The Orbiter. Part 4

The established government of New Earth came to the conclusion that the only solution to the state the planet was now in, was to abandon it, and they began making provisions and coming up with design ideas.  Eventually they stumbled across the buried technology hub of team Ogni-Ratha, the team that had launched Black Sparrow, after Information the New Earthians had managed to salvage from the wreckages of Andli and MacKiavelli lead them there.

The findings there were many, but the two that took the interest of those that discovered the hub were, the design of Carga-1 and Ogni-Ratha’s research on microscopic diamond-threads.

It was the discovery of these two that prompted the New Earthians to use both of these to leave the earth behind, but to do so meant they had to do something they never expected to have to do. They had to request the assistance of the Dragons they despised.

Ogni-Ratha’s research indicated that Microscopic Diamond-Threads would have enough strength to function as a full length Space Elevator, but the only way for that to work, the only way the strength would be achievable, would be if every micro-diamond was absolutely perfect, and on the scale that was required for the elevator, it would be impossible to find that amount of perfect ones. Unless the capacity to force-make them was available, the sheer volume of pressure that the dragons were able to re-create on a large scale allowed for this.

Peace treaty discussions went down, and for the first time since the original splitting of the earth’s territories, New Earthians and Gaelithians sat down together to work out a solution.

The meeting didn’t last long, as both sides were keen to leave the dying planet, and they quickly came to an agreement. The dragons would create the pressure required to produce the diamonds needed for the Elevator, and would assist with getting the space stations into orbit, while the New Earthians and Gaelithians would pool their resources and work together in building the required stations. With the understanding that there would be enough space for everyone to live comfortably on the stations.

After little over a year of consistent effort, 63,000 miles of Diamond-thread cable had been produced, all in one long coil. At the same time, production of the first space station had been completed. Borrowing elements from both the O’Neill and  Carga-1 design, she was completely cylindrical in shape, three strips of glass windows running down her length. Five miles wide and twenty miles long, she was the largest object ever built for space. Originally the plan had been to name her ‘Station Andrews’ after the second member of team Ogni-Ratha, but a design element that became necessary with attaching the cable to her meant her name was changed to ‘Scorpion’ after the look of the tail she now spouted.  Getting her bulk into space however, was the design challenge, but the elements they Borrowed from Carga-1 helped with this.

She was equipped and built to fly. Using the angled-milti-wing design, with the engines on the wing-tips, the design that had made Carga-1 so manoeuvrable, she was able to lift herself off the ground, slowly and cumbersomely. Once she had struggled her way above 10,000 feet, the dragons stepped in, giving her the necessary push to rise through the thinner air and then eventually into the vacuum of Space.

Once she was in orbit, another dragon flew up, uncoiling the cable behind himself, and attached it to the tail of Station Scorpion, and pushed her into a higher orbit, not stopping until the cable went taunt.

With the elevator completed, more stations could be built, while a steady stream of supplies was sent up to Scorpion.

Each station took about a year to build, and was then sent up to join Scorpion. With each new station a fresh batch of supplies and inhabitants were sent up. After the third station was sent up, it became apparent that supplies would need to be distributed between stations, with a method of transporting the supplies.

A small team of people were selected to design pilot-able shuttles that would carry supplies between them, and Station Scorpion lost its status as a living station, instead its inhabitants were moved to the fourth station to be sent up, and Scorpion was reworked as a supplies station, which would be used to distribute between the others.

Controversy was sparked over this decision, as many believed that each station should receive its own supplies and be independent.  To resolve this issue, each station from this stage was given a specific function, so that no station could survive without the others, but each would be built to be better adapted for its function.

The first three stations, named Colemann, Geraldine and Jackson, kept their role as living stations. The next station to be sent was VanOrre Station, which had a design layout allowing it to store and clean vast supplies of water. The Greene Station soon followed, to be filled with fertile soil for the purposes of growing vast quantities of crops. Dunnwood station went up next, which was soon filled with grazing fields for animals to feed the populations. Dunnwood, Greene and VanOrre were built together with the intent  being they could work together easily to keep supplies high.  Andrews station was the eighth station to go up, and was built as half a living station, with the other half built to contain laboratories to continue the advancement of technology. Nimura was station number nine, built to contain factories and allow for production of necessary items and equipment, as well as build things developed on Andrews station.  The last station to be sent up was Station Saunders, and was another living station.

Scorpion station, which became the unofficial hub of the stations, became an entirely automated station, supplies were sent in from each station, and where then distributed back evenly. A small team of maintenance personnel lived on Scorpion, repairing anything that broke and keeping the station running smoothly.  But the running of the entire station was handled by an Artificial Intelligence system developed from the research of Ogni-Ratha. The A.I. was given the title ‘Wilful-distribution Equality System’ shortened down to the name WES.

In an effort to ensure fairness in the running of the stations, a system was developed in which each of the nine habitable stations would elect a member to represent them. These nine elected would form the committee, who would hold meetings once a week on station Scorpion, decide upon how the stations should be run, and make sure WES stuck by it.

As a failsafe protocol against WES, his primary function was to not change any distribution, or make any act without a unanimous decision of the Committee. This had two positive effects, WES was limited to only doing what he was told, even if he developed a fault, but the Committee were limited to only making decisions they all agreed on.

Once the stations had been filled with people and  the necessary amount of supplies, it was time for them to move out of the earths shadow, and into their own orbit.

Exactly eleven years to the day after the decision was made to abandon the planet, Scorpion station detached her tail, leaving it attached to the elevator, and all ten stations began the slow movement into their own orbit. After a slow and lengthy process, using their wing-tip engines to gently thrust their way ahead of the earth, they settled on an orbit just ahead of that of their former home. All ten stations orbiting and facing the sun.

From the view of the sun, they orbited in nonagon shape, nine inhabited stations orbiting around the central station Scorpion.

The system in place ran smoothly for many years, WES distributed and the nine elected made sure he stayed in line. But as time went on, generations changed, and a flaw in the system was slowly revealed. The committee was there to prevent WES becoming corrupted, but nothing was in place to prevent human nature.

Nothing was in place to prevent the corruption of the committee…

 

Apologies for the length there was a lot to go into this one.

Uninventive

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