What’s Mined is Mine
Commander Vithigar Erdé skimmed his cargo manifest, freshly updated with the output from his onboard refinery. As the star set behind the looming dark orb of the nearby gas giant he permitted himself some brief optimism and hoped the trip would continue to be as fruitful. The hold of his mining outfitted Type-9, which he had dubbed the Type-Mine, was about half full of the requested osmium and silver necessary for the construction of a new Aegis security installation in the Pleiades, and even the undesired “side catch” was still a valuable haul of platinum and palladium.
“Well, time to move.” He didn’t want to have to relocate, but with the light from HIP 19054 disappearing quickly it would become all too easy to accidentally remodel the front end of the Type-Mine against the side of an unseen rock if he stayed any longer. Pulling away from the planetary ring to clear the effect of its mass on the Frame Shift Drive’s ability to warp space, he prepared to make a quick trip at sub-luminal, but still relativistic, speeds to the opposite side of the planet.
Just after arrival in a day-side area of the ring a pair of unidentified blips appeared on his scanner. “Just as expected…”, Cmdr. Vithigar muttered. It never failed that two or three baby-fresh wannabe pirates would follow the obvious FSD wake of a mining ship as it entered a ring, hoping for an easy score. His mood soured when his sensors finally resolved exactly what ships were bearing down on him. This wasn’t the usual pair of sidewinders or eagles, but a pair of Federal craft, one assault ship, one dropship, both likely obtained through not-entirely-official channels, approaching from opposite directions. There was a silver lining though, now that the ships had been ID’d they were showing mismatched IFF signals. By some incredible coincidence these two Federal craft weren’t working with each other, they just happened to arrive at the same time. Vithigar made the decision to stand his ground, hoping they wouldn’t fight together, while at the same time recognising that this was probably not the wisest course of action.