15 April, 2011

[SFAP] Chapter 2:15

This is the fifteenth section of the second chapter of Sonnets from a Proton. The novel starts here.
The next section is here.

Malka stared around the room she had finally been escorted to. Monitors and readouts filled the walls. At most of them someone was working on something or other. Some displays showed water pressure, sonar plots and depth; others showed light cone traces, orbital trajectories. It had all the readouts and equipment for running a coordinated strike across sea land air sky and space but its size implied it was a vessel not a command and control post.
“What is this a submarine or a spaceship” she asked.
“Both”
“What? An amalgamation of both crafts control systems so I’m familiar with both?”
“No it’s both. It is a mock-up of a craft that is primarily a spaceship but that has to hide under the ocean.”
“That’s not possible, or at least highly wasteful.”
“Oh it’s possible and you’d be surprised what is and isn’t wasteful.” Gwen pointed Malka at the far wall behind the command chair that showed a simplified schematic of the craft, the schematic was clearly primarily for a damage readout during battle, but in this case it made the propulsion system all too obvious.
“You’re kidding?”
“No”
“They actually built one?”
“Over a dozen actually over the decades, this is of course the training simulator. A full size mock-up of the first production craft complete with rams to simulate battle condition. Of course the first craft was the smallest, but this is more than adequate until we get to launch a real one.”
“I thought I’d have heard if they’d have launched one of these”
“Quite. Now would you like the tour? Or should we just run a few simulations for your benefit?”
“Tour first but wow. Just Wow.” the awe in her voice quite obvious.
“You get used to it after a while. No we have enough crew here to staff an entire ship, more than that and we’d need to go to the outside military. Everyone rotates around their positions though so it’s all very flexible around here and people will call you out if you’re doing a bad job.”
“Harsh.”
“A very fast way to learn. Come I’ll show you the fighters too. They’re almost as fun”

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