Trouble at the Mine

The Forge Region – Ruomo Constellation
Itamo System – Asteroid Belt I
An Abandoned Mining Colony

It seems there is always work for capsuleers – every time I ask Annukka about a mission she always has one for me. That day the mission had a mysterious name “The Abandoned Colony”. I had to visit the site of a former asteroid mining colony and destroy all Seekers which for some reason were constantly present in that area.

The mission was pretty routine – three waves of Seekers, Circadians and Retainers, expectedly perished under the fire from my Gatling Railgun.

Seeker at an Abandoned Mining Colony

“Captain, the mission is accomplished. You can return to the station,” said Aura.

“Unbelievable”, thought I, “just a few days ago that phrase sounded like a silver bell, or rather like a sound of a cash register, which was always welcome. Now this is the most annoying sequence of words, spoken in the most irritating manner. If I hear it one more time I’ll probably scream.”

An Abandoned Mining Colony

Before warping back to the station I took a good look at the site. I tried to understand what could have attracted the Seekers to this colony. What I discovered filled me with anger and fear – several wrecks of Sisters of Eve Nestor-class battleships were floating between asteroids. I was angry because Sisters were committed to preservation of human life and even pirate factions cooperated with them. I couldn’t imagine any human fleet attacking Sisters’ ships, so it had to be Seekers. The dumb robots killed thousands of members of the most peaceful faction in New Eden. I knew there were no survivors as I scanned every wreck.

Nestor Wrecks at an Abandoned Mining Colony

At the same time, the force required to overcome a fleet of Nestors had to be very formidable. I was glad that I was not here at the time of the carnage, and I was not going to hang around because that force might still return. I was about to head back to the station when I received an urgent call from Annukka.

“Vlad, I know you have just finished a mission, but can you please take another one now?”

“What’s the rush, honey? Where’s the fire?”

“At a mining colony in Asteroid Belt III. A Circadian Seeker is firing at the miners. There are casualties.”

“What? It killed the miners? Send me the coordinates and I’ll put that fucker down!”

“Here you are,” said Annukka, “and I’ll arrange mission payment and bounty with CONCORD.”

“Forget the bounties,” growled I, “this one is on me,” and warped to the provided location.

The Forge Region – Ruomo Constellation
Itamo System – Asteroid Belt III
An Active Mining Colony

This was the first time I had seen and asteroid mining colony and I was impressed. Asteroid belts were some of the most dangerous and uninhabitable places in New Eden. Rocks sizing from sand grain to a small planetoid were hurtling through space at various speeds colliding with each other. The only way my ship could survive there was by constant monitoring of the surroundings and evasive manoeuvring. Yet, humans came to this place and made it their home. They chose a big asteroid and built industrial and habitation modules on its surface. They excavated its interior and created a dock inside. When there was no more space on the asteroid they captured smaller rocks, tethered them to the big one and connected them with tunnels. They built a defence system which protected them from collisions and pirate invasions. But what they didn’t count on was that someone, or in this case something, would simply want to destroy them from distance, and that was what the Circadian Seeker was doing when I arrived.

An Active Mining Colony

The drone was flying out of the range of surface defences, but it was equipped with long range weapons which allowed it to snipe at the colony from the distance. As soon as Yatagarasu came out of the warp, the Seeker turned its attention to me. It tried the same tactic of keeping at range, but I quickly closed the distance and engaged the murderous machine. It didn’t take long to blow it up, but I was still angry so I targeted the wreck and tried to pulverise it. At that moment I received a call from the colony.

A projection of a tired and unkempt man with a beard appeared on HUD, “Good evening, Cap. Veli Makela here; I am the colony director. Thanks a lot for your help. We didn’t expect a warship to come so quickly.”

“Thank Annukka for that,” replied I still firing at the wreck, “she managed to arrange a mission at a short notice. By the way, how are you doing? Do you need any medical help, supplies, transportation?”

“Thanks for asking, but we are good. Can’t do anything about the dead; as to the injured, we can take care of them – our medical module was not damaged. But we have one request: can you please stop thrashing that wreck? There are some valuable metals and electronics that we’d like to salvage. It will be easier to do if it is in one piece.”

“Oh,” I felt embarrassed, “not a problem. I just wanted to make sure it’s, you know, properly dead.”

“Appreciate that, Cap,” said Veli with a glint in his eye, “I think it doesn’t pose any danger now.”

“Right, right. So, er… if you’ve run out of Seekers, I’ll probably head out.”

“Sure, Cap. Was a pleasure to meet you. Fly safe,” said the director and ended the call.

As soon as our conversation finished, Aura, who was waiting patiently all that time, brightly announced, “Captain, the mission is accomplished. You can return to the station.”

I took a deep breath of pod goo and said, “Sure, darling, but what if we choose another station for a change? Can you please calculate the shortest route to system KFIE-Z?”

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