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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Crystals of Zemai-4, Part 1

Master chronicler Zeyek today brings us the beginning of a historical tale of dark and light in an alternate universe.

Imbolan, Cymbis, Leptul, Quaza, Sangrys, Khlorydar. All incredibly powerful, energy-rich, and rare substances. All found in abundance on the dusty, rocky planet called Zemai-4. Rokkun explorers landed on Zemai-4 roughly 7,200 of your Earth years ago, and it took but four months for a vigorous mining operation to begin. A single month later, came the first attack.

In the middle of a shift, someone sabotaged an important piece of equipment. A pump, it was, if I recall correctly.  Yes, it is coming back to me, a cooling fluid pump, used to prevent a particularly large drill from... melting... itself.   

A peculiarly small hole was made in the housing of the primary filter, but through this hole the attacker was able to inflict a massive amount of internal damage; just to the filter, though, nothing else.  After another hour of continued use, increasingly dense particulate matter decimated the pump from the inside, ruined the main cooling lines, oh, and clogged the mine's largest drill, causing it to seize up quite irreparably. Forgive the obvious reference, but the entire operation ground to a halt. Hmph. Not a single soul caught a glimpse of the culprit.  
It was two weeks before mining could resume, as a significant amount of equipment required replacement, and new shipments came from the far-away industrial Santrell system.  Along with a new drill, countless hoses & fittings, several new cooling pumps and quite a complement of spare filters, a civilian security team was brought to the site.  A state-of-the-art network of surveillance cameras was erected, too. Mine operators were absolutely determined to prevent another shutdown incident.

The new equipment was installed, checked, and re-checked. The security team went on high alert. Drilling resumed. All was well -- until night settled in. 

(to be continued...)

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