"Hey kid, can't you read?" Tom asked gruffly. "The signs are there for your protection. Keep Out means keep out."
The young man that gained the construction worker's ire beat a hasty retreat back down the hall.
Tom sat down on a makeshift chair and leaned back against the wall. "It won't do to have someone watching us," he said. "We'd actually have to do some work, ay Joey."
The much younger man just shrugged his shoulders as he ducked back under the table he was working on. Old Tom was his supervisor. He was quick with advice but rarely did anything himself. Joey could care less what the old guy did. "Don't want anyone to catch us working; it could hurt our reputations," he replied.
How long the man had been standing there was anybody's guess. The old construction worker was startled when he finally noticed the man. "Hey buddy, can't you read the dang signs?" he growled. "Keep Out means keep out! There's dangerous work going on here."
The man's eyes were pure fire as he stared back at Tom. The glance he shot Joey as he came out from underneath the table froze him in place. "If you would have bothered to check my security pass you would have seen that I can go just about anywhere I want," the man growled back. "From my point of view there is not a enough work going on here to warrant a “Keep Out” sign.”
"Who says I ain't workin'?" Tom snarled back at the man. "I work plenty, tell 'im Joey."
"Tom look, man, you're own your own here," Joey replied without moving from where he stood.
"I get the job done and that what counts," Tom said.
"It would get done twice as fast if you did something besides sit on your backside," the man replied.
"I'm the supervisor and I supervisin', " Tom said. "I paid my dues, I don't have to work."
"You have to work if you're working for me," the man said.
"But I ain't workin' for you, am I," Tom replied smugly.
"Ah, but you are working for me and as of right now you're fired."
"You can't fire me."
"I am the Captain of this ship and I can do whatever I want. I want you off my ship and on the next shuttle to Earth." Decker was as lazy as the next man but he wasn't afraid of work and he had a schedule to keep.
"The Union Hall will hear about this," Tom cursed. "You ain't heard the last of old Tom."
"Give it your best shot," Decker laughed. "I'm looking for an excuse to get rid of all the union workers on my ship." Decker watched as the old man walked off before he continued his self-
"Welcome to the Engineering Section of the Galactic Enterprise," Andy said to the group that came in with the Captain.
"We are all about power here. Ten very large solar panels supply all the power needed to run this ship and then some. The truth is that this close to the sun any one of the panels is enough to power this ship but when we move farther away from the sun the drop in power necessitates the need for the additional panels.
This entire ship is run on 24 volts or less and many of the ship's systems only need 12 volts. It staggers the mind when you think about how little power a ship this size needs when compared to a house back on Earth. A single family house on a 220/110 system can consume more power than this entire ship. We can do this because all our systems are low voltage systems. None of the entertainment systems in your rooms need more than 12 volts to operate.
The people on Earth have become slaves to the power companies who are terrified at the thought of every house on the planet independently powered. That is a something well within the reach of everyone on the planet if they can get past the bureaucracy that keeps them slaves. Here on the Galactic Enterprise we have no room for that kind of excess baggage that humanity has saddled themselves with."
Decker smiled a knowing smile; Andy hated the power companies. "You don't have to sell me I'm already sold," he said.
"I thought you'd want the full tour," Andy replied.
"Not today. Any news on when we will be getting the anti-
"I doubt anytime soon. I put in an order for a wall clock a year ago and we still haven't got it, so I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for them to send us an anti-
"Could we build it from scratch?" Decker asked.
"Some of it, but we'd still need parts from Earth," Andy replied grimly.
"Well work on it, the two reactors on Earth exploded leaving some rather large holes in the ground. I don't want to become a hole in space," Decker said as he turned to leave.
Decker stopped by Starfighter Command as he finished his tour of the ship. "Colonel this security station is rather redundant don't you think," he said. "After all everything is searched and x-
"Perhaps, but that does not take into account weapons that can be made or reassembled here on the ship," Kessler replied. "I like my security tight as it is after all we don't need anybody getting in where they can get a hold of some real weapons that can do more than just a little damage and not just to this ship either."
"You have nukes onboard my ship?" Decker asked. He could feel his anger rise but did not let it show; he had been wrong more than once when he jumped to conclusions.
"Not at this time, but I can get them inside 24 hours if I really need them," the Colonel replied. "I've got the super high speed stuff. One shot from space can take out a whole building on Earth or any missile that could be launched against us."
"Who'd shoot a missile at us?"
"How many enemies do you have?"
"Point taken," Decker said with a smile.
"Despite what they have told me about you and how you pressured them into making you captain of this ship, I like you," Kessler said. "You don't pull any punches and you stand behind what you say. A man of his word is a rare thing these days. You help people to live better lives and my mother swears by the gardening tips she gets off your web site. If my mother likes you you can't be as bad as everyone says."
"I am as bad as they say," Decker replied. "I'm out to destroy a system that lets people starve and go homeless and forces them to struggle with all their might just to survive. I'm against greedy people who jack up the prices on things we need in order to live a decent life. I'm out to stop them from making products that breakdown after 90 day so you have to buy a new product because the cost of the parts and labor to fix the old one is more than the cost of a complete newly upgraded model. There was a time when we took pride in making things that could last."
"I want to see the creativity of humanity unleashed not suppressed," he continued. "That is what makes me so dangerous and why some don't like me much."
"Well I'm not one of your enemies and I'd like to be one of your friends, if you let me," Kessler said.
"Help me get the parts I need for an anti-
Joey cleaned the glass on the main medical monitor station. The station was the central medical network hub and it was hooked up to six diagnostic chambers and a operating/diagnostic table. This the largest medical system array that Joey had the pleasure to install.
Even though old Tom didn't do a lot of work, Joey had to admit he knew his stuff. But, Joey knew Decker by sight and known better than get involved. He had even worked with Decker once. Joey knew Tom would rub Decker the wrong way. Decker expected those standing around to be ready to lend a hand to those who were working. Catnapping when you should be working would not go over with Decker and Joey knew it.
He wondered if Tom would cause Decker any problems. Tom was always telling stories about him getting even with some so-
It was all Decker's problem. Joey's problem was getting the medical center up and running and clean before the medical officer arrived on the next shuttle due in 16 hours.
John Davis like most of the ship's officers were seamen not spacemen. He was part of the crew selection Decker forced on the Company as part of his agreement when he accepted command of the Galactic Enterprise.
John had the misfortune to be on watch when a group of students picked that time to take a tour of the bridge. One of the girls in the group accidentally backed into one of the control panels and lost her footing as their instructor was explaining the operation of the various command stations on the bridge. In the weightless environment she grabbed hold of the panel to pull herself back down to the floor where the magnets in her shoes could once again keep her from floating off. No one seemed to notice the mishap.
John was studying something on the monitor in front of him when the light from the main view screen suddenly intensified. When he looked up, a picture of the sun dominated the main view screen. John felt himself begin to panic. "Damn it, what button do you push? Were headed straight for the sun," he shouted at the students.
"Helm, bring us about 180 degrees. Get me engineering we need to fire the main engines right now."
The student that received the call from the bridge began to panic too when the ship's officer told him that there was an emergency situation and he needed to fire the main engines. Andrew Perry the ship's chief engineer put his hand on the student's shoulder to keep him from getting up. He reached down and pushed a few buttons, studied the readout on the monitor and then flipped the communication switch to the on position. "Bridge this is Perry," he said. "A cold start of the ion drive is not possible and I've got men outside installing some new components. They'd have to be brought in before I could even begin to heat up the fins." Andy heard something he could not make out just before the Captain broke in on the communication.
Decker was asleep in his stateroom when he felt the off axis turn of the ship. He was up and at his desk pushing buttons in a second. "Ship's status," he demanded to know from the computer.
"We are in a 180 degree off axis turn, and the bridge has requested a burn from the main engines," the computer replied.
"Give me a radar check of the area."
"All radar stations report area all clear."
"Give me the main view screen image." The image of the sun popped on the desk monitor. "Where is the image coming from?" he asked.
"The solar observatory," the computer replied.
"Get me engineering."
"Stand down," Andy heard the Captain say. "The ship is in no danger."
"I thought so," Andy replied. "A cold start of the engines was not possible anyway. I told whoever is on the bridge that. They didn't sound too happy."
"You may want to figure out a way to cold start the engines just in case we actually have a real emergency," Decker said. "Decker out." Decker stepped into his private elevator that zipped him up to the zero gee core of the ship. He didn't wait for the core elevator. Decker stepped into the central axis core and began to pull himself up toward the Command Section using the handholds set in the wall of the core shaft.
John was in a total state of panic even though he did not let it show. He felt certain that they were doomed unless they got the ship's engines online. He turned when he heard the sound of the bridge door swish open. He saw the Captain float in. Some part of him was relieved.
Decker put his feet down as he entered the bridge. He heard the magnets in his shoes make contact with the metal floor. "Status," he said calmly.
"One of the students over there pushed a button and now we seem to be headed straight for the sun," John replied more calmly than he felt.
"All stop," Decker said.
"Ship answering all stop," the crewman at helm control replied.
Decker glared at the students huddled in one of the corners of the bridge. "You're going to run into a lot of buttons and other things on board this ship. You have to be mindful of everything around you or you could get yourself or someone else killed. Must likely if you screw up you will kill a lot of people. So let this be a lesson. Always be careful. Space is a very indiscriminate killer." Decker walked over and reset the main view screen switches. The view of earth returned only now it was upside-
Decker waited for the students to leave before he turned his attention on Davis. "John we're not at sea. The sun is 90 million miles away. It would take us months to get there even if we went straight line."
"Captain, I'm sorry. It just seemed so real," John said not wanting to look Decker in the eyes.
"Don't worry about it. It will take some time before we get use to being in space," Decker replied.
"Bridge, this is Starfighter Command. Is there anything wrong? I felt the ship turn," Decker heard the bridge speaker system say. He recognized the Starfighter Commander's gruff voice.
"No Colonel, nothing is wrong. Just an unscheduled training exercise," Decker said. "You might want to take this opportunity to run an unscheduled exercise of your own."
"I like the way you think Captain," the Colonel replied. A moment later the battle claxon sounded that would recall all the off duty Starfighters to their stations.
"Colonel if you would mind having some of your Starfighters take out a couple of rescue craft and make sure we didn't lose any of the construction crew on the turn it would be greatly appreciated."
"You got it."
Decker looked back over at Davis and smiled. "You might want to think about other options if you need to move the ship. It would take several hours to bring the main engines online. I'm having Andy look into finding a way to shorten that time considerably."
"Captain I really am sorry," John said.
"Forget it," Decker replied as he noticed the engineering trouble light on the command chair turn from red to green.
To check with Engineering to see why the trouble light was red Click Here. If the trouble light turns green you don't have to worry about it. Turn the page to go back to bed and get a little sleep before it's your turn to stand watch.
Join the Revolution
We believe it’s time for a little anarchy. Our T-
Time For A Little Anarchy
A Foreword -
There is much to this story. It is not enough for us to just tell you the story; we want to show it to you in real life too. We want you to be able to reach out and touch real walls and push real buttons. We want you to become part of the story and what we are trying to do.
The Galactic Enterprise is the beginning of everything. Its line of captains set the stage for a future no one could have imagined. This is the abridged version of the ship’s log.
And so it began…
It was a gray cold wet day when he got the news. The job was his if he wanted it. Decker leaned back in his chair and looked out the large round window in his office deep in thought.
There were a lot of reasons for going and just as many for staying. The Galactic Enterprise was his design from the very beginning. Modular Concepts a division of his company worked out the actual engineering and Decker financed more than fifty percent of the project from his company’s profits and public support. When the Russians signed on to the project, NASA reluctantly joined the project too. A chance to get into space was hard to pass up.
However, there were risks and the dangers imposed by space itself were the least of Decker’s worries. His company, while popular with the people, had many enemies in both the political and corporate worlds. A trip to all the planets in the solar system would take years and it would be impossible to return to deal with challenges his company might face. Just last year he had to deal with a lawsuit that tried to prevent him from putting the plans for his Food Synthesizer on the Internet for almost anyone to use. A machine, with a few base ingredients, that could produce simple meals with the touch of a button was priceless. Companies that had bought the rights claimed that it would devaluate their product and reduce sales. Decker had won that battle but it had made him more than a few enemies in the corporate world.
The job of Captain of the Galactic Enterprise was his, if he wanted it.