Infinitesimal – Chapter 23 – Cam’s Office

As Sted took a seat in front of Cam’s desk, he couldn’t help but be awestruck by the lunar landscape spread out before him. Cam’s office took up a full third of the top floor of the circular tower, and the entire outside wall was made of some kind of transparent material.

“What a view!” Sted exclaimed.

“I thought you might be impressed,” Cam said as he entered. “The two-inch thick transparent sapphire windows cost a small fortune, but I think the result is worth the price. My only reservation was the exposure to meteorite impact, and I’m sure you can understand why.”

“Well, you can’t live your life in fear,” Sted replied. “I’m not completely over the trauma from the meteorite that killed my friends and took my legs, but to go back into space as the captain of my own ship again far outweighs any of my fears. I would bet that the chance of being killed by a high speed impact in the belt is more than a thousand times greater than here on the moon.”

“Statistically, you’re being a little conservative. My insurance carrier tells me they didn’t even consider the risk of impact from a meteorite, because the chances of it happening were so infinitesimal. Just look at the rim of this crater, which has been here for over two billion years, and you can actually count the number of small impacts per square kilometer. It averages out to less than one impact per square kilometer every three thousand years.”

Sted nodded. “That desk top looks almost identical to the windows. Is that transparent sapphire as well?”

Cam thumped it with his knuckles. “Exactly. We ordered four extra glass panels in case of breakage during installation, and we got lucky. The construction crew only damaged one. The crane operator misjudged the momentum of the window panel as he was moving it into place, and it banged against the side of the tower. One corner of one panel was slightly damaged, so I decided to use it for my desktop. We just had the crew cut off thirty centimeters from the damaged end and then build a pedestal of nickel from the deposits left by the asteroid that formed this crater. Then our chief engineer designed my workstation to fit into the panel as seamlessly as possible.

“Speaking of our chief engineer,” Cam continued, “I would like to introduce him to you as soon as possible. His name is Aidan McBride, and he is currently on the factory floor working on the Delta class prototype. I can’t think of a better way to get you up to speed on the project than to get your two heads together. I just need you to palm these two employment forms on my workstation, and then we can head down to the factory floor. Later this evening, the three of us can get together in my apartment for some dinner and talk some shop about where we want to go with this project. Do you have any questions or objections?”

Sted shook his head. “I’m ready when you are.”

He stood up and took one last look at the spectacular lunar landscape before palming the forms.

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