It’s a new week and a new set of posts for the A to Z Challenge. This time, it’s the letter Q, which isn’t an easy letter to do. But I got a good one.
The Quarry Worker
The hills northeast of New Athens
Eleventh day, seventh month, third year after colonisation, Ariadne Era (7/11/03 AE)
Jeffrey Small attached the precision explosive device to the boulder in the exact location the simulation program told him to put it. If everything went as planned, it would be pulverised. He walked back to the control room, which was more like a small high-tech shack, and closed the door. His supervisor gave him the thumbs up. Jeffrey pressed the button. He heard a dull thump as the boulder disintegrated into a rough gravel.
“Collect that rock, and we’ll take a break,” said the supervisor.
“Got it,” said Jeffrey. “Hey, Scott, what is this I hear about a railway? Sounds kind of old-fashioned.”
“Ah, it’s not exactly a railway like the old kind, but it’s an elevated maglev train,” said Scott. “All this rock is going to make the concrete pillars to support it.”
“Seems like a big project for such a small population.”
“Well, it’ll go all the way up north to the second colony site. I think they’re calling it New Brasilia. The second colony ship is supposed to arrive in the next few weeks.”
“A link, huh?”
“Yep. Should help support a lot of settlements between here and there. Can’t wait to see the thing going.”
Jeffrey nodded and stepped out of the shack. He looked back at Scott. “Guess we’ll be blowing up rocks for years for this project.”
“At least until we get some streamlined system going. This is painfully slow work, and I don’t think we can keep up to the demand.”
“Automation?” asked Jeffrey.
“Gonna have to be,” said Scott.
“Hope we won’t be out of a job.”
“No worries. We’re always guaranteed a job.”