Tuesday, July 13, 2010

SteamBoyz: Tiny Bubble - Submerge

~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
by kvb (the hubby)
~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~

Jane cranked on the 21MC growler and waited by the voicetube for her sister’s eventual terse response “Engineering.”

“Engineering, bridge. Bring us to a depth of one thousand meters by normal procedures executed with great dispatch and alacrity.” Jane said. She didn’t like the look of the fire-ball that had been attempting to catch them for days now.

The Bulla was approaching the recovery coordinates and she wanted to be safely submerged before she approached it and tried to wrestle the treasures aboard. She was hoping that Jade would be able to get them from their current elevation of 3000 meters above the sea to safely hidden in the cold dark depths before that flying hydrogen buoyed bomb.

“Make depth one thousand meters, engineering, aye.” And that was it.

Jade opened the steam supply valve for the noble gas compressor until it hit its open stop. She then backed it a quarter turn off that stop and went to the console where she pulled out a number of knobs which caused steam actuated helium recovery valves to open. These valves were attached to flexible non-collapsible hoses which went to the cells in the silk and allowed the helium to be sucked out of the cells. The helium was sucked out by the compressor and compressed into the high pressure helium storage cylinders.

The Bulla started to lose altitude, at first slowly, then at an increasing rate. Jade, meanwhile hurried around the Bulla with her dogging hammer. From the bridge, through the galley, the library, the head, the berthing, the chart room, the storage lockers, up to the observation deck and all points in between, the passengers and Captain Jane herself scurried this way and that to stay out of her way as she rampaged, furiously smashing the dogs on hatches until they were tight, setting valves, cranking and hammering home wheel operated fittings and ensuring that the Bulla would first float, then submerge.

Jane and her passengers breathed a sigh of relief as Jade disappeared down the fireman pole into her particular, private and inviolate domain that was the second and third deck which comprised engineering. She didn’t need to set any watertight fittings in the engineering spaces since she kept them set as a matter of course.

She checked the altitude of the Bulla and found that she was three hundred meters from crashing into the ocean at a rate that would do the Bulla and her occupants some serious damage. She quickly closed those helium recovery valves that were open and opened some fill valves. The silk cells quickly reinflated and by the time the Bulla hit the water, she did so with a barely perceptible bump.

Jade then opened nearly all the helium recovery valves and increased the reaction air to the sphere. Soon the steam pressure was up to 30 atmospheres and the noble gas compressor was screaming along. Helium was sucked out of the bottom-most cells first whereupon that part of the balloon was pulled into silk locker by steam cylinder operated manipulating arms and compacted.

Within fifteen minutes of plopping onto the surface of the ocean, the silk was completely compacted into the silk locker. The locker hatch was sealed by remotely operated dogs. Jade then applied a helium over-pressure to the inside of the locker to test that it was indeed water tight, which it was, as well as to help preserve the silk in a helium atmosphere.

Jade operated some pedals which opened additional helium recovery valves. This helium was being recovered from the blow tanks which ringed the Bulla and allowed her to float like any other ship. As the helium was removed from these tanks, sea water came in through vent valves at the bottoms of each of these three dozen tanks. As the buoyancy of these tanks reduced, the Bulla sank.

Jane watched the mysterious companion which had been shadowing them for two days now. Within fifteen minutes of giving the order to her sister, the Bulla had landed on the ocean surface, and within a half hour the silk was stowed.

It took only couple of minutes more before the claxon sounded and Jade screamed over the 1MC “DIVE! DIVE!” and the Bulla started to slip below the waves.

In this time the stranger had most certainly increased its way and had been attempting to reach them before they could submerge. However the stranger was still 5 kilometers away when Jane lost sight of them as the periscope too slipped below the waves. She would have to congratulate Jade on pulling off this evolution in so short a time, but not now. Jade was still scampering all over the Bulla checking water tight integrity and realigning the condenser for direct water contact.

Twenty minutes later the 21MC growled next to Jane. She leaned into the voicetube and said “Bridge.”

“Bridge, engineering. Depth is now one thousand meters.”

~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
by kvb (the hubby)
~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~

* image source periscope

::= SteamBoyz schedule =::

Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu