Tuesday, 31 March 2009

A Colony On Mars : Chapter 7

. Tuesday, 31 March 2009

CHAPTER – Their first Christmas on Mars
Their first Christmas on Mars was something to behold. Of course they
had no trees, even artificial trees other than one artificial tree that had been
sent up by the Government two or three years back and was looking kind of dog
eared. They didn't have any factory made decorations except for those sent by
the Government to decorate that one lonely tree. Everyone fashioned every day
items and made their own decorations. One couple who's hobby was wood
carving drew out enough wood from supply to carve a nativity scene. Archy
organized a choir of carolers. For the week leading up to Christmas they
roamed the facility for about an hour every evening singing carols
Gift giving was the hardest part but everyone came up with some sort of
original idea as to what to give and to who and how to wrap it. A lot of unique
ideas went into that part of the holiday. Carla baked Tim a batch of chocolate
chip cookies in the kitchen and wrapped them in foil. Tim was stuck, he couldn't
think of a thing to give Carla, then he remembered the rocks he had picked out
of the mud when he was drilling the well. He picked out a middle sized rock
that he thought was the prettiest, it was about the size of a Roma tomato. He
wrapped it in a blue paper towel and tied a red string around the top.
They went to a special Christmas dinner on the evening of the 24th.
Carla had arranged to have the evening off. After dinner they returned to their
little house and exchanged gifts. Tim was especially pleased with the cookies
and felt a little bad that he hadn't gotten something better for Carla than that
ugly rock.

When Carla opened her gift her eye's opened wide and her mouth
dropped open and she gasp two or three times to get her breath. “Tim, where
on Earth did you find this? I didn't find it on Earth Carla I found it on Mars.” “Well
unless I am terribly mistaken this is about a three ounce uncut diamond. It
could be worth almost a million dollars on Earth. Then Tim's mouth dropped
open and they just sat there for a minute looking into each other's mouths.
“Were there any more of these where you found this one,” Carla stammered.
“Yeah, I have a whole bag of them, altogether maybe five or six pounds. He
retrieved the bag from amongst his belongings and emptied the contents onto
the table. Carla just sat there and kept saying “Oh, my God.” “Oh, my God.”
over and over. If these are diamonds and I am almost sure that they are do you
have any idea of their value? Maybe millions and possibly even over a billion
dollars, once they are cut and polished, that's billion with a B.”
If that is the case Carla they won't be worth anything if their existence
becomes common knowledge. Carla said, “wait a minute, I met a man here on
Mars, one of the scientists who's father is a jeweler and diamond cutter. My
acquaintance, Paul Silverman, said that his father was teaching him the trade
but Paul said he wasn't interested and went to MIT where got a PHD in Math
instead. Paul, or rather Dr. Silverman is a Government employee. I think we
better get him on this anyway and see what he has to say. Tim chuckled and
said “ if Silverman means what I think it means he won't have anything to do on
Christmas Eve anyway and it is still early, so I can't resist I am going to give him
a call.”
“Hello, this is Paul.” “You don't know me Dr. but you may know my wife
Carla, Erkin that works in the kitchen, my name is Tim Erkin I am her husband
and I work in construction. The reason that I am calling is that I found some
unusual rocks the other day and Carla thinks you ought to see them and maybe
identify them for us.” “Yes Tim I know who your wife is, lovely girl, you are a very
lucky man. Certainly I will be happy to look at your find and identify the stones
for you, please bring them by anytime.” “How about now Dr. are you busy.”
“Well I am watching a movie on TV but I guess I could put that on record when
you get here. I live at 850 Broadway and I'll be expecting you and your lovely
wife. Tim put the stones back in the bag and they were outside Dr. Silverman's
entrance iwithin five minutes. Come on in, folks and show me what you have
found that you are so curious about. After shaking hands, Tim reached into his
bag and pulled out a small stone at random and handed it to Dr. Silverman.”
The good doctor's mouth dropped open and all he could say was “Oh, my God.”
“Oh, my God.” over and over. “I had the same reaction Paul but I wasn't sure,
you have just confirmed it.” “Could I see the other stones please Tim?” At which
point Tim emptied the contents of the bag on Paul's table. Paul took his
eyepiece from a desk drawer, sat down and began to examine Tims find piece
by piece.
He selected one with a sharp edge then picked a cut gem that he had
been working with. Paul explained that making jewelry was his hobby. “ I make
up items here and then send them back on the next ship to my family who sell
them for me and deposit the money in my account. I don't know whether you
knew it or not but it is free to send things back to Earth as the ships are all
returning empty anyway.” Paul then took the stone and made a sharp cut into
the faceted stone that he had picked up off his workbench. It is seven in
hardness he said. He then held the stone up to the light and studied it as far as
I can tell this is a perfect stone., he announced. Paul then put it on a scales,
this particular stone weighs in at 4.2 oz or roughly 441 carats. Paul then put the
whole collection on his scales, the combined weight was 12.5 pounds, or about
21,000 carats. You would loose about half in cutting. If you just cut them into
one carat stones you would realize about 10,500 one carat perfect diamonds
currently selling at $2,700.00. These would retail at about 28.5 million dollars.
If I cut and polish and market them for you my family and I would take 75% of
the retail value. Understand that my family does not deal in retail. We are
wholesalers only. But doing it that way you would still have over 7.5 million for
your share. We are going to do better than that though I am going to sell some
of these as two carat stones, some as three carat some even as larger stones.
My family frequently deals in very large stones which are worth far more per
carat. Your share could easily come out to between 15 and 20 million dollars.
“Come, you two sit over here and lets talk. Would you care for a
brandy?, I have it sent up from Earth and I have never offered anyone else a
drink of it before because it is too expensive, but this, this is an occasion that
deserves a whole bottle of brandy. “Sure Paul, I haven't had a drink in a long
time and I think you might be right, this is worth it.”
Once they had their drinks Paul started. “Here is our problem, the way I
see it. If we are not very careful we could ruin the diamond market on Earth if
word of these stones got out. Diamonds themselves have only their industrial
value which would make these stones here worth only a few thousand dollars.
What diamonds do have above and beyond their intrinsic value is their
perceived value. If the market collectively perceives that are worth fifty million
dollars then we can sell them for twenty five million. If the market were to
perceive that they were worthless as jewels then they would have only their
industrial value.
I have the equipment here on Mars to cleave them cut them and mount
them. I have been on Mars for only two years now and I have eight years left
on my contract before I can return to Earth. We must never let anyone know
that these stones are from Mars or like I said the Diamond market on Earth
could collapse. It is only the law of supply and demand that supports the
market. Even the big diamond mines in Africa and elsewhere withhold stones
from the market in order to maximize their price. I could cut a one hundred
million dollar diamond out of that grapefruit you have there but what would I do
with it. No such diamond presently exists and someone would catch on once
my Martian background came to light. Here is what I propose. I should cut
most of these stones right here into large but imperfect facets. Then mount
them in unattractive silver jewelry and send them to my family on Earth. I will
instruct them to open new Swiss bank accounts one for you and Carla and one
for me. They will then rework the stones and melt down the settings which they
will send back to me as bulk silver. They are dealers so they will have little
difficulty in marketing the stones, they will keep half the proceeds from the sale
of the stones and deposit one half of the other half of the money into each of
our accounts. You can trust them they are my family and my family has been
making their living in this trade for over two hundred years, they and I are
ascetic Jews . Because of the sensitive nature of our family business no one of
us have ever cheated another of us not even once in that whole two hundred
years. We have had to set our moral values that high because we have had to
prosper under hostile governments in order to survive. If there was ever a
business where a man's word was his bond, it is this business. Even though I
am a PHD in math which has irked my family to no end I still can't get this stupid
business out of my life, I was born and raised in it and even came to Mars to get
away from the stigma that goes along with this business and my religious
lifestyle but here I sit in my spare time working with these damned stones.”
Tim took Carla by the hand and pulled her toward the door. “Excuse us a
minute Paul we have to talk.” Outside, Tim told Carla, I know about these
people, they are very clannish, and what he says about trust is absolutely
correct, hell these people even survived and did business during the Holocaust,
in Nazi Germany when all the other Jews were sent off to the concentration
camps. I say we go for it. I can always get more stones from where I got these
so we have almost nothing invested.” “Sure Tim it sounds like a win, win
situation, let's go for it.”
In the days that passed they maintained only a nodding relationship with
Paul. On one occasion several weeks later he told Carla “Come by the house
this evening there is something I want to show you. That evening Tim and
Carla went over to see Paul after dark. Once inside Paul poured out the
contents of a velvet pouch onto a velvet pad. There were almost 20 cut
diamonds. They looked large but irregular. “Look, these are all the product of
one of your smaller stones. Since I am being particular when I cleave them but
intentionally clumsy when I cut and polish them I am able to turn one of these
out at approximately one per day. These are all six to eight carrot perfect
diamonds. By the time my relatives on Earth finish with them we should each
receive approximately five hundred thousand dollars. I just have time before
the next ship to Earth leaves to make some ugly cheap jewelry to mount them
in to make them look like dime store stuff to the untrained eye. I will be sending
a shipment like this out on every ship for the next several years. I will give you
your numbered account information as soon as I have it. Aside from that you
are just going to have to trust me and my family until you return to Earth.
The next evening Tim and Carla were discussing their situation.
“According to what Paul has told us we are going to have more money in
Switzerland when we get back than we have in the United States, Carla.” “I am
still a little uneasy about that Tim, that's an awful lot of money and those
relatives of Paul's will have our account number.” Not this next ship but within
the year I want to post a letter to our Trustee and have him make periodic
withdrawals from our Swiss account and deposit the money in our trust account
at the bank. Then I want to order him to begin a regular stock purchase
program of acquiring shares in Mars Colony, Inc.” “I can see having him deposit
the money in our trust account but why would you want shares in Mars Colony,
Inc. They have never turned a profit and they never will.” I made some inquiries
about The Company before we left. It seems that 20 of the 25 richest
individuals and corporations on Earth are behind it. They each put up one
Billion in seed money to get The Company going. So far they have gone
through that 20 billion and the investors have already kicked in another billion
each and you are right The Company has yet to make a dime. Here is what I
think, The Company has arranged to take title to Most of Mars. I suspect, they
already have title to everything that is here except the Government cavern, and
they are just using the taxpayers and the Government to help them with
development expenses. Carla within a year we are going to be taming a cavern
as large as a U.S. State and The Company will own it all. I have also
considered the possibility that The Company already knows about the diamonds
but they don't want to destroy the diamond market either. It's a fluke for me to
have stumbled on to the ones I found, we were drilling with Water pressure
because our drill bit wasn't working and the diamonds that I picked up were
forced up with the mud. I didn't even know what they were but they fascinated
me and I figured they were worth picking up. We used that slag to finish up
around the hole and to mount the generator on, I would imagine there is as
many diamonds that I did not pick up as there were those that I did pick up.
Eventually we will be closing that generator down and then I will have a chance
to go through the rest of that mud. In the meantime those diamonds are safe
and secure and I wouldn't want to do anything that looked suspicious, we can
afford to let them lay there for two or three years. I will go over and poke
around near the surface in a couple months like I am checking up on how our
installation is holding up. If any are near the surface I of course will pick them

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Hi .. I am Alien from Saturnus, I'll try to invasion your Mars ... be careful and enjoying your last life he he he :D

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Si Kurochan said...


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