Mining Colony Oben Run
Mavor could hardly wait to get home. His son, Bris Traven Convusco had just started walking and Mavor wanted to get home to play with him. He was rigging up some explosive charges for a new vein of the mine they were looking to explore. It was a bit closer to the surface so it had to be a carefully controlled blast to reduce chance of cave-ins. Over the last year the mine production had picked up and twice as many miner families now lived in Oben Run. They were expanding the colony and had recently installed a sophisticated ventilation system to help clear and with that, the Miner's council was much closer to approval of terraforming Leir III. The future was looking bright to Mavor.
"Convusco, stop daydreaming. Is that charge ready?" The foreman had lost a bit of weight from the hard work the last few months. He also was looking more presentable lately, the richness of the mine reflecting in his clothing.
"Just finishing up," Mavor placed the final wiring and checked the trigger system, "Ready."
"Good, get it set up."
Mavor left his workbench and went down the shaft. They had not been able to set up a cart system yet, mostly because they hadn't needed it, the shaft wasn't opened up yet. The hope was that this charge would help clear an important piece of the vein and allow them to have more freedom within. Ultimately they would begin building a system to excavate faster thus make more profit.
Mavor found the spot and set up the explosive. As he was working he noticed the vein section he was working with appeared to be a bit darker and more polished than what was nearby. "Hey, Kishon. Check this out? Is this the right spot?"
The fellow miner, Kishon looked up, "Yeah, that's the right spot. It looks odd due to some char from the last blast. Don't worry about it."
Mavor shrugged and set the charge. Once it was in place he keyed his mic. "Charge placed, everyone out." He made his way back to the mine entrance.
Once all the miners were out, he keyed and called again, "Fire in the hole!" A rumble echoed from the mine and dust rolled out. They all waited a minute for the mine to collapse. Fifteen minutes passed.
"Good enough. Let's move in. Grab the supports and brace as we go." The miners swept up beams and equipment and they all moved as a group. They knew they had to get the supports up and after that they were home free.
As they rounded the corner something didn't look right. The air was especially misty. The foreman muttered, leaving his mic open again, "Guess we hit a gas pocket or something…"
As they neared the blast one of the miners aimed his lights at the ground, "What in the 'verse is…" They all saw a greenish and purple swirl oozing on the ground, evaporating into the air. They noticed dripping was coming from above. What they saw was blasted out shell of a very old torpedo, torn open by the explosive charge.
"Everyone out! Now!" Called the foreman, who had been standing in the goo when it was spotted. The miners ran in a panic out of the mine, the mist seeming to chase them. As they neared the airlock the foreman fell to his knees and vomited in his EVA suit. Blood splashed inside of it. He convulsed and collapsed.
The miners had never dealt with the threat of immediate death before and began to panic. Mavor, with his prior experience remained calm and keyed his mic, "Get to the airlock, the scrubbers will get this gunk off of us. Let's move!"
The miners followed him down the mining platform, running but careful not to stumble off. Mavor arrived at the airlock and set the controls to max containment settings and had them get in one by one. He waited his turn until the one before him was through.
Intense heat and radiation bombarded him as he removed the EVA suit. Chemicals from the scrubbers hit him and mechanical arms cleaned him. He held his breath as the air vented and was replaced, clean. The scrubber system then announced, "Clean. No contaminates detected."
The exit doors opened into the locker room. The other miners were getting dressed and talking about taking their families away from the mine. Mavor couldn't blame them. He might do the same with his. But they were clean and the mine was sealed. Protocol meant they needed to contact the Miner's council. Mavor, after dressing, went to the foreman's office and put in the message telling them the mine was clear, the foreman dead, and they may need a UEE containment team to come in. After the message was sent, he left the office and went home.
After arriving home his wife and son greeted him. Chista asked, "Is everything ok? You're home really early. I expected you late because of the mine contruction." Mavor shrugged, "I'm not sure if it's ok. There was an accident and we had to seal the mine for now. The Council will have to clean it up for sure."
"Oh," she continued, "Should we be worried?"
Mavor shook his head. "No, the scrubber cleaned the contaminants so everything will be fine. We might just have to rough it until they can clean it and get a new foreman."
"Ok, as long as you are ok," She kissed him on the head.
He picked up Bris and said to him, "And how's my little soldier?"
Bris had a big smile on his face and shoved an action figure into his father's, "Poo-tee-yus!" The boy had just begun to talk as well, and his favorite toy was a toy from Mavor's old childhood. A super hero action figure called Photeus, the Man of Photon. It was from a comic book he read as a child and Venter always thought it was a silly toy.
"You can't be a superhero, Mavor. You can't save people with fantasy. Now, if you're a soldier you can protect those you love from the real monsters of the world. You can really save the world that way." Venter would say.
Mavor smiled with his son and helped Bris to fly around like a superhero while holding the figure. This boy can be anything he wants. No matter what, he has a bright future.
The next morning Mavor woke up a groggy mess. He had overslept and his sheets were soaked. He still felt a little feverish. He went into the kitchen and made himself some coffee as usual. He checked his messages looking for a response from the Council. He had one.
"Convusco, This is Councilman Hicks Ester of the mining site, Zintoc. We reviewed the damage to the mine and looked over some old records. We're going to evacuate the colony immediately. We've found information suggesting the torpedo is a relic from the Messer Era. From your description it could be a biochemical weapon. We have a UEE Biohazard crew and a Medical treatment ship on its way. Please do not leave the colony until they arrive. They will evacuate the colony. From your description, the scrubbers took care of the biochemical compounds, but we cannot take the chance of spread to the other colonies. The UEE support will arrive within the week. Please keep us posted about any developments –and keep the mine shut! Ester"
Mavor read the message twice and then went to check on his wife. She was still sleeping, but was tossing back and forth. He felt her head. Fever. He ran to his son's room, and touched his head. The touch woke his son who started crying. Fever. He picked up his son and went back to his wife.
"Wake up. Something's wrong."