Ka’tek Space Mine, Drengia Asteroid Field 1, Drengia, Sector 1-2, 8 Feb 2227
Orthis was restless. He had been made a slave several months ago on Drengia. He had been on a public transport when a group of government slavers burst on and took everyone captive. The transportation is free with the understanding that that could happen while you are on it. He has been put into a slave pit, but had quickly been transferred to a training program hat involved intense mining in the caves on Drengi. Then he and several thousand others had been put on a space ship and sent off to who knows where. They were given gear and were told that they would be assigned to the new Ka’tek mining station and their job was to use sonic drillers to turn the asteroid into dust for transfer to the smelting facilities. Sound easy enough? It wasn’t.
For one thing the mining base had been built on the surface with safety features, but underground there had been little or no construction. If you dug in the wrong place you could hit a gas pocket which would immediately explode, or you could dig to deep and end up outside. And there’s no oxygen. They were all issued oxygen tanks, but they were far from airtight. There was a life expectancy of two weeks in those mines. He had now been there one and was thinking that the officials were lying about that and it was really about two days.
He was right now in a mining shaft with a guard in his super high tech oxygen mask telling then to work harder while their leaked out minutes of their life while they worked. Their shift ended in 18 days. He only had 15 days left in his tank. The O2 tanks were refilled at the end of every shift. If you ran out of air even a minute before the end of the shift you suffocated. He was contemplating bribing the guard to give him the extra eight minutes when there was a commotion down the hallway. There was a breach of the outer crust and everyone was being sucked out.
Orthis’s training kicked in and he grabbed a ledge and tried to hold on. But it wasn’t enough. Everyone in the hallway was sucked out into space. Orthis saw the rest of the asteroid field spread out around him. He had exactly 15 days to get to one of the bases or he would become a permanent resident.