CHAPTER – Big Lake and the Utility Cavern
June 6, 2108 : The Tunnel Crew finally broke through to the second new
cavern. It was huge. It was not as spectacular as Paradise but it was larger
than all their previous caverns combined. Almost thirty square miles. It was
two caverns actually. left as they broke through then a narrow opening,
The tunneling crew had only to don their Mars suits for the last four
hours before breakthrough. The cavern had one nice feature, the floor was
almost flat. They could tell from the light filtering in that it as well was a
beautiful cavern The walls almost had a glow to them, they kind of glistened
when a light was shined on them. A stream, almost a river entered at one side
then pooled into a lake that was quite large near the center of the larger part of
the cavern, probably about five square miles before turning once again into a
stream and flowing out the other side of the cavern. This cavern was slightly
higher in elevation at floor level than Paradise had been.
Tim and Carter were both on hand for the breakthrough, accompanied by
a lighting crew who installed temporary lights in both the large and the small
part of the cavern.
The large part had a very high ceiling and very few fissures to the
surface so they knew they were under a mountain. Had the ceiling been this
high on flat land it would only have been a pit. The scientists speculated that
this large cavern had been formed by a large meteor striking the surface maybe
a billion years in the past. Their guess was that the meteor had also formed the
lake that was very deep and filled with crystal blue water. Most of the scientists
from the Government cavern were pouring into the cavern taking soil samples
and water samples for testing. It was obvious that this cavern had been formed
differently than the others they had come across. Tim and Carter agreed that
this would be the most comfortable cavern they had found and this is where
they should probably be working out of once they had tamed it.
Tim and Carter briefly discussed running an enclosed tunnel through this
monster cavern but withheld making any decision until they knew more.
They didn't notice, since they were wearing Mars suits but the
temperature had risen to 75 degrees in the small side and 72 in the large side.
The scientists discovered that right away though. “My guess is that you are
going to find beautiful hot spots in the small side.” “Yeah, we have enough
equipment to tame this cavern. There is water, maybe we should tame it, we
will know more in a couple days after we have had a chance explore the small
side. We have been so enthralled with the big side that we have paid little
attention to the small side.”
Carter and Paul sent a joint report to Earth telling them what they had
found. They were developing quite a list of things they needed to develop these
new caverns. It would take several days just to explore the new caverns.
The list grew longer and now Included a request for more bureaucrats.
The shortage of clerical help is becoming critical. We need more clerks
everywhere on the facility and once we get our legal system in place we will
need Judges, and all the other people that are needed to run the court system.
We will need at least one prosecuting attorney and one public defender and a
lot more more clerks. In the public records department we have only one part
time clerk now, we need a full time staff. We need at least three police officers,
we need a dispatcher, We need everything that we would have to have to hold
an election. Maybe on the next ship we could skip the construction workers and
send the people we need to convert this work camp into a small city.
They did find several hot spots in the newly opened small side of the new
cavern. There was a warm stream running across the cavern. It was obvious
that this would be the place to house their utilities so Tim put crews to work
installing the new generator, and the atmosphere making equipment. The
Government atmosphere control people had activated one of the backup
atmosphere control units when they opened Paradise. They would now need to
activate the remaining two. There were six more units scheduled for delivery in
September. Tim requested that the two remaining back up atmosphere
systems be installed in the Utility cavern so they could go ahead and pressurize
the Big Lake cavern.
June 15, 2108: Big Lake cavern was pressurized.