3 of 4 | Chapter 5

 

In the place, something always seemed to begin, or to be more precise, was begun automatically. At moments like those, he could see plans, solutions and observe processes that seemed millions of years away from the primitive technologies of Earth. Of course, most ideas were limited by physical barriers such as lack of tools, tools that did not yet exist on Earth. Then, there was the question of raw materials, the main reason he had constructed the molecular neutralization plant for, where industrial and domestic waste from all over the planet was brought; that was not worth recycling to others. In this facility, waste wasn't destroyed, burnt or melted down. It was broken down into its separate components using a mysterious technology.

The molecular level! In the place, events flowed with such depth. New materials could be created at will, new applications found for them, new ways of processing information, processing molecules … the possibilities were endless and ever growing.

Steersman knew that he had to find new paths and new discoveries, because, sooner or later, the options would run out. So, he ceaselessly and tirelessly explored areas where the events happened at the smallest unit levels of matter, at the atomic and sub-atomic levels.

Future plans were already revolving in his head and they all demanded more and more raw materials, and in addition, they demanded more knowledge and even more highly skilled experts. What was also needed, in ever increasing quantities, was money, a whole ocean of money. The good news was that he had found a money cow to milk. Dark Gravity Core technology was going to change everything! It was going to write a new chapter in the history books.

First of all, however, he had to survive, had to solve mundane daily problems and remove the threat of attack for good. He had to battle the entrenched limitations of human societies. His mental breakout could allow him to detach himself from the physical world, but his body couldn't.

Steersman's most pressing problem was his personal safety. Something like this must never be allowed to happen again. He could no longer afford to be absent. If he were to die, his plans would die with him. He had to prevent anything that might harm him physically. If he could pull that off, then what could they do to him?

He closed his eyes, pressed his head into the pillows so that his chin touched his upper sternum. It had always been the easiest way to initiate, and he managed to do it quickly this time.

As he floated through the inner galaxy of the place, he saw contexts and consequences as complex and seemingly random equation processes that expanded and contracted down to solutions that were either useful or not. At the source he moved through formulas with such speed that his physical processes began to lag, his breathing became shallow and began to speed up. His heart faltered.

Back in the hospital bed, his body was suffering, his breath coming in shallow gasps and the hospital monitors responded with a sharp squeal, followed by an urgent beeping alarm.

Hospital staff rushed in. ”Wake up! Mr. Steersman …! COME ON, wake up!!!” voices shouted, as if from a distance.

Steersman opened his eyes. The night duty matron and a nurse were standing over him.

He smiled. He had seen what he was looking for.

 

Resumption

Steersman signed a disclaimer early the following morning, taking personal responsibility for any complications he might experience, and left the hospital. He couldn't stand lying there any longer. He had things to do.

If needed he would personally take charge of the plant project. It had to be up and running within the week, no matter what, so his first stop was Jim Hols' office at the construction site.

He was forced to ask a helpful paramedic to secretly get him out of the building, as the press were lurking at all of the entrances. The assistant found him a driver in the depot, who was reading and quietly chewing on a ham sandwich which he nearly choked on when he saw them coming.

“You in charge of this vehicle?” Steersman asked, pointing at an ambulance.

“Ah, yeah.”

“Do you know who I am?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Good, then would you mind helping me slip out of here without anyone noticing?”

For a second the ambulance driver seemed to hesitate, but he had nothing else to do so he quickly nodded and said, “all right, let's go.”

The ambulance sped out of the depot, lights flashing and siren blaring so loud that no one really paid any attention to it. Steersman smiled at the driver's boldness.

The ambulance drove him right onto the building site.

“Thanks, Jerry,” Steersman shouted over the noise of the construction machinery as he slowly eased himself from the back of the vehicle. “I owe you one!”

“Anytime, Mr. Steersman, you know where to find me!” the driver shouted back.

Steersman entered the temporary administration building that had been put together for the site management team, went up the stairs and straight into the office where Jim worked. He was at his desk, swimming among holographic building models. He heard somebody coming and jumped, then he looked up and saw him.

“Mr. Steersman! Wha … what are doing here?” he asked, and almost tripped as he hurried out from behind the desk.

“Jim, the factory has to be completed in six days, at the latest,” Steersman informed him shortly.

“Six days?! Well, the factory will be finished in a couple of days, but the service channels definitely won't be,” said Jim, pointing to the two corridors running into the factory hall.

“Look, machinery commissioning and test runs start in one week time. It'll be fully operational as soon as the DCG drivers pass inspection,” Steersman outlined the plan, paying no attention anything Jim had said. “Jim, what resources can we mobilize?” he asked.

“Well,” said Jim, scratching his nose, “if we stop building in the city, and stop all of the buildings we are running at the moment, then we'll have plenty of manpower and plenty of energy. Why?”

“We are going to build a new city quarter,” Steersman informed him.

“What? Where?” Jim couldn't believe what he was hearing.

“A research center, right here; a research facility like nothing that has ever been built before. I want to run over the plans with you and I want our entire capacity concentrated there,” Steersman almost seemed to be explaining it to himself. He looked at Jim. “You'll get everything you need, with no restrictions at all. The whole area will have the highest security measures possible, so you won't be disturbed.”

“OK, I see,” said Jim, looking puzzled. “When do we start discussing the project?”

“We already have, but tomorrow morning we'll go into it in detail. Karen will call you and tell you where to go,” said Steersman.

“Okay. I had better get down to the site then.”

“Yes, of course.” said Steersman.

Steersman walked out of the office and called Karen.

“Karen?! Which tower block is empty?”

“Sean, hi! I heard that you'd left the hospital.” Her voice was frankly disapproving. “Well, we have one … but we sort of promised it to Honda Robotics at the end of the month.”

 

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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