Part One (Continued)
San Antonio, Texas
Jono Griffin strode across Lone Star Square, the large central Square that the Lord Protector had built after establishing San Antonio as his capitol. The public viewscreens had been trumpting humanity's return to space for a week now, showing that ****ing rocket take off again and again. Griffin could only assume the government was trying to take the publics mind off the fact that, even 30 years after the unification of planet earth, famine, disease, and radiation pervaded the planet. Most remaining power planets went to the Great Houses, while the remainder went into public propaganda through the use of viewscreens in large squares.
Griffin sighed. He remembered the stories his grandfather use to tell him, about when the North American continent was run by people who cared about the people. Imperial expenditures on enviromental engineering had gone down steadily during the past 10 yrs, as more money was spent on restarting old technologies.
Griffin turned off the square, and went down to the riverwalk. Entering the Dixie Chicken Bar he murmered, "Oscar, give me a Corona, will ya?"
Oscar the bartender chuckled and handed the beer to Jono "You do not look so good, my friend. Bad day at work?"
"You could say that." Jono took a sip at Corona. " Just found out His Excellancy is giving the Tennesse Valley Clean Up Project to LeBaeuru. We were suppose to get it. Five years ago, there would have been plenty of enviromental projects to go around. Now he's spending our tax dollars on this obsession of space of his. Bloody Little Green Men."
"You should watch what you say " Oscar said severly
"I would't worry about it, I-" He was interupted by two men walking in, both Morale Police Uniforms
One of the men walked up to Jono. "You are Jono Griffin of the Catapillar company? You will come with us"
University Base, Chiron.
"Well, Provost, we couldn't expect them to give us funding. Lal is too busy with his 'grand city' idea, and the rest are trying to put themselves on top."
Zakharov glared at Chemrylinko, the head of the University's nascent space program. Unperturbed, Chemrylinko continued. "However, our geologists have found a rather interesting mineral field in the Northwestern part of this continent. It is very, very rich with heavy metals. We only got word of the discovery yesterday. Dr. Lao didn't want to broadcast it, even on secure radio. I already sent a security team out ther."
Zakharov's mood did a 180. "Are you telling me that there is readily accesible Uranium, right there on the surface...?"
"More than that Provost. Dr. Lao swears it shoudn't be possible, and it's the unaminous agreement of our physics board that it shouldn't be possible, but there's plutonium there. Dr. Nesterov says if we can begin immediate recovery of these metals, we could have a fission plant running within one mission year."
"So, you are saying...."
" I am saying, Provost, that if we move quickly and with the outmost secrecy, we could provide the power ourselves within 5 years."