06 April, 2011

[SFAP] Chapter 2:8

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

 “It’s quite sad really isn’t it?”
“Yeah, I’m really looking forward to this new space, up here has always felt like a park, just so artificial, it was supposed to be our place to go back to nature. But being upstairs in the Habitat isn’t like being outdoors on Earth – more like being in a park in a city on a warm summer Sunday; busy! I guess the lack of seasons doesn’t help.”
“Yet if no one is allowed in these new spaces that you create then what’s going to be the point?”
“I believe it is the Habitat’s experiment. I’ve got the one that will be built and seeded but hopefully left alone.”
“The other will be more like the countryside yes? People will be able to visit it?”
“I think that’s the plan”
“Can’t imagine it’s going to be a nice place to visit for quite a while though. All they’ve got at the moment are sand and water.”
“Unfortunately” said Martin “There’s little soil and very few forests in the asteroid belts or ort cloud to mine for materials so you’ve got to start from the raw elements.”
“Yeah I’ve seen the sand dunes projects; I got a look at the labs downstairs a few weeks back, dozens of floors given over to the plants they’re going to plant.”
“That’s not the half of it, have you heard about the algae?”
“Yeah vast tanks with algae blooms induced, artificial lights lighting them in order to produce unknown millions of tons of biological matter.”
“Could be worse, the Habitat has apparently been storing biological waste for a decade or so now.”
“You mean sewage?”
“Yep, quite literally hundreds of trillions of gallons of sewage stored and ready to be spread on the land.”
“Is that for what I think?”
“Fertiliser and seed stock for growth, biological matter is the key to this whole thing. That’s why there’s so much emphasis on growing the algae.”
“And right now there’re thousand of drones out there spreading dead algae all over that land to start the production of soil.”
“Apparently we’re going to see the wildlife of the park here change significantly, once they’ve got a barely functional biosystem in the new plate they’ll be moving as much of the wildlife from here out to there as they can.”
“Well I always felt sorry for the fish in these ponds, far too small for them, true it’s no worse than an aquarium, but here false is all there is.”
“There’s a rumour going round that the Habitat is wanting to transport some whales here.”
“You’re kidding?”
“Think about it, some of them at least feed on plankton and krill, the very parts of the food system that are relatively easy to get growing quickly. This then gives you a nice high level predator in the food system.”
“See, you are cheering an old man up”
She stared at him serious for a moment, “I wish you’d stop calling yourself that.”
“An old man is entitled to his indulgences isn’t he?”
The alarms sounded again.
“Wow you can really start to feel the gravity can’t you”
“It seems long time since I experienced anything above a third Gee, even if it has been less than a day, this may start to hurt.”
“I believe the plan is now to not experience anything above a half a Gee, then slowly accelerate until we are up to one revolution per day and full earth gravity. Let’s face it something this big takes some accelerating.”
“Think I could persuade them to leave it a bit lower than that?”
“Not even for you old man, I really doubt that.”
“Fine come on Iz we’ve been sat out here long enough”
“I didn’t realise you were in a rush.”
“I’m not, but even I can’t spend the entire day doing nothing” he struggled to stand up “I can have a damn good try though.”
“I’ve been meaning to ask you some questions you should still have some decent contacts yes?”
“What are you after?”
“Oh I just wondered if you knew any physicists. Especially any that had been able to explain this impossible place.”
“Not impossible, just beyond our knowledge, well some of it anyway”

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