Harmony Chapter 27: Solving Logistics

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This entry is part 27 of 28 in the series Harmony

I returned with Mark and Peter at the end of the day and mentally made a note of the distance between the mine and the monorail.

During the afternoon, I had concocted a plan for solving the transport problem.

It was actually quite simple! It took two days for the truck to carry the minerals and metals because it was slow and moving on difficult terrain, but there was one easy way to reach the mine: the monorail.

Once inside, I took mental notes (and regretted not having brought a computer tablet or even a pencil) of the dimensions of the wagons, walking between them under the puzzled look of my two companions.

As time went on, we picked a few riders including Stephen who had indeed parked the dump truck in the mid point of the city.

I eventually made it to the … how do you call the section where the driver is? The Cabin? The Cockpit? Let’s say to the driver, an older woman reading a book.

Don’t get me wrong, she wasn’t as old as Rita, but she was in her forties. Most of the people I had interacted with were in their twenties or early thirties and it was a different pace for me.

Anita had been driving this train for now more than 20 years, pressing a single button in the morning and then, stopping and starting it at every stop until it had empties. Then, she would read a book until it was time to come back.

“Would you be able to make several round-trip during the day?”, I asked.

“Sure, but I fail to see why? There is more than enough space for everyone and the few share outputs┬áthat make it into the train.”

“But not all shares use the train?”

“No, there wouldn’t be enough space for all of them in the train, so not all can use it.”

“But with multiple trips, we could, right?”, I explained to her surprise.

“Oh, I didn’t think of that…”.

No, that was the primary problem with this colony: nobody thought.

I returned to my boys and explained my thoughts: “Why not load the minerals into the monorail and just have it do more trips”.

It took a little while to convince Peter that it was a good idea since he had been working for so long in the mines that it was destabilizing for him but Stephen had visibly hated the drive to the mid point and was all for it.

The only redeeming quality of the drive for him was a young girl working at the mid-point which was still unmarried and which he seemed to find quite attractive…

“Too bad she won’t be 18 for another 5 months” he said, even if he already had two wives…

Apparently, girls got married on their 18th birthday and not a day later. Until then, they were off-limits meaning that girls couldn’t really date their future husbands. I guess I still had a lot to learn on this colony.

Mark seemed to imply that the status of men in the colony was on the number of wives he had and that the status of women was on the status of their men so women seemed to enjoy being in bigger families.

And yet, the oddest thing, is that status was used for one and only one thing: to get a better house in a town where all of the houses where the same! Mark was proud of having house 34, meaning house number 4 on the 3rd street, but in reality, it didn’t mean much! It’s as if the only limited resources were wives and houses and as such, the colony tied both together like other civilization used jobs, money or birthrights to establish status.

It was fascinating that even in a communist paradise, humans still tried to find a way to compete with each other.

Peter was the only one to comment that he should focus on his existing wives rather than search for more. He himself had been married and very happy with Jacqueline since they were both 18 and Cassandra picked him because of how much he seemed to love Jacqueline. Now, he concentrated on making sure both were happy and doesn’t even look for a 3rd wife.

We soon reached the town and Peter helped me find crates which would both fit in the train and be solid enough to carry minerals. We then found the man building and repairing them and ordered quite a few more to have a flowing reserve: the more crates you had, the more you could carry.

We also found a solar train similar to the one I had ridden picking apples which had just been repaired (and was unused) and which could be carried piece by piece via the monorail to the mine in order to carry the crates from the mine to the monorail.

Slowly, Peter was warming up to the idea: minerals mined during the way to reach the city on the same day (or the next, depending on the output).

But more importantly, Peter would mine non-stop, Stephen would bring the output outside and Mark would carry the minerals to the monorail waiting for him.

We wouldn’t know for a few days if all three tasks were compatible: it was possible that Mark or the monorail would slow them down, but at worst, we could find a second train, a fourth man and perhaps, operate the monorail at extended hours something that revolted Mark, but I really wanted to increase our exports and would do whatever it takes to do it.

This was a single mine. There were at least 2 more to organize in the next few weeks and soon, I would be a very rich girl…

Series Navigation«Harmony Chapter 26: Mining with the boysHarmony Chapter 28: Cream of the crop»

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