Harmony Chapter 32: Going west

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This entry is part 32 of 31 in the series Harmony

I grabbed a lunchbox from Laura, who simply wished me a great day but without any personal touch: many people in town were going around and it felt like wasn’t really comfortable yet with affection.

I followed some of the crowd to the monorail station: I had cities to explore.

The eastern monorail had already left but the western one was still filling up so I hurried up and climbed aboard.

I didn’t know most of the people on it and the over-representation of men made me think that perhaps, the western portion of the planet was less built for a reason or another.

I made sure to be at the front and sat behind Janice, the driver.

We left a few minutes later, and once we were in route, I began talking to her.

“Hi, we will be stopping at the third city, right?”

“Oh yes, many of my passengers are going there.”

“Is it the last stop?”

“Today it is, but sometimes we go further to help prepare future shares. I heard you didn’t have one yet, would you like to see more options?”

“Actually, I have one, in town, but part of my share is to know about everything occurring which is why I want to see the 3rd city and tomorrow the 2nd.”

“Oh, I didn’t know of a share like that”

“Yeah”, I said, a little uncomfortable, “It’s new.”

She stopped the monorail and 2 of the rare women aboard climbed down a latter. I could see all around me a cornfield, almost as far as the eye could see. Were they only two to take care of it?

Wait, why I am wondering? As soon as we resumed, I asked Janice if it was normal that only two girls attended the field.

“Well, today it is. Lucia and Erica work every day to attend the fields but when there are problems, a few of the builders help them.”

“What kind of problem?”

“Sometimes, their harvester or fertilizers have issues or they need more irrigation built”

“Oh, I see!”

So corn farming wasn’t something too complex, I guess. I knew nothing about it.

We dropped a man and a woman in what seemed the middle of nowhere, but I was pretty sure they either had a good share together or each a share alone.

Despite all of my critics about the bad management of shares, I must admit that I didn’t find a single lazy person: everyone worked hard and the few I had seen who had idle time did so because they tried to work fast enough and hard enough to win that idle time.

I saw the town well in advance: it was in a clearing and I could see a station in front of the train.

We stopped at it and everyone but Janice went into the town.

Most of the workers worked on the main building: it wasn’t as big as the one with my apartment in, but it was rather massive.

A few pieces of heavy machinery were in town and soon enough used to help with the construction.

We were in the middle of nowhere and many of the raw materials or pieces of machinery were just too big for the monorail. I assumed they had carried everything by truck from the main city, perhaps over a few days.

Why had no one thought of truck driving as a share in itself? I kind of knew… because it didn’t produce anything, it only helped the others.

Oh, now I just figured out why the monorail drivers were older! This probably wasn’t a well-perceived share either so it was for retired people.

There were very few houses: I guess they would come later. I visited a few and they seemed functional and complete and, more importantly, in every way identical to the other houses I had seen.

My father was obsessed with making sure that containers were returned to the point of charging a fine when they were damaged. He would be furious to know what these people were doing to his containers! I guess his recent purchase meant he had not changed anything.

On the other side of town, a warehouse was behind built by 4 workers. I took a long look at it and at the speed, they were constructing. The warehouse was almost big enough for an automated factory. I saw on some lumber and turned inwards to do a mental inventory of what was in the CMC.

I had seen some of the basic automated factory parts shipped to every colony still brand new in boxes. They only allowed for basic functioning and need a lot of space, indoors, so that’s probably why they were never deployed.

Now, these simple machines aren’t enough to, say, build a spaceship, but they could basically replicate basic shapes like gears, small tools an in low-efficiency manner. Don’t expect to build a shovel factory but you could get yourself one without having to import it.

We wouldn’t be able to build a harvester or a new tractor but just perhaps, we might be able to repair some of the broken ones on the side of the down currently used for parts.

I hailed one of the workers. “Hey, do you think you could build a large warehouse like that in the main town? Near the port, like, behind it?”

“Probably, but why? We don’t need it.”

“Actually, I might need it for my share.”

“Oh, well, we could I guess. ”

“When could you start?”, I asked.

“Well, we need to finish this one first”. He seemed to want to get away to resume working, but I was not going to let go…

“What if I asked you to put it on hold and start tomorrow instead?”

“Tomorrow? Wow, ok, let me talk to the guys… ”

He began leaving, but I asked him one last question.

“How long would it take?”, I asked.

“Hard to say, but it would be faster near the port: no material to transport. Perhaps 20 days?”

So it might be finished soon after the arrival of the next ship. Interesting. Maybe my share wouldn’t be useless for long!

Series Navigation«Harmony Chapter 31: Cities?
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