"Incan Moon" by Incan Warrior, June 2012
Disclaimer: All characters presented here are product of fiction. Any resemblances to real characters are of a pure coincidence. No intention was made to insult anyone for any reason.
AN: This story is an act of fiction. No one should attempt to act in the same manner as described.
Summary: Four brothers, Manco Capac, Ayar Anca, Ayar Cachi, and Ayar Uchu, and their four sisters, Mama Ocllo, Mama Huaco, Mama Cura (or Ipacura), and Mama Raua, lived at Paccari-Tampu [tavern of the dawn], several miles distant from Cuzco. They gathered together the tribes of their locality, marched on the Cuzco Valley, and conquered the tribes living there.
Unobscured by any clouds, sun was shining brightly, on the vast valley that stretched for miles and miles in diameter. Bill Stone checked on the native guide behind, then grinned at Steve Rocco.
"I heard that Brazil's Santa Rita do Sapurcaní prison has found a new source of alternative energy … its own prisoners."
"Oh?" Steve squinted at Bill, checking lamas behind. "Really?"
"Yes." Bill placed hands on hips, looking at the horizon. "The prison has offered to shave time off of prisoners' sentences if they'll charge batteries using special bikes and …", he sneered at Steve, "… their own two legs."
They listened to the wind for a while.
"Ah … Salar de Uyuni …" Bill stretched his hands out. "This 9,000 kilometers, or … 4680 square miles …", he chuckled at Steve, "… salt desert …", he took a deep breath, natives chatting among themselves, examining lamas, "… at an altitude of 3650 meters … or some 11,970 feet …", he adjusted his hat and took a deep breath again, "… is the largest salt flat in the world!"
"You bet!" Steve withdrew his cell phone to make some calculations.
"Actually … I think it was once part of a prehistoric salt lake …", he turned around at the natives, then resisted an urge to speak on Spanish, "… which covered most of southwestern Bolivia." Steve watched as the local 'campesinos', armed with only picks and shovels harvested salt from this ancient lake.
"How much did you say it could have …?" Steve glanced quickly at Bill.
"Estimated some 10 billion tons of fine salt ..." Bill exhaled once more, feeling sleepy. "Due to its semi-arid climate, the Salar has an average annual rainfall of about 10 inches ..." Steve made a nod with his head, still calculating something. Native were getting restless a bit, although they did not show it. "If you take a tour of Salar during the rainy season …"
"And that would be …", Steve offered still looking at the LCD display.
"From December to March …", Bill approached and peeked at Bill's mathematics, "… it may be covered with salt water to depths of 25 centimeters." Lamas made some sounds. "However …", Bill paced away, spreading his arms wide, "… during the dry season …", he sneered at Steve, "… the salt water evaporates to a layer above or below the surface."
As they were walking back to their camp, Steve smiled.
"What?" Bill knew he must have been onto something.
"Did you know that plasma cutting is a process which uses a high velocity of ionized gas delivered from a constricted orifice." Bill stopped in his walk, grinning at Steve. "Yes. This high velocity ionized gas, … the plasma …", they watched a scarce high altitude jet airplane leaving white marks on the pale blue sky above them, "… conducts electricity from the torch of the plasma cutter to the work piece."
"What … I mean … why …"
"Wait." Steve smiled. "Let me finish first." Bob turned around once more, almost as if in fear that the salt lake will suddenly evaporate or something. "The material is heated and melted by the plasma." Steve leaned on his walking stick. "The high velocity stream of ionized gas mechanically blows the molten metal away, severing the material."
"Metal? Did you say … metal?" Bob repeated, grinning.
"Yes." Steve continued as if it was a normal conversation topic. "Plasma cutting is used to cut steel or a non-ferrous material less than one inch thick." He stopped and then exhaled deeply, looking towards 'campesinos' in the distance. "Robotic plasma cutting is easy to use and offers higher quality cuts at faster travel speeds."
"Ah!" Bob smiled at last. "Now I get it!" He looked around again. "And I suppose you wish to have some 'caterpillar tracks' on them as well, correct?" Steve made an affirmative nod, checking on the native guides.
They continued to walk in silence for a while.
"Did you know that Quechua is famous for being the language of the Inca Empire of Peru …"
"Really? …" Steve glanced at Bob and Bob wrapped an arm around his colleague, laughing aloud.