My Ship – Chapter Seventeen

Next morning we found the legs of the first rig, and my Wife and I went down in a Satellite ship for a look.
I had thought that getting a rope around them in a way that they’d not slip off might be a problem.
The legs were twenty metres in diameter, and tall. Very Tall.
They must have weighed hundreds of tons each. I could only hope the ship could practice what it preached.
Chef, I said drop us a winch rope. He was standing by in the ship above.
When it came down we took it round the first leg, and settled it into a suitable place on the structure then hooked it into itself.
Take the strain slowly Chef. We watched as the rope tightened and fitted snuggly in the very place it should be. So far so good.
Now the computer should, according to the documentation, adjust the weight automatically. I brought up the programme on the screen. Are you getting this on the screens up there Chef? Yes, he said. It’s saying (One Hundred and Fifty Kilograms – Recommended.) Yes we’ve got that. The computer must have been doing this automatically all the time, and I’d never thought to look.
Try winching it up a little, I said, and pray. Sure will, he said.
It lifted smoothly without a hitch. Stop it there. Okay, we’re coming back on board. I said.
Once on board I took the ship up a little, and Chef winched the leg clear of the water. It’s looking good. My Wife was obviously as impressed as Chef and me. Sure is. Chef said.
Let’s deliver it. I said. We might as well.
With the leg hanging on the winch rope, we flew in from the sea toward the Scrapping Yard and stopped. I got the Boss on the phone, and told him we needed the yard cleared for a few minutes. Then we waited until he came back on and said it was clear. Without fuss or bother we delivered the first leg.
Two days later we delivered the last leg. Twelve in all, and six huge anchors that had also been left on the sea bed.
Then we all sat in the yard boss’s office. He was a big Norwegian, and this was the Norwegian coast.
I cannot believe it. He was saying. His men were crowded in and around the office truly impressed.
To be honest with you we can hardly believe it ourselves. I said. We knew we could deliver them, but not that easily.
Meaning? He said.
I just said. Our ship never fails to impress us more and more. I didn’t want to say any more to anyone until I fully understood it myself. After a lot of congratulating, which for once we felt we deserved, we took our promise of a large cheque to follow, and our leave of them. The governments of the world are more and more demanding the oceans be cleaned up, and they should be delighted with our contribution.

Feeling elated, we decided to visit our Island home, and spend some time there until our next emergency. Three days without a call out. It was a miracle in itself.

We discussed what we had learned. We had the Lad, Pilot, and Captain on video link. Gaffer and her mates were attending an on board show for their age group.

But it’s nothing you didn’t know anyway, the Lad was saying. You just didn’t know how it was done.
On the contrary it’s explaining a lot more that just the weights. I said. It’s explaining why people are under threat of death for looking in an open service hatch.
A bit extreme is it not. The Lad concluded.
Not at all. I said. I’d take the same view myself. The computer controls the ship in all it’s functions. It can control the gravity in the ship, or apply gravity when there is none. It now turns out that it can extend that function to a weight outwith the ship providing it has contact by it’s own rope, or slings.
Gravity can be adjusted in the ship, Captain said.
And it can be adjusted on the end of the rope as well. It recommends a weight, but we can increase it up to a given limit, or decrease it.
For what purpose? The Lad asked.
Too light, my Wife said, and it would float around like a balloon. And maybe come off the rope, Chef added.
And like a pendulum it requires a little weight to be safe. My Wife said.
When you think about it, I said, how else could a Ship that can survive pressure to seven miles under water, fly to Mars, fly into the sun too close for my comfort, and do a host of other things, without breaking up be anything other than entirely computer controlled.
But we knew that, Pilot said.
Not to the extent that it controls everything. I said. For example, how thick is the skin of the hull.
Thirteen Millimetres. She said.
Yes, and it’s the same thickness as all the bulkheads, and interior fittings. Consider how many pressures are put on those structures by every movement. Every motion. I was worried about all our own vehicles we have put in the hold, and all the other parts we have added, so we asked the computer for an assessment. I said.
And? The Lad waited.
It told us that it could cope with ease.
We’ve had three thousand people on board. He said. It was a rescue from an erupting volcano. We’d moved an entire community of eight thousand people and their animals to a city elsewhere.
Only for a few minutes. Not that it mattered, because we now know how it is done, and it all depends on the computer. I said.
That explains why the people in white turn up so often, and inspect the ship. Pilot said.
Yes. If anything went wrong it could, and would be horrific for us, My Wife said.
The ship would simply break up.
Christ it must be amazing computing, the Lad was now getting the picture.
Certainly over our heads. I said. God I love this Ship.
And the people who built and maintain it. My wife said.
Obviously experimental, but of a very advanced nature. I said. It has improved searching inside cold buildings. We had problems finding my Surgeon partners hire car, because it could not see inside the cold barn where it turned out to be. I reminded them. Now there is nowhere we can’t see. Supplied as a computer update.
There is something else as well, my Wife said.
Now they all wanted to know what.
You know how it travels, and keeps station sometimes in very extreme conditions by teleporting. I told them.
Well now we can teleport ourselves around the world as well. My Wife said proudly. 

Still to be corrected

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