4 of 7 | Chapter 11

 

“… and of course, the DCG Expo,” added one of the vehicle development engineers.

“Quite possibly,” said Alec Samuelson.

“The IRD has been instructed to find members of the group and I will shortly be receiving their reports,” stated Trenerry.

“Right. Now we have one job to do: provide the city with electricity. In the past year, the energy unit has got close to a revolutionary breakthrough in the construction of a one hundred percent clean power generation plant. The only problem is that it's never been tested in real conditions. Tests show that—at the current possible plant work load—six more such plants should be installed in the city to provide its entire electricity needs.”

“That's a lot, it certainly can't be executed within 24 hours,” said Gibbs.

“Maybe, but we have to get one working within the hour, and it will be done from the ASEC research center.”

“From here?” asked Trenerry.

“Yes. Using our own grid-system, we'll feed electricity to the urban grid. Basically, the current direction will be reversed. Until then, unfortunately, the ASEC …” Gibbs dropped his voice and looked Steersman. “The ASEC will be virtually crippled until further prototypes are made in the factory.”

“Is there any chance of returning to the usual power supply?”

“Engineers from the electricity companies are assessing the damage, but they say that the power plants will be out of action for a couple of days. It looks like someone knew what they were doing and have damaged some very sensitive sections.”

“A few days … that's unacceptable,” said Steersman. “From this moment, every unit is to be at a state of full alert. I'm ordering the DCG drive factory to make an immediate switch to production of the cores required to assemble power generation plants.”

“Consider it done,” said Jamie Ryder.

“I would ask every manager to work where they can be of most use until the power supply is stable.”

All those present at the meeting signaled their assent.

“What is the situation in the city? What are conditions like?” asked Karen, who had been silently observing the meeting.

“According to Police Chief Summers, there is no panic. Any attempts at break-ins and other incidents have been handled routinely. Every one of our men is out there in the city. They help where they can,” said Trenerry.

“If I've been informed correctly, there has been one case of arson?”

“Yes, fortunately only a GlideCraft. Firefighters found the perpetrators at the scene and Moses Stout, the fire chief, personally held one of them down. His men are out there working closely with police.”

“Excellent.”

“They'll hold on as long as it takes, but they request that we have this mess sorted out as soon as possible.”

“Well, let's get it done! This meeting is over. Let's get to work everyone, and get the first Gravitor started as soon as it's ready,” said Steersman decisively.

“Gravitor?!” everyone looked around in surprise.

“Yes, Gravitor. The new name for power generation plants made with anti-gravity technology. We will need to increase the speed of research and development too. The goal is to be able to place them wherever we want them as soon as possible,” Steersman shot back over his shoulder as he left the room.

They all looked at each other but remained silent; they knew that things would be as they had to be. By the time they had accepted the idea, Steersman was already hurrying along the blind tunnel towards the second sector.

“Karen, do you have any idea what Steersman is up to?” Trenerry asked Karen from behind.

“What do you mean?” She turned to face him.

“I have a feeling that there's something he's not telling us,” he growled.

“Well, if you feel that then why don't you talk to him personally?”

“Yeah, I suppose so … I will next time I see him,” he answered and followed the others out.

 

Prototype

Over the previous nine months, Neil Gibbs had already tested the first complete power plant prototype countless times at the energy research unit, and he was still at it when Oliver Trenerry caught up with him. Gibbs addressed him without turning.

“It has been operating at level two for a month now, and it seems stable.”

“Is that going to be enough?”

“Not at all. To produce a sufficient amount of electricity we need to run it at least level four, but I believe that to provide the whole city we'll need the maximum, level five, and it will have to remain completely stable.”

“Then, can we switch it into the third level?” asked Trenerry.

Gibbs gave the communications expert, who clearly had no idea what he was talking about, a look of irritation. The feeling quickly passed however, and Gibbs realized that any further delay was just a waste of time, so he ordered the third stage to be initiated.

The whirring noise increased slightly and a rhythmic popping sound joined it. On the power level display the numbers began to rise.

“Oh my!” Gibbs gasped.

“What? What is it?!?”

“We are on the verge of two thousand megawatts and the gravitor stage three is only reaching its operational level now.”

“Is it stable?” asked Trenerry. He looked at the power-plant mounting above him, standing on a triform amoeba-like base. The walls, except for the rounded top, were completely transparent; and inside it, more than a thousand gravitational spheres of differing sizes were circling and weaving seemingly irregular paths. At the base of the Gravitor, energy was supplied by a generator turbine that was driven by the spheres.

“At the moment, it is sitting at about 2400 megawatts,” said Gibbs. “With that we can get started. Please, inform Mr Steersman.”

“I don't know where he is at the moment. I'll call Karen, perhaps she knows,” said Trenerry, and he rushed off.

Gibbs kept on going through the data, checking and re-checking, not wanting to believe his eyes. He knew that with the increase in size there would be an exponential increase in recoverable energy, but then a speed increase caused the indicators to jump frantically.

For a moment, he left his role as a scientist and stood staring at the glowing orange tower with childlike amazement, as if it was some sort of natural wonder.

“What's happening, Gibbs?” Steersman broke in on his thoughts.

“Ah, Mr Steersman. Looks like Trenerry found you.”

“No, he didn't. Some of building sensors recorded vibrations.”

“We brought the power plant up to level three. At the moment it is producing almost two and a half gigawatts.”

“A good start. Have you run the sphere binding analysis?”

“Yes, except for in the lower stage, where we used a different binding, everything is stable. As a matter of fact, it's as if it were stronger as a result of the increase in speed, but only in this binding mode.”

“Switch off the lower stage!”

“Okay … it's off now. The output declined to two gigawatts”

“Okay, now then, switch it up to stage four.”

“Four?!”

“Yes, you heard, four. Let's see what happens!”

 

*************************************************************************************************************

Previous pages Go to next pages

*************************************************************************************************************

 

 

comments powered by Disqus

CHAPTER 1 | EXCOLOPOLIS
CHAPTER 2 | MACHINES
CHAPTER 3 | A NEW TECHNOLOGY
CHAPTER 4 | ATTACK
CHAPTER 5 | THE SOURCE
CHAPTER 6 | THE SCIENCE CENTER
CHAPTER 7 | UNIVERSITY CITY
CHAPTER 8 | GLIDECRAFT
CHAPTER 9 | SECTOR TWO
CHAPTER 10 | THEY KNOW WE ARE HERE
CHAPTER 12 | INSTALLATION
CHAPTER 13 | ENERGY WAR
CHAPTER 14 | AFTERSHOCKS
CHAPTER 15 | INITIATION
CHAPTER 16 | PREPARATION
CHAPTER 17 | DEFENSE CORPS
CHAPTER 18 | TRUTH
CHAPTER 19 | BEYOND EARTH