"That's the last hole!" announced mining technician Steve Phillips, pulling a three-meter long drill shaft from the rock face. Drilling wasn't easy. If you didn't hold the drill right, you'd lose grip and a one-ton tool would go spinning out of control. Worse, if you couldn't hold on to the rock, you'd go spinning out of control along with the drill. Asteroid mining wasn't for the timid.
"Good," replied his supervisor. "Start setting charges."
Phillips smiled. This was the safe part of the job. All he had to do was place several dozen explosive charges along the rock face. Compared to drilling, this was quick and easy. Mining charges were small, stable and easy to work with, even for an exo-suit. Using four gripper arms to work his way over the rock, he planted each charge with efficient motion. As he passed, several mining robots began pulling the armored canopy over the rock face, to keep debris from scattering into the cavern.
"All done," said Phillips, trailing a thick wire as he headed out of the cavern. The 'bots were just finishing placing the canopy, and would evacuate the moment they were finished. Nobody and nothing stayed near a blasting site once it was ready.
"Okay," said his supervisor. "Good work, crew. Let's get back to the ship and blow this sucker."
On his way back to the huge, lamprey-like mining ship that was practically welded to the asteroid, Phillips cast a worried glance back at the blast site. The engineers had spent days surveying the site, taking measurements and readings, just like they always did, but that wasn't completely reassuring. There was always a chance that the blast would tear the asteroid apart, in which case the relative safety of the mining ship wouldn't mean much. Phillips was glad that the hot confines of his exo-suit meant that nobody would be surprised if he came out covered with sweat.
And the military thought their job was dangerous...
The second volume of the Mechanical Catalog series contains new vehicles for the Jovian Chronicles science-fiction universe, all of them civilian and utilitarian in nature. From the humble local cargo hauler to the great interplanetary transport magnetic sail, they are all covered in depth with background information and detailed schematics.
Within these covers you will find:
- Thirty ready-to-play vehicles, ranging from the lowly mining drone to an interplanetary cargo ship;
- Four large installations, including a research station and a skyhook;
- Complete game statistics for all vehicles and installations;
- Detailed background, schematics and adventutre seeds;
- Hints and tips on using the vehicles and information contained in this book in any science fiction campaigns.