I got a very special mining job.
There was a haze over Loreville. As always. During the approach, I had the impression that the city has gotten bigger and dirtier.
A little later, the door of the M+V Bar closed behind me, the dust and smog of the street was gone. A rancid air of sweat and alcohol surrounded me. Music boomed from the speakers. There were only a few guests in the bar.
I found my contact person quickly. The job he had for me was crazy. It was about Bexalite, a rare and very expensive ore. The contractors needed it urgently. I should not steal or smuggle it, but mine it. The heck of the matter was, Bexalite existed only on the Hurston moon Arial. Hurston Dynamics had exclusive mining rights here. I had to mine it secretly and bring it to Grim Hex.
My little Prospector had a low energy signature. The chance to get to Arial undetected was good. To find Bexalite on the moon, I had to use the active scanner. But it was like a lighthouse and with every ping I betrayed my position.
I started the search on the side away from Hurston, and far away from the nearest outpost. I hoped that nobody would detect the signals from the scanner.
I flew just above the surface of Arial, the air shimmered. A hot, hostile world lay before me. Geysers and pools of poisonous green slime. There were no high mountains that could cover me. I loaded the scanner and started the first ping. Nervously, I looked for ore signatures and at the radar for contacts. Nothing.
Tense, I sent more pings. With every ping I held my breath. Then the first ores. But no Bexalite. I kept looking. Ping, hold my breath, wait tensely, breathe, next ping. It was nerve-wracking.
Then I found the first Bexalite. The rock had a very high concentration of the ore. And then the next, again with a high concentration. Quick and focused, I extracted only the chopped rock chunks with Bexalite. My ore bags filled up quickly. When they were full I pulled my nose 90 degrees and gave full thrust. I wanted to get the hell out of here, before anyone noticed that I was there.
I handed the Bexalite to Grim Hex and got a proud 37,000 UEC. It was worth it. Nevertheless, I angrily left Grim Hex and flew back to Hurston.
Before my flight to Grim Hex, I had used old contacts on Hurston and asked what I would have got there for the Bexalite. I would also have gotten 37,000, the mining permit would have been in vain. Only condition, I had to sell on Hurston.
Same price and all legal. The thing was clear. I would mine more Bexalite, but this time officially and legally.