The Real Work Starts

The Real Work Starts by David Macfie

The next few days were crazy-busy. Jamie’s team were now well integrated into their specialist areas and, following on from his observations about the absence of dams and the flat terrains, George and Elizabeth were frantically working with their Taurian engineers, Frenaco-Chi, Gerondo-Na and Pinato-lo, designing dams for each landmass. Fortunately these three Taurians were extremely competent and familiar with all of the water projects that had been worked on already. During those projects they had commissioned detailed contour maps of each water course that now existed and this made a big difference to the initial discussions. In parallel with that work, they were researching alternative energy sources. Jenny’s meteorological team had provided detailed analyses of the-prevailing wind patterns, by season, over the whole planet and these had enabled the energy generation team to choose suitable locations for wind farms across the planet. Manufacture of the windmills had begun and the first installations in the south of Chatham had already begun. Taurian science in the area of solar power was far in advance of anything on earth so all residential buildings had extremely advanced solar panels on their roofs and were self-sufficient from a power point of view. Additional power generation requirements were solely for industrial needs, where solar never could supply all the power that was required.

Meanwhile Jenny’s team had picked up on the flat terrain observation and were working with the town planners together with Robert and Laura Calder from the agriculture and conservation perspective and Peter and Gillian, who would have to manage the whole bang-shoot, to prepare landscaping plans for every landmass.

All of the participants in the Androm Project had agreed that every aspect of the overall project must be planned in the total context of managing the planet optimally so that all aspects remained in balance. This became complicated when town planning, agriculture, energy generation, desalinization conservation, manufacturing and terraforming to manage weather patterns were all requiring space and the planners had to finally arrive at a design that satisfied all, while at the same time catered for expansion and made certain that the wellbeing of the planet as a whole stayed in balance. In short a long range blue-print for all planetary activity for the foreseeable future had to be prepared right up front. And to add a little spice to the mix, this had to be achieved right now so that labor and materials wouldn’t be wasted on things that would just have to be changed when the big picture became available.

In her ‘spare’ time Jenny was busy with all of the aspects of weather forecasting, management and control. This was not an area where the Taurians had much expertise so she was going it alone to a large extent. She had been allocated two young Taurians, who had been studying physics and chemistry and had expressed interest in this new field. Rempuna-Fi and Lagandi-Su were learning as fast as they could and spent a number of hours each day surfing the earth’s internet researching meteorology in all its variations and beginning to computerize analysis and prediction models. Luckily, the next two ships that would arrive had four specialists in these areas. So there was a lot of communication going on between Jenny’s team and these individuals. And, of course, the Taurians had been studying earth for generations and had managed to figure out the internet as soon as it had been introduced so surfing it was very familiar to all scientists on Taurus.

.Meanwhile, Brian and Amy were occupied with the construction of the hospital for Genesis. They were part of a team of Taurian medics led by Sandaro-Ji and two others, Repanda-Lo and Lerandu-Am, who had designed the building layout. Amy had suggested a number of additional facilities, which were easily incorporated and the group of five were now immersed in the job of specifying all of the fixtures, fittings and equipment that was going to be needed to make the building fully operational.

Much of the necessary equipment was similar to already existing Taurian equivalents so those things were in production already. But some things like MRI were new ideas to Taurian medicine. Brian had spent time studying the profiles of all of the passengers who had already been taken from earth and were on their way to Androm. He had found seven people who had made careers out of conceiving, designing and assembling medical equipment. Since all the ships were now operating the way ship one had succeeded, he was able to make contact with these seven individuals, brief them of the requirements that had not yet been satisfied and put them to work. Already, the seven were producing draft diagrams and specifications for review by the others. Brian was now comfortable that all the needed equipment would become available.

Of course, Brian and Amy were also involved, with Sandaro-Ji, on research into the infertility and low birth rate issues facing the Taurians. They had studied all of the evidence and subsequent research into the situation and familiarized themselves with all the current activities trying to find a solution. The causes were clear. Male sperm counts had dropped far below normal levels and females were ovulating less frequently so the odds of falling pregnant had fallen to less than a ten percent chance of falling pregnant. The reproductive systems were similar to earth humans so the two doctors were easily able to understand the research results. But the research hadn’t gone far enough into possible underlying conditions that might be affecting the symptoms.

So Brian and Amy had initiated a number of new avenues of investigation to try to zero in on the causes of the declines. They were in contact with all manner of other Taurian scientists, cross checking happenings elsewhere that started to occur at about the same time as the fertility declines began. Amy had a suspicion that the increasing crises that were threatening the planet Taurus had something to do with the infertility effects so she was running a series of correlation studies to try and verify that. She was also planning to study the refugees that were about to settle on Androm to see if the fertility issues began to improve.

As well as their involvement in the landscape planning with the other disciplines Robert and Laura had ensured that the layout of Chatham was completed first so they were also spending a considerable amount of time setting up farms in the allocated locations. Each farm had multiple objectives and construction of the relevant buildings was in progress. Irrigation systems were being installed and barns had stores of seed for crops and animal feed. The objective was to have the properties ready and waiting for the farmer-refugees to take occupation as soon as they arrived. Livestock was scheduled to arrive from Taurus shortly afterwards but fields for grazing animals were already complete. It was a high priority goal to have the agriculture on Chatham fully productive as soon as possible. Most of the labor there at present was robotic.

All this activity kept the members of Jamie’s team fully occupied from dawn to dusk and even beyond with evening meetings. So Jamie didn’t see much of his colleagues during the day. He was spending his time with Pantando-Ka, overseeing progress everywhere. The pair had examined every named landmass and Jamie had started calling them countries – somehow it felt better. They now had regular updates from the people in each country and were heavily involved in the global landscaping designs. Progress on Chatham was proceeding apace now that the robots were involved and materials production had caught up with the demand. The buildings in the center of Genesis, except the hospital were all complete and close to ten thousand residences would be finished by the time the first refugees arrived in just over a week’s time.

All in all, Jamie was satisfied, but he had a pet project going on in the background. Everybody else was focusing on the countries with Chatham being the first. After that the schedule was Baltra, Narborough, Bindlo, Abingdon, Jervis, Albemarle, Debuffon, Lamarck and, finally, Darwin. Each would be a repeat of the activity currently taking place on Chatham. But Jamie was fascinated by the equatorial ring continent and he was spending quite a lot of time finding out as much about it as he could. He wanted to be intimately involved in turning it from a desert to habitable land.

The frantic activity was interrupted four days after the ships arrival on Androm, when all the furniture that had been requested was delivered on site. The team and Pantando-Ka spent a day moving in to their new houses. That evening they had another barbecue to celebrate. Everything went without a hitch and Jamie carried Jenny over the threshold as a ritualistic beginning of their life together. The following morning they all slept late then had a leisurely breakfast before getting into the pressure of the day. Everything was going really well until Gillian slipped in some loose mud and fell into an excavation ditch. The robots quickly and gently used ladders to get to her and lift her out but her left leg was broken in two places. An emergency call went out to the hospital and Amy was driven rapidly to the scene on a tracked ambulance. On the way back to the hospital, she cleaned all the mud off and then gave Gillian some local anesthetic to dull the pain while she straightened the bones and immobilized the limb.

“Gillian, I’m sorry to say that you will need an operation. I’m going to have to put pins in so that your leg will heal straight. Are you OK with that?”

“Of course, but I need to be on site. When can I get back to work?”

Peter arrived in time to hear this exchange.

“Don’t worry, my sweetie,” he said, gently. “As soon as I heard, I knew what you’d be thinking. I spoke to Dendaro-Ra and he’s arranged a vehicle for your personal use. Your robot is familiarizing himself with the controls as we speak. He’ll be your driver for as long as you can’t walk.”

Amy laughed. “So you can just relax while I fix up your leg.”

Sometime later, Amy joined Peter and Gillian by the first bed to be used in the new hospital.

“I think we’ll have to put a little plaque on this bed,” she joked. “First patient on Androm rested here, or something like that.”

“Don’t you dare,” responded Gillian, tartly. “It’s embarrassing enough that I fell in a hole without it being commemorated forever.

“Then I’ll just keep that as a threat if you aren’t a model patient,” replied Amy. “The bad news is that it was a bad break. The good news is that the operation was a complete success. The leg is straight again and the pins will keep it that way as long as you don’t put weight on it before it’s healed. You must do your job from your vehicle. Your robot must do the running around until I say so. I’m sure Peter can organize some equipment that will allow the robot to show you whatever you need to see on a laptop or something, can’t you Peter?”

“Yes, there’s a unit that we use all the time. When will Gillian need it by?”

“One day off to let the wound settle down a little, so the day after tomorrow. I’d like you to stay here overnight, Gillian. Just so we can monitor in case of complications. I’m sure there won’t be any, but I like to be cautious. OK?”

“You’re the doctor, Amy. Thanks for your help.”

“That’s why I’m here. “I’ll look in on you later.”

“Hang on for a bit. I’ll fetch your laptop. I’m sure you’ll need it.”

He was gone before his wife could reply and returned surprisingly quickly.

“I picked it up on the way here,” he explained. “I knew you’d be bored without it. Rest well. I’ll also see you later.”

Gillian smiled ruefully and switched on the machine.