Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Terraformers

Written 11 December, 2006

My Volcano

VIII. The Terraformers

I contacted Sam Stork, who, with her partner Siss Truss (great last name for an engineer!) specialized in caves and waterfalls, and asked them to install a lava flow and a waterfall.

“I think I’ll be ready in about a week,” I said.

Optimist, me.

Two weeks later, Sam IMed me, and I still wasn’t ready; the mountain still had to be terraformed. Think of an earth-sized bulldozer moving the land around, and you have, in a nutshell, terraforming.

Still, I had Sam and Siss over, and Sam made a beautiful lava flow which spurted from a cleft in the caldera and flowed down to bubble and hiss in the sea. At present, it’s buried by the mass of the mountain, and will need to be dug out. I hope Sam won’t be too pissed.

We’re not gotten to the waterfalls yet. It’s difficult to find a time that works for all of us, as Sam and Siss are in Western Europe and I’m in the Eastern United States.

My major terraformer was Patrice Cournoyer, a petite, lesbian-identified woman who wears a hard hat when working so she will be taken seriously. She’s quite friendly, and willing to mix business with fun. She took me skydiving, which was a thrill.

But the first thing Patrice did was go to work.

With Exuberance’s assistance (Patrice was impressed with Xubi, and who wouldn’t be), she dug a hole big enough to hold a 10 x 10 x 7 meter structure. The hole starts at beach level, and so is under the water. It couldn’t have been easy to do, but the structure fit perfectly. I had to scoop out only a little dirt, lowering the land so the structure fit without bits of ground poking up through it. It was my first experience with terraforming.

Ever since I had gone under the volcano, I had been planning to hollow the crater all the way to the water, and further. It would make a great swimming hole and party place, I figured.

Patrice hollowed out the crater, as requested. She made the rim considerably thinner than I had expected or wanted, but the resulting space was huge. Cavernous.

She did some work on the beach, also, pulling it back from the property line to allow space to place waves, and making an area for swimming and scuba diving.

My volcano was almost perfect.

Note: I recommend Sam, Siss, and Patrice for terraforming work, with no reservations whatsoever.


Photo 1: Sam Stork working on lava flow

Photo 2: Builder Pat

Photo 3: Under the volcano, before terraforming

Photo 4: Sam's lava flow, at night

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