Saturday, 18 April 2009

A Colony On Mars : Chapter 25

. Saturday, 18 April 2009

CHAPTER - December 31, 2108: Happy new year 2109
January 7, 2109 : Tunneling starts to reach the long low 6th cavern nine
hundred feet away. This was a new experience for the drillers. So far the
caverns had been close enough to being on the same level but this dig was at a
six percent down grade the whole way. It was difficult to keep loose material
from getting in the way. A front end loader was constantly removing the loose
material. After a while they got the knack of it and started making pretty good
progress. At one hundred feet in they they ran into solid quartz. They
summoned Harold Dixon, the mine manager “what do you recommend we do
about this Harold?” “This is a good thing and a bad thing, I would like to take

some samples for assay and I would like for you to tunnel to get a crawl space
to the other side. Also get the scientists to get you some pictures of what this
looks like, I need to know the size and contents of this formation. Is there
another route you could take to still get to Utopia?” “There is a longer way, yes,
Lets get Tim and Carter and see if they have any idea's.” “A few minutes later
Tim showed up with Hal Johnson, and all the charts of known caverns in the
area. If you went to the side of the hourglass away from the winery and
changed direction and dug off to the right of the hour glass you would only have
a short dig 150 feet to a very large cavern that we can tell little about but we
know that it is almost 68 square miles in size and we really didn't want to have
to pressurize a hole that big at this time. Now, however since we have
additional atmosphere apparatus and have that big generator that we were
thinking of using in Utopia we could use it in that big cavern, assuming there is
water and a hot spot somewhere in there. If not we could lay down an air tight
tunnel which would be twelve miles long and then tunnel another two hundred
fifty feet and we come out in this little arm of Utopia.” Jonson mumbled as he
ran his finger over the chart. Harold said “I would like to see you guys go that
route and leave this quartz to us hard rock guys, there is no way to tell, of
course but I smell gold there.” as he pointed to the quartz barrier. “Why don't
you guys knock off for the rest of the day and I will have new marching orders
for you in the morning. Tim and Hal went back to the Government cavern and
connected with Paul and Carter. Johnson explained the plan change to them
and they agreed. “If Harold wants that quartz lets give it to him and take on the
little giant instead. I always kinda wanted to go that way in the first place. It
was just the challenge that cavern poses to our environmental facilities that sent
us on the route we were taking anyway.
January 20, 2109 The tunnelers started their dig again, this time to the
little giant. They ran in to lots of rocks but still managed to make pretty good
headway. The rocks were all being sent back for the scientists to study and
identify. These guys didn't know much about rocks but generally the harder
they are the more valuable they are, and these were very hard rocks, a hammer
wouldn't break one or cleave it.

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