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Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Crystals of Zemai-4, part 4

Finally, the tide of fortune turns in favor of the Rokkun miners with the emergence of a powerful savior...
For months, mining on Zemai-4 proceeded without incident. Members of the Dark Order did attempt to return, but Lecius consistently intercepted and dispatched them a safe distance from the mine. I say Lecius, and not "Lecius and company," as the miners only ever saw this one, lone warrior. He became quite the celebrity to the Rokkun, a super-hero of sorts. Whether he was truly acting alone or simply keeping his aides well hidden was neither here nor there.  The results spoke for themselves, and the crystalline riches flowed forth freely.
As time passed, more equipment was brought in, the mining site grew, and production gradually expanded. With this progress came an increasing haul of raw crystals for Lecius, but the seeds of greed to grow within him. He became dissatisfied with the agreed-upon share, and requested that it be doubled. Mine managers feigned shock and dismay, but eventually gave in, quietly happy to reward their soul savior & protector whose original take had been quite inconsequential.
All things continued along smoothly until one warm night, there was a sucessful attack upon the site.  A conveyance was slashed apart and several containers of freshly-mined material, awaiting transport off the planet, were destroyed.  The monetary damage was modest, but the psychological impact was severe.  Once again, the Rokkun and their mine were vulnerable and unsafe.  Lecius was most regretful for failing to prevent the incident, but he submitted that the expanse of the mining site had become so great that his resources were stretched too thin, and he needed to bring in more help. More help would require more supplies and more pay, which meant a larger profit share.  The mine managers rejected the notion, this time with absolute sincerity, countering that Lecius was simply... slacking off... and needed to re-focus and do his job properly.

The very following night, there was another attack, and more equipment was disabled.  This time, suspicion ran rampant through the site. The Rokkun did not believe for a moment that the timing was a coincidence. They believed the "attack" was staged, the equipment destroyed by Lecius himself as part of a greedy, treacherous scheme of extortion.
(to be continued...) 

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