Nonnie Jules is the founder and President of RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, as well as interviewer of RRBC authors in the famed, “Who’s On The Shelf With Nonnie?” interviews. Her interviewing skills are legendary and she decided to accompany Author, John Fioravanti, through space and time to another galaxy 700 years into the future. Nonnie’s goal is to meet the key personalities on planet Genesis featured in Fioravanti’s series, The Genesis Saga, and utilize her formidable skills to find out something more about these characters. This scene is the eighth of many, which will follow.
Setting: Nonnie and John follow their host, Professor Marco Rossini, back into the kitchen of his home on the University of Genesis City (UGC) campus. Marco finds an apron in a storage slider and hands it to Nonnie to put on. She reads the writing imprinted on the material and immediately lashes out at her host.
Nonnie: (Indignantly) “Marco! You expect me to wear this sexist apron?? (Marco opens his mouth to explain, but Nonnie continues…) Well sir! You have misjudged me and…”
Marco: (Holding his hands up in surrender) “Nonnie, please! It’s just a joke between Pat Conroy and me. He gave it to me as a gift before the Quest Fleet left Genesis almost five years ago.”
Nonnie: (Somewhat mollified) “Oh. I feel silly. (Turns to John) Maybe it’s time…”
John: “To help me with the salad. Tell you what, I’ll chop the lettuce and you chop that onion over here…”
An hour and two glasses of wine later, the trio sit at the kitchen table to enjoy their meal. Marco tells his visitors a couple of stories about growing up with the Conroy brothers in Darymanis City, until Nonnie reminds Marco of his promise.
Marco: “Of course… Divine Scepter! Now that was one impressive ship…
(Marco now launches into a detailed description of the colonizer ship that rescued humanity from extinction in the late 21st Century.)
Any way one looks at this starship, it was a technological marvel. It was built over a fifteen-year period by the Untied Nations Space Agency (UNSA) in their Lunar Yard facility, and completed late in 2084. Divine Scepter, originally intended as a long-range exploration ship, had design features that made it possible to expand the ship’s size from parts manufactured aboard.
The industrial deck, dubbed the Plant, was prodigious. It housed massive, computer-driven fabricators – evolved from 3D printers created earlier in the century. The fabricators along with the huge stores of raw materials made Scepter a self-sufficient entity in space. In the Plant, both civil and military needs were met: from weapons to domestic appliances to computers, and the like. Spare parts were manufactured at will.”
Nonnie: Hey John, that sounds just like Star Trek!”
Marco: (Looks to John in his confusion) “Star Trek? Is that another ship?”
John: (Gives Nonnie a look) “Not sure, Marco. Continue, please.”
(Marco shrugs and carries on.)
“When they decided to use the colonizer, to assist a select group to escape from Earth and the Omega virus, ship designers and builders were among the technical specialists chosen to board Scepter. The original ship had seventy-five hexagonal pods attached to each other and to the outer hull of Scepter. Each pod had an access hatch to each pod it touched as well as to the interior of the ship’s hull. Exoskeletons of new pods were manufactured in the Plant and assembled on the hull’s surface, where the assembly specialists were protected by Scepter’s shields.
The residential pods were small cities with roughly 20,000 citizens each. As the population grew, new pods could and were built throughout the ninety-five year voyage to Genesis. They resembled the towns and small cities on Earth, with comfortably large attached housing units, schools, entertainment centers and business districts all connected by streets laid out in grids. The lighting within the pods mimicked the shifting shades and hues of natural daytime light on Earth’s surface. When appropriate, the pod’s ‘sky’ went dark and street illumination was activated.”
Nonnie: “No wonder JoJo didn’t realize he was in a space ship!”
(Marco smiles and continues.)
“Some specialty pods produced food products, safe water, and oxygen for the entire ship community. Others housed research labs, higher educational facilities, and hospitals. Many of Earth’s plant species were preserved in bio-pods. A defensive force field was designed to surround and protect the ship from space matter and attacks from any alien encounters.
Within the ship’s hull were many decks connected by high-speed vertical elevators, called ‘Lifts’ and horizontal transport tubes. The transport vehicles that traveled the various ‘Tubes’ were dubbed ‘Bullets’. So moving from upper to lower decks was as quick as moving aft to forward, and port to starboard. The interior decks housed the propulsion, navigation, environmental systems, weapons systems, and the military. The Crusader Army controlled by the Church was larger and better equipped than the Navy Marine Corps. Navy personnel controlled and navigated the ship. These two military groups were housed on different decks at opposite ends of Scepter. The massive Landing Bay occupied the aft section of the ship, four decks high. Several shuttle craft of differing sizes and purpose occupied about one-third of the Bay.
For ninety-five years, this mighty starship – the only one of its kind – carried the hopes and dreams and the only remnants of humankind remaining in existence, to their final destination. Genesis would be humanity’s new beginning.”
Nonnie: (Stifles a yawn) “Thank you Marco, you’re very sweet. I’ve enjoyed our visit a lot, but John, I think it’s time…”
John: (Reaches out and touches Nonnie’s arm.) “As you wish…”