The chfsssc, or rather the chfsssc‘s environmental armor, sat in the parking lot below the conference room, glowing dully red even in the bright afternoon sun, the low rumble-throb of its internal reactors clearly audible from inside. Around it, the tarry surface steamed and slowly melted in the radiant heat.
Above, Orthly min Sachill turned away from the window, consulted the fresh text on his slate, and spoke:
“My colleague regrets to say that the lithospheric situation is extremely serious -”
A loud bass grinding from outside interrupted him.
“Pardon me. My colleague regrets to say that the lithospheric situation is a pyroclastic fertilization in a sedimentary geode, if you’ll pardon the idiom. The magma chamber is hot, wet, fluid, and not going anywhere with a simple divert. In short: you left it cooking too long. We’re going to have to lance it and release the pressure up top.”
“What does that mean?”
“Ultimately, it means we need to install a wide-area nanofiber crust reinforcement mesh, and then zap the magma chamber just right with an orbital laser. Right now, it means we need to talk to our insurance broker, and you need to evacuate everyone within six hundred miles and decide where you’d like your new peninsula.”
“You can’t be serious! What’s the alternative?”
“This is a supervolcano, gentlesophs. Your alternative is go shopping for a new homeworld.”