6 of 6 | Chapter 12

 

Nishihara stepped forward and began to outline the project details. “Okay, let's start at the beginning. Information! How can I put it? Starting the process of design can only be done when every detail and every sub-detail of those details are established. Broadly speaking, we need to recognize and understand the purpose of everything in all possible situations and states, right down to questions like what to do with a used tissue, where will be placed, what equipment will dispose of it and how, what is it connected to and who is responsible for its operation.”

“Exactly,” confirmed Steersman. “Now, I'm just outlining the general task. Your work will begin exactly with this, with the acquisition of information. For that, you will be talking to many people and there'll be plenty of time to do so here at the research base. You'll be talking with the people responsible for developing a variety of tools with which it will be possible to travel in space,” Steersman paused and then continued in a more focused tone. “In larger terms, you're going to design a living space that is a closed ecosystem. Think about the needs of a city and you will have an approximation of the needs of a spaceship: food supply, energy, public services, accident and safety issues, communication, transportation issues, recreation, entertainment, education, management, maintenance as well as servicing waste and by-product processing, and so on. In addition, there will also be the specific processes that come as part of space travel.”

“You mentioned a fleet. If I understand it correctly, we'll have to keep in mind the existence of at least several ships,” added Nishihara.

“Yes. To be more precise, you need to design three mother ships which will carry smaller vessels that can detach and reattach themselves as required, in order to carry out specific tasks further from the fleet,” Steersman elaborated.

The team remained silent, their minds already filled with thoughts, as if the whole scene was already in front of them.

“Could you tell us a few words about the specific goals of the mission in space, and also the additional tasks the crews will be required to perform,” said Nishihara.

“The fundamental purpose of the expedition will be exploration for raw materials, meaning that detection, exploration and extraction will be core to the mission, as is the establishment of colonies. A team of energetics engineers and chemists will be going along to investigate the properties of any new material found.”

“Dividing this group into teams will be particularly important then. Each team will then only have to deal with the developers who are producing equipment for a specified function on the ship. What do we know about the time-frame?” asked Nishihara.

“All departments will have one year for research and development, and we'll then have an additional year for construction and testing. Meanwhile, we'll also be training the expedition team.”

“How long will this expedition last?”

“The duration of the mission has yet to be specified, but it would mean years. The distances we're talking about will be dictated by the performance of the drives that will have been developed by then. During the test period, of course, we will make some short journeys to test everything.”

“If I understand correctly, you want to build the ships in one year. Doesn't that mean that the plans should have been started, how can I put it, some time ago,” Nishihara threw out his arms.

“You will have exactly as much time as is given for development.”

Several people looked at each other.

“So we are preparing to create a minor miracle,” Nishihara mused. He couldn't think of any concrete reason why the whole thing was infeasible, anyway, it would all become clear later.

“You'll get used to it,” said Steersman.

“Where do we start?” asked Nishihara, returning to the issue at hand.

“I would start at the end, looking at the final goal.”

“What do you mean?”

“We are currently at the starting point. It will be much easier if there's something concrete on the table to work towards. I would suggest you begin your visualizations. Create a spaceship! Design what it will look like and then make a model, make something that we can all see and touch.”

“Okay,” said Nishihara.

“But be prepared for it to change into something completely different as time goes on. In a word, work together with a flexible, malleable system. Once you all know what you need to pay attention to during the design process, then constantly use that information as a template.”

“I still have a problem with the short time frame. Design is not an accelerated process. Unfortunately, if one detail is not in the right place, it could have fatal consequences,” Nishihara explained.

“I didn't bring you all here by chance. I hope your families will be able to tolerate not seeing you for two years, because this assignment will become part of your lives. You will get up and go to bed with it, you will breathe it and dream with it because otherwise it will not work. Of course, you will get all the help you need in order to be able to work effectively. I'm not just referring to the equipment you see here, but also programs that you will regularly participate in, with the help of which you'll gain a deeper insight into the essence of the mission; and training courses from which you'll receive new spiritual strength.”

“Sounds good,” said a few of the voices with others nodding in approval.

“This is what I'm talking about. Now go home to your families because, from tomorrow you won't be seeing them very much. You won't have the time, nor be given the opportunity to meet them in person very often, but in the end, I guarantee it will be worth it and they will come to forgive you.”

“Holy shit …” whispered one of designers.

 

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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 11 | GRAVITOR
CHAPTER 13 | ENERGY WAR
CHAPTER 14 | AFTERSHOCKS
CHAPTER 15 | INITIATION
CHAPTER 16 | PREPARATION
CHAPTER 17 | DEFENSE CORPS
CHAPTER 18 | TRUTH
CHAPTER 19 | BEYOND EARTH