A chapter from Maxwell Empire Book 1 Chapter 2

A chapter from Maxwell Empire Book 1 Chapter 2

A chapter from Maxwell Empire Book 1 Chapter 2

 

The purpose of the scripting is to make the books useful to teachers wanting a range of plays for their students.

 

Book 1 Chapter 2   Space City factory Spaceship visit

Scott and Simon are in Space City and are about to visit the Spaceship factory. They have had breakfast and have joined the day’s group tour over the facility. The group is moving along the Observation Tube of the Spaceship factory to see the spaceship Maxwell 09 being built. The Observation Tube is air filled and warm but they wear spacesuits as a precaution against something going wrong. They wear magnetic boots because they are weightless and it makes moving along the corridor more comfortable. The Space factory viewing corridor has iron plates to step along so the magnet bottomed boots hold you to the iron plated pathways. The electromagnets in the boots are turned on when the foot is descending and off when the foot is ascending. They are attached to the guide rail because there is no gravity in the Tube and while they can drift readily along it their attachment stops them interfering with the other members of the group.

They are looking at the spaceship.

 

SCOTT

What about that? It is huge.

SIMON

See all those blocks of ice. Having a temperature out there in the shade of lower than minus one hundred degrees Celsius means water is only in the form of ice.

SCOTT

But how many blocks? There look to be thousands of them.

SIMON

They add up to three thousand tonnes. So at a tonne each that is three thousand ice blocks.

SCOTT

Well, it doesn’t look like a spaceship from the stories we read as kids.

SIMON

It’s out of the atmosphere. It just has to have the bits hang together.

SCOTT

That is just right. Those blocks of ice are just strung together with cables.

SIMON

And then when it needs to put them in its fusion motor it just drags them over to it.

SCOTT

For a robot it is just plain huge.

SIMON

It says here that it will weigh six thousand tonnes and then there will be the extra three thousand tonnes of water making a total of nine thousand tonnes.

SCOTT

Maxwell 09 is going to take over seven thousand years to get to its planet. That is thirty nine light years away.

SIMON

We won’t be visiting our rellies for a weekend visit.

SCOTT

Just to have a conversation means waiting seventy eight years after saying Hello to hearing their How are you?

SIMON

When does it leave?

SCOTT

In 4615. It was going to be 4215 but they stopped making spaceships for a few hundred years to hear how Maxwell 01 had got on.

SIMON

There would be a few changes I guess. It will be twelve hundred years after Maxwell 01 left so they must have better space elevator cables or computers or whatever.

SCOTT

It is nearly three hundred years since Maxwell 01 arrived. Even with a conversation taking eight years or so between saying Hello and hearing How are you? That boils down to a lot of conversations.

SIMON

Maxwell 01 sent a message every year. I wonder if Maxwell 09 will do that. It is a lot of messages saying I have been having a good sleep.

SCOTT

Yes. Over seven thousand of them. After five years of acceleration the spaceships just head towards their planet before they have five years of deceleration to then orbit the planet.

SIMON

I guess it will be a bit less deceleration because they used up over a million tonnes of water accelerating so they have less weight to slow down.

SCOTT

Yes. Maxwell 09 will calculate it so it so it goes into orbit around its planet at the right speed.

SIMON

The cables holding the ice blocks will then be used to make the Space Elevator to the surface of Maxwell 09.

SCOTT

While the Space Elevator is made it will be getting the airships set up to go down to the surface to start spreading algae spores all over the planet to make oxygen.

SIMON

It will send down some mining robots as well to find the minerals it needs to make more robots, to set up a Space City and to make more Space Elevators.

SCOTT

Actually there must be a lot of mining robots.

SIMON

The airships are needed to change the atmosphere of the planet for humans to live outside the domes it will build but mining robots are needed to find the minerals it needs and then to mine them and then to send them up the Space Elevator to it for processing.

SCOTT

Look at him. He’s jetting around to do his job all over the place. Humans would need a huge spacesuit on to be out there.

SIMON

Talk about sexist. I guess robots in the kitchen are her while robots in factories are him.

SCOTT

Sorry. But saying it all the time gets me. I say him for all of them.

SIMON

Right. It’s him. He certainly zooms around the place without the need to safety belts or any other safety equipment.

SCOTT

Robots will have built all the spaceships. If the job is particularly tricky a human guided robot can be used with the human safely in warm, aid conditioned comfort.

SIMON

That is what the woman was doing back there. She had the visor on and was waving her arms about. I thought she was dancing or something.

SCOTT

We have passed a few of them. Most of the time the robots can do it all on their own. I suppose it could be a problem when it gets to Maxwell 09.

SIMON

Maxwell 01 did not report any robot problems. Those ones designed for starting new human homes must be better quality.

SCOTT

Humans are not needed much in manufacturing. People I know who want to work are looking at research or design.

SIMON

When Maxwell 09 parks itself over the equator and starts to deploy its Space Elevator it would be thinking it needs a better material for the job. That is what I want to find. A better Space Elevator material.

SCOTT

Since they discovered the material we use now and that is over a thousand years ago I don’t know you will find one.

SIMON

I will try anyway.

SCOTT

I don’t know that I will have a job. Not full time anyway. With the Government paying everyone whether they work or not I like the idea of a lot of time off. I think some of the Education Inputs could be improved so I will work on that.

SIMON

You will be working online so you could be on the Earth, in Space City, or on the Moon.

SCOTT

Yes. On the Moon I can take a break in the gym and see just how many metres I can get off the floor. But it would be a shortish stay. Low gravity is not good for bones.

SIMON

So Space City would be even shorter.

SCOTT

Not really. The artificial gravity from the rotation of the living areas means you have Earth gravity. You had that before we came out here. So I could be here forever. Not that I would want to. Earth is too beautiful to stay away from it.

SIMON

I must say I will be getting out of my lab to hike in the forests. Where there are no people. Can you imagine how crowded Earth must have been with over fifteen billion people? Just as well China went up in the air.

SCOTT

Yes. I love the forests. But I love all that is in our life.

SIMON

I cannot think of a better time to be alive.

SCOTT

Robots to do all the work, humans to do all the play.

SIMON

What about those robots. What do you think they are making?

SCOTT

That must be a DNA store. It is being surrounded by ice blocks to protect it from flying objects on its journey. Try to anyway. They evidently have half a dozen DNA stores around the spaceship to make sure they get all eight million or so sets of DNA to the new Earth environment. With a journey of at least eight hundred years they need to protect the reason for going. With Maxwell 09 it needs to be protected for over seven thousand years.

SIMON

I wonder if they are taking DNA of bindii and double gees and mosquitoes. I can imagine leaving those ones behind.

SCOTT

If they have the DNA they take it. Earth 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 must be all the same as Earth original. In the beginning anyway.

SIMON

So we have three thousand one tonne iceblocks around six DNA sets. That is five hundred blocks per DNA set. Have we seen ice block making?

SCOTT

They pump water up to several kilometres above the Earth and then into plastic bags which are kept in the shade and will be at a temperature well below freezing so that big cubes of plastic covered ice are formed. These can then be taken up the Space Elevator to the spaceship. They are covered with more plastic coating to make sure no water is lost on the journey to the planet they are headed for. At the spaceship we have seen them stacking the water cubes and securing them with ties.

SIMON

Right. Losing water would be losing the ability to slow down to meet the planet, so the water is very important. And the plastic is used in the Space Elevator.

SCOTT

The water in the fusion motor gets ionised and pushes the spaceship to a speed of about one and a half million metres per second in five years. Then after eight hundred years Maxwell 01 turned around and took five years or so to slow down to go into orbit around Maxwell 01, over the equator.

SIMON

So eventually Maxwell 01 will be like Earth with Space City a ring around above the equator, with Space Elevators to the surface from the Space City.

SCOTT

Even if we made Maxwell 01 Mark 2 big enough to support humans it would be about thirty generations before it got there. What would be the point?

SIMON

Yes. No point. When humans are old enough on Maxwell 01 we can say Hello and eight years later we can hear their How are you? And then we can say I am fine. How are you? And eight years later we will hear their I am fine, but I don’t think they will ask What is the weather like today? Conversations as such are pretty well ruled out.

SCOTT

Anyway, what about this spaceship. It leaves in thirty nine years so there must be a lot more to get built.

SIMON

The motors must be going way down there. I guess they have not started on that part yet. That is one of the projects I could work on. Better fusion motors.

SCOTT

The movies just have no idea. This is just a huge network of bits to hang other bits on until they are needed, like the ice blocks.

SIMON

Not having humans makes it completely different. This huge robot doesn’t need enclosed spaces to hold air so it is just rigging. With the temperature in space three degrees Kelvin it had better be able to stand it for seven thousand years.

SCOTT

The main problem is always the acceleration but with a mass of nine million kilograms that will be very small. Its biggest problem will be turning around.

SIMON

Yes, but it has seven thousand years to do that so I don’t see that is a problem either.

SCOTT

True. So perhaps its biggest problem is the unforeseen comet or other object we don’t know about. But space has lots of space so I guess the chances of encountering any object are pretty low.

SIMON

That is where Maxwell 01 had an advantage. Being the nearest star meant not much chance of finding anything on the way there.

SCOTT

The plastic from the ice blocks will help make enclosed areas for the robots it has to do their work when it gets to Maxwell 09. They will need to have something so they can set up the airships and mining robots to send down to the surface along the Space Elevator.

SIMON

And they will need somewhere to work on the Space Elevator before they do that.

SCOTT

The robots have programs which have to last seven thousand years. So the program is stored on DNA. So a change on the DNA and we have EXTERMINATE EXTERMINATE Darleks. I do love Dr Who, even if it is from three thousand years ago or so.

SIMON

I think we need to get in the fast lane to get to the food court and watch the Earth from up here. I don’t like eating without gravity so much but I do like seeing Earth while I eat.

SCOTT

Good idea.

SIMON

After lunch we should go to the Observation Deck to have a good look at the Earth. The telescopes are very good.

SCOTT

I agree. Food for the tummy then food for the soul.

 

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