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09 September 2015 @ 01:23 am
_Project Dystopia_ part 26  
 

Back at the crawler, Ebsa found the kids stirring.

The girls reached for him, and he pulled her out of bed. "Hey Squeaker. You're safe."

Paer snorted softly. "The way she's standing, I think we need to show her how the bathroom works."

Ebsa steered her that direction and she headed for the toilet as if it was familiar enough. She glanced at him, and he stepped out. Modesty for some things, eh? The boy climbed down yawning and took his turn.

Booster and meat cubes and back to bed, although they sort of tried to sit up and pay attention.

Ebsa pulled out the tubs they used for brining some of the tough meat they'd eaten on other worlds. "Well. I think I'd better start experimenting before those dead rats become completely inedible."

"Umm. It's been . . . well, close to five hours for some of them."

"Yeah. We'll have to drag the carcasses away, tomorrow. I'll be right back."

Of course Paer came along, gun in hand, but Ebsa harvested twenty kilos of meat and covered it in brine, just on the expectation of gaminess.

"I'll give it thirty-six hours, then see what I've got." He added ice to all three tubs and covered them. Stacked them out of the way.

Sicced the fabber on sandwiches for guards both coming and going, set out a bowl of snacks, and contemplated the problems with fixing breakfast for ninety in a kitchen designed for a crew of eight.

"I hope to hell the big stove is in working condition." Ebsa eyed cupboards and shook his head. "And I really don't want to use up fab base making disposable plates. Scrambled eggs and sausage in tortillas. Then I'll go see what I've got to work with."

Battered everything. Squeaker looked around, wide-eyed, at the mess, and clung. The boy poked around a bit, keeping an eye on the rat carcasses. Everything in the middle was totaled. But out in the kitchen corn, even though everything was tumbled, the damage looked superficial.

The fab refills had been behind everything else, and he heaved a sigh of relief. Then there was the stove and oven . . .

The boy had a good eye for what was damaged beyond repair, and what was just sooty, and started stacking cans.

I need to find the time to talk to them. Exchange names, try to learn at least a bit of their language.

Ebsa looked around as Ocho stepped onto the slab and looked around.

"Fuel air explosions don't generally have a lot of percussion. They're more heat and flame. Even so, it's going to be a bit before I get your electricity back on. I capped the water pipes, to keep pressure in the rest of the system." Ocho looked over his piled loot. "Four fab refills, and an oven that might work?"

"Yep. And I think the one fab might still work, too. The vat . . . I'll have to see if I can salvage any of the cultures, sanitize the whole thing and start from scratch. I think we ought to move it all to the empty spot on the other slab, so no one has to go far afield for food." Ebsa pried open a cabinet and winced at the smashed crockery. Started picking through for plates and bowls that were still serviceable. Squeaker perked up and helped.

"Good idea. I'll send a flat or a couple of lads to move you." Ocho stepped aside to stomp a roach that was still twitching. "As soon as we've got all the rat carcasses out of here and well away from the camp."

Chapter Twelve

The clouds of insects rose just before sunset.

The last diners wolfed their last bites and headed inside. Ebsa locked down and closed everything possible, and folded up the sheets he'd deployed to shade the kitchen and small dining area. The boy helped, Squeaker had trotted off with Paer when she went to check her patients. All ambulatory, and most of them healing incredibly quickly.

He'd fabbed up wine—and not doped it—for dinner, by way of fueling the healing nanos already at work in the people who'd opted for the Joy Juice. By tomorrow, Paer, and Dr. Atly, should be down to five patients.

The boy untied the last sheet from the roof of the Aid Station, and hung down until he could get a foot on Ebsa's hand then let go.

"Trusting little bugger, aren't you? Let's get out of here." Ebsa set him down and roughly folded the sheet. Batted the incoming bugs away with a thin shield and trotted for the crawler. Locusts? Cicadas? Something common locally and rare enough elsewhere that I don't know what it is? Other than fifteen centimeters of ugly. With luck the dichlor will kill them all and we'll just sweep up in the morning.

He shook out his stack of sheets before boarding and sighed in relief as he closed the door.

"Day one survived." No other adults around so he slid an arm around Paer and kissed her. "Alone at last, with the children. Speaking of which . . . " He looked down at the boy and tapped his chest. "Ebsa." Pointed. "Paer." He pointed at the boy.

Who grinned. "Zhondi." High pitched, but a recognizable word. He pointed at Squeaker. "Ngorei."

"Zondi?"

Pressed lips. Disagreement. "Zh on dee."

I wonder if he can hear all of my speech range?

Ebsa reached for the high tone. "Zhondi."

Brilliant smiles, from both kids.

Squeaker bounced on the bed in excitement. Some of the squeaks might have be Ngorei, if one considered that it was about half out of human hearing rang.

Paer giggled. "Ngorei!" in a high squeaky voice.

All of which led to a two way language exchange, naming everything in the crawler, until they all climbed into their gitio and went joost.

 
 
 
James ResoldierJames Resoldier on January 14th, 2016 03:43 pm (UTC)
Background on explosions
[ "Fuel air explosions don't generally have a lot of percussion. They're more heat and flame. ]

Actually, FAE's (Fuel-Air Explosives) are the MOST concussive conventional explosions. In fact, that's nearly all that they are, as there is no shrapnel involved. The only thing that produces a bigger concussion is a nuclear weapon.

The one thing that will save this scene is the fact that all the concussion will have traveled OUTWARD from the tent, leaving the contents of the tent almost intact, if a bit jumbled.

Think of a balloon... when it pops, the sound travels away from the balloon in an outward bound shock wave. But, the gas from the interior of the balloon, other than going through a massive pressure change, and abrupt change in volume, doesn't really move far. That's why, when you pop one, you don't have pieces of balloon rubber embedded into walls and stuff, even when it's a really big balloon, under a lot of pressure.

Not a lot of heat, except for the initial flash, and almost no flame, as the fuel source runs out immediately.

Concussion? Percussion? Heading AWAY from the tent? Loads...

Perhaps have Ebsa say that all the concussive force pushed OUT from the tent.

Edited at 2016-01-14 03:52 pm (UTC)
matapampamuphoff on January 15th, 2016 04:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Background on explosions
Drat. The opposite of what I'd been told. Thanks.

Is it reasonable that the three open sides of the tent and something, say the nearest large appliance, would have minimized the damage to the rest of the kitchen?