Friday, March 29, 2019

Floor 10,024

Year 10 950 ARC (After Rocket Crash) · Floor 10,024

This time Conan dreamt of elevators.

From floor 10,024 he took the stairs up to 10,025. He could have taken the "Little Elevator" as well. There he took an elevator to floor 10,005, in just two stops. This elevator was called "Mid-Little Elevator".

From 10,005 he had several times taken a "Mid-Great Elevator" which stopped at every hundredth floor.

This time, he was taking a "Great Elevator".

It stopped every 1000 floors, and at 1 meter per second, this meant it took 50 minutes between each stop.

Obviously, this was not what one normally thinks of as Elevators, Conan somehow both didn't connect to trains and was very well familiar with train procedure. And yes, taking a "Great Elevator" was a bit like taking a train.

You had a fairly big carriage up and down. It came and left at fixed hours and could take 30 persons at a time. You had to pay tickets to take it. And, while expensive, they were kind of worth it.

You had seats. You had a toilet one floor below that with the passenger seats, and also a cafeteria room one floor above it, with automatic distributors of hot and cold drinks and of snacks. You could even buy a TV meal and you could heat it in a microwave oven, which was switched off five minutes before approaching a stop floor. You put your luggage on luggage shelves. Or, very bulky luggage, on the same floor as the toilet.

Down to 9,005, he dozed.

Waking before 9,005, he was told by a loudspeaker "we are now approaching the next floor, which is nine-thousand and five, if you are leaving here, please finish your meals, don't start a micro-wave heating, if you already have a meal going, you can take it away with you in a brown bag."

He picked up a book (in an elevator on the façade, he could have watched the skyscape, and how the landscape below unfolded, but those were more expensive and some found that an occasion of vertigo or even nausea). This was an elevator inside the building and a break in the electric current could make it go dark, but as it was, he enjoyed the lamps on the book. Some of the other passangers were reading too. Some were talking, but not too loud, he could still read.

He was five chapters through (though when he woke he had no idea what book it was) when the voice announced "we are now approaching the next floor, which is eight-thousand and five, if you are leaving here, please finish your meals, don't start a micro-wave heating, if you already have a meal going, you can take it away with you in a brown bag."

He was not leaving, not yet. One couple of lovers was, though. He watched them smile at each other as they took down their luggage from the luggage shelves. They kept hugging while the elevators was standing still for two minutes, and they went slowly out ... they were probably getting a new apartment somewhere between floors 8000 and 9000.

The elevator started again, this time a bit shaky. But it soon caught up.

All of his life, he had been hearing the noise of winds blowing around the skyscraper, somewhat mitigated by sound dampers. However, this time, he could hear it was blowing to a storm.

The elevator stopped again. "We are in an emergency, please do not panic"

He heard something crack, slowly.

"We are in an emergency, pl..."

Electricity went out, both the lamps and the voice finished abruptly.

He heard the noise of the wind again, more cracking, and felt a slight difference in angle in the dark.

Several others started moving uneasily.

He heard another crack, and the angle was slanting even worse, and now the other passengers were standing up and shouting and quarreling and each wanted to come to the door - but it was locked, as they were somewhere between floor 8,005 and floor 7,005.

As he heard another crack and felt someone stumble across his legs, he woke up.

It was just his cat. "It's you Tabs! You don't know what a relief this is!" The cat was not answering in words, just stared back at Conan.

Conan thought of what Harold Howard had told him about Nimrod trying to build "a tower so tall, that it reached to heaven".

He put on the lamp, and he opened the Bible, Genesis 11.

He read verses 1 to 9.

And the earth was of one tongue, and of the same speech. And when they removed from the east, they found a plain in the land of Sennaar, and dwelt in it. And each one said to his neighbour: Come, let us make brick, and bake them with fire. And they had brick instead of stones, and slime instead of mortar. And they said: Come, let us make a city and a tower, the top whereof may reach to heaven: and let us make our name famous before we be scattered abroad into all lands. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of Adam were building. And he said: Behold, it is one people, and all have one tongue: and they have begun to do this, neither will they leave off from their designs, till they accomplish them in deed. Come ye, therefore, let us go down, and there confound their tongue, that they may not understand one another's speech. And so the Lord scattered them from that place into all lands, and they ceased to build the city. And therefore the name thereof was called Babel, because there the language of the whole earth was confounded: and from thence the Lord scattered them abroad upon the face of all countries.

Unlike the dream, he could remember what he was reading.

Wonder how much they had lost during the Flood ... in technology. How could they have solved the elevator problem?

Was it even a sky-scraper, with an elevator he was trying?

and a tower, the top whereof may reach to heaven

He suddenly thought of a three step rocket at take off. Only the top reaches outer space.

And he thought - what if Nimrod had no clue at all, nearly, what it would really take, and God delayed this to several thousand years later at Cape Canaveral?

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