Prime Minister’s Office
Wednesday May 19, 1999
Ian Macphater accompanied by his grandson, Willy, had gone to Canberra to meet with Prime Minister Hunt. The meeting had been scheduled to start at 10 AM. When he had gotten off the phone with Leslie, he had discussed the phone conversation with Willy, who had been surprised that his sister Beth would be staying in Texas. Ian had arrived at the Prime Minister’s offices twenty minutes early hoping to get in early to talk to the Prime Minister. He had used the time that he had spent sitting in the waiting room to organize his thoughts on the changes they would have be making. He was not used to going into meeting so unprepared. Jimmy’s assistant is going to be surprise when Jimmy cancels the rest of his meetings. He would only give me an hour alone with Jimmy. I wonder how fast they can get Defense and the other ministers that I had requested here. The boys had wanted to go up the army chain of command to alert the military but they finally agreed that we should work top down.
He glanced at his watch. Five after. Well that self-important assistant is probably keeping Jimmy busy so as to delay the meeting. He was so insistent on knowing all about what the meeting would be about. The short description of the AJ Power Generator had been enough to get an hour but not the three hours that Ian had requested.
As the door to the office started to open, Ian heard the phone ring.
I guess Prime Minister Blake is using a hot line. One does not usually hear the phone ring in the top guy’s office unless it is a line for those that get direct access. Blake must feel it was important enough to stay up to 1 AM to call. I hope I can do as good of a sell job as John Harvey did.
Through the door, he heard Jimmy Hunt yell, “Get Ian in here now.”
The chief of staff hurried over to Ian. “Mister Macphater, Prime Minister Hunt can see you now.”
Ian took another sip from the glass of water he was holding. He placed the glass down on the side table. He then picked up his brief case and walked over to the open door. As he passed the man, he smiled and said. “Thank you.”
Before he could step inside, the outer door opens. It was the British ambassador and a military officer. They were both carrying packages.
“Sorry Ambassador Dickens, the Prime Minister is busy.”
“John, let them through. Charlie sent them. Come back here and we will decide whom else we need for the meeting. Helen, clear my schedule for the rest of the day.”
They entered the office. Hunt was busy talking on the phone with Prime Minister Blake. He was writing down notes.
“Ok, Ambassador Dickens has brought the packages and Ian has finally been let into my office.” Jimmy Hunt gave a hard look at his chief of staff, John Moore. “It will take a while to get things organized. Ian Macphater was only given an hour meeting with me. I expect he requested more but that all he got. Now we have to scramble to get the people we will need for this.” He paused. “Yes, I realize he couldn’t come out and say what it was about. It is good that they had such a direct contact with you. Well, I expect that it will take all day here. Give me a call when you have a moment in the morning, and we can have a more educated discussion on my end. And thanks for the call and the packages.” He hung up the phone.
He beckoned John over. “Sorry, if I sounded mad. This situation is unique. Ian couldn’t tell you how important this meeting is. Here is a list of the people that I want in the meeting.” He handed John one of the lists he had been writing. “Schedule the meeting for noon. No, make it one. Have lunch brought in at noon. Make it enough for everyone on the list. Tell them about the food and that we may be here into the evening. Use the large conference room. Inform everyone that the meeting is Top Secret. We will be having a follow up meeting tomorrow evening. It will be a teleconference with Charlie Blake and his people. We will be co-coordinating with them.” He turned to Ian. “Do you have anyone else that you want in the meeting?”
“Dame Alice’s death caught us by surprise. I brought my grandson Willy. He has the best technical knowledge of those that I have available that are also privy to the whole thing.”
The British Military Attaché, Major Eric Lawson, interrupted, “Dame Alice Maclaren is dead?” He was visible upset.
Ian turned to him. “Yes, she was electrocuted Monday morning. Did you know Alice?”
“Yes, my wife and I grew up in the village where she lived. Lisa went through school with her daughter Kim. I was two years ahead of them. I have known the Maclarens all my life.” Eric answered.
“Jess and the girls are holding up well. You may be able to give some added insight into what we will be discussing.” Ian returned to answering the questions. “My granddaughter Mary was to be our expert in setting up the windows. She isn’t set to return for another week.”
Jimmy Hunt barely followed some of what Ian has said. He can see that the others were completely lost. He turned to John. “John, I need you to get the meeting set up. You are included. I want your advice on what needs to be done. We will be reviewing the information Ambassador Dickens has brought. When you get things going, come back and we will fill you in on anything you missed. You will be in and out of here as we learn what is going on and think of whom or what else we may need.” He turned to Ian. “Where is your grandson?”
“He is in the lobby downstairs. I can call him on the cell phone if you will clear him to come up.” Ian answered.
“Do it.” Jimmy said. He looked at John. “Clear him to come up. Set up temporary top secret clearance for Ian and Willy Macphater.”
Ian shook his head. “It is William Maclaren Junior. He should already have a top-secret clearance. He is a Lieutenant in the ASAS reserve.”
Eric commented, “Sir William’s son.”
Ian nods his head. “Yes, he takes after his dad and uncles.”
Jimmy looks at Eric, “Sir William?”
Eric answered. “Sir William Maclaren, formerly a Major in the SAS. The most decorated officer in the history of the SAS.” He turned to Ian. “I had forgotten that he had married you daughter.” He turned back to the Prime Minister. “He retired after being wounded in the Falkland War.”
“Yes, he is my head of security. He and Leslie are in charge of our efforts here, but they are in the US.” Ian added.
Jimmy nodded to John, who exited the room. “Now, I do think we have skipped introductions. Let’s do that then we can look at the information that Charlie Blake sent us.”
For over an hour, they went through the papers and videos that had been sent electronically to the British Embassy. Ian but mostly Willy had to explain much of the information. Occasionally, an item was new to Willy and he offered an opinion but told them he would have to think about it. Willy realized that they had not supplied full information to the government. He kept his comments short and to the point. He was unsure of the reason for supplying only selective information. He decided that his slow response at commenting on new information would be how he would handle the less than full information also. The final item they went over was the agreement with the British government. They took turns reading it aloud. During this reading, he realized what was going on. The document is talking about the one world that the public will be informed of and the three additional worlds that the governments would be exploring. There were more worlds that Uncle Jess and Marie were keeping secret. That was the main secret. That made sense since they had made no plans for exploring more than two worlds. The odds of having land on all five worlds at a location were one hundred to one. It might happen but it would be stretching them thin to try to explore and colonize more than two.
The part that had Willy the most worried was the possibility of opening up in a volcano. They would have to find a way to open a window. The electrical current that Jess described ruled out planes for now, even if you could do it without running through something solid. You definitely did not want to open a window in flight and have a stream of solid matter move through the window and hit the plane. Siting the window would be harder than they had thought. How can they make it one hundred percent safe for the first opening on to a world. Uncle Jess’s idea of a quick open and close of the window might work but it would not be 100% safe. The phone call that grandfather had gotten had sounded like they were not worrying that much about siting the windows. It sounded like Brenda would be doing that in Texas. She was pre-med. What expertise did she have? There had been no additional equipment in the technical documents that Alyca had sent, so it was not a piece of equipment. That left only Brenda herself. Could she sense another world? They all could sense each other. Even his Macphater cousins had that ability. He knew that the Maclaren side of the family also had that ability. What if his sister. Make that both sisters could sense the other worlds. That meant that it was doubly important for Mary to be here for the windows. He needed to talk to his grandfather about this.
Ian had noted that Willy had not been paying complete attention while they had read through the agreement. He knew that Willy had been following what they had been discussing, he was one of those rare individuals that could have two thought streams going at ones. “Willy, is there something in the agreement that bothered you?” Ian asked.
“No, most of the ideas are sensible. The others are just policy. Those will adjust as we and then the Americans give their input. The part about make the gates safe for transit between worlds, got me to thinking about what we needed to do. I was just trying to figure how to open our first gate safely.” Willy answered.
“Well that is important but first we need to figure out what the government needs to do and why we should do it.” Jimmy said.
John looked at his boss. He is shocked at what had been said. “Jimmy, you don’t think the government should be involved in exploring a new world?”
“No, John. I am all for it. Nevertheless, by knowing why we should do something, we better understand what we should do and how to do it. Take the simple idea of sharing map data. Why should we do it? Germany won’t be affected by whether we have oceans, mountains, forests, or even a volcano in the Water world accessible from Canberra. By sharing the information, we build trust. We show we are planning to make use of those areas and thus we lay claim to them. By having the information public, our citizens will know how and where to go in the Water world to explore and stake a claim. We share our information and get back much more in return.” He turned to Ian. “Ian, I understand your interest in going and claim some mining sites, but this is more than minerals. This should be for all people.”
Ian and Willy laughed. “Jimmy, we plan to have over ten thousand colonist settled within two months. We have been screening for people that we believe would be good colonists and would want to move to a new world. That is the hardest tasks that we have had. The second was the equipment to move the material we will need to a new world. The windows are just big enough to walk through. We will definitely not be able to drive a truck with supplies through a window. We modified our ore moving equipment to move people and material through the window. Once we knew how we would do that, we designed what we will be moving through the window. We have buildings that we can move in pieces through a window in under an hour. These are prefab buildings that can be set up on a minimally prepared site since we will not have heavy equipment. There were a number of things like that we needed to design without telling people about the other worlds. Luckily we had S-I in England and TDI in Texas working with us. We divided up what needed to be designed and then shared the designs.” Jimmy had raised his hand as though to stop Ian comments. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to go off like that.”
“No, I apologize for thinking that you are in it for the mining claims. You and your family are planning to colonize.” Jimmy said.
Willy is the one that answered. “The plan is to have a home across the different worlds. With the AJ Power Generator, we can have the windows open all the time and build houses in each world that are all connected by the window. We are also planning how to expand James Cook University to serve all the worlds. People from all of the worlds would go there to study.”
“Ian, you and MME have never struck me as altruistic?” Jimmy was looking to understand their motives.
“I am not and MME has not been. I believe in giving my employees a good safe place to work with the best equipment. I believe in return that they will be better and more productive workers. Leslie has shown us how it was important to support the hospital and James Cook University. I look forward to the changes she will make when she takes over. Alice was the one with the altruistic vision, but then again she was practical. I wish she were here to explain what she set in motion.” Ian answered.
“That was Dame Alice. She always sought to do the best for all.” Eric commented.
“Ian, I need to know what you have been planning. We have seen the information on the worlds and the equipment that you have been developing, but I don’t have an understanding of what you were planning. When we have the meeting this afternoon, I think that needs to be presented right after the information on the other worlds.” Jimmy said.
“Well the first thing to know is that MME and the other companies have sunk most of our money in preparing to explore and colonize. You know we have sold off all of our foreign mining interests and even our Australian coalmines. We wouldn’t have sold the coalmines but South Asia Mining required that they be included when they bought the other mines. They will be practically worthless once power productions switches to AJ Power Generators.” Ian expected that the coalmines would cause some problems in the future but they couldn’t tell South Asia that they would soon be worthless.
“You will need a lot of money going forward. Will you be asking the government for a loan?” Jimmy was not sure where he was going to get the money for the government’s part of the work.
“We may, but Jess Maclaren will have a stream of money coming in from the AJ Power Generators. The money from the colonists for what we will be supplying them will cover much of the equipment. The third source of money will be selling equipment that we have designed. We expect to be selling a lot of the standalone AJ Power Generators since they require no fuel. There are a lot of remote stations that have to truck in fuel for their generators. The mining equipment that we have designed will revolutionize mining. We had planned just to use it on new mines, but once we saw what we could do we decided to retrofit all our mines.”
John’s father had been a miner. “What improvements have you gotten?”
Willy answered, “We can generate power where we need it without bringing it in on cables. There is no fuel so it is much safer. We have even developed an emergency oxygen generator that will pull the oxygen out of the gases in the mine. We expect to save at least twenty-five percent in operating cost and at the same time make the mines safer.”
“Will you be keeping this to yourself or will you provide this to others.” John asked.
“We have always sold our mining equipment to anyone who would buy it. With the safety improvements that the equipment brings, how could we not make it available to everyone? We will be talking to some of our competitors about licensing.” Willy replied.
“One of the biggest sellers will be the ATVs. Alyca Maclaren has designed an all-electric, four-wheel independent drive system. It is powered by an AJ Power Generator. Both S-I and TDI have designed ATVs. We have started to build both types here in Australia but we have just enough for the initial exploration of two worlds. In addition, Alyca plans to design a drive system for trucks and automobiles. We will be looking for local companies to build these for us.” Willy continued.
Jimmy asks, “Is that the same Alyca Maclaren that is the Olympic shooter and won the world biathlon championship? My son and daughter-in-law have spoken a lot about her.”
“Yes, cousin Alyca also has PhDs in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. My sisters have been amusing us for the last three years with tales about what she has been doing.” Willy smiled as he remembers some of the ones his grandfather had not heard.
“You are looking to start truck and automobile production in Australia?” Jimmy asked. He is thinking about what that would do for the economy.
“Yes, we would provide the AJ Power Generators and Alyca would license the drive system. S-I’s or TDI’s designs would be available for licensing but we are looking for companies that would provide innovations that we could license. There are a lot of changes to be made and we need more people thinking about what they could be.” Ian answered.
“What about the automobile manufacturers? They have the factories to produce millions of cars.” Ambassador Dickens asked.
“They would take years and billions of dollars to come up with a new model. We need something in a few months. Their designs are about fuel economy and sleek design. Their automobiles are designed so that they will be replaced in a few years. The AJ Power Generators will keep producing power for tens of years. The robust designs we are using in the mines would last a rancher easily a hundred years. We aren’t even sure that it couldn’t last a thousand years. What I see is a basic vehicle that you can take to a shop and have them change the seating and exterior when they wear out or you get tired of them. That is just my idea. You will have millions of people looking at what they can do with the new technology.” Willy said. Looking around the room, he could see that they all were realizing that the changes were greater than what they had first believed.
“On top of that, what does having another world that you can walk to through one of the windows; do for how you view the world. We can have homes just a short walk from factories and offices not just apartments and townhouses but individual homes. We will not recognize the world twenty years from now.” Willy paused. “It is important that our government and those like it lead the way. We need to ensure that individual rights and freedoms are a big part of this new world.”
“You are amazing young man.” Jimmy told Willy. “Are all your grandchildren this gifted?”
Ian smiled, “Yes, they continue to amaze me, even more than my own children did.”
“Well it is almost noon. Let us talk over what we have learned while we have lunch.” Jimmy directed.
Cabinet Conference Room
Wednesday May 19, 1999
Later that afternoon after having discussed the exploration of other worlds with the cabinet and military, Jimmy looked over at Ian. “Ian, we need someone to coordinate the government’s work on these new worlds. Would you or one of your sons want to take on that job?” Jimmy asked.
“No, John Lawrence was uniquely qualified since he had a foot in both worlds. We will have enough to do with what we have planned. If you want my recommendation, it would be Major General Jonathan Albright. He is retiring and is looking for a civilian job. He was at the Lavarack Barracks and commanded the third Brigade. During his time there, I became well acquainted with him. He knows my boys from when they were in the ASAS together.” Ian answered.
Jimmy looked over at Henry Gillespie, Chief of the Defense Force. “Henry, what do you think?”
“Albright is an excellent officer. When I approached him about Chief of Army, he said no. He said that Major General Lane was the best choice for the job. I think he would do an excellent job. Do we want him doing it as a General or as a civilian?” Henry asked.
“Definitely he should be a civilian. Let us give him the title of Secretary for New Resources.” Jimmy said. “Ian, I have a feeling you know where he is. “
Ian smiled. “Well he is here in Canberra. I had invited him to discuss a job following his retirement. If you didn’t choose him, I wasn’t going to let him get away. I had told him that I would call him and tell him where I would meet him for dinner.”
There was laughter around the room.
Jimmy was still smile. “Ian, give him a call and invite him here for dinner. It is five twenty three. Tell him dinner will be at six thirty but that he should come over to my office as soon as he can. Henry, I would like you and Ian to be there to help explain what we need. The rest of you, dinner will be served here at six thirty. I would like to reconvene the meeting afterwards. Say seven but you can finish off your meal while we talk. I know I am pushing the timing but we have a lot to do. Until then you are free to discuss this among yourselves or do anything else you need to get done. I think it best that we hold off on letting anyone else in on this until we decide what we need to do.”
Willy added, “I know that this will make great press. We already lost my Aunt, Dame Alice Maclaren. Uncle Jess in his consideration of potential dangers listed a volcano as a bigger threat. I realized that he had just lost his wife, but think what would happen if someone opened a window up inside a volcano and the equipment didn’t shutdown when the lava came through. My brother Ian is a geologist. He once explained the power of a volcano where the destruction can race down a mountainside at over five hundred kilometers an hour. Image what would happen when a window is open inside a volcano that was getting ready to erupt. The power there is much greater than what spills down a mountainside. If that window was opened at the University of Technology, what would happen to Sydney?”
Several people around the room had turned ashen. They were probably the ones that have seen the devastation from a volcano exploding.
The twins’ bedroom
Kim and Rob Reynolds home
Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA
Tuesday May 18, 1999
The twins were asleep in the top bunks of the two bunk beds. Jason and Robert were in the bottom bunks.
Man 13 is in the basement. He has been down there a lot working with clay and wires. Eric and Jerome do not know what he is making.
Robert could sense Jason thoughts in his mind. Mental communication is the third ability that his cousins had taught him. He was not as good as they were, but he continued to improve. He used the ability to see objects at a distance to look at what the man was doing. He is making a bomb. There were four others there. Jason, when did they first notice that he was working with the clay and wires?
That is a bomb! Jason had heard Robert’s thought about what man 13 was doing.
Yes, that is a bomb. We need to know if there are more and where they are.
He made some yesterday but man 12 took them away.
Where is man 12?
He is that way. It is over a mile. He lives by himself.
Robert was unable to identify a single man at that distance.
Does he have any of the bombs?
No. He does have two pistols and a knife.
Do you know where the other bombs are?
No. We did not know what they were.
Can you track the ones in the house as you do people?
Jason thinks about that. Yes, I can do that. Let me show you how.
Robert learned how to keep track of both items and people.
Let us both keep track of the bombs. If they get closer to the house, we will have to tell everyone.
Robert gets up. Thank you and your brothers for teaching me all of these cool abilities. I need to tell my dad about the bombs.
Don’t forget that you are going to teach us how to sense windows and other worlds. Jason is looking forward to learning more abilities.
I will make sure that all three of you have the chance to learn. If I go back to Australia before we have a window set up, Brenda will teach you.
I wish you could stay longer.
I wish I could to, but we have much to learn and do. You will be learning and doing new things also. I expect that your family will visit us in Australia.
Wow, that would be great.
Now get you sleep. There will be a lot going on tomorrow.
But I have school.
I do not think that you will be going to school tomorrow. The family will stay together.
I like having a lot of family here. I am able to track people better.
Yes. I can track more people with everyone here.
OK, remember not to tell anyone what you taught me. I want to surprise them.
Ah, huh. Jason drifted off to sleep as Robert went to talk with his parents.