"...and how was soccer today?" I ask my daughter Mavis. Before the question has finished, however, she's disappeared from view. All that's left showing on the screen in my hand is the couch and her teddy Wilbur.
She reappears with an iceblock, and with stern words in her grandmother's voice in the background she focuses her attention back on me. "Soccer was fine dad. We lost again, but we lost awesomely."
"Josh!" This time the voice is coming from behind me, not out of the device in my hand. "Just a minute!" I call back out the door of the container.
"Okay," I say - now my turn to bring attention back to the video call. "Tell granny and granddad I love them, and that your mum and I should both be back on Wednesday."
"Bye Dad!" She smooches at the screen at waves. I wave back and shut down the call.
I move to the container doors and swing them fully open, stepping out into the heat of a Queensland Australian summer. In every direction are tents and Hexayurt
shelters, and the Pacific's most recent climate refugees
moving between them.
"Are we good to go?" I call out to Richard on the roof of the second container, as he tapes down the last few wires from the solar panels.
"Looks like it," he replied, "the batteries are all reading at full charge - lets fire everything up and see how it all holds up."
I step back inside the fabrication container and start up the machines one by one. two CNC routers, Laser Cutter, Signcutter and four 3D Printers. Lastly the two laptops which control them all.
It was the standard Fab Lab
Remote Fabrication Station, and I'd lost count of how many of them we'd connected into the Digital Making Network. It had been ages since I'd helped set one up on site, but these latest series of storms had seen our RFS team stretched to their limits.
Richard stepped into the container and stood beside me. "Looks like we're good to go".
"Sure does," I replied. "The volunteers should be arriving shortly to set up the Web Kiosks - we better start making them."
As we headed over to the Materials container, my handheld vibrated in my pocket. I pulled it out and looked to Richard. "Looks like I might not be able to help with those Kiosks after all - you reckon you'll be okay?"
"It'll be sweet as mate, there will be plenty of help soon enough," he said with a smile. "I'll start the training on the machines early."
As Richard climbed inside the materials container I raised the device to my ear. "This is Maker."
"It's Alchemy. We have a situation in Tokyo..."