(2016-04-08) Grand Theft Windmill
Grand Theft Windmill -or- That'll Leave a Mark
Summary: Mon, Terry, and Nora head off to steal a windmill in Sunray. Yet another story in the bathhouse/power/water project.
Date: 2016.04.08
Related: http://5thwave.wikidot.com/log:2016-03-24-on-the-road-to-sunray

Our heroes set off for Sunray, more precisely for the wind farm between Sunray and Stratford. And what a motly assortment of vehicles. There's the truck, and there's the school bus. Mon gets them started again with the portable generator, which she shuts down and stows in the bus, but she rides with Nora, who's driving the pickup which has all the tools, cutting torch, yadda yadda. When our heroes arrive, they're faced with a turbine with a 40 foot diameter rotor, on an 80 foot tilting tower. Mon stands and looks up at it. "This ought to be interesting."

The 'Camp Hope' bus rolls to a stop next to the truck, Terry puts it in 'park', kills the engine, and pops open the doors. As he steps into the sunlight, he fishes a hat from his pack and slips it on, taking a look around, before hopping into the pickup to begin dispensing the tools they'll need for the project.

It probably would have been better had someone else driven. There was a lot of grinding of gears and stalling out at first. Nora has never driven a manual transmission and that stick shift was confusing. Honestly she probably never even gotten her drivers license. After a few miles though she kinda got the hang out it. Poor old truck… definitely older than she is…older than Monica and Terry for that matter…but not combined.

When the arrive she comes to a gentle stop, but again manages to stall the truck, good thing they were stopping anyway, so she turns it the rest of the way off before getting out. "Which one of those are we taking with us?

<FS3> Monica rolls Mechanic: Success.
<FS3> Monica rolls Physics: Good Success.

You say, "How 'bout this one? It's the first in the line, which makes it easier to reach all the guy wires and whatnot. Plus, if we need more, we can come back and take the next one." She walks around it. "Okay, here's how this works. This pole here along the ground is called the gin pole. The whole tower will tilt away from it, and it gives us the leverage so we can lower it slowly with the truck. Looks like this turbine is furled, so it's not going to be turning on us… which is good… that turbine can generate forty to fifty horsepower in a stiff wind. So basically we undo the guy wires from the gin pole and strap them to the truck bumper, lower the tower straight back so we don't tear the other guy wires out, then get the turbine on the ground without breaking it. After that, we take the rotor apart and stick the blades in the school bus, take the tower down to 40 foot sections and stick them in the school bus, and somehow lift this half-ton turbine into the back of the truck. I don't know how all this is going to work yet. We'll have to be clever and sneaky. Anyway, then we start everything up and drive it back to camp and dump it all someplace inside the security perimeter for now. Oh yeah. We'll have to dig up the guy wire anchors and the anchors under the tower legs too. So… Terry, if you'd grab the truck and pull it up to right about here, Nora and I can get the guy wires unhooked."

Terry nods, flashes a thumbs-up, and hops into the truck. He fires it up, and moves it into position, letting the engine idle just in case he needs to reposition. "How's this?"

Nora just looks at Monica like she just gave an elaborate speech on quantum physics or some such and did it in ancient greek…backwards. "I'm sorry, a lot of those words meant nothing to me." she tells the woman. She is brawn not brains…unless its about ecosystems or nutrition or something. "How about you just tell me what to do and I'll do it." and when that is offered she gives a bit of a nod "What's a guy wire?"

Monica points to the wires that run from the ground to the top of the towers. "These are guy wires. They hold the tower from tipping when the wind hits it. The side ones will be tight through the entire process so the tower shouldn't go sideways on us." Mon gets into the toolbox and hands Nora a wrench. "These are shackels. You unscrew the nut on the end and slide the pin out to release them." She starts tying the gin pole off to the nose of the truck with a tow chain. "By the way. As big as this tower is and as heavy as it is, it's got plenty of energy to kill someone. Make sure you know what's over you all the time, and if things start moving out of control, run. There are a mess of towers and turbines here. You can't be replaced."

"Head on a swivel, copy that." Terry calls from the truck, before checking his side mirrors to keep an eye on the pair. He ponders things to cook for dinner tonight; if he can hunt down some chickens, he could whip up some honey balsamic grilled chicken and vegetables… or something close to it, depending on what's available, ingredientwise.

"Right." Nora says as she listens to what Monica tells her and looks at the wires being pointed at. She might not fully understand, but she takes the wrench with a nod "I know what this is at least." and she has even used one! She heads over to where Monica instructed, and after a quick doublecheck begins to unscrew whatever it is she was told to unscrew with the wrench,

Monica makes some adjustments to the connection to the truck, after thinking about it a bit longer. "Yeah, let's give the truck a little more mechanical advantage. Be a shame to turn this thing into a trebuchet and fling it and Terry off into the field." She moves the tow rope through the loop of the anchor that, until very recently, held the gin pole to the ground. "That should do it. I hope." She helps Nora with the guy wires. "Okay…" She looks up at the tower, then at the truck and where it needs to go, and where the tower is going to come down. She looks over at Nora, then back at Terry. "Okay guys, this is it. Any questions, comments, things you think I'm doing wrong? I've done this before, but the tower was only about twenty feet tall and the windmill was like fifty pounds. I'm doing a lot of guesstimating here."
<FS3> Terry rolls Driving: Failure.
Terry spends 1 luck points on Failed roll..

<FS3> Terry rolls Driving: Good Success.

"I'm all good, just say the word." Terry responds, eager to get this thing down, secure, and back to camp. He may not be the living embodiment of all mankind's knowledge, but his line of work often calls for the use of physics, geometry, and weather guesswork (and research, of course), so he does have knowledge in those areas. Truck weighs about so much, counterbalancing a windmill about yay high, weighs about so much, windspeed, coefficient of friction.. Everything looks good on his end.

<FS3> Nora rolls Body: Success.

It's been awhile since the nuts on whatsits has been messed which and whether has done its work. The teen is no slouch though, and she puts some muscle into it and gets them loose in pretty short order "Next?"

You say, "Looks good. Let's lift the gin pole to get everything started. Once it starts moving, we get way out of the way and let Terry and the truck do the work. It should slowly lower toward the ground, but if the base of the tower fails, it could get messy." She looks at Terry, a little nervously, now that she's thought about that, but… there's nothing to be done about the risk. The tower was designed to do this. "Okay, on three. One… Two… Three!""

The teen nods to Monica "Lifting I can do." Nora looks up at the pole in question examining it a moment before getting into position to lift with her legs. For her it's well not easy per say, but she certainly is showing her strengths…which for this is strength. Definite brawn.

The truck begins moving, Terry giving it a slow, steady, flow of gas. He glances out of the window, from Mon, to Nora, to the structure towering above them. Easy, easy… not too fast. "How's it looking?"

<FS3> Monica rolls Body: Failure.
Monica spends 1 luck points on reroll bad roll.
<FS3> Monica rolls Body: Failure.

Monica failed to account for two things: First, Nora is much stronger than she is so the gin pole comes up more easily than expected. Second, when the tower begins to tilt and the tension comes on, the tow rope stretches and shifts position on the bumper. The gin pole comes up, alright. It also lurches to the side a couple feet and gives Monica a good smack. You know those baseball games where the batter takes a pitch low and inside and winds up rolling around on the dirt for a while, and the sportscaster winces and says "That'll knock the wind out of him…" That's Monica right now. The gin pole smacks her right across the bust line and then up under the chin. She rolls onto the ground. Normally, she'd have the presence of mind to remember that the truck is coming, and she really should get out of the way, but she doesn't. She lies there whimpering and fighting to breathe until something else happens.

Monica is a bit more important than this tower they're taking down. so Nora stop lifting and rushes to where Mon lies whimpering. "shit shit shit" she says in the process as she scoops the woman up and rushes out of the way of the truck backing up.

Terry catches a glimpse of the action in his rear-view mirror, and eases up on the gas, until the truck slows to a stop. "Everybody alright back there?" He calls, a note of genuine concern in his voice.

Monica takes a slow breath and feels her jaw. Nothing broken. Breathing hurts, but not in that "I've broken my ribs" kind of way. She raises her hand and gives Terry thumbs up once we're out of the way. "Yeahh… Go ahead and lower away. Nice and easy." Once Nora puts her down, she turns her back, and after much wincing and some contortions, her hand emerges from her sleeve with what looks very much like (and is) a bra. She stuffs it in her pocket. "Ow." She watches the tower come down from a safe distance.

"Let's get all of this back to camp, and get you looked at, yeah?" Terry notes, once everything's down and safe. "That could have been waaay worse than it was." He glances to Nora. "Nice job." Once everybody and everything is loaded up and ready to go, the long drive back to camp begins.

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