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Thread: Hydroxide Sensor

  1. #1
    New Secret NewSecret's Avatar
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    Mar 2015
    Somewhere in this world.
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    Hydroxide Sensor

    Nicholas was employed on his current job at a top secret deep mining mission.

    He was called to do the mining mission on demand for his multi-skilled

    repertoire in related areas. The mission of the mining was to get as deep as

    could be done and all the while retrieve any rare and new elements out the

    mineshafts. A secondary mission to keep your eyes peeled for any anomalous or

    extraordinary events that were thought to occur at the pressurized spaces of

    the inside of the Earth.

    The mine machinery had used technology not available on the world market and

    it was invented in secret. The new technology hardwired an efficient and

    resourceful design. It was an amalgamation of already in use mining

    technologies along with new innovations borrowed from the top secret vaults

    of America’s space program. This resulted in new mining technology that

    could bore into the Earth at an unprecedented speed, reaching at times a full

    mile in under a week at a time.

    Utilizing an elaborate drill and chemical one-two punch at the head of the

    machine, a second chamber crushed the rocks fed into it until they were

    reduced to sand. The sand was directed into a third and a fourth chamber

    where the sand was scanned for rare or new elements. The leftover fritter was

    fed into tanks that contained a highly corrosive chemical that turned the

    sand into a volatile liquid that was delivered through skinny tubes to the

    surface where the toxic liquid was loaded into a tanker truck for deposit in

    a toxic disposal plant.

    The mine worked much like an elevator. As the drill bore deeper into the

    Earth, new chambers were connected to the top end at the surface. Each

    chamber had over 3200 cubic feet of space inside of it and each chamber

    contained its own pressurized lock design with a separate ventilation and

    air filtering supply design to ensure that any breach in any of the

    chambers could be quickly and easily cut off. This design worked well as the

    greater width of the outside mine shaft was kept separate from each chamber

    but could also be used to refill the air purifying tanks and re-supply each

    chamber individually.

    In the event that a single chamber would be compromised the ventilation could

    be sealed off and the chamber could be perfectly sealed without interfering

    with the other chambers. Although each chamber was connected with doorways on

    an end to end scheme to permit the free travel up and down the mineshaft from

    within the safety of the chambers, a secondary ladder design also ran

    parallel to the chambers within the mineshafts for convenient use in the

    event that the pressurization were to fail in one of the chambers or the air

    filtration were to fail then a suited worker could exit one chamber, climb

    around the broken chamber, then enter the next chamber. This could be done

    unsuited but the deeper into the mineshaft you were the greater the hazard to

    your health and safety it would be to do so.

    Some of the chambers contained machinery designed to mine horizontally

    when the vertical mission was finished. The idea was that a permanent living

    quarters along with an attached science laboratory could be built at measured

    intervals along the mineshaft. These horizontal chambers could be set up for

    further controlled science experiments and long-term projects. Further

    horizontal expansion was expected further down the line when the main part of

    this top secret mine was fully built.

    Workers used pressurized control suits to build anything within the mineshaft

    that the main drill at the head of the machine couldn’t take care of. Working

    deep inside the mineshaft brought with it greater atmospheric pressure,

    greater temperature and decreased air quality. Suiting up for these dangerous

    missions was much like suiting up in a diving suit. One thing

    that suited workers had been working on quite a lot was the actual double

    elevators that would be used once the full depth had been reached. The

    difficulty in building the elevator shafts between the chambers and the

    mineshaft wall was that it had to get built from the top down, one floor at a

    time without supports below the workers or supports below the framing of the

    elevator shafts. The process for manually building anything inside the

    mineshaft was much slower than the drill could go.

    The speed of the drill was impressive as it only took a fraction of the time

    to surpass the world’s famous diamond mines. Extracting rare elements was a

    rare occurrence as the machine usually only detected rock or cheap minerals.

    Nicholas was supervising conditions in the mineshaft from the surface control

    area inside a trailer when he was notified of a pressure leak in chamber 7.

    The oxidization and cooling process was interrupted inside the chamber,

    causing the air to become heavy and unbreathable for the workers inside. They

    evacuated the chamber and awaited for further directions inside the 8th


    He initiated the automated locking process to seal off chamber 7 once he

    received confirmation that the chamber was evacuated. He called an onsite

    mechanic expert in chamber 21 and reassigned him the responsibility of

    repairing the issues in chamber 7.

    Three hours later and Nicholas got a call from the mechanic expert that the

    hydroxide sensors were down and would need to get replaced. The hydroxide

    sensors were part of the advanced thermo-monitor mediators inside the

    pressure control valves. The hydroxide sensors had multiple uses that were

    not limited to the evaluation of the amount of H2O in parts to the

    atmospheric pressure through a chemical reaction that was used to control a

    healthy and safe working environment.

    Nicholas told the mechanic to hold while he ordered that the hydroxide

    sensors be brought down to him. He called the supply tech in chamber 32

    knowing that it was going to be a long wait until the situation in chamber 7

    could be dealt with. Chamber 7 housed the computers for the chemical

    processors in chambers 3 & 4. Nicholas ordered that the drill be halted

    until further notice.

    Last edited by NewSecret; 07-09-2015 at 10:21 PM.
    20 short stories for your reading amusement.

  2. #2
    Registered User 108 fountains's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Falls Church, Virginia
    Hi New Secret,
    I've been absent from the Forum for a while and so have not read your previous posts. This one certainly has a lot of intricate, technical description in it. In fact, for me there is a bit too much description and not enough story. The story here doesn't really begin until about 2/3 of the way into the narrative with "Nicholas was supervising conditions in the mineshaft..." and then it really didn't go anywhere.
    I think you do have here the beginnings of something that could be quite interesting. Try cutting out the technical descriptions of anything that is not relevant to the plot and then try to come up with more of a plot involving the effect of the malfunction of the hydroxide sensors. As is, it is like reading a dry technical report; try adding some excitement to it - for example, you could describe what was happening to the workers in chamber 7 and how they were frantically evacuated to chamber 8 while Nicholas had to keep his cool under heavy stress as he sealed off the chamber and halted the drill.
    Your descriptions prove you can write for sure and that you have a great imagination for detail, so I'll look forward to seeing more from you.
    A just conception of life is too large a thing to grasp during the short interval of passing through it.
    Thomas Hardy

  3. #3
    Inexplicably Undiscovered
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    next door to the lady in the vinegar bottle
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    Back in the late fifies and early sixties, (when yours fooly was just a whippersnacker) the eminent American critic Dwight Macdonald bemoaned what he saw as an inordinate emphasis on "facts" in the fiction of that era. For instance, in a short story about a car mechanic, more words described the inner workings of an engine rather than what was going on inside the character's head. More broadly, such attention to factual details reflects the inherent practical nature of the average American rather than his sorely-neglected aesthetic side.

    This came to mind when I read your story, interesting perhaps to a chemical engineer or a metallurgist, both of whom-- let's face it--would find similar info in their old college textbooks or on Google.

    When writing a short story, try to remember that you are responding not to the process of natural science but to the human condition. Something happens in a story, not as a piece of mining equipment extracts stone but as a human being exists and copes in the world. Depending on how well the story is told, the reader may discover a revelation.

    Your writing style could be more effective with an improvement in basic skills, such as paragraphing: when to start a new topic, when to end it. Practice pacing, setting up scenes for an eventual payoff. Be more expressive while striking a balance between exposition and narration, showing and telling. Be subtle and avoid clichés.

    And don't forget the first rule of fiction: never be boring.

    That's enough for now, plenty to work on. Good luck on your writing efforts, and welcome to the NitLet!


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