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31 August 2015 @ 06:50 am
_Project Dystopia_ part 18  

In the morning, he was relieved to see that the insecticide and spells had kept the camp fairly clear of bugs, and killed the ones that had flown in.

He goosed the fab into a decent sausage and scrambled egg breakfast for everyone, before keying in the codes for more bug bombs.

"Your leg looks really good." Paer waved her hand over Olgy's thigh. "I'll just hit it with the anti inflammatory spell, and a general healing spell. . . really, by the time we're out of here, I think you may be out of the full leg splint. But not putting weight on it, mind, you."

Ogly scowled. "Right. I'll just miss all the fun stuff."

"Spoken like a dedicated Teamer." Yeahza eyed the gun safe, but shook his head. "I'll stick to the 12 mm. How much ammo do you have?"

Ebsa paused. "Good question." He started pulling out boxes. "I wasn't actually prepared for a war . . . Maybe a hundred rounds. Let's load up all the magazines . . . "

Vee looked the boxes over. "I'm about out of double ought buckshot. I'll add in some number two . . . and find out if it'll still knock those roaches down."

"Did I mention the ants? They were snacking down on the snake when we went back."

Ebsa hauled out more ammo. Plenty of 10mm for Paer . . . He split the 12 mm with Yeahza, loaded two spare mags. Loaded all the 10mm mags they had and brought along the shorter barreled carbine along with Paer's rifle. I'll leave it, and half the 10mm ammo in the ute. Just in case I need it closer than back at the camp.

The Fab dinged to tell him it had finished the bug bombs.

Pity they don't let these things make ammunitions or explosives. I wonder if there are overide codes . . . or perhaps it requires all new special programs . . . or maybe the assembly process ignites the powder. He removed the sacks of insecticide. Coded in some mostly innocuous snacks and high value finger food. Sandwiches. Stashed it in his dimensional bag, and then added the 10mm carbine. In case of tight quarters, underground.

Looked up to see everyone boggling.

Except Ogly, who laughed. "Don't tell me you got back together with Nighthawk! Man, you guys are unbelievable."

Paer grinned. "She's opening gates for Disco, now. Ra'd's assigned to Embassy Intel, trying to get her to whisper sweet nothings and a few secrets into his ears."

"One!" Ogly looked over at Yeahza. "I'll make it official. Follow his orders."

He eyed the Archeologists. Shrugged.

Ebsa cleared his throat. "How portable are any of your magnetic detectors? We might be well advised to try to pinpoint the location of this pulse as closely as possible before we go underground."

Yeahza nodded. "We already did it once . . . but, Professor Coffee? Maybe we ought to take the small magnetometer down underground."

Coffee nodded. "And you know how to use it. Good idea."

Ebsa's stomach curdled. He stepped back to the fab and ordered filters and goggles. "We'll be spreading the dichlor around, generously. So, even though it's not very toxic to humans, we'll take a few precautions."

What am I missing? A giant flyswatter, maybe? Ah. Brute force, of course. He turned away from the fab and opened the low bin of the repair tools. The crowbar was better than half a meter of hard steel, wide curve at one end, slight bend at the other, the end narrowing to a broad wedge. He added it to the bubble and closed it.

"Ogly? We'll leave the radio on and the sound turned up, so you'll know if there's a problem."

"For all the good it'll do?"

"Bet you could drive if you had to. We'll leave the gate open."

Ebsa decided to interpret the hand gesture as a farewell wave.

Ebsa added vid cams and ropes to his pack and they headed out again.

Yeahza drove cautiously but there were no toads, or insects large enough to be mentioned. Ebsa, again sitting on the tailgate tuned out the radio chatter between the Archeologists until the static rose and covered it all, at a high volume.

Chapter Seven

"That's it!" Professor Coffee yelled. "The burst of static we . . . had before."

He lowered his voice as the static died away.

Ebsa looked around carefully. Nothing else had changed. The ute lurched forward again. Another ten minutes and they parked in the usual place.

"So . . . if the static was from here . . . " Ebsa looked around. "Not even any insects."

He led the way, with Yeahza and Vee falling in beside the archeologists, and Paer in the rear.

Stopped at muffled pops, like gunfire in the distance . . . or underground. He listened carefully . . . nothing.

They exchanged shrugs and walked on. Half a kilometer's scramble over heaps of debris, to get around the side with the gap.

The white powdered area was devoid of life, but beyond, there was a steady stream of ants, winding along paths clear of the insecticide. The ants leaving the mound were carrying reddish chunks. Meat.

"Guess they found something edible down there." Paer hunched her shoulders. "Those weren't shot we heard. No one else is on this world."

Ebsa eyed the ants. "We really dare not go underground while they are there . . . Bu maybe we can get a peek at what's down there."

He shucked his pack and dug out three mini vidcams, and rummaged deeper . . . yes mechanic's tape. "Back off and get ready to run."

He crossed the insecticide covered rubble, calling up his unnoticeable spell, the smell to blunt the sense of smell that had worked so well on guard dogs . . . Ebsa tore of a strip of tape, laid it across the first vidcam and stepped out beside an ant heading for the dome. Set it on top of its thorax, pressed the ends of the tape. Stepped back into the insecticide.

Nobody here. No smell. No movement.

His ant and four others milled about in circles then turned back to follow their fellows up the dome and down the hole he and Vee had spotted yesterday.

He did it twice more, but the ants seemed to be catching on, so he retreated across the poisoned zone.

Half of the "ready to run" gang had their computers out, watching nausea-inducing pictures of rocks zipping by. One vid cam was knocked loose and fell down a hole, and after a spinning, jarring fall, landed looking at a faintly illuminated rock, and past it, darkness.

"That's funny, the rock looks almost like a shoe . . . " Yeahza trailed off.

Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on August 31st, 2015 01:43 pm (UTC)
==Pity they don't let these things make ammunitions or explosives.==

R'ad is better at chemistry.

But another site for a dust explosion here.

I wonder if you can get someone to denounce your books on the basis of Guns=Evil, DDT=Evil AND unfair to giant ants.

Little Egret in Walton-on-Thames

matapampamuphoff on August 31st, 2015 02:33 pm (UTC)
I'm a gender traitor, too. Too many of my Main Characters are cismales. And even when I do have female characters, they are physically weaker than the male characters, and they keep falling in love.

Well, if they do ever discover my stuff, I expect Answer to have her own fan club.
hollybambolo on August 31st, 2015 07:01 pm (UTC)
They would have to read instead of skim 'til offended to find Answer. But she kind of deserves a fan club. The problem being that the people most likely to want to form one are the sorts she would utterly disdain, because Answer is a fan of working your tail off.
matapampamuphoff on August 31st, 2015 09:40 pm (UTC)
But she's fighting to keep the tradition of Strong Independent Women Who Have Nothing To Do With Men unsullied by these _wives_!!! :)

If the opportunity to get a book into the hands of Feminazis ever occurs I shall gleefully hand over _The Black Goats_.
Zan Lynxzlynx on August 31st, 2015 04:23 pm (UTC)
I don't think dust is what you'd worry about. Modern gunpowder is a relative to nitroglycerin (details are hard to find but I believe the actual formula has changed several times over the last 100 years), processed with other things into stable grains. The classic chemical process has some very dangerous stages.

I am not sure what a 3D chemical printer / molecular assembler would do with it.

If the chunks of unstable explosive in the resulting output were too big and not properly mixed with the stabilizer things would be bad.

I've heard chemical engineers say that half of their job is to PREVENT things from blowing up or poisoning everyone or other fun and exciting disasters. This is apparently harder than it might seem. I am sure that a futuristic chemical fabber has a lot of safeguards built into it.
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on August 31st, 2015 08:33 pm (UTC)
The dust comment was related to an earlier comment of mine about how the tykes could blow everything up

(Pam note on 6) Oooo! I hadn't thought about the tykes burning down the kitchen.==

LE comment on part 6
Perhaps a flour or custard powder dust explosion ?

Anything that's finely divided and will burn can cause a dust explosion

You don't need a chemical explosive (which reminds me of "the atomic bomb will never go off and I speak as an expert in explosives") The textbooks mention "physical explosives" thus some water in a sealed tube, heated, will blow out at the weakest point and you don't need chemicals, just drill a hole, insert the tube, start the heating and stand well back.

Little Egret in Walton-on-Thames

Edited at 2015-08-31 08:42 pm (UTC)
Zan Lynxzlynx on August 31st, 2015 08:47 pm (UTC)
Oh I see.

I thought you were talking about this bit from the post:
"Pity they don't let these things make ammunitions or explosives. I wonder if there are overide codes . . . or perhaps it requires all new special programs . . . or maybe the assembly process ignites the powder."

Maybe they desperately need more ammunition. And he finds the override codes. And tries it.

That's what I was thinking.

Edited at 2015-08-31 08:48 pm (UTC)
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on August 31st, 2015 09:37 pm (UTC)
Yes I was thinking of that (I quoted some) but outside the box.

What can Ebsa make & use that will explode or otherwise destroy something?

Pre gunpowder, one method was to cut a slot in rock and insert a wooden wedge. If you got the grain of the wood right pouring on water would expand the wedge and crack the rock.

Little Egret in Walton-on-Thames

Edited at 2015-08-31 09:38 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous) on August 26th, 2017 04:18 am (UTC)
Fabber explosives
ANFO, or pretty much any binary explosive. The fabber should not have any trouble with it either. The trick would be creating the detonator.
muirecanmuirecan on August 31st, 2015 02:29 pm (UTC)
I think this should be different.

" the smell to blunt the sense of smell" likely is the spell not the smell.
matapampamuphoff on August 31st, 2015 02:34 pm (UTC)
My fingers are so massively stupid!
(Anonymous) on September 1st, 2015 05:15 am (UTC)
Feed the fabber
I may have missed something in earlier snippets, but I feels like the fabber should need some kind of input. Lots of food, various chemicals, etc. come out. Even if you just shovel in dirt, there should at least be some kind of mass balance?

Even if it's all nanotechnology, I don't believe it can harvest everything out of air. Hmm, maybe the operative word is "I don't believe"? It just would feel more real with conservation of mass.

At the very least, have some one check the tanks to see how much is left...


ps can I log in if I never use any of the listed social sites? Maybe I can use a 10 or 15 year old Baen's Bar logon?
matapampamuphoff on September 1st, 2015 10:04 am (UTC)
Re: Feed the fabber
I've mentioned refills and so forth in other places. Probably not in this story, which is hot off the keyboard. I'll stick something in.

I . . . haven't the fainest idea what limits/requirements LiveJournal has for sign ins. They probably want you to join LJ.
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on September 1st, 2015 06:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Feed the fabber
You mentioned refills in this one but only for vendos

In Rescue Party

==. All the fabs and vendos were showing yellow lights. He sent an intern off to find the army's supply sergeant and beg for any refills they might have.==

My facebook membership only included my date of birth and my name (which I managed to mis-spell) and a unique email addie.

I did spend the first couple of months switching off all default emails - like friend requests.

Perhaps just add a sig to the message text ?

Mike D
Little Egret in Walton-on-Thames
matapampamuphoff on September 1st, 2015 07:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Feed the fabber
added "and fab base" to the list of the last shipment. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go blow it all up.