Le chapitre 24
The pale tunes of Bob Marley wafted through the air while Desai lay back and enjoyed the colours dancing across the ceiling. He had the Hab to himself and he was taking advantage of the solitude. While his fellow colonists were great people, alone-time was hugely important to him. As well, a mild hallucinogen smoothed out the stress wrinkles that habituated his forehead.
Satisfaction almost oozed out of his pores as he envisioned his progress. With Xu’s permission, he’d set himself up as the head of the Bank of the Moon. Though this bank had existed long before the colonists, he was the first head. As such, he decided inflation rates, bond returns and general local market activity. While there had been precious little local activity to date, he was setting the way for future investment, particularly regarding resource extraction. Of course he had help running the bank from most of the key national bank governors on Earth. But his was the final say. For the past couple of weeks he had been optimizing the colonist’s next issuance of bonds to augment the colony’s infrastructure. Much as cities on Earth issued bonds to build roads, subways or libraries, he did the same for the Moon. His next bond release was for a prototype road ‘paver’. The paver leveled a 4 metre wide expanse of lunar regolith and then sintered it to minimize the movement of dust. Using this prototype, they were going to establish routes from the Hab to the landing ellipse, the safety cave and the crevasse that led down to the lower slopes of the crater wall. Once the paths were in place, their travel time would be quicker and safer. And they should have fewer problems with dust ingress into their suits and into the Hab. This infrastructure build-out suited him just fine.
If he had any trepidation it was with regard to the existing ‘national’ debt. While donations from around the Earth provided a substantial source of revenue for the colonists, they hadn’t covered the colony infrastructure expenses to date. He carefully managed this debt but without a broad GDP, it was hard to gauge its size relative to other nations. However, having a debt turned out to have a significant golden lining. As long as the debt remained substantial then the lenders had a vested interest in the success of the colony. Should the debt disappear then so would this interest. In respect of this, one of his goals was to aim to pay off the colonists’ debt at the same day that they became self-sustainable. While they had computed many projections for this date, the uncertainty in variables kept that date from being anything more than mere guesswork.
Yet, at moments like the present, with sweet music in his ears, his mind on cruise-control and his every need satisfied, Desai felt at peace. The four of them had been putting in extraordinary hours and almost superhuman efforts to advance their capabilities. They were meeting target consumption rates and were readying for the first paying tourists to their colony. It will be interesting to see how they will react to the visitors during the upcoming four day visit. Marley’s “Satisfy My Soul” softly filled the interior and his smile deepened.