4 of 4 | Chapter 5

 

“No problem. We'll move in for a short time. Organize the movers and get our people in there by tomorrow. Leave the four top floors empty. I'm going there now, and tell the purchasing manager to deliver a workshop to the top of the building with the same equipment as last time. I need the same materials too, but twenty times more. They have one hour to get it done.”

“Okay, I'll start with them then,” said Karen.

“How long will this circus be going on with the media?” He asked, abruptly changing the subject.

“As long as miracles keep coming I suppose, or until you give them an interview about your quick recovery,” said Karen dryly.

“Then they'll be waiting for some time,” Steersman sniggered.

“I'm sure they got the news that you're not in the hospital anymore.”

“Let's forget the media for now. We need to concentrate on something far more important. Let's meet tonight at the office.”

“Okay,” said Karen, and then heard the line go dead. She was still battling with the questions that had been running through her head before the attack, hoping that Steersman would let her in on his plans. She decided to ask him that night.

*

The floors at the top of the building that had been allocated to Honda remained unfinished and completely empty. Steersman heard the delivery helicopter arrive, hover for a short time above the building and then leave with a huge roar. The freight elevator was already working, so, with the help of a powerful hand-driven forklift, he loaded the delivery straight into his newly renamed office. Everything that he needed was right before him.

He looked around the new place. He needed nothing other than as much free space as possible, in all directions.

In his old office the EBI had not attached any importance to the ruins of the machines that had created the DCG spheres, or perhaps they had not realized. He could save some of them. Perhaps the agents had thought that they were part of the building and had just let them lie there. As might have been expected, the top part of the building was completely shattered. The force of the huge explosions had ripped apart the roof and the otherwise empty office hall was now full of rubble piled shoulder high.

Karen appeared among the now naked columns.

“Has everything arrived?” she asked.

“Yes, everything is here.” He stood among the scattered boxes.

“Listen, Karen. I know that so far you have done more than was required of you, but I would like you to remain for a while longer at the front line.”

“I see.”

“You are the most important person in this city right now. Hire some people to manage the routine tasks for you. Take care of your own safety and the center's safety. You may hire anyone you think suitable.”

“Center?” Karen looked at him strangely.

“Yes, where Jim is building the factory. We are going to build a research center, with massive improvements.”

“… and that's why we needed such a big site?”

“Yes.”

In Karen's head, things were beginning to straighten out. She found that it wasn't so necessary for her to figure Steersman out, as long as she understood what he was doing. But, there were still some things that had to be clarified.

“May I ask something?”

“Yes, go on.”

“These buildings, I mean … they have some sort of connection to DCG technology, don't they? They contradict all laws of physics. I'll bet it's not miracles holding them together.”

Steersman smiled. “Of course they are connected. Most of the weight in each building floats, but it is not visible. Unfortunately, the earlier designs are still faulty and not as perfect as I would like them to be. That means they're not as durable as the new ones. We'll need to change them in a couple of years, otherwise, they'll collapse like a house of cards.”

Karen couldn't help looking down at the floor.

“Don't worry, they'll hold.” Steersman smiled.

“Okay, then,” she said, feeling far from reassured.

“That's all you wanted to know?” Steersman asked looking at her.

In Karen's head, all those thoughts that had been intruding on her peace of mind, causing her to run over them endlessly, now seemed less important.

“For the time being, yes, that is all, although … I must admit that questions do arise quite often.”

“Well, I suggest that you don't wait so long with them next time.”

“I won't.”

Karen sighed, looking around the delivery surrounding them. “How can I help?”

“We are stopping all building work in the city. All of our resources and attention will now be directed towards the construction of the center. Jim Hols is coming tomorrow morning and we will be talking through the plans. Which reminds me: tell him where to come, please.”

“All right.”

“And Karen, be here yourself, too. The plan is huge and I need everyone here. You will be leading the project. I will have enough trouble getting the DCG plant started. It has to be operational in one week from now and testing starts immediately.”

“Understood.”

“I will be disappearing for a short time. No one will be able to reach me or contact me except you. Only you may come here … and perhaps Jim.”

“Okay. I have another question now.”

“Listening.”

“What are you up to?”

“I'm planning for us to be able to protect ourselves so that we'll never have to face any such incidents ever again.”

“How will you do it?”

“As I can't see the outcome of so many things yet, and cannot answer that question for myself, let's postpone the answer for now, okay? I'm sure that there will be a solution to the problem,” said Steersman confidently.

“Right then. I'll call Jim. See you tomorrow morning,” said Karen.

“Thanks. Oh, and Karen! You know I never normally make promises to anyone. One moment they're valid and the next, circumstances dictate that they have to be broken, but I promise you that when I am finished, you will have no need to fear that someone … anyone will be able to demand our lives. I hope you believe me.”

Karen paused, then looked back at him. “Yes, I do,” she said softly, frowning. “But until then you may need many lunches.”

“That's why I chose you,” he laughed.

Karen left the building and on the way home, she called Jim. The bad feelings that she had arrived with had evaporated, even though she still had the same number of, or perhaps, even more questions to deal with. She did not have any regrets, somehow she knew she could trust Steersman, but could not put her finger on why she felt that way.

 

***

 

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

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 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 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