TC47

For the Summit at Taurus City the People’s Republic of China was represented by Special Minister Liu Chou-Lai, who had been appointed and trained by the Communist Party solely for the event on the Moon. He and his aides had been transported to Taurus by Soviet cosmonauts a number of days before Glenn and his team arrived.

Robyn told Liu Chou-Lai that in addition to representing China he was considered by her to also speak for the entire so-called “Third World” of non-aligned nations. Alexsey Leonov was to speak for the Soviet Union and those nations that were part of her sphere of influence, such as Cuba, Egypt, and Vietnam.

“Colonel John Glenn, it really is an honor to meet you,” Robyn said.

“I’m not sure it’s such an honor anymore,” he said ruefully. “It seems I wasn’t the first American to orbit the Earth after all. And I suppose you are Kimberly Lokken, who met Gene Cernan during Apollo 17?”

“Yes, I am she, but if you had read the information packet that I gave Gene, you know that I go by just Robyn now. Welcome to what I’m calling a Summit. I realize you haven’t even had time to get yourself fully dry again after your dip in my pool, but I’m thinking of the limited time your people have for life support out there on the plain and in the sky overhead.”

Glenn said, “This city you name Taurus is a truly amazing accomplishment, Robyn, but what puzzles me is how you dug this big hole. I don’t even see removed soil piled up nearby. There should be mountains of it.”

“We have discovered a way to turn normal matter into what we call dark matter,” Robyn revealed. “We call it dark because it doesn’t interact with light. So chemistry doesn’t apply to it anymore. It just goes away, sinks to the center of the moon or flies away into space. The process works great for trash too.”

“That is a very important discovery,” Glenn said. “You must share.”

“Actually, no, Colonel Glenn, we must not. We are a group of very disgruntled American citizens, I’ve had to dodge federal bullets myself, for one thing. And by that I do mean actual, literal bullets, not metaphorical ones.”

“But think of the possibilities! Roads, tunnels, we could save taxpayers billions of dollars. I’m afraid I must insist on this one point, Robyn. Astrodyne must share this discovery with the American people.”

“Well, you must also remember, Colonel, that although most of us up here were born in the United States, we consider ourselves stewards of the entire Earth, and when we share what we call the macro effect, we intend to share it with all of humanity, not merely the American people. In fact, we have already begun to share it, and I will show you what I mean.”

Robyn presented documents to Glenn as well as Leonov and the Chinese Special Minister. “This is my first action item, and it is for you as well as Commander Leonov and Minister Liu Chou-Lai. It consists of a warning to all mariners to stay at least a hundred nautical miles away from a new, large whirlpool that has formed about halfway between Tasmania and New Zealand’s South Island. I have chosen to call this whirlpool Charybdis, just like the one in Homer’s epic. The precise coordinates for the whirlpool is given in this document. Please propagate this warning to all the people of Earth.”

“Whirlpool?” queried Glenn. “What are you doing.”

Robyn made a small wave of her hand. Talishi’s daughter Del brought out a tripod stand and unveiled for the participants of the Summit a large map of the Earth, showing the contours of the continents as they were in the present day of the fall of 1974, and also showing contours of the land beneath the waves at the 2,000 fathom line.

Robyn said, “Venus, the second planet in the Solar system, is wrapped by a thick blanket of greenhouse gases that retain the sun’s heat, making that planet far hotter than the Earth would be at the same distance. The planet lacks the tectonics that we have on our world, which takes carbon out of the air in the form of dead organic material and moves it under the surface. So that’s the first problem. Venus has too much air, and not a drop of water.”

Then Robyn got up out of her chair and pointed at the map. “The Earth will have five billion people within the next decade, yet only twenty-nine percent of its surface is dry land, and much of that is desert or frozen tundra unable to support human life. So the Earth has too much water, and too many people for the land that we do have. That’s the second problem.

“We have already begun to solve these problems, gentlemen, but we estimate it will take more than two centuries to reach full completion. The first problem, with Venus having too much air, we have already started to address by the wholesale conversion of the atmosphere to dark matter in the same way we removed the lunar regolith to dig out this city. This will have the same effect as introducing plate tectonics to Venus. The carbon dioxide will be buried under the surface and we will reduce the atmospheric pressure by nearly a hundred-fold.”

“What do you hope to achieve by doing that, Robyn?”

“Colonel Glenn, we hope to achieve nothing less than a second Earth. But for that we need to introduce water. A lot of water.”

Robyn pointed to a section of the map. “Yeshua has positioned the mouth of a fold-gate far under the sea, near New Zealand, right here. It will constantly be maintained at the level of the sea where the water pressure is just sufficient to overcome the air pressure on Venus, currently about ninety standard atmospheres.”

“Who the hell is Yeshua, Robyn, and what is a fold-gate?”

“Yeshua is my boss, Colonel Glenn. He’s a Jewish carpenter. And a fold-gate is an artificial Einstein-Rosen bridge that lets us link any two points in space together as one point. Lilith has positioned the other end of the fold-gate on the north pole of Venus. This will create a flow of sea water to Venus where it will immediately turn to steam, and the sea salt will be precipitated out.”

“Who the hell is Lilith?”

“Lilith is the boss of Yeshua. She is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Israeli Defense Force. Now, unfortunately, temperatures will remain too high for humans to live in the open on Venus for perhaps another century. We will have to live in enclosed structures that require the constant conversion of air to dark matter to sustain air conditioning, and it will be another century after that before terraforming of the north and south polar regions will raise the level of oxygen to a life-sustaining level. After that, humanity will have a new planet that is quite comfortable in both of the polar regions, but there will be a large desert between them.”

Liu Chou-Lai said, “Why did you choose that remote spot for the.. what did you say? Fold-gate? Why not the South China Sea?”

Robyn answered, “That is too shallow, Minister Chou-Lai. When the Earth’s sea level drops about twelve thousand feet, in about two hundred years, the world ocean, which is currently seventy-one percent of the Earth’s surface, will be divided into precisely two halves. South America will have two land bridges connecting it to Antarctica, as you can see here. At that time, the only water connection between the Pacific and Atlantic ocean water lobes will be right here, between New Zealand and Tasmania. This undersea basin will be the location of the greatest city on Earth in the 23th Century. It will be the crossroads for all sea transport, which is now and will always remain the most cost-effective way to move goods from point-to-point on the surface of the Earth.”

“If you remove so much water I think will follow disruption,” Leonov said. “No more Black Sea, no more Baltic Sea.”

“That’s true, Commander Leonov, but the change will occur at a very gradual pace, and the result will be that the land area of the Earth, as a percentage of its total surface, will be raised from twenty-nine percent to fifty percent. Our world will be able to support many more people that she currently does. And there will be another world! Anyway, Colonel Glenn, that’s pretty much what we here at Astrodyne have been up to, but enough about our petty issues, let us now go on to your next agenda item. What is President Ford’s biggest concern right now?”

“Robyn, the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 says non-governmental activities, such as your corporation, obviously, must operate under the approval and authority of a state which is signatory to the Treaty. I can tell you now, speaking for the Ford Administration, that the United States would only extend such recognition quid pro quo.”

“Colonel Glenn, every employee of the Astrodynamics Corporation carries citizenship of the new nation of Barbuda in the Caribbean.”

“Barbuda’s statehood is not recognized by the United States,” he said, “and they are not signatory to the 1967 treaty.”

“Commander Leonov, do you think Astrodyne could be placed under the legal penumbra of the Soviet Union to satisfy this treaty?”

“I think this request not impossible,” Leonov said. “Give us photos and names of people here, birthdays, I take home to Star City, then Kremlin. Who knows? Maybe next Korabl bring forty Soviet passports.”

“Thank you, Commander Leonov. And so, Colonel Glenn, shall we proceed to your next item?”

“We want to know why you are contracting with the Soviet Union to bring your people up here.”

“Well, Colonel Glenn, probably because the Soyuz vehicle is an astonishingly reliable spacecraft.”

“But they are communists! I thought Astrodyne was all about profit.”

“Colonel Glenn, I can’t think of anything more boring that what economic theory is practiced by the government represented by Alexsei Leonov and Oleg Makarov. The truth is, now that we’ve committed the fold-gate to the transformation of Venus, we no longer have the means to move ourselves around. We now must rely on a third party for transportation. The Soviet Union has been the first to respond to our request, but I’ve brought you and Minister Chou-Lai here to make the same offer. We already have a great demand for space transportation and it only goes up from here. Let me ask you something. I understand you were preparing for a Senate run before President Ford tapped you for this mission. Where would you say your politics fits on a spectrum between left and right?”

“It’s no secret that I’m a registered Democrat, but my politics I think would be somewhere in the middle. Maybe a little left of center.”

“I think it’s safe to say that with the Watergate stuff, and with Ford giving Nixon a blanket pardon, that’s a foregone conclusion the next President will be a Democrat, wouldn’t you agree, Colonel Glenn?”

“I would indeed agree with that assessment, Robyn. I think right now the country just wants to do a healthy flush in ’76 and move away from that whole terrible episode.”

“We have discovered that what we do up here on the Moon has a profound effect on US presidential politics. I think that the binder I gave to Gene Cernan back in ’72 might have influenced President Ford to pick Earl Roland to be his vice-president instead of the more liberal Nelson Rockefeller, and we think that tossing some work to the Russians and Chinese up here will lead to more hawkish candidates in the Democratic Party winning the next election rather than the left-leaning peanut farmer we think you’d get otherwise.”

“And why is American presidential politics important to Astrodyne, Robyn? Didn’t you say you were citizens of Barbuda? And didn’t you just now make arrangements for Soviet passports?”

“Checks and balances are always a good thing, Colonel Glenn. As long as the Cold War never goes hot, which we must all be vigilant never to allow to happen, I think the rivalry between the U.S. and the S.U. is good for both. What’s why we’re rooting for the hawks of your political party. Competition spurs innovation. And a three-way competition is even better, hence the presence of the Chinese delegation. I think if the Cold War were to end with one country slipping into decline and the other becoming a fat, complacent world hegemon, that would be a tragedy for both.”

As a matter of fact, Robyn knew it would be a tragedy because she had seen how Timeline Eta played out.

And so, with the Summit concluded, Glenn and Gordon returned to Earth with the rest of the crew of Apollo 18, while Leonov and Makarov took the Chinese representatives back home in two vehicles.

After arriving safely, the Soviet and Chinese delegations put the word out to the rest of the world to stay far away from Robyn was calling Charybdis, but the Americans said nothing. The Ford Administration was developing the narrative that only NASA was operating on the Moon, certainly not a private corporation such as Astrodyne, and any claims by the Soviets and the Chinese that they were present on the Moon as well was officially dismissed as communist propaganda to antagonize the West.

Despite this, the western nations with blue water navies such as the United Kingdom and France did heed the warning from Liu Chou-Lai to stay away from the whirlpool. But the United States seemed to be like a stubborn child who insisted on touching a hot stove precisely because his mother told him not to do it. The US Navy rushed directly to the vicinity with a submarine and promptly lost contact with it. This tragic disregard by the American government for the warnings of the B’nei Elohim was to become a persistent pattern in the years to follow.

The destroyer Buchanan, a twenty year old Adams can, was ordered to cut short a port visit in New Zealand to investigate Charybdis. Perhaps if the Navy had flown aircraft to the location first, one hundred ten submariners and three hundred fifty destroyer sailors would have avoided death.

The submariners of the USS Bluefish suffered much more than the crew of Buchanan. Their boat was airtight and able to resist the 90 atmospheres of pressure on Venus without being crushed. So she just laid on her side next to a blackened Buchanan and baked the crew like so much salmon. Distress calls went out from Radio Central for an hour or two, and were intercepted, but the Navy refused to believe the weak signals were crossing interplanetary space. From what they could make out from the frantic calls, the Navy guessed the submarine had gotten pinned in the fumarole of a new underwater volcano.

President Ford, who had the Glenn Report in hand and knew better than to think it was a volcano, ordered a cruiser action group and one oiler dispatched to the area to keep lookie-loos out, whether by sea or air, lest they unmask his official narrative.