Thursday, 2 April 2009

A Colony On Mars : Chapter 9

. Thursday, 2 April 2009

CHAPTER – Cupid at work JANUARY 2108
So many people that had come to Mars as singles were now couples.
Archy had started performing weddings although there was no place on Mars to
obtain a marriage license and Archy was not an ordained clergyman. What the
hell that is the closest they could get, so after the ceremony they just started
living in sin, so what.

Walter and Thelma took all this into consideration and decided to set up
a court house to start issuing marriage licenses. Little did they realize at the
time that within the year they would be issuing birth certificate's also. A walled
enclosure was erected and a sign hung over the entrance that read Court
House. One of the women on Walter's staff that did computer input was
assigned to move her desk over to the court house and use the computer to
print marriage licenses which Walter signed. As it turned out about half of those
that Archy had married didn't even want a marriage license. This was the hot
topic on talk radio for over a week.
That evening Carla said to Tim, “I have been listening to talk radio, quite
a lot, lately,” then she remarked to Tim, “How can folks get so excited over the
most inane things on that talk radio station?” Tim thought for a moment then
responded, “I think that all of us have just so much attention span to use up
every day, here in these caverns there is really very little of any importance to
spend our attention on. It is not possible for talk radio to not talk about
anything, so they just pick the most interesting of all the uninteresting things
they have to choose from and discuss that. It's like that movie we saw the other
night where the guy was in solitary confinement and had nothing to spend his
attention allotment on, then he spotted a roach in the corner of his cell and
spent all his time watching the antics of that stupid roach, he would watch it for
hours on end, remember”. “Well, no matter, I will probably keep listening to talk
radio, and even calling in on occasion.”
Back to the matter of alcohol. Since The Company furnished them
canned vegetables and since The Company didn't furnish liquor it only made
sense to use what growing capacity that they had to produce their own alcohol.
Rusty at MARS-TV held a discussion on the news and invited listeners to call in
whether they wanted to sacrifice their fresh veggies for booze or not. The call
ins were about fifteen to one in favor of booze. So as each veggie crop was
harvested the crop was replaced with corn. A couple guys who worked
construction were from a part of the country where it was still common to set up
a still and produce their own liquor. You could even get a permit to do that if it
was for your own consumption. Both of these gentlemen claimed to be experts
so they were unofficially appointed to head up that project. They scoured the
facility in search of copper tubing and the other materials they would need.
They came up with everything they needed and constructed the first still on
Mars. There would still be a lack of casks for aging but that would not be much
of a problem. Nobody would want to wait for it to age anyway. The early
batches would lacked that nice brown color that one associates with good
whiskey but it would serve to make Saturday nights a lot more fun.
One Sunday morning early in 2108 Tim and Carla were out for a walk
when they came across Archy holding services for a dozen or so faithful. The
service was about over so Tim and Carla listened to the conclusion of Archie's
sermon. They didn't know much about religion but Archy sure seemed to know
what he was talking about. He sounded very professional. When the service
ended Archie approached them and asked Tim if he would help build a
community church. “Sure Archy but we would have to clear it with Walter and
Thelma. The next time he spoke with Thelma he brought the subject of a
church up for discussion. “Oh, you know how the Government and The
Company are about spending any money for the benefit of any particular
religious group so we would have to call it a community chapel and claim that
we needed it for weddings and funerals. I am not aware of any funerals coming
up but I know of more than a dozen weddings that are being planned.” Tim said,
I could request Rusty to ask for volunteers on the nightly news to have those
interested volunteer their time next Sunday to help build the Church, er a I
mean Community Chapel.” “Not necessary said Thelma, if The Company and
the Government approve the Chapel we can build it on company time with
company materials and even order a few items like pews sent up from Earth.
By the way, Tim do we have a pastor?” “Well sort of, one of our construction
workers is a lay minister. I have heard one of his sermons and he sounds very
professional. I don't know what religion he represents but maybe he could be
persuaded to conduct his services interdenominational.”
Thelma got her permission for the chapel all right but the Government
representative that she talked to in Washington said Oh, my god, we forgot all
about that. With the population that you have now you would be entitled to
three chapels and three chaplains. Watch the next ship Thelma you may be
getting a priest a minister and a rabbi.” Archy was not too pleased when he
heard all this but just shrugged and said maybe the protestant minister will let
me preach one day a week, that would be fine with me.”
The company had been speaking with Carter and Walter and Thelma
and were assured that the colony was prepared to receive a new batch of
workers. “We are a lot better prepared now to receive three hundred new
workers than we were when you sent the last batch she said. Besides the
assigned work is pretty well caught up with now and Carter wants to start
sealing the big cavern as soon as possible after breakthrough. Maybe you
could send three hundred new workers on each ship until further notice. When
we start on the big cavern we will need all the help we can get, it is going to be
a big job to seal and pressurize that baby.” A few minutes later another
message was received from the Company “It's a good thing that you said that
Thelma because on the ship that is due to arrive in January there are three
hundred more employees. Most of them will be construction workers but there
will also be some surprises for you.

Continue Chapter:


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