Chapter Eight

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Chapter Eight

Kennedy Space Centre (Vehicle Assembly)

Tony Reagan was the director of the vehicle assembly division at the Kennedy Space Centre, he had reached his position through a quick mind and hard work. Now just two years from retirement he was faced with the biggest challenge of his long career. Building a time capsule was not something he had ever imagined or considered trying. This sounded more like something out of a science fiction movie, yet here he was doing just that.

He picked up the telephone and called the assembly floor, Paddy O’Brien answered on the first ring. “Yes boss we are almost finished we just have a couple of hours left”. Tony laughed, “Relax you Irish leprechaun; this is not about you taking your time building something as simple as a time machine. No, I think for what I have to tell you, you should really come up to the office. You are not going to believe what those crazy limeys want us to do now” “I’ll be right up boss, but you know you are wrong about crazy limeys, those guys are mostly crazy Scots. Oh I see, then that means they are probably more closely related to crazy Irishmen like you”.


When Paddy walked into the office Tony looked up and smiled. “Glad you could make it Paddy, its nothing very difficult, Inveraray have requested a small adjustment to the capsule, they merely want you to pop in a third seat”. Tony sat back to await the tirade that was surely going to follow his modification request. “Are you as crazy as them? You know there is absolutely no room for anything else inside that capsule. I couldn’t fit a cup holder if that was what they were asking; therefore I certainly cannot fit a third seat. Besides it’s almost complete and is due to be shipped out tonight. It would be impossible to add anything now. We’d need to make a larger vehicle and we couldn’t do that without first testing different sized units. They would have to be sent through time to learn if they could withstand the stresses. Do you have any idea how long that would take us, even if we could achieve a suitably larger vessel? This is ridiculous, they wanted the capsule yesterday and now they ask for a third seat. What the hell are they doing? Selling tickets”


“Its okay Paddy, I have already told them that what they have asked for is quite impossible. The director at the compound, think his name is Hanley, didn’t sound too upset, I think he already knew what he was asking for wasn’t going to happen”.

I suppose he is in the same boat as us and has to follow instructions no matter how inane they are.


“So are we on time? The rail car is due to arrive at 1900hrs. I’m really sorry Paddy but it looks like you will have to miss another episode of Coronation Street tonight. You just crack me up Tony you are such a funny man. Yeah everything has come together nicely just a few finishing touches and it’s ready to roll. I’m not worried about Corrie, but having to miss supper again, I’m not so sure my diet can survive that. I’m wasting away to nothing here. Ah Paddy, you have no need to worry still lots of spare tire left and besides after we get that capsule out of here I’ll let you buy me a sandwich and a Guinness or three. Aye well it’s maybe high time the boss treated his poor hungry employee to some solid food and liquid kindness”


Right on time the rail car was shunted into the assembly area; the oddly designed unit was designed to look like an oil or gas container but with a huge open hatch at one end. It was also built more ruggedly than would have been necessary for transporting oil. Huge steel ribs inside the casing seemed more in keeping with a submarine compartment. Paddy didn’t really care all he wanted was to see the thing leave so he could sit down and enjoy a pint and maybe a sandwich. The capsule was carefully and gently maneuvered into the container and firmly secured to the eye bolts along the inner casing. Thirty minutes later the capsule was on its way. Paddy breathed a sigh of relief, fumbled in his pocket for car keys and headed for the door. In the parking area he met Tony and together they drove the ten miles to their favourite watering hole. They hoisted pints of the black liquid to their lips smiling. Tony said cheers and Paddy responded Slainte.


“You know Paddy we deserve this more than you might think. Of all the tasks we have been asked to do this has to be our greatest achievement. The satellites, the Moon rovers the Mars vehicles all count for nothing compared to what we have just completed. We have built a time capsule without knowing why or where it was going to be used. We have built it in the utmost secrecy, and can’t even brag about our accomplishments. Yet the most incredible fact is, we built this amazing machine from several tattered notes scribbled in pencil. Ideas jotted down some forty years ago and an ocean away.


Yeah you are right Tony, and do you know what else is amazing? What’s that Paddy? My glass is empty and it’s your round”.

God Bless and keep reading.

About irishroverpei

Author of "Lily & Me", "The Royal Navy & Me" and Chapter XXl Armageddon. Writer, blogger and RN Submariner, antique automobile enthusiast.
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