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Dingus Khan

The Terraforming Project: Chapter One

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Chapter One: Awaiting Instructions

“What was it you called these things again? Pods?” Baldwin inquired of Barianna.

“Yeah. We’re going to be briefed over how to use them soon. To me they look like torture devices.” She retorted.

Baldwin placed the odd pod looking devices back in their containers. Torture devices indeed, he thought. Yesterday his journey had begun. The Mars investigation was over, so now the real work was to start: building a colony. The only thing the marines found in their investigation was a few old bones and several decayed space stations, centuries old. Baldwin was part of the science team, and he was glad for that. He knew what kind of work the construction team was in for. Baldwin and Barianna were in the equipment storage area of the New Liberty, one of UAC's new Mars expedition shuttles. The shuttle had left Earth a day ago, and would be on Mars in two more. Baldwin and Barianna were awaiting both the rest of their science team and their instructor’s arrival. Baldwin had found Barianna ten minutes earlier examining what she called “pods”. Baldwin didn’t know any of the other members on the science team yet either. Realizing they were both going to be working together in two day’s time, Baldwin decided to strike up conversation.

“So, uh, what is your specialization?” Baldwin asked rather shyly.

“Matter composition is my specialization. What’s yours? I figure we should get to know each other know while we have time.” She said while looking over what appeared to be a hazard suit.

“I was kind of thinking the same thing myself. About working together and getting to know each other I mean. I specialize in environmental studies. I’m here to figure out why things work they way they do up there.”

She laughed dryly and said, “You mean there are things up there besides dust and rocks? Seems like you got the easy job if you’re studying how that dead environment works.”

“Well. There’s nothing there now…but once we begin terraforming Mars there will be quite a lot for me to study. Anything could happen.” Baldwin said with a shrug of his shoulders.

“Yeah. I guess I really didn’t give that one much thought. Do you kno—“ Barianna stopped as soon as the airlock defragmented allowing in five men and a woman, trailing in last. One of the men stepped forward with a small datapad in his hands; this was obviously the instructor.

The instructor moved forward and spoke, “Alright everyone. I’m your instructor as you’ve probably guessed by now, and I’m going to brief you all on your equipment, and how to use it. I’m going to start off by first introducing myself, then everyone else in the room. I am Lon Astrine.” Lon looked down at his datapad and said, “The first on my list is Dauro Soldis, in charge of all atmospheric sciences.”
A tall man with a dark complexion stepped forward. Baldwin guessed that he was of some oriental descent. He waved and nodded, then slipped back into the rest of the scientists.

“Ummm…next on my list is Liam Ch…is this Chivorsky? I guess you pronounce the ‘ch’ like an ‘s’?” said Lon, fumbling over the name.

“Yes. It’s of Russian descent. I’m in charge of all thermal sciences.” He raised his hand in a wave to all in the room then quietly went back to his previous stance.

“Barianna Astdety is our matter composition expert.” Lon said disinterestedly. It was obvious that he really didn’t care one way or the other about getting to know any of these people. He continued for the sake of ensuring everyone was where they were supposed to be. Lon saw that Barianna was on the verge of saying something, so he stifled it by continuing on to the next name on his datapad list,

“Stan Ilanth is our Martian biochemist.” He paused for a few seconds then continued, “We need to hurry with this, so I’ll call for the last three, and then we’ll continue to instructions. Chani Adroth [pronounced Sha-nee] –electrical and technological sciences. Baldwin Stoor, environmental studies. Sten Maladroit, chemical engineering. I guess that means everyone is here. You can introduce yourselves to each other later; let’s begin briefing on the equipment you’ll have to use up there.”

Lon moved over to the small pod-like devices first. He raised one up for everyone to see and started talking, “These are Nanonic Respirators. Most of you have heard them called pods I’m sure. These are placed in the nasal cavity, then this device here”, he held up a device with prongs about as far apart as a pair of nostrils “sends an electrical pulse into the Respirators, jumpstarting them. Once they have been activated a self guided wire slides down the nasal cavity and into the lungs where nanodes are released. These nanodes form a bond with the wire and your pulmonary artery. They then create synthetic chemical reactions that produce oxygen, which will flow through the artery into your heart. It functions just like your lungs do, only they create air inside your body, enabling you to stay alive in places without air. Like Mars’ surface. You won’t take in oxygen, and your lungs will not function for the period of time that these are installed. At first you may feel slight discomfort, but as long as no one panics, it will work fine. Now…on to the next item.”

“I have a question. What makes the lungs stop functioning? You never explained the cause for that.” said one of the scientists. Baldwin couldn’t see who it was, but he guessed it was Stan, the Martian biochemist.

“A good question.” Replied Lon. “The lungs are stopped by a small group of nanodes that temporarily shut off all the nerves that control breathing functions. Once again, you may feel extremely discomforted not needing to breath, and not being able to even if you want to. Now onto the hazard suits…”

Baldwin's interest waned as the instruction went on for another hour and a half. All equipment and procedures were described in great detail. Throughout the instruction Baldwin couldn’t stop thinking about what Mars was going to be like. The most he had seen of Mars was in his courses and training back on Earth. To finally behold Mars was like seeing God for Baldwin. In two days time Baldwin’s fantasy would come to life and Mars would be his.

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This is getting off to a great start; I can't wait to see what you have planned.

A few nitpciks if I may, though?

It might help if you add a carraige return between paragraphs and dialogue; it makes for easier reading.

That, and I assumed that the group was already _on_ Mars 'til the very end; might think about describing external areas a _wee-bit_ more in the beginnings.

But that's really all I have to gripe about, and they don't really detract from the overall story at all. So kudos. :)

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Yeah. The dialogues were all in correct paragraph form when i wrote them in word. Copying and pasting from that to this doesnt seem to work too well.

They werent on Mars at all. It says in the first bits of this that they are in the equipment storage area of the New Liberty. I guess I really could have went on to explain that that was a space ship en route to Mars. I forget that what goes on in my head isn't always apparent to everyone else, since no one has telepathy. ;)

I'll get on fixing these things in the morning. Right now it's 3:17 and i'm going to bed.

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Dingus Khan said:

Yeah. The dialogues were all in correct paragraph form when i wrote them in word. Copying and pasting from that to this doesnt seem to work too well.

I always put in an extra blank line (CR) between paragraphs to add some space. Seems to work all right in the forums.

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"Yeah. The dialogues were all in correct paragraph form when i wrote them in word. Copying and pasting from that to this doesnt seem to work too well." -- Dingus Khan

Ahh, I see. I've been there; my sympathies, heh.

"I forget that what goes on in my head isn't always apparent to everyone else, since no one has telepathy . . ." -- Dingus Khan

*laughs* All too true! I have the same problem, really. See, I thought that maybe they had landed or something, or their complex was named the New Liberty. But I was wrong, and that's okay. ;)

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