“Show me these drawings again.”
The three children were staring at the clumsy hologram floating over the coffee table. Mark and Cyrus were having pads to control the display, Mary was trying to grab it from time to time. She was also chewing absentmindedly a plastic waffle that Cyrus gave her. A baby toy, but still of some use.
“This is what we got so far. Here is the command center. At the top, where it should be.” Mark zoomed in with his pad. The hologram of it displayed a round room with three big irregular oval windows and three chairs around a central column. The central column seemed to have a loosely drawn spiral inside, and what looked like displays of different sizes attached to it. “This is my chair. The red one. The blue one for you, the green one for Mary, if she decides to come. I’ve made them identical, so if you like more the red color, you can take mine. We will need to agree permanently, of course.” Cyrus nodded. He was sipping his cocoa, looking at the hologram and at his pad from time to time. Suddenly he stared at Mark.
“How many displays we need to control per person?”
“I don’t know yet. I’ve drawn five, one big, two smaller at each side, one over, one under.” Cyrus adjusted his glasses and nodded in approval. “If we need more, we can add, but I think five should be enough. Don’t you agree?”
“I do agree. I will add a mechanical keyboard here and here. Also a big microphone, in case we need to give it voice commands.”
“Keyboards? I’m not writing very fast on keyboards. Can’t we have a holo interface? Or tablets laying around?”
“Sure we can. But it will be safer if we have keyboards in any case. Here, here and here.” Cyrus added them to the croquis. They were of bright yellow. Then he painted three black lines out of the central column, ending in some small balls. “And here the microphones for the voice control.”
“Nice.” Mary looked at the zoomed control room, and tried unsuccessfully to interact with it.
“Mark! Where are the cakes here?”
“The cakes will be in the kitchen. Next floor.” The hologram flickered moving the control room up and outside the display space over the coffee table they were all around. The next circular room was having was looked like a cartoonish fridge, and a table following what would be the outer hull of the rocket. The spiral staircase, more an idea than a staircase, continued to a lower level. There was also what was looking like a sink and a faucet, opposite to the table. And shelves, and another couple of elliptical windows.
“Too many windows, maybe?” Pointed out Cyrus.
“I thought it will be nice to look a the stars while having lunch, or dinner, or breakfast. Besides, it can be useful to monitor our way. What do you think, Mary?”
“I like rocket! Where are the cakes?” Mary jumped over the table and in the middle of the holo image, in a way that now her head was more or less where the column or axis of the ship was going. She looked around with big eyes. “Look Mark, I’m in the rocket!”
“No, you’re not. Come down here, Mary.” Cyrus was an only child, a oneling. He considered Mark his blood brother, and he loved Mary like a little sister. He grabbed another waffle from the kitchen table and gave it to her. She didn’t resist to his offer, and lost interest on the display, heading to where the marmalade was. “That will be your last waffle, Mary, you can’t eat more or you will have stomach ache.”
“Yessir!” She did a mocking of a military salutation to him. “Cyrus, are you going to be the capitano?”
“No, no no.” Mark looked at his sister with angry eyes. “It’s Mark’s rocket, he’ll be the captain.” The captain-to-be smiled and tried to look martial, without so much success.
“Let’s go ahead. We don’t have so much time, and we need still to recruit some more people for our mission. Shall we review the next floor?”
NOTE: This is a part of a story that begins with How to escape from Earth. More next Sunday… I hope 😉