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Old August 17th, 2019, 08:49 AM
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The Pakkrat The Pakkrat is offline
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011-1107
Firgvaar (Provence 0401) A667987-E Ga Hi Pr VLPr
Day-5

Was the egg responsible for the historical finds? Maybe. We pulled from a different but nearby asteroid a very old, 1G M-Drive that had a battered frame. When it was lifted the entire housing broke into beams and corners and fell off the main Drive. I was on the ground again with Uessae next to me as Lidus and Blacktongue reeled in the cable net, the same we had woven about the egg artifact.

But the frame bars came loose, and one flipped and spun at me and Uessae. The ex-Navy Captain Uessae Noedhin shoved me aside just before she took the bar to her hip and abdomen.

"Uessae!" I screamed into my helmet.

It was blunt trauma but as I bounded up to Uessae lying on the carbonaceous asteroid, I could see that her Combat Armor-12 was not breached. The housing had merely battered her to the ground.

"No no no no, Uessae. Talk to me." She was unconscious. "Uessae's hit. What's her vitals, huh?"

"Crap," said Lidus on the Comm. "I have to run back to the Bridge to look at them." Precious seconds ticked by as I began a visual check.

"Vitals are strong, but she's got some microfractures in the hip and maybe a rib?"

"I can move her then," I called. "I'm lifting her in the Boat. Prep the Med Console by folding down the exam table. I'll do the rest when I get her back aboard." The Medical-2 training of evac, delivery and triage treatment kicked in. With help from Lidus while Blacktongue watched the Sensors, I worked to run a full scan on Uessae.

The rest of Day-5 was spent in vigil over Uessae Noedhin my fiancée. Not another one. Not on my watch. Tech-14 medicine is pretty amazing. I should know. I have a bullet scar in my belly. Uessae's microfractures were filled and that rib was moved back into place so she could heal naturally but under acceleration.

Uessae recovered, though through Days Six through Nine, she was ordered light duty by me and confirmed by the Captain-Owner of the Minor Carp. We had three days of false pings that did not pan at all as we moved further along inside the Leading Trojans.

017-1107
Firgvaar (Provence 0401) A667987-E Ga Hi Pr VLPr
Day-11

A 400-ton Vargr Fat Trader pulled up after hailing us, all genuinely friendly. Speaking to Blacktongue on Comms the remote captain offered to purchase and haul off our ores. But the Logaksu Captain-Owner wasn't lying when he reported we had no ores to sell. We waved off the Trader and went back to scanning. The Trader bid us farewell and moved off to skim fuel and check any operations in the Trailing Trojans of LGG-Q.

Uessae was fully healed and recovered and I signed off on EVA if the Sensors pinged again. Lidus and I practiced her Vargr Charisma emulation. The three of us stayed away from Blacktongue's deck of cards and instead had a bake-off in the Galley.

Y. Just a letter Y in Anglic. It was carved into the crotch wood bark of a tree as I stood dreamtime in a forest filtering in beams of sunlight from a G-type star. Uessae was nearby. I could feel her and knew she was near though I did not turn to look for some reason. I love Uessae. We're betrothed. I heard the babbling of a nearby stream of water on this second shirtsleeves world before waking up to the smell of morning coffee that was my turn to prepare.

018-1107
Firgvaar (Provence 0401) A667987-E Ga Hi Pr VLPr
Day-12

By now, the rinse and repeat of scanning for pings, testing them for deposits and confirming with the Ore Sampler, the pattern was set and wearily dragging on without a viable vein to tap.

We Beaconed a pinged and confirmed deposit of one million tons of carbonaceous elements this day. Lidus and Blacktongue got into an argument over whether or not to mine the deposit. With an average credit payout of Cr4500 per 65 tons of ore from a carbonaceous asteroid, it just wasn't worth it. And no mining companies will purchase a claim that is carbonaceous or ice. A 'roid, even one that's carbonaceous has to turn up something more valuable aside from the usual fare.

"Don't you raise your claws at me, girl!" exclaimed Blacktongue. I thought Lidus was going to do that Rudyard Kipling maneuver again of hardening her fierce, Human gaze, Mowgli-style.

Thank the Ancients that this expedition sprung for Emergency Suit Patches. Uesse's Combat Armor-12 produced a mesh tear that almost killed her later on Day-12. She had the outer airlock door open and then her armor mesh tore as if begging for retirement.

Standard Operating Procedures requires that a second be ready inside the inner door in case of an airlock emergency. Cycling the airlock can take too long. I was on hand for Uessae and slapped the Big Red Button and followed the hissing air into the lock. Her armor was losing pressure fast and it clocked her unconscious almost immediately. I had to hold the Patch to her suit and let the cycling balance the airlock. So, back on her back went my future mate-wife for an even longer recovery period.

Uessae was supposed to check out a ping and confirm a deposit. I was the stand-in. They say these things come in threes. And today was no different.

I hate to admit it, but I got lost on the asteroid and wandered about the surface of the asteroid. In treating Uessae, I forgot to take her Beacon. I did not find my way back to the ship until my EVA duration was up.

"Are you trying to - as the Solomani say - 'buy the farm'?" asked Lidus waiting for me in the airlock. Lidus quotes a lot of stuff that us Extents Vargr don't always understand.

On Day-13, Captain-Owner Blacktongue declared the Leading Trojans a bust and ordered a commute to Orbit 2 and the LGG-S Leading Trojans deep inside the N-zone of asteroid composition. We skimmed for fuel though Size S required 0.8Gs to our single G of M-Drive performance. Uessae was well enough to take the helm so I could watch Engineering.

A mutual silent treatment settled between Lidus and Blacktongue. Until the two resolved their differences, they avoided each other. This required Uessae and I to shake up the watches, putting Uessae between the two.

U. You need to handle this, came the whispers of Uessae without voice. The dream collapsed when I tried to turn and look directly at her in questioning her statement. I woke up and almost forgot the entire thing.

020-1107
Firgvaar (Provence 0401) A667987-E Ga Hi Pr VLPr
Day-14

Coffee only goes so far before it does nothing for me. The Bean seems to benefit Humaniti on a longer burn than for us Vargr. We both get the charge out of the gate, but alas, we Vargr fall off faster. Perhaps it is due to our Personal Day versus Humaniti.

I sat at Sensors as we drifted slightly at a slightly faster velocity than the Leading Trojans of LGG-S. The different colors of the Giant's atmospheric bands were new scenery.

"Whatcha doin' when we hit pay dirt?" asked Blacktongue who brought me yet another - you guessed it - meaty bar from the Galley. I had not thought of it. I had credits, more than the average Traveller. The Bucket List goal seemed to be the focus, not what to do with the credits.

"Lemme get back to you on that," I said. "The answer may be private."

"You're just whipped." Maybe so. Uessae still has me almost doubled in Vargr Charisma.

Both the Densitometer and the Radiation Detector sounded simultaneously immediately after my answer. It was a ping. Of the four of us on the Minor Carp, I'm the best on Sensors.

"Radioactive?" guessed Blacktongue as I recalibrated for a second look.

"It may just be solar winds," I answered.

We both looked at the Densitometer and said together, "Metal."

Lidus may be a punk Vilani, but she knows a thing or two. Checking out the ping, we thought we lost her behind some signal-blocking outcrops of metal ore. We lost contact with Lidus for three hours. Blacktongue who is about Uessae's age had to go EVA, find the pinged deposit, test it and then go looking for Lidus. But just as he confirmed one ton of FeNi ore which Uessae evaluated at Cr520, the Human in leathers returned. She had taken an EVA walk in her Vacc Suit to keep her distance from Blacktongue. Never lost, the Vilani woman had used her walking rod to leave a trail groove in the dust and gravel of the asteroid. Without any atmosphere or water on the asteroid, she had marked her path behind her and backtracked.

We loaded the ton after mining it without further incident. But Uessae and I knew that those two had to get in gear. I was not going to fund another expedition with her or Blacktongue.
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