Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Part 10, Chapter 2 - Germ Storage

More dungeon-delving. Jonnie and his friends move deeper into the underground base, traveling along "what seemed like endless corridors and rooms," passing "Offices, offices, offices. Barracks. Storerooms. Their footsteps resounded hollowly, disturbing the millennium-long sleep of the dead."

Not bad imagery, there.

They find some rough maps that show the place to be a daunting three-dimensional maze, which prompts an argument between Angus and Foxy the Robert over the possibility of getting the elevators and such to work again. In a nod to reality, Angus complains that the generators are just "piles of congealed rust" and the fuel has turned to sludge. Paper, of course, has survived the thousand years without difficulty.

A communications console bears a message. "URGENT. Don't fire. It isn't the Russians." A half-Swede crewman explains who the Russians were. Then there's a huge room with a big world map on the floor covered in models indicating military resources. One artifact stands out, a crudely-made cylinder on a projected course that ends just over the location of the installation.

"It was too much data to sort out in a moment. Jonnie went on looking."

In a room labeled "Top Secret" they find mention of "TNWs" and "silos." The former is understood to stand for Tactical Nuclear Weapons, and Thor the Half-Swede (I think) explains that the latter are used to store wheat, though he can't fathom why a military base would be interested in them. Jonnie, who knows what rockets are, can't make the connection, but luckily the historian habitually carries a dictionary (!) and points out that the word is also used to refer to the storage facilities for ballistic missiles. Jonnie excitedly realizes they may have found their uranium!

Back to Chapter One

1 comment:

  1. "Looking up words in dictionaries" is supposed to be one of the great discoveries of L. Ron Hubbard's "study tech". Scientologists also believe that making physical models of abstract concepts out of modeling clay helps people to understand them better, and that you shouldn't try to learn faster than you can absorb the material. And that's all there is to "study tech".