Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The big plane seemed stuck, a shiny tin container punted into the sky, where it appeared to hang motionless, describing an arc so unhurried it didn't seem to be happening at all.

Gantry fidgeted on his edge of the bench. Winter had been hard on all of them. He'd lost twelve toes. Didn't get them replaced until he returned on-world. Weeks of nerve dampeners and sealant had made him cross eyed. Worth it though. Company had covered all costs, and the mining run had earned him enough credits to last half a year. He could afford to skate down to the city for a time, get lost in the stims, the zen arcades, and the mood baths.

That was the thing about mining Nalosian crystal worms for a living. True, they were only minable during especially harsh winters, facing away from the sun. See, they were dormant then, easily segmented. Summers...a different story. Mating season. They'd ignore you in your spinner when you approached, or they'd tear your head off and shred your cockpit. It could go either way.

That cold. That soul shriveling cold. You just had to deal with it, no matter how new the microwave inserts in your suit were, once you were outside the cockpit.

And on a long shift, if any part of the suit malfunctioned. Well, bye bye twelve toes. Confined to a chair for the final week, reduced to menial drone piloting duties, taking all manner of shit from the rest of the crew. It was cool. He still out drank and out bet them.

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