Once Upon A Time: The Well

English: The skyline of Shanghai, China.
English: The skyline of Shanghai, China. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had a well when I was growing up. Old thing out behind the barn. We’d used it for water before the town came out with town water. It was covered over with a heavy wooden cover weighted down with cinderblock. We’d find little cracks on a sunny day and drop tiny pebbles into the darkness below, waiting to hear the sound of the “plop” in the water far below. But on dark nights I’d give the well a wide berth, because you never knew what might be down there.

The well I work on now isn’t anything like that old well. Here in new Shanghai we’ve got a deep boring well, going into the water tables already heated by the magma as it seeps up from the earth’s core. Since the great war the deep water tables are all that’s left of the clean water. Sure, you could filter and refilter the sea water, and that works for a small settlement. But we’ve still got something of a city left here in what used to be western China, and for that we need lots of water. And hot water is better.

It’s a wonder that the old timers didn’t figure out how to get the magma heated water. They used up every kind of fuel they could get their hands on. But I guess they didn’t have the crystalline silicon pressure tubes. Heck, they hadn’t even met the Rockies back then.

Can you imagine not knowing the Rockies were around? It wasn’t like they really tried to keep themselves a secret. They did studies of the muddy surface regularly. Tested the inhabitants, and pretty regularly too. But everyone was fixated on other life forms coming from another planet, not from within the mantle layer of the earth.

It was pretty much the cause of the great war, wasn’t it? When our old timers started bombing the Rockies’s homes, doing a thing called Fracking where we broke open and drained their underground natural gas lakes. Of course the Rockies retaliated.

And it wasn’t like the old timers weren’t warned. Heck, the Rockies had plugged into the network, what used to be called the World Wide Web. They’re made of silicon themselves, and got along great with our silicon chips.

So the whole place was warned. But then one of the younger Rockies got really mad and set us off on each other. And we finished the rest.

I remember I was working on restarting the oil fields after the war. It was my shaft that the Rockies first came up. Can you imagine? It was pandemonium. A couple of guys tried to shoot them, but they are basically rock so it didn’t do anything. Then they started talking, using a synthesizer they’d set up using our old Tech and an interface that looked like a USB port they’d embedded into themselves.

Pretty historic to be there when they first started apologizing. Not really want you want to hear. The first words were: “Really sorry, our youngling blew up your world.” But you rebuild, you know? What else can you do?

The Rockies Tech is what helped build this well. Baby pumps up more gallons per second than I can count. Whole underground seas down there coming up to the covered city of Shanghai. And I’m good friends with the Rocky Techs that work with us. Good people, always good for a laugh or to grab a bite of granite. So I guess it wasn’t a total loss.

Moral: Don’t blow up things you don’t understand.


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