37.5% Spaceship And Dragon / Chapter 6: Hidden enemy (Part 1)

Chapter 6: Hidden enemy (Part 1)

It wasn't that Jack did not notice Naomi sneaking out from the room. He didn't mind. To be honest, he would probably forgive the adorable girl for any mistake if it meant that the girl would stay with the Motive after graduation.

He had always had a soft spot for cute Asian girls.

6 years ago, he received a rather particular file from the Sados academy. A petite girl, born in the Milky Way, graduated high school at the age of 16 thanks to remarkable achievements, went to Andromeda galaxy to become a freighter pilot.

Again, with her impressive performance in the academy, she was selected to be one of the few to receive internship aboard a new generation mining vessel. That wasn't anything strange. What caught his eyes was the list of augmentations installed all over the girl's body.

It was long. Way too long. She was like a cyborg!

Well, it wasn't a problem for him, and he was pretty sure it was not a problem for anybody else aboard his ship. The Corporation surely wouldn't assign someone like this to a ship with augphobic crewmembers. In fact, the Corporation didn't like augphobic people, since most of them would refuse to have a neural assistant installed.

"Guess the Corporation is augphobic-phobic?" Jack smirked.

The introduction of neural assistant Alexa, designed by and named after the Corporation, saw a 90% reduction in pilot and mechanic errors. Having a miniature dark matter energy computer constantly monitoring everything you do does seem creepy, however, Jack didn't pay any attention to it.

It's a machine, it's not alive, and it has no connection module to the outside world to tell what you do to other people.

Except for Emma's Alexa though. Jack refuses to comment on that. That thing wasn't an Alexa anymore.

"Captain, you need to see this!"

Pilot Anton swiped on his screen. A hologram entered Jack's vision.

"What the hell? An estimated yield of 4 sextillion tons? That's like… a whole planet of condensed dark energy!"

Everyone on the bridge gulped.

This entire planet alone can provide the amount of condensed raw energy ore of trillions of galaxies combined.

This rock floating here had enough energy to power mankind and other races of the Federation to the next Big Bang, and possibly to the one after that.

This next line he said was something he would probably regret forever.

"Let's not contact the Corp right now. We are going to take a look first. Ready to launch the probe!"

Everybody immediately understood what Captain Jack is implying. In a normal mining operation, where the ores are spread out across a galaxy, it was difficult to gain any personal benefit. A huge team of scouts, miners, freighters, monitors would work on the mining sites with every planet charted, the yield of every site accurately calculated to the picograms.

But now, if they just send a probe down and shoot a few ores into orbit for the ship to catch, everyone would be stupidly rich.

Another peculiar thing, was that this planet had lives. Encountering a planet with lives is very rare, one in the billions of billions of billions, but everybody's eyes were already in the shape of shining credits to pay attention to such tiny, insignificant detail.

"They look like a Type Zero civilization anyway, too much green on the planet. Surely they wouldn't mind us mining ores they don't know how to use." Jack laughed in his heart.

With this motherlode, he would be able to leave this menial, boring job and buy his own ship. He started working on mining ships 13 years ago due to his adventurous heart. However, he discovered that space mining was painfully boring. Instead of going to different cities of different races to have new experiences, he was stuck with going back and forth between the planet Habitat 7, which he was already tired of, and lifeless rocks.

There is only so long you can marvel at planets and galaxies until it stops leaving you an impression.

***

There was a state of utter confusion on the bridge.

After the computers stopped responding, pilot Anton connected his Alexa to the ship via the manual port on the back of his neck to assess the situation.

"I have hailed them 6 times, sir, they are not responding!" He shouted. Anton had no idea how to deal with an enemy attack. Even the manuals of the Corporation didn't have anything for such a scenario. Because it had never occurred for thousands of years.

"Do you know what type of ship they are?"

"Negative, sir, they are outside scanner range."

The captain placed his face onto his palms, seemingly hard in thoughts. The ship was being hit by a heat ray, the temperature of the hull was rising rapidly. Space battle in real life isn't like in the movies. There is no 'evading' a laser ray. Ships wouldn't be so close as to be able to see each other.

With the quantum computers unresponsive, starting the engine to escape was out of question. Alexa wouldn't be able to handle complicated equations for dimensional navigation. Starting the jet engine would be beyond stupid, as they were already having a problem with heat, and moving so slowly with a conventional engine wouldn't change a thing anyway.

At this rate, the insulation would fail in 20 minutes.

The crew would be cooked alive in less than 30 minutes.

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