Friday, 17 April 2009

A Colony On Mars : Chapter 24

. Friday, 17 April 2009

CHAPTER – Mars Runner makes it's first docking
December 22, 2108: There was a lot of interesting and long awaited
cargo on Mars Runner. The two items that got the most attention however were
150 twelve foot fiber glass fishing boat kits, They came disassembled with the
boats stacked one inside the other. There were several large crates with
hardwood seats, fixtures and oars. There was even 150 two horsepower
electric trolling motors, which also came partially disassembled. Within just a
few days everything was assembled before Tim ever got around to assigning a
crew to do the work. Soon there were boats available everywhere that fishing
was allowed.

The second item of intense interest to the workers on Mars and their talk
radio show was the arrival of the wine and beer making equipment and plants.
There was also enough grapes hops barley and yeast ready to use for them to
start production as soon as they were set up. They chose the hour glass for
their operation. Byron and Austin had leased eighty acres from The Company
they had already learned what they thought they needed to know to make beer
and wine. In the public interest and because there was so much surplus labor
around, Tim approved them having the use of four crews if they agreed to keep
them busy. The brewery and two houses appeared almost overnight. Within
the week the rest of their eighty acres had been planted in barley, hops, grapes
and sugar cane. They even had volunteers showing up after work and on their
days off to see if they could help. With their initial order they had ordered a
supply of the Mars soil converter plus two tons of fertilizers and ten million Earth
worms. The soil in this vineyard and farm would be very rich indeed. They first
tried making their beer and wine in five gallon containers so as not to ruin too
much of it if things didn't turn out as expected. What they got for their trouble
was drinkable beer and wine but it was none too good. One of the construction
workers that had helped them in setting up their facility tasted both products
and said, “I thought you guys new what you were doing, this is slop,” he said as
he took another big drink. “I suppose you could do better, wise ass.” “Oh hell
yes, I was an apprentice with Barble Beer before I got this Job. I'll make you a
deal' let me make a carboy (five gallon water bottle) of beer and if it is not better
than this I will drink it all. Austin said “No matter who made a carboy of beer
you would drink it all” “True.” said Gene, the construction worker but seriously
maybe I could give you some pointers.” With that he went into the brewery, got
out the equipment and proceeded to show them how to brew a small batch of
beer. Ten days later it was ready to drink. “This may be the best beer I have
ever tasted,” Byron, Suds said “How would like a part time job as brew meister?
Maybe I can do better than that. Gene called Tim on his cell, “Tim where are
you?” Gene ask. “Carla and I are at the spa, who is this Gene?” Yeah it's Gene,
look Byron and Austin and I have a deal for you we will be right there.” They all
three jumped into the cart that Gene had come over in and took off or the spa.
They were there in ten minutes. “OK Tim here is the deal, I would like for you to
give me a permanent assignment in the Hour Glass or doing something that
would benefit The Company enough that you could justify it, have you got
anything like that?” “I don't know of anything off hand Gene but I will keep it in
mind, why the request?” “I'll tell you why Tim, I recently tasted some brew that
these two dodo's made and you almost couldn't drink the stuff, it was terrible.”
“Terrible,” Austin repeated. “Then I made them a carboy full of good beer and
Byron said it was the best beer he had ever tasted. I know how to make beer
and they don't. Since this is the only brewery on Mars don't you think it would
be in the beer drinking publics best interest to have good beer?” “I agree but let
me think, I know we don't have a park ranger in the hour glass yet and there are
valuable natural beauty assets there that need to be protected. We already
have rangers on duty in paradise and The Company cavern to protect the fish,
how would you like to be the ranger at the Hour Glass, Gene?” “Fantastic, I
knew I could count on you Tim.” So it was that Hour glass brewery got a brew
meister and the folks on Mars got some really good beer.
Beer containers were a problem Austin and Byron hadn't thought of
before ordering all their other stuff, but Gene had the answer, I will just put a
large covered vat in the square and the customers can bring their own
containers. The kitchens have hundreds of plastic jugs that stuff they use
comes in and they have just been storing the empties in the back of one of the
caverns in hopes they would be of use some day. Well we can retrieve a
couple thousand of those jugs, wash them and give them to people that don't
have containers when they buy beer from our vat. Three weeks later they had
the vat set up and Byron was selling beer every evening from 1700 to 1900.
Gene turned out to be not a very good ranger but he was a heck of a brewer.
Most people swore that Hour Glass brewery on Mars made the best beer they
had ever tasted. Byron and Austin made so much money that they bought out
Genes contract with The Company and made him a partner. In the meantime
Gene, who was actually a pretty sharp guy had been hitting the Internet- and
boning up on wine making. After several hundred hours of study he thought he
was ready. He got out the ingredients and the equipment and proceed to make
a carboy of wine. It was a burgundy and it was pretty good so after Austin and
Byron approved he started making vats of it. He then tried a Chablis which was
also pretty good and Gene figured considering the competition it was good
enough. Within six months they were also selling table wine in the square, no
one seemed to rave about the wine like they did the beer but they bought it
Also among the items that were brought in on Mars Runner were an
assortment of salt water fish and enough mixture to convert ten million gallons
of fresh water to salt water. Helen asked,”What do you need that stuff for, we
have plenty of salt in the caverns, there are big deposits of it. Grace told Helen
“There is a lot more than just salt in this mixture, Helen this is the residue that
results from the dehydration of ocean water. There are hundreds of nutrients in
this mixture that salt water fish require. For the next month Grace and Helen
and three crews were busy setting up the Ocean and introducing the salt water

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