– Famke Tillman – ‘Famke’ –
– Saturday – 19:03 Eastern Time –
Famke had known that the construction operation would be huge, but she had been naïve in her estimates of the actual scale of it.
The ICR Command Center had arrived first thing that morning. It consisted of a series of trailer units which unfolded and slotted together to form a two-story structure of steel and glass. Once it was up and running, the InfiniTech trucks started arriving – and they were relentless. Most of the trailers were simply modular units made up of the InfiniTech Construction Robots that would be doing the work. They were arranged two wide, two deep and six long for a total of twenty-four ICRs per ‘trailer’. Once the truck stopped, the Command Centre would activate the ICRs which would lift gracefully off the flatbeds, move to the staging area and start re-stacking.
There were hundreds of them.
As Famke watched the latest arrival park up and it’s ICRs begin to power up and drift away, she became aware of Kyle Jordan strolling up behind her.
“I know you said that I would be blown away by the scale of this…” Famke said, “but I’m officially…blown away by the scale of this.”
Kyle laughed and smiled broadly.
“You just wait until they swing into action. They’ll spread out across the site and start burrowing directly into the ground, digging out the earth and rock, which they’ll replace with steel reinforced concrete. When they reach the required depth – which is three stories below ground – they will start to move laterally and link up the columns they have just created, thus establishing the foundations of the building. At that point, they’ll start excavating all the rock and earth between the concrete sub structure in order to ‘hollow’ out the basement levels.”
“Sounds simple when you say it like that,” Famke laughed.
“You don’t need to understand it,” Kyle chuckled in return, ” just know it’ll get done. And it’ll get done fast. Three weeks from now, we’ll have the sub levels completed and should have constructed up to three levels above ground, too. At which point the ICRs will congregate up top and continue building skyward. In the meantime, a whole different set of construction drones enter the completed floors. These have been designed specifically to undertake the finishing work. The wiring, plumbing, décor, etc.”
“How did you come up with an idea like this?” Famke asked as she watched yet another truck unload.
“Re-runs of Star Trek,” Kyle shrugged.
“Seriously?” Famke laughed.
“They have these replicators that make any food or material they ask it for. So, I figured why not try it for real? Solve world hunger, that kind of thing. First, I started working on something that could break down an item into its component elements. Then, once I had the component elements, I wanted to be able to put them back together again in a different form.
For example, taking a rock and turning it into an apple.”
“That…” Famke looked at him in astonishment, “would be a game changer.”
“If it worked,” Kyle laughed. “Which it doesn’t. Complex molecular items I haven’t mastered…yet. But, I did find I can do it with the simple stuff. I can dig out earth and rock and re-sequence its atoms to create uncomplicated building materials, for example. So, here we are literally building your new Headquarters out of the very earth it’ll stand upon.”
“That’s very cool,” Famke smiled.
“Would you like to be the person that activates the first ICR?” Kyle asked her with a tilt of his head. “The control center is set up and the ICRs are ready to go. Just a finger-press of a button and it all begins.”
“It’s that easy?” Famke asked.
“It is that easy. Come on,” he said. “Let’s get this show on the road.”