Space Pioneer Chronicles #1 – ResourcesMarch 10, 2013 12:47 am Stories
He sat swiping his hand across his PC.
Patiently waiting for the drives to spin down and begin the atmospheric breach process, he stayed mentally detached from the series of events about to unfold. The entire song and dance was a mechanical procedure he’d been through tens of times before. Scared? Nah. He’d gotten to the point where it might as well be a trip to the head. Luckily, there were no “snakes” on this trip.
Two boring months of travel and a year or so of hard labor, but the pay was worth it. Land on the asteroid, establish basic living quarters, gather up as much ore as possible and return home.
Except this time it wasn’t ore and it wasn’t an asteroid.
The ExxonMobilShell corporation, after developing it’s own ship fleet hundreds of years ago (along with many other companies), began sending out mining vessels to local system asteroids:
“For the sole and express purpose of seeking rare universal materials in order to ensure the security and future existence of the human race.”
Once those ships could travel between the stars, all of those rich, deposit-filled asteroids were theirs for the taking. Pure profit, especially if they were partially funded by the government.
However, today would be a new discovery unlike anything any human had even seen with the naked eye. An historical event. An entire planet, smashed apart, which according to most reputable exobiologists, at one point, had life on it. And how could this be possible?
The planet was rich in oil. Destroyed by coming too close to an asteroid belt, the petroleum rich world was currently being ripped apart like buckshot through a tin target.
Oil is one of the rarest resources in the known galaxy. The combination of life and time are hard to come by – the two key ingredients to making this precious material.
The McIlvain class mining vessel carried it’s normal detachment of scientists, historians, government officials, military troops and support staff. This tiny sampling of the humans species carried with them the multi-national interests of The United States, China and the European Union. Each nation agreed to and planned on launching expeditions to each of the three major “tris” that the planet had broken into. International laws had already been drawn up with the approval of the UN about territorial jurisdiction. Space law is pretty straightforward and agreeable when a planet is deemed inhabitable and ready to be depleted of resources.
“20 Seconds until Atmospheric Breech…”
He snapped off his PC and set it in his lap. He closed his eyes and thought about home.
The ship shuddered a bit then heated up a few degrees. Beads of sweat rolled down his neck as he kept his eyes glued shut.
Trees. Houses on streets. The sun. Fruit. Feet on the ground. Glass of beer. Warm sand. Water. Kisses. Son. Daughter. Dog. Wife.
Groans. Creaks. Then a clean “wooooooosh.”