Chapter 6: Exploring New Lands and Finding new Things

Two jumps later and James and his ship were where they shouldn’t ever have been. Far enough away his 15 U jump couldn’t get them they jumped twice in seconds.

“That’s the advantage of mining fuel for the Fleet.” James hinted, as Clare and Sean agreed. They sold a lot of stuff but kept enough to refill their fuel tanks a few times themselves. Now even the Fleet wasn’t sure where they were...and that suited James just fine.

“The planet below has a breathable atmosphere and some of the asteroids near us have some new types of ores too.” Sean hinted as James agreed, and they settled down as silently as possible, and parked in a forest near a large lake and sat back to rest for a while as Sean and Clare checked everywhere and everything nearby for signs of enemies... then decided they got away clean...this time.

“So Sean...what different types of ores have you seen so far?” James asked as Sean said that on the way down he saw Promethium, as well as a new ore Sathium...even more rare, and used in the making of hardened and combat style steel other words high tech armor for ships.

“Worth even more?” James hinted, as Sean laughed and said’oh my’ and James got a good laugh out at that comment.” OK then after a little rest we start manufacturing high tech armor.” he decided and they all agreed, and James got a nice hot dinner... his first night on the new world... and a good nights sleep, and the next morning they moved closer to a good sized Sathium deposit, and by noon Clare was hard at work draining it into their cargo containers.

“200 hardened steel plates so far...” Sean announced, and James saw that would go a long ways towards fixing up some shot up ship somewhere, and Sean agreed.

“200 plates could upgrade an entire corvette class.” Clare mentioned as James said that the bigger ships of the Fleet probably got the good stuff and the little ones cheaper junk, as she remarked that the Fleet took care of their own...and with her ‘nose up’ about it, James saw he hit a nerve with that one.

“I’m sure they do...” James admitted and she left it go for now. By nightfall the ores seam was gone and they had over 300 hardened steel plates for sale and James said they would keep working until they had no more room to store things and everyone agreed.

“There are many things using these high tech materials, if we find Neodium for example, mixed with regular ores and Sathium can be made into newer and more powerful weapons. In some cases missiles and homing missiles, but I don’t have the blue prints for those.” Sean mentioned as James asked if they could get them on some station, and Sean admitted that many stations had ‘block ops sites’ inside them that sold anything and everything...for a price.

“Might be worth looking into.” James mentioned as everyone agreed the cost of gaining something so new would probably be worth it, and James decided to ask for some help...and late that night he sent a secret coded message saying he wanted new blue prints and sent a list, and waited to see if anyone answered.

The next day they moved to a new spot because...frankly... you can’t make steel plates no matter how hard and high tech without steel, and so their next job was stocking up on Iron ore.

“Medium size Iron ore, depth about 12 meters.” Sean said as dirt started flying as drones attacked the spot.”With this ore and the Sathium we still have from yesterday we’ll be able to manufacture a few hundred more.” Sean remarked as mining got seriously underway.

But around 1 pm James got a coded message and when he opened it the Admiral was there looking embarrassed and angry.

“We traced that message you got back to an underground base we missed when we claimed the planet, sorry.” he said as James said not to worry they were doing fine.”More Pentaxium?” The Admiral asked, looking hopeful as James shook his head no.

“Sathium plates.... over 300 at the moment.” James mentioned as the Admirals eyes opened wide and he finally smiled.

“Hardened steel?” he asked as James nodded agreement.” I swear man your trying to supply the Entire Fleet yourself...and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.” He remarked as James laughed. “When you have enough go here...there’s a little supply base hidden in the asteroids and we check it weekly, you’ll be paid when we make pickup, and thank you my friend, you’ve saved lives today.” The Admiral said as a file got downloaded and the link went down, and when James checked the file there were two parts, and Sean had blueprints for missiles and two launchers, and they had something new to build when they got the time.

Chapter 7: New Products and New Weapons

“ T1 and T2 missile launchers and ammunition.” Sean saw and seemed impressed. “We must have earned some points with Command, not everyone gets these.”

“The Admiral was pretty pleased we weren’t hiding out and doing nothing, and he personally told me we have saved many lives.” James hinted as everyone seemed happy with that.” We now have our own drop off point in an asteroid field some distance away, that way no one needs to see us or talk to us, and we still get paid.” He mentioned as they all agreed.

“But...wont you miss talking to other Humans?” Clare asked as James got a good laugh at that one.

“Humans are a little overrated.” he hinted as they all got a good laugh.

“But, what about Human Females you’re normal and healthy, we can see that..” She added as James got a big smile and said that for the moment he was fine.

“This is war, so little things like that can be left go for a while between.” he added and the discussion about that topic stopped for today.

They circled the planet gathering ores and making things, and by now they had seen or scanned nearly 1/4 of its total and found no signs of any buildings or machines of any type. It was possible they were on a pristine new world and they were the first ones to see it, Sean mentioned and James thought that was fine and jokingly named it Sathium Palace and laughed about it.

“Nearly 800 plates made and 3 T1 launchers and 500 rounds of ammo.” Sean hinted one day and James saw their cargo capacity getting a little thin, so they lifted off and flew to the supply base, little more than some cargo containers hooked to a large asteroid, and they unloaded and even as that was going on James sent a tiny message saying..’delivered’ and then they went away to look for more to do.

They jumped to a small local station and he walked in and bought some better food for a change and some drinks that he had gotten to like, fruit juice basically and he found nothing to make it with on their new world. That all got loaded and when asked he said he as just passing through, looking for better mining, and the station workers nodded and smiled. It didn’t sound like anything they hadn’t heard before, and within an hour he as away again, and Sean mentioned they got ‘tagged’ back there and Clare said she took care of it as the bug now floated in space far from anywhere they were going.

Another quick message reporting this too, and they jumped away and the Fleet found out one of their supply posts was working for the enemy, and Intelligence got to do their thing and investigated, and the stations second in command mysteriously got a serious sickness and died a few days later, and the station returned to being much more friendly.

But James had said something that he truly believed, and in a few weeks doing this well he had a plan. They stopped at a high tech station where new experimental things got done and after a long talk, James came out smiling pretty wide and away they went again.

He never mentioned hat he had done and nobody asked. He was the Human here and that made him Boss or King or whatever, and they had long ago agreed to it. They worked for 3 months and then went back and when they did, they got a real surprise. James had placed an order for bodies for the two of them, working, walking talking bodies, and while Clare argued they would slow them down they got mounted inside and after some minor adjustments they walked out wearing some nice cloths and smiling happily.

“This of THOSE bodies is it?” Clare asked as she looked at her reflection in a store window. She did look pretty good she had to admit, and James’s likes and dislikes seemed pretty apparent just now.

“If you mean FULLY functional, then yes.” James added as she looked surprised and for the first time he saw her with a red face.” What you use it for is totally up to you, and now I have people to talk to, and you don’t need to worry about me anymore.” He added as she smiled and agreed this was certainly better, as Sean got a chuckle out of them and James gave him a wink and he looked away.

“The Universe is huge...and even without a war things need found and sold. We’ll never run out of things to do so why hot settle back and enjoy it?” He asked as they both agreed, and this became the first day of a long partnership. Three people traveling together across the Universe, making friends and avoiding enemies and people heard of them for many years after, and when James’s body got frail he too moved into a new one, and only God knows where they are today...or what they might have found this time, but everyone who ever met them knows this...they are smiling together somewhere... even now.

The End