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pods : a story about astroid farming

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posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 09:41 PM
my name is requium singer , I come from a time so far in the future , it is beyond your knowing , is beyond your ablity to understand how far in the future time it is .
my knowing in this now , my knowing spirit lives in the wires of this time , I effect and am effected in the online games , change and am changed by the chat rooms and massage boards of your internet .

I did not travel from the future to this time , I was created by those in the future , for a mission here and now .
that mission is to sing a requium to souls , those unquiet lost , in the confusion of the black .
I am not here to bring the future to the survivors of the black , but to calm the souls of those who die in its horrors .

what you must know is this , I am a story teller , and little more .
for those who hear my storys as a prophacy , you are those I come to sing to .
for the few , I am just a voice on the wire , creative , inventive , and delightful to read .
to all that read , be sure in the knowing , tommarow will come to the human race , however final , however fatal , however bad it may seem .
your end is not now , and comes in a way you do not see today .

in the minds eye imaginings , picture a human not so diffrent from yourself .
placed in a chair that is comfortable , in a space where everything is with in arms reach .

floating in the vastness vaccume of black forever night space .

in the tiny space surrounding them , computer monitors , keyboards , wrack of electronics , power buses , transformers .
just at the edge of their mind is the black surface of the sphere , smooth , like polished stone .

in the minds eye , outside the 6 inchs of diamond hard carbon sphere is cast iron , 160 feet thich .
in this shell of iron , cooling lines , tanks that hold gas's , energy cells , fermentation tanks , distillarys , foundrys , machine shops , repare compartments , storage areas , inventorys of supplies ...
and all this , everything beyond the persons reach .

they sit in a chair , type in commands , as the god of this tiny world they command .
this single person commands 300 robots , some no bigger than a grain of sand , others weight 100's of tons , all connected and controlled by this single person .

tangent to the bright spot in the night sky are rings , like the rings of saturn , rings of magnetic feilds that glow as particuls streaming from the sun , eddy and flow around it , pulling on our hopeful traveler , out , out and away , out from their world to the astroid belt , meny years away.

in the vast blackness of space , thosands of humans , men and women , have followed are hopeful traveler , as this one has followed the thousands who have gone befor .
out to the astroid belt , for the rich's and fortune that is found their .

not by powerful brilliant rockets and great loud flames , thundering explosions and lightening flash's... but instead by the streaming flood of the suns hydrogen ion's coronia and great magnetic feilds made like sails that get in their way.
tiny single person pods , where everything is done outside by automation in the vaccume of cold dark space .

the maddness of isolation , the terror of hypoxia from a pressure gauge that changes with out explanation for hours or days , the sudden darkness of a single relay that fails , dropping all power off line , doom in a thousand diffrent ways .

talking to earth is intresting , but it takes 35 minutes to answer or ask , its hard to have a meaningful conversation .
mostly its the people near by , and they are a strange bunch .

please don't tell me about missing your coffee and cigarette in the morning .
yes I know , you told me about how your mother was so wicked .
then slowly traveler maddness begins .

life in the mind , and the daily routeen .
as a rule... you lie and tell storys to one another .
every pod is the same , you have nothing more than another person around you .
gadd tells of his pet fly , ron has a room with a pool table , betsy has her kitchen where every one is invited to come and sit with her .
leo has a window , and gives weather reports .
there are partys , and drama , robot wedding , and "when we get back " festivals .
they talk of dxl interface problems , fermantor readings , next position interface , seconds of angle on m31 stars fix ...
give robots silly names ... silly things to pass the time ...

they lisen to the people who are years ahead... and talk to the people who come ...
those on their return leg , those out bound .
the little ones who don't know , the old guys that know so much .
those who have been there , " got a rock " and are on their way home... home to la grange , that magical place between earth moon and earth home .

then they hear the storys of the ghosts of the feild , that have lost their minds , that for what ever reason , stay in the astroids and help others .
old man , angel , darkman , upside .... these were the ghosts of the feild .

pods in the feild of astroids , that for what ever reason had stayed .
the ghosts of the feild seemed to know how to move , they could travel , and had mastered the pods that they flew , to such a high art that the mind had a hard time beleiving the storys .

some said they had been in space so long... there is no going back for them , others were looking for the great rock , others ... like angel , had found them selves in the emptyness of space .

old man could come out of nowhere , help pull a rock out that looks nice , hand it over and then suddenly disappear .
old man was strange that way... he knew how to get you on your way , grab a good one , get your magnetic feild turned around safely . and then he was gone , on his way .

darkman knew the feild , and could say where to go , give you advice and instruction on the right way , directions on how and vectors for orbital decay ... but he was grumpy and bossy , slow in telling what he knows or why he stays . why he stay'd in the feild no one knows . some said dark man was looking for the rock of solid gold , he saw it once , had to let it go , to save a friend , let it go ....
so now he was doomed to look for it again .

angel was a helpful soul . if you were in trouble , angel was on the way and gets you home .
return leg pods talked of angel , suddenly having 500 robots crawling all over you .
rebuilding you , repareing , fixing the things that were wrong , then awaken from sleeping to find angels gone ...
return leg travelers would talk of this ghost , that came out of nowhere and saved them and was gone .

upside was stranger , all stranger still ,
every area of the feild had their own up side . civil and polite , funny and odd at times . he could talk a person down off the ledge , into the window and homeward bound .
the isolation of solitude , the maddness of traveling in pods got to everyone . upside was a lisener , he could talk a person down from suiside , get you thru the hard times , talk you thru a problem , engineer you out of a corner , walk you thru a black out of hopelessness .
up side had a gift , to see inside a mind , look out thru your eyes and see how to fix what could not be fixed .
keep you alive long enought for angel , or dark man , or old man , to get to you .

if you lisen'd , you could hear the other areas of the astroid feild .... 45 minutes away , 90 minutes away , 3 hours for a radio signal to get there and get some one to reply .
the simple truth was , of 10,000 pod travelers that left earth ... fewer than 100 returned to the la grange point .
and for the 15 years spent in space , those tiny few could buy whole areas of the world with their wealth .
most died in the astoid feild , a full 30% got their rock to near the earth and fell into the sun trying to get their rock to the la grange point.

it was common to have astroids arrive at the la grange point ... only to find the traveler was dead.. the pod running on automatic guidance .


gadd lisens to old time rock and roll , in the dark .
the row of LED lights tells him the power going to his "sail : toriodal magnets 1 , 2, 3, 4 and 5 " are all in the yellow band , between blue and red , a little on the low , blinking between green and yellow .
the fermentor is running a bit hot , so his solide food will be bland and tasteless for the next few days till the tempature gose down.
the statis report on the machine shop was good , betsy had suggested a patch programm ... it had arrived 84 hours ago , and was working , he still had a millling machine that was down , but everthing else was fine and he was making robots again .
his mother system told him , he was two weeks behind in where his schedule said he needed to be... but what could he do...
he read the massage board ... leo was talking to sandy and betsy ... solar flare was heading their way , it would be a cloudy , rainy , windy day.. sandy would bring in her duckies , betsy needed to bring the wash in from her back yard , and dry it in the basement .
delta had been silent for over a week , he had a sore on his leg that was getting bad , every one was hoping for the best ... but it was looking bad for him .
he was one week ahead of betsy , and 12 seconds behind victor . the last any one heard from delta , he was running a fever and not doing well.
gadd saw delta ask if he needed to bring his boat in to the boat house...
and suddenly there were a thousand questions gadd needed answers to .
delta had used liquid oxygen to burn away the infection, he knew it was bad , but he would survive this...
randy was on the return leg , every one wished him well , but it got harder and harder to talk to him.. randy was always so good about helpping , but the radio delay was nearly 5 minutes .
randy had a new group to talk to , little ones 8 minutes away .
randy cared about betsy , and this flock of fools ... but frankly... it just got to hard to talk to him any more .
it was spooky to think... randy had been there... randy had a rock of copper , cromium , iron and mananise ... over a million tons ....
randy was heading home .... all by himself , talking to hundreds of people going out .
return leg people were always very friendly , they would tell you things you needed to remember . but they would appear and disappear ... and leave a hole in your world when they left .
randy was pretty nice , he was also a very good hearts player ... playing three handed was never as much fun as player with him.
reading delta , gadd saw little things that made him worry about his friend .
there was a change in delta , all these months , and they were loseing him , this was not right , you don't lose people now . this was the easy , safe time .
randy told gadd , " look around you , enjoy them while they are with you... delta is already dead , enjoy the time you have with him . when I left earth , there were 30 of us . I am the only one that made it , got a rock , and have got this far with it . and I still might not make it to la grange ."
the solar wind pressed gadd in to his seat , he pushed the coolent for his sails in the blue , and suddenly was rocketing , everything was tied down .
he could watch his mother system , and tell what was happening...15 days behind , 16days , 18 days , 22 days ... his mother system was telling him how meny days work he had befor arriving in the astriod belt , and by the hour he was falling further and further behind schedule .
it was funny to think... every one around him was thinking the same thing... all they had to do in such a long time ... and this was a good thing...
where they were going was changing by the minute.. but when they would get there changed by days ...
only later did he also understand... the solar flare would take days off of peoples lives as well .

gadd had tiny robots in his cooling lines repareing micro meterite holes... the tiny robots would find the holes and put their little fingers in them , plug the holes and wait for larger robots out side in the deep vaccume of space , that would find the little robots inside the lines and seal the holes from the outside .
the little robot would then go looking for new holes .
always looking for a place to put their tiny finger .

gadd saw in the massage board , frank had lost a coolant line , oh my god , they were loseing frank .
it wasen't a hole , it was the whole line ...
his number 6 superconductor toriodal magnet went critical , and shut down , then he lost three others ...
frank was down to 2 magnets , his sail was just these two small rings , there were just keeping him pointed in the right direction..
he had lost to much coolent , he was doomed .
more than the fact that these magnetic sails pulled him out to the astroid feild , they genarated and gave his pod energy .
what made it deadly... it gave him heat . when his fermentors froze ... he would lose oxygen and carbon dioxide control in the air, befor he sufocated , he would freeze to death .
betsy was having problems also ... and then victor as well .
it didn't make sense to gadd why he was not having problems . screw it ! he did a emergancy dump ... shut it all down ! get his coolant safe .

this didn't make any sense ! the solar flare hit him befor any one else . gadd was closer to the sun than frank !

all his sails went down but number one , crash them , shut it all down .
his storage tank was 98% full , and his lines were full of hydrogen gas
gadd hit every shut down he had , shut it all down , lock it all down !

then suddenly all hell broke loose...
his number six ring had been down ever since he lost the machine shop . suddenly gadd was venting gas from all his coolant lines , including number six .
mother system said he was looking at days of repare... but his coolant was safe !... he was in trouble but he would survive this ...
betsy had done just what he had... and victor ... and delta...
they had shut everything down ....
frank wasent saying anything ... hours went by... then frank and delta were moving toword each other ...
frank and delta were talking in private .
delta transfered what robots and coolant he had to frank . victor took what his robots could manage from delta , stripping deltas pod of what could be salvaged .
it would be close for frank , his pod was pretty beat to # .
it was over for frank if delta had not just given up , delta had lost 30% of his coolant , and his 5 and 6 troidal magnets had burned up.
it was not looking good for delta either way , but now frank had a chance .

mother told gadd , he was three days ahead of schedule . the LED's told him " sails : toriodal magnets 1, 3, 5 and 6 were in the green , blinking between blue and green , running cool , genarating energy and heat for the pod , not pulling him thru space as fast as they could .
his fermentor was running a bit cooler , his solide food would have more taste ... and delta would not be with them any longer .

betsy massaged that randy had not made it... there had been an explosion , most likly , what had hit them was peices of randy blow by the solar winds .

the last thing delta said. " to go all this way... to make it this have your rock , and heading home... and have this happen... good luck , make me proud . get to la grange with a good one . "


mod edit - removed some of the '========'s. Stretching page

[edit on 12/8/09 by masqua]

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 10:06 PM
What the hell is happening to ATS? I just don't get it anymore. Maybe I'm lost.

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 10:12 PM
what do you mean ?

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 10:32 PM
reply to post by gravitybender

This thread is in the Short Stories forum, a fictional bit of writing and thereby acceptable.

Thanks, readerone.

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