The lights in Lab 4 lit to full bright. The computer consoles sprang to life. The hiss of the cleansing air flow rang around the empty room. The lab was a cubic compartment in the zero G section in the middle of the space station. Unlike most of the labs on the station, this one had a forward observation window that was the wall opposite the door. The center of the lab is a large open area used by the holographic display. Computers and test equipment line the other walls and two of the walls had sleeping bunks, opposite each other, next to the wall with the door. The lab is large for the station at 9 meters across, making it a premium space reserved for the highest priority jobs.
Tim and Sam opened the door and drifted into the lab.
“Get the holographic display fired up, I’ll get the door and look up the classified scan information. We need to be fully up and running when our new operations officer gets here.” Tim declared.
“Agreed. If somebody is sending an outside officer to run this operation we have got some serious problems and we need to make it at least look like we know what we are doing.” Sam concurred.
The holographic display lit up. The asteroid appeared in the middle of the room with all of the mineral markers and the mining rights boundaries as well. The pair worked frantically at their consoles looking at measurements of all sorts, and closely monitoring the station position relative to the asteroid. The asteroid itself could just barely be seen out the observation window, along with a cloud of other asteroids around it.
Beginning of the story