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Chapter 113 - What Could Go Wrong[]

30 November 3042
Kent (Former Outworlds System)

Paul Orlean, the other four captured with him and 188 of the freed miners accepted the job offer from Colonel Mitchell. The remaining 227 former slaves just wanted to go home. The decision to offer them jobs was met with some questions by the other officers of Search and Recovery Inc. As a mercenary command, the unit was primarily focused on military missions. All of these new members were totally civilian, and no one could figure out what was going on.

"You have got to explain this to us, Colonel. These folks are all civilians, I can halfway understand keeping those five around, but the miners also?", Lieutenant Colonel Franklin Noble asked

"We all know what we have already found out here. Our first operation we found several of those mining stations. But we also had no knowledge of how to even think of any sort of recovery effort. Just this morning, after Paul Orleans informed me of their decisions, I asked him how much one of those Snowden Stations cost. You know what his answer was, try over 4 Billion C-Bills, probably closer to 5 Billion C-Bills. For a single mining station folks. Now we have found some folks with the skills we need to recover any of those we can locate out here. We let 12-15 Billion C-Bills slip thru our fingers at Toten, I am not about to have that happen again. As much fun as it is finding lost SLDF caches, recovering any sort of mining station or anything else out here is a major money maker. I do not intend to pass that up again.", Colonel David Mitchell replied

"So, how are we going to work this, sir? They just going to tag along on every operation on the off chance we locate something? Just seems like a waste." Lieutenant Colonel Noble said

"I spent a few hours last night thinking about those very questions. I have some ideas. I just need to work out the details. We cannot let another score like that slip away from us because we have no clue what we are doing. I really wanted just Paul Orlean and his small group; I did not expect him to make the offer wholesale. But we are now stuck with them all. For now, the miners will be assigned to the Engineer's under Captain Croyle. They at least know how to move dirt and rock, so they can be used for that task.", Colonel Mitchell said

"Colonel, the Snowdens might have KF Booms or even KFFC Booms for the new ships. Just keep in mind that it only works for 100,000 tons and less for each one mated to a collar. No trying to move an Olympus Station, as much as I would love to manage that.", Chief Warrant Officer Vincent Zuniga said

"I did not realize there was a size limit Chief, thank you for that information. So, I will scratch going back for that Olympus off my to do list.", Colonel Mitchell said

"Why? Why can't we go snag it?", Chief Warrant Officer Caldwell asked

"It weighs a million tons, idiot.", Chief Warrant Officer Zuniga snapped

"So, we lighten the load before we move the damned thing. I heard mass, not overall size. The damned thing is huge, but what if we dumped the recharge batteries off the thing first? They have got to be the heaviest single thing on the stations itself. Then we figure out what else we can chop away before we try to move the damned thing. How much is one of those worth?", Chief Warrant Officer Caldwell replied

Chief Warrant Officer Zuniga was silent for several minutes, deep in thought, until he finally said, "That just might work."

"Sorry to burst your bubble, but I was just joking about going back for it. We have already let the Federated Commonwealth have it. Unless they are willing to pay for us to recover it for them anyway." Colonel Mitchell said

"I bet they would. I need to do some serious calculations, but I think it might actually be possible. Even if we cannot recover that one at Joshua, if we run across another one, well, I don't know yet. KF Booms are not that common anymore. Hell, I am not even sure they are even manufactured. There are just too many things I do not know yet to even speculate. But it damned sure gives me something to do." Chief Warrant Officer Zuniga replied

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