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Chapter 231 - What Could Go Wrong[]

Linden (Former Outworlds System)
12th August, 3046

"Core Forge, transit drive, structure, and all the other manufacturing machinery to build a ship from scratch. Heavy automation if the design information is programmed into the yard's computer. I did some digging and finally managed to find what I wanted. There is no Tracker design loaded into the system. But, there is programs from Star Lord & Tramp Class Jumpships and Carrack Transport. There are also two Elephant Class Tug Dropships inside the construction slip. We just need trained people to operate it and the raw material to make the parts." Major Nathan Davis said

"The people here are spacer bred. Most can wear a pressure suit before they are ten. Who do you think maintains everything out here? They built the additional habitats the hard way, pure EVA. I would bet money that they could figure this system out." Captain Marcus Birch replied

"That does not help us with having no information on the Tracker's jump core." Major Davis said

Chief Engineer Vincent Zuniga held up his hand to silence the argument. "Lets get the Krait inside the yard. We can run full diagnostic and then we know exactly what is busted. We handle the repair problem later."

Major General David Mitchell had sat silently as everyone had been speaking, but now he said "Captain Birch, we have scratched that itch for you. Now, will you and your people be willing to make the move to Thazi? I would prefer to not have to haul food way out here forever."

Captain Birch sat silently and looked around the table at the other people before speaking. "I will need to speak to the people about that. Linden is dying, we know it. How would we move everything from here to Thazi?"

"Fair question. Chief Zuniga, this is your area." Major General Mitchell said

"KF-Boom. Nothing they have out here exceeds the 100,000 ton mark. We have two KF-Booms on those recovered stations. We might find a few others back at Mariopa. But in the meantime, we could return the mining stations to Thazi, remove the KF-Booms and mount them onto whatever we are moving back to Thazi. Couple days to a week added to each end as we remove and remount KF-Booms. The habitats will even double as passenger quarters during the moves. Saves us from cramming them aboard Dropships like sardines and doing a command circuit back to Thazi itself." Chief Engineer Zuniga replied

This time Reginald Traveline spoke up "We can do that, but I have a question. The people here did not have access to the shipyard, how did they manufacture the parts and such for the habitats?"

"On the Olympus. Long ago they tore out the bottom and dropped out the LF Batteries. Then sealed it back up again. That freed up enough space to turn it into a massive manufacturing complex by bringing up equipment from the surface. They then used the repair bays to manufacture sections for the habitats before strapping on computer controlled thrusters to ease them out and move them to where they could assemble the habitats by hand the rest of the way. Must be several hundred thousand tons of manufacturing machinery on that Olympus." Captain Birch said

"Never even thought about tearing an Olympus apart like that. Too valuable." Reginald Traveline replied

"I have. We found one and I really wanted to recover it. I ran the numbers and in theory it should work. We never got to test it out though." Chief Engineer Zuniga said

"Even if we could rebuild the Tracker's jump core, we would still need to either grind it down or have the raw material to build a new one." Reginald Traveline said

Captain Birch actually smiled at that before answering "Down on the surface is roughly 500,000 tons of processed Germanium and Titanium, each. It is the one resource this place had and guess that why they placed this stuff here back in 2760 or so. Raw material we have."

Jaws dropped around the table. Major Nathan Davis spoke first after doing mental math. "That is like 65 Billion C-Bills worth. Last I checked a ton of Germanium was trading at 130,000 C-bills per ton."

"Well, it is down there. Going to be a very unpleasant task to load all that stuff up. They shut down the last surface processor about 40 years ago. I am told they kept the mine operational and processor at a low rate to keep their skills up on how it was done. Might be one or two old timers still around, but don't count on it. Most are lucky to live past 80 out here and getting worse every year." Captain Birch said

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