“No,” Harv’I said, “I am happy as things are. You are already doing very well. Please ask John and Galina to put your speech on the Pedia, so I can think about your questions too.”
I asked Harv’I if it was OK for the Team to come and meet him the following Sunday. “Fine,” he said. “But you must divide the Team into several smaller groups. There is not space enough, on that sofa you are sitting on, for more than four.”
“Will you tell your father’s story to each group in turn?” I asked. “Or would you prefer to write the story once, and put it on the Pedia?”
“I will tell it to each group,” Harv’I replied. “A story told twice is a story told better the second time. And, when John and Galina come, they can record me telling the story, too. So you can have it on the Pedia, as well as hearing it directly from me.”
Harv’I and I parted with many felicitations, and I walked on towards the elevator to the Punishment Pit. As I neared it, the lift arrived and its door opened. Perhaps Harv’I had sent a telepathic message to the Cherubim to tell them I was coming?
I got in the lift, and stood with my back to the blue wall. There was no button for me to press – as soon as I touched the wall, the door closed. I was better prepared for the near weightlessness than I had been the last time, but the deceleration was knee-bending. I made a mental note to look at equipping the lift with seats, or perhaps asking if the Cherubim could run it more slowly.
All four Cherubs greeted me at the exit. After the pleasantries, I said and sent to them, “I will come here to the Pit to meet with you every Friday, after I have spoken with Harv’I. If there is anything we need to talk over, that is the time to do it.
“Today, I want to ask you if it is OK for me to bring the Team to meet you, and to see the Pit, this Sunday. I expect there will be several small groups.”
“That to us good is,” sent the nearest Cherub. “You come four by four, is best.”
“I also noticed,” I sent, “that your lift, which I came down in, is very fast. Standing up, the extra weight put quite a strain on my body. If we are going to come here regularly, I would like to put seats in the lift. Alternatively, I don’t know if it’s possible to run it a bit slower?”
“We make it go slower,” sent the Cherub. “Half gravity, not full. You try on way up.”
There being no further business, we exchanged cordial partings. The journey up was indeed gentler than before – thirty seconds to cover the distance, instead of twenty. My knees remained intact. And, in place of the earlier weightlessness, I felt half my normal weight. Pleasant.
I continued on my trudge, back to the hotel.
I sat in the Pedia room, composing my report for Balzo. This is what I eventually wrote.
[PROGRESS THIS PERIOD]
- The Team have settled in. The accommodation is comfortable. The food and drink are excellent. The clothing facilities are adequate. The evening rides are most enjoyable.
- The Seraphim, Harv’I, the Tuglay and the Cherubim are all working well with the Team.
- Five of the Team have learned to Pull and Push inanimate objects. Four have Pulled small or medium-sized animals from Earth to Perinent, and a fifth is close. One has Pushed a medium-sized animal back to Earth, and a second is close.
- Many questions regarding project planning have been circulated to the Team.
- Continue preparations for Bart Vorsprong’s visit, and the detailed project planning.
- Continue Pulling and Pushing training.
- Assure that food, alcohol and other necessary supplies can be scaled up to match future predicted loads.
- Make the Team aware of the full implications of what we’re doing.
- We have committed a potential security breach, by sending a mescap to Ray and Jenna’s neighbours in Australia. Address by monitoring. In extremis, Pull them here
- We don’t yet have enough knowledge to anticipate what Bart Vorsprong may require of us when he visits.
- I have no visibility of the project budget.
A good start. Much yet to do.