-USN Mining Station
-Crew Logs: Ensign Ed Scofield
-Status: Shore Leave - Galactic Festivus
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It is funny how we hold on to traditions. The concept of time and space is so different than what it was like when the old stories of Festivus were made up, yet we still pick an arbitrary date out of the entire galactic calendar to exchange meaningless gifts with our friends and family. I mean, how many times can you trade bottles of illegal hooch and cigarettes. Then we’re expected to spend time with family. There is a reason I joined up with the navy, and it wasn't to spend more time with my family.
My mother likes to pull out the pictures of things I don’t even remember. She always gets out the pictures of my biological father. He was a miner working the asteroid fields. In all his pictures, he’s a weathered, muscular, chiseled but average dressed, scruffy looking miner. He always had some stubble which looked like he hadn’t shaved in a week. His eyes were dark and he always seemed to have a smirk, like he had just heard something funny about you behind your back. They weren’t holoshots or any of the new fangled “Permalife™” photos. These were just plain images on an old beat up digital photo frame. Yet it always felt like he was looking me right in the eyes from those photos.
I never understood why she wouldn’t upload the pictures to the grid. One of these days that frame will break and I can give her the big “I told you so”. Better yet, we’ll never have to sit through the hours of “Do you remember [insert random name of Uncle so-and-so]?” and “Oh, here is your cousin [who-cares what their name is, when will this be over], he just loved my Tarantian Space Beetle Jalapeno stuffed Poppers!”
I really don’t know what made me stop back at her flop on that mining station. I think it was to brag a little, show off my uniform, prove I wasn’t just some upsider with nothing but a future working for the mining corporations and drinking myself to a stupor after each stint on a meteor.
I tried the mining gig. The guys in the bars make it seem like they have one hell of a good time out there. The stories they would tell about the pranks they pull on each other made a kid think it was all fun and games. Once you’re actually out there in near zero G in a pressure suit running a hydraulic drill that likes to jam up on a regular basis while the shift supervisor shouts at you over the comm channel do you realize, it isn’t at all what you thought it would be. I honestly had no idea there were so many insults about a person's mother, but he seemed to know every on of them. I’m not sure how he thought that would “motivate me” to fix that piece of crap faster. All it did was make dream of ways to get even with him without him actually knowing. You know, spit in his protein shakes, scrub your unmentionables with his toothbrush. You know, the kind of immature crap I heard the guys talking about in the bars when I was younger.
That was the life of a miner. Sleep, eat, work, pick on your boss, joke about it, eat, sleep, repeat. The monotony was occasionally broken by a TAK incursion into our sector. We’d usually shut down anything that would be detected on sensor sweeps of the area and wait for them to pass. Sometimes some tweeker gets a wild hair to try and rob the mining operation for ore to trade for smack, or crank, or whatever the latest designer drug is. Clearly no one thinks about the amount of credits the corporations are making off these mining claims and what they spend to protect it. They don’t spend any money on their drilling equipment, because they blew it all in automated defense array’s. So, its probably pointless to describe the quick and inevitable demise these kids encounter. It’s a shame too, because they have some hot little shuttles. Once they’ve been blown to shrapnel, there usually isn’t enough to left to make anything useful from the debris.
The debris is pretty, sparkling in a slow orbit around the asteroid. It reflects the starlight as it gently rains down on surface or gets swept up by nearby passing asteroids
Listen to me, I’m starting to get all misty eyed for the good old days pounding asteroids for a few credits each month. I’m starting to think all these stories about “striking it rich” and finding an asteroid to claim as your own are just rumors to get people sucked into the job. Because once you’re in deep, it seems like the corps have it all rigged so there is no way you can get out of it, besides dying.
Well, enough about what could have been. Besides the obligatory distilled alcohol made from the algae in the water reclamation decks of the station, I got a Galactic Festivus mug, a pin up calendar of Samantha Ogawa (she apparently likes to hang out on different planetary beaches with little to nothing on, and that’s ok with me), a small bottle of Torgoth body spray, a can of Space Whale Oil and a really old dish towel with crazy symbols all over it.
Pretty soon we’ll be celebrating the sectors orbital periapsis and start another revolution around Tarantis. That is a party that even I can live without. There is inevitably someone vented (thrown out an airlock) just for fun and I sure don’t want it to be me.
That means, I better catch the shuttle back to base so I don’t overextend my shore leave.
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