It might make sense to build this way, Irwin Hall thought, but it lacked the lovely vision presented in completed architectural drawings with props like attending spaceships and suited figures to give one a sense of scale. The hub of Beta hung there as attractive as a length of pipe with holes hacked in it. There wasn’t anything to show why it was worth tens of thousands of solars to get to this point. It wasn’t even rotating yet to at least display some action for a video. At this distance, the dots of workers might be mistaken for rivets by Earthies unaware rivets were an anachronism rarely seen now except in cartoons.
That’s why Irwin hadn’t exactly prohibited shots of the floating hunk of junk before him but had always shown his investors the future end product in promotional documents. Showing the reality of what they had now would be like using the bare chassis and suspension points of a ground car in an advertising brochure. The only people who would appreciate those unadorned sorts of technical details were the kind of fans who didn’t need to be sold on the idea at all.
“We’ll be closing off those big opening,” Eddie said. “Two will get spokes extended right away, and two will have temporary bulkheads put over them until we need to put spokes on them. That will be right before we finish running the full first ring around.”
“When you cover them up paint the temporary plate a contrasting color,” Irwin said.
“Why?” Eddie demanded. “Pigments are cheap, but the organic carrier and binders will be a couple of hundred bits wasted to no purpose. In fact, it will have to be burned off to salvage the plate. It’s kind of obvious where they go. The stress reducing radius sticks out around the opening already.”
“It’s obvious to you. I want it to be obvious to somebody who knows nothing about aerospace architecture and may have a hard time finding three brain cells that can hold hands and work together. Be glad I’m not asking you to outline them in a dashed line and print – CUT HERE TO ATTACH SPOKE – in letters three-meters high. When an Earthie investor looks at it, I want them to be able to immediately see where the spokes are going to attach,” Irwin said. “It’s marketing.”
Eddie had to smile, thinking how silly that would be to do, but he stopped arguing. “Do you want to go over and look around inside? There isn’t much there yet but decks and some bulkheads with no hatches mounted,” Eddie said to him.
“No, a construction zone is hazardous. I might create risk not just for me but to others by being in the area and disrupting their routines.”
“Why did you come over then?” Eddie asked. “I could have sent you a view off my helmet cam that would show everything you are seeing from here.”
“Because now I can write an update to the investors that starts: ‘I was at the Beta site today, watching work progress.’ It makes them think I am right on top of things exercising due diligence, not just reading reports from some project manager who might be self-serving.”
When Eddie looked at him funny, he explained. “That is no reflection on you, Eddie. On Earth, it’s simply what you would have to do to make sure you weren’t being cheated. It really makes sense in an Earth context.”
“Better you than me,” Eddie said. Irwin knew exactly what he meant.