Posted on 13 May 2021 @ 12:46pm by Lieutenant Commander Natsumi Messala & Lieutenant Commander Josiah Hawkins

Mission: A Miner Problem
Timeline: Mission Day 2 at 1330

Josiah stood in the back corner of engineering, next to a large monitor. As he waited for Commander Messala to arrive, he tapped away at the controls, searching the ship's database for anything on Terra Nova.

Natsumi came in, climbing down the stairs as she brought along a PADD of some kind. Her red hair seemed a bit straggled, and it looked like she had taken a fast walk to get to the engineering area "Sorry for the delay, I had to dig around to find some information on Terra Nova beyond what was on the ship's database."

"No apologies necessary," Josiah assured, smiling at the Operations Officer. "It's amazing how little information about Terra Nova is in our database, especially given its stature. What'd you dig up?"

"Well." Natsumi put the PADD down and connected it to the monitor. "Not as much as I'd like, but I was able to pull up schematics, since there's some oversight of the first major extrasolar mining colony." She transfers it to the monitor. "No reports, though, unfortunately. The Terra Novan colony claimed that might impede their privacy."

"And they are a private people," he mumbled. "Privacy doesn't do anyone a lick of good when disaster strikes, does it? So, what are we looking at? Standard construction with a few abnormalities, or are there details left off the schematics as well?"

Natsumi nodded at his statement. "Well, the construction has some expected abnormalities for the geography of the moon, but what caught my attention was this." She tapped a few things, and a news report came up.

'Mining Colony Expansion approved; Mineral Exports up 55%'

"As you can guess, there's no updated schematics, although the report claims that only the residential section, and the mine itself was altered, so if we're lucky, there should be something in the control sections of the colony we can find to help us." Natsumi's eyes betrayed her even tone - a bit worried.

"I don't like relying on luck, though."

Josiah shook his head as his eyes filtered what was displayed on the screen. "Neither do I," he confirmed. "I don't think I've ever seen such an increase of exports before. If the mine was rapidly being expanded, perhaps that's related to whatever mystery is unfolding there now. Were they going at it too hastily?" The question was most certainly rhetorical.

"We have wonder though if they'll allow us into the control facility. There should be field recorders placed all throughout the major sections in the mine to keep track of environmental conditions, as well as structural integrity. If we can tap into a couple of those, we should be able to download all of the information we need to determine a root cause."

"I'd hope they would." Natsumi pauses. "If they expanded too deeply, I know that lunar mining can cause peculiar tectonics since the plates are often fixed. I don't think we have any geologists on board, but I'll get a request off now to HQ to see if they can get someone on it." She began to tap on her PADD hurriedly.

As Messala typed, Josiah continued to study the schematics. "Assuming there aren't any changes, this definitely looks like a standard mine. There's no telling what sort of gases would have been released, so we should definitely have breathing masks at minimum when we go in. Normally, I'd go for EVA suits, but I don't know how restrictive they be in small areas."

Natsumi nodded. "I think we should have EVA suits on hand to be safe, because depending on the situation, we may need external egress."

"EVA suits," Josiah confirmed. "Phase pistols, distress beacons. Take every safety precaution to the absolute extreme this time."

"Agreed. We might need to deploy some seismographic sensors too, just in case there's something else going on. Although.." Natsumi had been tapping "They should have deployed their own. I know that the Assembly has been pushing to standardize safety protocols.."

Josiah sighed. "Should doesn't always mean that they did. Frankly, with as little information as we've found, I could almost guarantee you that we're not going to find very much that's by the book. In fact, I have a gut feeling that the reason why they're asking for help... is that the problem is worse than any of us could have thought so far."

"I'm very afraid of that, yeah." Natsumi answered gloomily. "It's why I'm considering if we should just assume that nothing was done properly, but it's a trade off in time it takes to get to anyone in distress."