Journal: day 1
My name is Jack Timmerson, and this is my journal. I have been assigned to Sarguss II as Technician 1st class. I am responsible for running the pumping station located on the planet, and if anything goes wrong I fix it. I am numero uno, the man in charge. Sounds impressive until you find out that I am also the only person on the station, on the planet in fact, and the pumping station is completely self-repairing. I am the proverbial third wheel, an appendix assigned more from tradition than need.
Earth: Two years earlier
The human race had almost ended its sovereignty as the dominant species on earth. Centuries of pollution and wanton ecological madness had seen to that. They had tried to fix it, they really had tried; the atmosphere was actually in pretty good shape. The trouble was the water. That was beyond fixing. They’d stopped the pollution, but not the water consumption; free water was disappearing faster than it could be replaced. More and more water was being diverted from lakes and rivers to agriculture, industry, and humanity’s insatiable need and desire for it. On a world that was 75% covered with water they were dying for the lack of it. Some genius had come up with a way to desalinate the oceans. That was all well and good but the oceans, just like everything else, were a limited resource and part of a closed ecosystem. The planet was dying, terminal, irreversible.
The first water riots had started over a century ago. They were growing worse as the water grew scarcer. Not a day passed without one and the world council had adapted harsher and harsher means of dealing with them. It was now a capital offense to participate in one, and thousands had died in the street from the effects of gas and bullets. It didn’t help, the people were too scared, too hopeless, and the rioting continued.
Then a miracle happened.
Dr. Henry Fredricson, NAS Spokesman – speaking at the opening of the Space Elevator
“Certainly, nanoscience and technology isn't a secret. It's about the ability to see and to control individual atoms and molecules. Everything on Earth is made up of atoms—the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the buildings and houses we live in – our own bodies, but something as small as an atom is impossible to see with the naked eye. In fact, it’s impossible to see with most microscopes. It is only within the last century that the microscopes needed to see things at the nanoscale were invented. Making materials at the nanoscale level takes advantage of their enhanced properties; such as higher strength, lighter weight, increased control of light spectrum, and greater chemical reactivity than their larger-scale siblings. The Space Elevator was made possible by using nano-engineered carbon tubules for its creation. One end is anchored to a large station in the ocean, and the other end to an asteroid already in orbit. The cable running between these two points needed to be made of the strongest, yet lightest, material possible and nanocarbon fits the bill perfectly. With this elevator mankind will be able to receive water from Sarguss II.”
Journal: day 105
It’s raining again. That isn’t unusual, of course, it rains here all the time. Every day. Incessantly. Constantly. Maddeningly. It rains.