking out of the wall....
“Ladies, kitchen closed now, Mr. Sparks away already, I go, you young people give your selves time, to close bad for the eyes, kitchen closed, case closed, you shut up Cook understands. Give me the Cat, Flame you go to your job now, Wolfs, go do some flight training, and confirm the space thing, and ask for training programs, I’m only the Cook, I can’t speak proper English, and I didn’t hear nothing”.
Flame gave me a kiss, and a kick at my knee, just to tell me I was alive, I didn’t say nothing, went to the pod, Dracula goes to sleep. I actually fell asleep. I’m not good at this, I really isn’t. Us Goths are a conservative nation, (but practical we are too). And after all I did train to be a space jockey, I failed though…
Raining al day, 10 c., no wind, I wouldn’t go out for a stroll if I were you. You don’t have to; we did a lot of tunneling. It has never been so hot, not for a million years. There are orange mudflats everywhere. I found algae in my tea today, nice... This is breakfast time at Noctis Labyrinths, the Labyrinth of the Night; we dug out our Tubes in the side of this Canyon that was the best way to do it. The Canyon is about 18 km wide where we are. The Labyrinth of the Night 105, 09 south, we never meant to land here, much less stay here. Out side the rain is boiling away nicely, there is no wind today, so we’ll have ice in the morning, well, ice... And we have lots of fog because of this rain. Nine mbar! Who’d have thought to see figures that high.... High enough for liquid water, almost! (It’s too hot!). We’re the gang of twelve, there are two more of us, and they are on Phobos, Stickney to be precisely, strictly Stickney ay? I write my reports daily, and we send them, earth-daily, back to earth, Earth is working on our problem they say, they are doing so now, for about 8 years. Stickney, they’ll have big, big problems, because of the rain.... Mini Comets, ice boulders, what should I say; someone really wrecked our Universe up here. The heaven’s full of snowballs, all crashing into our atmosphere, and hitting the Moons. Strictly, we advised them to dig in like we did, we can’t help them until the icy rains stops, they soon will, soon, “tomorrow the beer is free”. We came with twelve now we’re fourteen; (if they didn’t get their heads smashed up there...). I guess after three years we ran out of some of our medications, and things got somewhat out of hand. We’re the farmers of the Labyrinth of the Night not by choice we are, we were supposed to land at old Gus, Gusev that is. “Looking for love on a July morning, not a stone we left unturned”. Looking for life, Gusev was the easy target. I don’t remember the coordinates. At old Gus, there’s where our return fuel is, might as well be in Oregon...(-14,184? Yep.)
“And no cakes for you young Lady”. (Two big blue eyes looking at “Uncle Stew”). Its hard to keep a three year old away from a computer, I bribe her with cakes. Her name is Dawn; she’s a toddler. Me? I’m an Astronaut; I’m from Edinburgh, Earth, Scotland. The name is Stuart, W.W. I’ve been a Geologist, and a scientist all my life, I’m thirty-one years old now. I used to be the youngest of our group as we left dashing into space, in our big bicycle wheel, I’m a genius, or so they say, that’s why they picked me, wasn’t very smart of me now was it? (To hop on board that is). That was nine years ago, half a year out, the trouble with the ruble started, one year and we were at Mars, mooning on the mine, I mean, never mind. Four Mars years here at the Farm. I better safe this report and go to sleep, my daughter’s going to be awake very early next morning. She’s two, and also wrecks our computers, Annie she’s called. We’re six couples, we speak, four languages on a daily base, know a few more of course. German, English, Japanese, and Dutch, I can’t help it. Our main concern is not to starve to death, and have enough air to breathe. We gave up being saved, getting of the Planet again, so we try to make things nice and comfy....
We left 2011 AD, so now is 2020, Mars 4. (I'll give you some dates).
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
The discovery of C60 molecules.
Major changes on political scene.
The end of the USSR.
The Gulf Wars.
Hong Kong is given back to China.
Further exploration of the Solar system, through probes, sent to the planets, to comets, and asteroids.
The Internet starts to rapidly grow, and soon covers the whole earth, everyone with a telephone, can plug in. As the Democratic Computer Company of Port Harcourt (Nigeria), introduces a new type of phone in 1999.
Race to the asteroids, mining concessions are given out by the UNO. 1999-
Velikovski Project worked out, several companies buy space on planetary exploration probes. Money starts to move around in huge amounts (Nobody knew at that time of course).
Macao is turned back to China, Great Fire of Hong Kong. A new Revolution in China, the Tibetan independence deal, the four Emperors elected. (And all this happened in the utmost secrecy).
Half of Sakhalin, and all of the Kuril islands sold to Japan.
Japan reorganizes the Trans Siberian Railroad system. And obtains Mining rights at several locations in southeastern Siberia
Space Race to the Asteroid Belt, by Japanese, and Western Mining Companies,
The Velikovski Project buys shares in several groups, and starts to bribe computer Hackers. (This was unknown to us when this was written down).
Unmanned fuel factory/return ship starts for Mars.
Manned Mars Mission takes off. (Mars semi Direct).
Landing on Phobos, and on Mars itself.
Changes in the Solar System start to be noticed.
Panic, and protests on a Global scale.
There are Meteor impacts (and Tsunami on a small scale).
Firs Martian is born.
The Second Martian born.
2020- Close Earth Flyby, of one of the Jupiter ice moons. The year looses 5 days; the Moon starts to turn faster than before so that the backside becomes visible slowly. Crew of the Moon base, is able to adjust, anarchy.
We have more Tsunamis, meteor impacts, and earthquakes.
One of the water Moons of Jupiter is on the move, and some big lumps of ice broke up in Mars orbit, lucky, they are in a very low orbit, so they break up very fast and rain down, otherwise Mars would be out of reach; for ever.
I hate this “tea”, its warm, and wet sure...(so is being kissed by a dog).”Beep”. My wife’s on the phone, how am I supposed to get any work done…!
”No Cookies. Go see uncle Rain in the Face.” Let’s see what Kim has to say. Actually, her name is Miriam. She’s Korean, works with computers, and with rocket fuel, explosive lady...“Beep”.
Been tryin’ to fix the Big Mole all day, we ran out of Teeth, no teeth no Mole, no Mole: no hole. I’m an Astrophysicist, born and raised in Arizona, worked myself into a big telescope base in the mountains near our tribal lands, six years old, broom stick in the hand, talked myself into the computer room, into the hearts of the crew... Cute little Injinboy... They discovered I was faster than their computers, with the numbers... So I got a Scholarship. Off I went, to MIT and to a lot of homesickness. My name? It’s not a name belonging to my people’s history I guess. Image building is everything on a University; my real name is Heronymus, John. That’s an East Germanic name, Latinised. John is a Hebrew name Germanized. After MIT I got back to the star gazing stuff, became quite a Wizard with computers, got into the Space Program, first Apache on the moon, got married, with a colleague, we never got on the same missions. And very often not in the same training program, so we volunteered for the Mars program...Would never take off anyhow my wife told me... So now I dig holes all day. My eight year old assistant, she insists she’s 4, tells me I do every thing totally wrong....
“Back to the drawing board Dad!”
"Teeth.... We need Diamond". That means Phobos, the Phobians are with us; now, it took quiet an effort to get them down here to the planet. And they almost lost it up there, half their time in a bomb shelter, and the other half in a centrifuge. Phobos, that’s where we have Diamond, “Diamonds galore”, as W2 would say. Phobos consists of mainly Carbon, and Meteorites hit it all the time. (And: C. + Pressure = D.)
“Yo!” Dawn, my assistant, (and my daughter), I hope she’ll address me in English today, she thinks it to be good for my old brains to learn Friesian (I’m not a cow!) and Dutch, (I’m a Apache, not a Multinational!). She’s also learning my language. My wife’s Dutch, She is a Euronaut, and an Astronomer. Her name is Alien, (Aaahlin, not the little green men), Vries. She’s from a place called Terschelling, the Netherlands.
“Yo! Dad! We’ve got a problem with Harm.... He let a couple of mice go loose”. “Right.... So now I’m a hunter. What’s a couple by the by?”
“Just about 543...”.
A person four Martian years old can have a very grown up look of desperation in her eyes, Harm is 2 years old, Mars years, and he doesn’t like it that we eat the mice, though he’s not a vegetarian...(Principles are good, but not during dinnertime). He’s one of 7 people born on Mars now, he’s Dawns brother. Always doing something unexpected. So the whole base is watching over him. Mice....
“You go catch them, let Annie help me with the tunneling, you’re the farmer here”.
We got one Stormy Dawn today. It’s a touch job to remove teeth from this thing, it means bringing the front part of the tunnel under high pressure, getting into a space suite, than driving the thing backwards 5 cm, more is impossible, the plastic folly machine is glued to the walls of cause. Than I get through the air lock, with a drill, work for half a day as a miner; remove the old teeth, those that are not good any more. Well, four days at least. This thing was made for use on Phobos. Phobos is nice to machines. Mars isn’t, the surface is aggressive, lower down thing calm down chemical, lucky us, lucky plants, real soil, but Mars is tough. So our Tunneling train brakes down often, and now we ran out of Diamond. We saw it coming of cause. We got 20 km of tunnels now, not bad for a small outfit like ours. Well we had 10 years, 5 Mars’s years. But we’ve been really busy. No time, and always in a hurry. We started with almost nothing and a chemistry book. The home planet broke down, our return tickets.... We missed them, one day we’ll travel to Gusev, but at the moment we just can’t get there. That’s where the Robo factory has landed; it made our return fuel out of thin, Martian, air. Out of the H2 it brought along, mix it with CO 2 out of the atmosphere, and you get a reaction, it’s called the Sabatier reaction: CO 2 + 4 H2 = CH4 + 2 H2O. Rocket fuel, and water, the water you can split into new H2, and O2. Micro comets pushed us to land too soon. (Straight into these Roughs.) Well there is Gold in them here hills... I mean ice. But we can’t use our vehicles, to steep, to rough.
There is Annie, orange suite, must be her. We all wear an emergency suite, its not a space suit, but its close enough, it’ll keep you alive on Mars for 25 hours. We haven’t had the time to have fancy dresses made, but we did manage to make paints, so everybody paints his/her suite.
“Annie help me to mothball this here machine for now”
“We are going to deep freeze our mole? Can’t we fix it with something else? We could, it would be to expensive, high energy input, low yield, I know...”
Annie went to work, making a wall, insulation, cables, turning the Mole into a deep freeze, getting writhe of the last pipeline full of ore. We use N2 as atmosphere in the frozen Mole. N2 is hard to come by.
“What I’d like to have is Wolfram, or some other metal, with the same toughness, why use diamond sand?”
“Aye, Iridium, and a factory to process it of cause. Annie you finish this rig, I’ll call for a meeting tonight, and go catch our herds”. Ms Annie is capable of fixing a lot more than just mining machines, too bad, now she’s playing to be a miner; I’d like to take her for a swim or some thing. It takes some time to get into different cloth, I where emergency pressure stuff when digging holes, safety boots, etc. So I changed put on roller skates, it’s 3 km to the center from the end of the tunnel. It’s too far to walk.
Halfway the Tunnel I met with the first Mastomys Natalensis... This tunnel looks like an airplane body; it has several floors when ready, the “road”, is in the middle. Down near the bottom floor are the lines for ore, and a cargo tunnel. The tunnels have eight floors, on the floors we grow plants (mushrooms etc.), we live, and, well we had to dig all the time, to get the water, to get metals, to use for constructing more tunnels... To be used for finding more water, so that we could use it to make H2, to use as fuel. To dig more tunnels I guess. We were lucky there were mining machines on the moons, no railroad machines... otherwise, we’d be half way the South Pole now. We have too much space. I’m talking to me self; again, I always forget to switch on the memory line. All of us have to brainstorm all the time, we don’t but we should. Mastomys Natalensis... If there is one, this far out, there are more.
“Dawn, Rain, Mice”.
Phone, should work; there’s a cable all through the tunnel. It serves as an Antenna. Like they used to have in Church in Arizona, to provide hearing aid for the elderly.
“Roger, shut up, I’m trying to catch one”. We always have our phones with us. Next air lock, every 200 meters there is an airtight wall in this part of the tunnel. Usually the doors are open, or there is a Draft curtain. Dawn insight, she didn’t make it to the Center. Mice...
”I saw one where I came, there must be more, are they only on the road, or did they get to the other levels too?”
“I don’t know, I don’t think so, I hope not, they like plastics, specially insulation around electric stuff”.
Yes, Brown face looking at me, dark hands, shiny ears, big whiskers. “Watch out! There on the door switches”.
“Come, come, come, food, food...”
All the mice are completely tame, but they are not stupid. We had one outbreak before, in Mars 3. I think it was. We had to place nests everywhere, and cool the whole bases to arrest every body. If we don’t catch them... They all are pregnant, or planning to become so, or they help some other mouse to get pregnant...When earth finally will come to the rescue, if they ever do, they’ll find 8 Billion mice, and none of us any more. Dead mice. We are the only predators on the planet. So they’ll, first eat all the telephone cables they can find, that’s their main food source in my opinion, and than, all other food sources too, and than they’ll starve to death).
”Dawn! Dive, dive, dive...”
“Submarine joke, they are going to lock every thing, air, and mouse tight, I hope”.
The airlock alarm kept ringing, we caught 17 mice, and it’s hard to hold 17 live mice, I used my left boot. No more skating. Ms. Nt. don’t smell, that’s why they became space mice, on our Mars mission, to use as Biological Geiger counters, and as lab mice in general, find out what space does to a Mammal. These Mice are very much "Mammal" (Never mind. Look it up your selves). And there is the next air lock. Stairs. We don’t have elevators; up we walk. Down we slide.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
“Roll call! Call out your names for the records, I’m Stew”.
“And Me too!” (Harm and Red),
“George and Pete are in the greenhouse, Bibi is looking after Ares”.
“Aren’t we all”,
“Yeah, and Sally is fixing the plumbing down stairs”.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
“Rain, you always talk, so you do the talking ”,
“Right Stew, tape’s already runnin’, we’ve got us a rodent situation, I caught 21, Dawn got 6, Annie arrested 3 mice, that’s 30... The lights went out I noticed...Annie!”
“I’m on it Uncle Rain”,
Tape’s still runnin’...well, we’ve got left, of 543 escapees, 34, that’s bad, 6 females are missing. Every two months they’ll have babies, about 10 at the time, the babies ‘ll. Have babies, ‘ll. Have babies… We have to freeze part of the station, and get them with the infrared stuff, if we don’t get them in 9 days… That’s when the first nest is due. Annie! Light’s flickering...”
“I found one, he’s dead, electrocuted, cable’s fixed now”.
Makes 33... try to get them all alive, do itashima shite, scheisse! (No thanks: shit!). We start from here that’s why I called every body to this place: Dawn got the cages. Harm you’re with me”.
“Ya, beginnen... I was trying to repair a carbon filter”.
“Ich bin keine Katze”.
“Neither am I, Nezumi San! Pee! Pee!”(Sir Mouse!)
“Dear computer, today we’ve been on a hunt, my brother liberated our mice, about 5% of the whole stock. This is Olam 13th Northern June 03:00 hours. We caught all of them, except the one who chewed the cable, and one other, we decided to call him, (It’s a he), “Robin Hood”. I should write down the schedule of our Calendar, and of Earth’s calendar. Ma wants me to do my homework too, not just work on the farm all day. Or develop new plants. I’m Dawn; I’m the first real M... I found Robin... Box, box...”
Time measurement on Mars; table one.
One Mars’s year: 668.6 Sols.
24 months of the year are called: North March etc, and South March etc.
The year starts with South Winter March.
South winter, North Summer, has 177 Sols.
South Spring, North Autumn, has 142 Sols.
South summer, North Winter, has 156 Sols.
South autumn, North Spring; has 194 Sols.
The Month has 4 weeks all called Earth.
Our weeks have 7 days, 4 weeks is a month.
This is the Calendar for the year Mars 6, (2025 AD).
South winter: 6 months and 2 weeks.
S. March: Airtha : 01,02,03,04,05,06,07,
Gea : 08,09,10,11,12,13,14,
Olam : 15,16,17,18,19,20,21,
Terra : 22,23,24,25,26,27,28.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------. S. April, to Sept: Gea 14.
Southern spring has 5 Months.
The Month of September with starts “Olam” 15, etc.
Oct. to Feb: Gea 14.
South summer: 5 months and 2 weeks.
S. Feb: starts Olam 15, etc.
N. March to July.
South autumn: 7 Months.
N. August to Feb.
February is 3.4 days to long of cause; so every even year it has only three weeks, except every 35th year. When the 35th year is an uneven year we take the next of cause.
Every month has also a constellation attached to it, the Sun Stays opposite, for instance the star grouping called, “Fishes”, for 48 sols.
I’ll do the table for the Star stuff too.
This should be on the next page I think!
Twins. 61s. Northern spring starts. Tw.1.
Lion. 66s. Li. 24. Aphelion.
Maiden. 65s. Northern summer starts. Mai. 1.
Archer. 50s. Autumn.
Rock goat. 47s. Dust storm season begins.
Man. 46s. Perihelion.
Fishes. 48s. The Winter.
Ram. 51s. Dust storm season ends.
I probably made some mistakes; after all, I’m into plants. What’s more, I’m only four. Did I write down that we have 24h 37 min and 22.6 sec. in every Sol, they didn’t want to change the scientific second, to much trouble with the computers, one Earth Sol has only 24 hours. “Used to have”, says my textbook, well never mind about that. Got to bring Old Robin Hood back to his Girls. Average day: Olam 13th N. June M6. 2025 AD. I donno the earth dates.
We’ve been here, that’s 5 south, 52 west, or just about, for a few months now. Nice Island, they used to call it by all kind of names, we call it, “Thwairhei”, (Anger, or maybe argument). This is a place where you run into yourselves.
The Tsunami day has cleansed the island of its past, and the birds took over, after the birds came the Space-travelers.
In one month we’ll leave this old school of us.
January ‘32. It’s raining. We’ve been arguing for 2 weeks, on command. Who are we you might ask. We’re the crew.
Crew second Mars expedition: 12 people, (6/6, male, female).
Ice expert, Geology, Astronomy, Polar lights, Astronaut, Mining in permafrost, etc.
Born 2001, Thule. Greenland.
Ice expert, Sand and Wind Movements, Geology, Pilot, Astronaut. Born 2011, Kingston, Jam.
Information. Amongst others.
Born 2010, Spain.
Astronaut, Astrophysics, Horticulture. etc.
Born 2005, Roswell, New Mexico, USA.
Rosen. Deborah. Space Technology, Computers, Electronics, etc.
Born 2008, near Clovis, just over the border of Texas, USA.
Born 2009, Moscow. Russia
Astronaut. He works with solar energy; and water technology, etc.
Born 2015. Beersheba. Israel.
There are 5 more. They are in Florida now, having arguments no doubt.
Astronaut, Geology, Physics, etc.
Born 2015. Cusco. Peru.
Astronaut, Food technology, Enzymes, micro technology etc.
Born 2016 Ommen NL.
Astronaut, Food technology, Enzymes, Micro technology, Computer technology etc.
Born 2016. (In an airplane; flying over Spits Bergen.). She’s Dutch, as is her husband Lodewijk.
Haven’t got her name yet, or age, for that matter. She’s a toolmaker, and engineer. Born 2010 Moosejaw Can.
Born 2010 Dogcreek Can.
They are Canadians, second generation Goths. Airtha is some one who can fix things that are broken: any thing. Must both be something special, or they wouldn’t have made it into the program.
Me? I’m Wulfs, I’m a Goth too, and I make and solve puzzles. That’s why I get on board, for one reason.
I forgot one crewmember, his name is Maniac II, he’s a computer, or rather a program, a Ghost in a machine, he lives in a sugar-based memory bank, of which I don’t comprehend a thing, (says Maniac).
He should be around somewhere; maybe he went fishing again?
“Abe what are the names of Timrja again, I always forget...”
“You shouldn’t forget your Ingardja, (housemates), smarna!”
“Smarna yourself, I don’t understand why they split us up like this in the first place, the name is Dubo, that’s pigeon”.
Abe left with his fishing stuff. The two ladies fix things, any thing, from flint knives to computers and nuclear reactors. Abe and Airtha belong together, so he knows all the wrong words in Gothic, and in some other languages too I’m afraid. For the rest we don’t have any couples on board and there won’t be any either, except the Zands, well maybe more. I’m alone I’ve had it with relations for now. Lets first get to Mars and back. The biggest problem in getting to Mars is us. People don’t react well to being locked up for a year, and to doing practically nothing, and especially to the combination of the both. So they lock us up in small places and frustrate us all the time, and when we start to like it they split us up. They let us solve problems, drop us off in Virtual Space, let us fly around in Virtual flying gadgets, on Earth and Mars. There is a crew of 60 working on us 24 hours a day; they have a problem for any solution we have found.
“We have a problem for every solution”.
Until now the crew has Virtually died several times. During some of the training grounds, we got lost in space, polluted with plutonium, and infested with the common cold, (maybe that was an accident, it was for real), nice ground crew they are. Well we managed to let them die once too, meteor impact. So we were on our own for a day... We went fishing all day.... as the ground crew tried to rise again from VR death. When they were back on line they told us:
” Very clever, but next time don’t go fishing, try to get to Mars instead, please”
Bo cooked the fish for us. We called out his name as we saw the meal. ...It tasted better than it looked though. So now we have a cook from Greenland. We take turns in preparing meals. We eat any thing strange and silly at the moment, part of the training I guess, in space well eat out of boxes all the time, so it’s probably some psycho thing again. They made a model of the complete ship here on the island, and on several other locations, and we have our pods to lay in, for VR training. I’m on my old job again also, writing down everything, all of the time, until I drive my computer completely insane, last Tuesday he refused to print the word “Quadree flute plat”, no that’s not a Gothic term. S. Q. ’s me, tea break.
Profile Mars’s crewmembers:
Able to work in teams.
Can work alone for long periods.
Experience with living for a long time on ships, or other small places with small numbers of people, (Zeppelins, Submarines, Moon base, and Antarctica).
Psychologically stable, grown up.
And of course have the necessary skills, technically, scientifically, etc.
But being able to live with your self and a small group is the first thing they need. Insufficient communication is a killer.
They have to be aged, under age 20, (which some of us aren’t computer hiccup?) and there should be no history of any cancer cases in their family.
The computer has 60 more points to select them by.
One of which is an iron stomach. (?)
Basic space training.
Astronomy. Flying things. Computers.
Geology of Mars, and Moons.
Biology, farming, gene technology etc.
Technology, electronics etc.
The human body, they must be able to fix that machine too, no house calls in space...
Parts of it are in a Geo stationary orbit, Clark orbit they also call it, parts are in Clementine City, South Pole of the moon, and parts were fired. Shot to Mars last Wednesday, or even before that. We’ll leave after it phones in from Mars to tell us the return tickets are there. We’ll pick them up on the way out.
The technology of the ship; it runs on steam, so the technology is partly 19th century good old tinkering, then there is the NERVA system, that started, and ended in the 1960s.
We have Nuclear reactors super-heating water, turning it into steam, to push us through space. We also have Ion engines; well the two ships look like a colony of squashed mushrooms. (Says Abe). The ship will be split in two in space, connected with Clarke Cables, no not Gables, or tethers; I spilled tea on the keyboard, (bbbbb). It still works, cables. As soon as we don’t run the engines the ships split in two, one part the empty fuel tank we used to leave earth, and we turn intro a Bola, like they use to catch Nandos. About 3200 L, apart from each other. We live in the Hood of the Toadstool during that phase of flight. There are also rooms in the fuel tank, but if we loose the tank we will still be able to complete the mission. We can take a train and have a look during flight if necessary. Because the two halves circle around each other, we’ll have artificial gravity during part of the flight. We’ll make it a slow spin, long cables; otherwise we’d get seasick. It starts with 1 G. and we slow down to 1 Mars. If you think that’s to make things nice for the crew, you’re mistaking; it’s for the cargo, specially the fish.
There’s still a spot of milk all over my keys, the cargo. Well...
What is the expedition all about anyhow? Why go Mars (or bust)?
We’re on a rescue mission. There are people stranded on Mars they are there for ages now. The Troubles and Velikovski prevented them from coming back. So we will go and pay them a visit. Second, we are going to put a lookout post on Mars, and on its moons. Distant Early Warning indeed. The more early we can detect, “incoming”, the better chances we have to make it change course. If a Chunk flies straight towards earth you don’t notice it on earth, it doesn’t appear on computer scans against the stellar background, it only gets brighter ands brighter, that’s a week before it hits you. Most objects are to small or to dark anyhow. So we’d like to have a look from the side, so that anything that moves to wards earth makes a nice stripe on a stellar background scan. Well better, several dots, over several days whilst the stars don’t move in the picture, any two bits computer can see the difference that way.
We go because the insurance companies pay the tickets, (together with the Northern Federation, Planetoid Protection, it’s a joke I think, but we’ll give it a try).
Our cargo, we’re like Noah’s Ark almost, a frozen one, or hibernating, any egg, or plant cell, that could be kept alive frozen, is on board, they take only little room, and who knows, might come in handy... Let’s see what we got here....
“Clone of Sherwood Forests Oldest Oak”.
Well, “might come in”, I said:
Now what do we have here? “Israeli hybrid bumblebees”? Right.
We have everything on board. Our water tanks are partly filled with fish, (those parts we can use as solar storm shelter); several kinds of fish, sweet water fish, and adjusted saltwater fish. During a Solar storm, we all get into the water tanks in the middle of the ship, the seat of the Toad-stool, where the fridge with the frozen fish eggs also is, we can swim around in a space suit, or go into the shelter, which is very crampy. That’s why we can also use the center of the water tanks, together with the other fish.
Here’s were the Spirit of Little friend Maniac II also rest, his sugars don’t like hard radiation.
I’m Wolfs; I do information, and history, I brainstorm all the time. And I work with Alexandria now, my new job.
“LIFT OFF MINUS 20 AND COUNTING”.
Did I post the letter? And will she feed the cat?
“T: MINUS, 18”.
“I feel like the princes on the pea, there’s a fly in our cabin, fruit fly? Orange very small, well, it’s in for a surprise...”
“And 17”. I did phone, Tuesday I did, maybe she’ll have kittens. Plug in the Knowbots? Did I? Check. “.
“This cabin looks like something out of a Jules Verne movie, Captain Nemo, ship’s build to last forever, or, until the next Thursday after forever”
(‘Did I count 16, and a half”).
“Abe, who’s doing the count down?”
“Wolfs you are mumbling in your mike all of the time, are you telling our sweet computer friend stories?”
“Yeah, all of the time, is my job right?”
“Build to last a thousand years, copper, and bronze? Dials; and numbers, Windows? Well: Cyber windows and virtual views. We’ve been through this a thousand times before; reality seems so unreal today. Training was very thorough”.
“Abe, did you see, the flight of the Capricorn?”
“It’s a book about going to Mars...”
“Dear people, we are in a count down here, lets concentrate...”
”CREW, WE HAVE A BIRD PROBLEM, COUNTDOWN WILL BE RESUMED, AS SOON AS THE PELICANS HAVE LEFT”.
“Actually, it’s not copper, it’s gold, and iridium of course, and the usual C60 stuff. What ever happened to good old throwaways, now I gotta fly in a second hand Space ship? It’s about time for me to I say something in Gothic again I guess. Before we go for our Stairno. They grew these walls in Alabama, says so on the labels, sure hope we won’t find no blue cheese behind the seats”.
“CREW; BIRDS ARE GONE, 15”.
“My cat’s in Dublin now, with Flame, girls on Mars have green hair, and red eyes”.
“Mumble a bit softer Wolfs!”
“Hey Guano brain!”
“Gentlemen, gentlemen, are we getting a bit tens?”
“Who hid the coconut under my seat?”
“I bumped my head again getting into my seat, peace of smear, for the number of shells the insurance Company’s paid to build it, at least they could have gotten the doors right...”
“Twelve Teens going Trans lunar, we already got one crew stuck on Mars, 20 years?”
“Live of the Laand, maan that Laand bites...”
“No 13? Beam me up Scotty...”
”Earth Quake? Nah, it’s the engines firing up, sixteen of ‘m. Six, Five, Virtual launch training gave us much more noise, and more problems to solve, and took ya nowhere”.
“Let’s rock and Roll!”
“I beg your pardon?”
“I don’t know, Tradition, (Ladies, we have liftoff)”.
“CREW: WORK, WE HAVE AN ORANGE ON THREE, CHECK THREE”. “Right, Abe I’ve got it”.
“More fruit problems...”
“Drives me Banana’s”.
It’s something to get this Baby off the ground; we’re off to Mars, half a year’s worth of traveling.
“Maniac, are you there?”
“Check, computer stand bye”.
“Keep recording every word we speak, we’ll sort it all out later, plenty off time to kill, right?”
We’re off, on our way to Mars, our fuel left earth, two years ago, well, part of it, this baby is shaking, and we’re speeding up again....
“Abe, you know what’s so nice about space flight?”
“No what maan, no flies on the windscreen?”
I’m without a job at the moment, So.’s Abe, the girls are flying, well the computers are, and the girls are baby-sitting the computers, that be Debby, Doba, and Airtha, they are the technical sisters.
Our return fuel is very near the return fuel of Mars I. The Mars One Base is on the other side of the planet or something. Noctis Labyrinthus, we fly from our Base to theirs, I’m in Charge of the getting to their place part. Eight people will have to stay on Mars, well we all stay for about 550 days, and than we have to send the fuelled ship back, it becomes part of the ski lift system between Mars and Earth. Five ships, flying in a two year orbit around the Sun, was it two year orbit? Never mind, the orbit touches the Earth, and the Mars orbit around the sun; hardly needs fuel any more, to get in the Ski lift you have to rendezvous, that takes fuel.
Lots of shaking going on, the lead eyeball experience, better keep on talking to the machine. Heartbeat’s slowing down.