17 05 2017

“We have new information.” Waite offered. He continued: “One area of the mine has been closed for some time, and had upgrades performed. Safety equipment was added, more lights and a few other specialties. There will be an ore specialist visiting tomorrow, apparently to make recommendations on how to improve the excavation of a possible new ore that has been found here. Apparently, the only person that they could find with the required skills is from Earth. She has been in the Bragliian system for a few days performing preliminary studies on the samples they have already obtained.”

Thorpe’s wife had talked with him enough about her work as a neuro-astronomer, so that when Waite mentioned that the specialist arriving to make recommendations on how to mine the ore was a woman, Thorpe instantly pictured the woman who had made the trip with him from Titan.

He was not surprised therefore, when, with the help of their sympathizer,  Waite, Shovel, and another of the captured, while maintaining a wary eye on Thorpe, allowed him to be a part of the mission to covertly watch the inspection from an abandoned control room, that the ore specialist did in fact turn out to be the woman that he had initially thought of as a bride or agent.

The surprise was that his ‘friend’ Cole, and his doppelganger were among the members of the inspection team. The inspection lasted about an hour, and as far as Thorpe could tell, was normal, other than the hiding of the enslaved workforce, and the illegality of the entire operation. Waite had mentioned that the tour was being recorded, but that they would only be provided with an audio format initially, because the room they were using to maintain their observation of the tour would not be available to them for two more days.

When they had returned to what Thorpe now knew was called the ‘undergrounds’, Waite was surprised to find that the audio file had already arrived. Among the things they learned by listening, was that the specialist was Dr. Lynne Ellensdraught, and that his double was named Eugene, a fact which caused Thorpe to cringe.

After listening to and listing the changes that Dr. Ellensdraught recommended in order to preserve the most of the mineral, Thorpe and Shovel, who also had worked in construction, discussed in what ways the changes would be able to benefit their situation. Most useful to their desired goal of a serious disruption was the introduction of sonic drills. The captured could tell that their captors were relieved that Dr. Ellensdraught’s suggestions did not include the traditional blasting caps. They were running a slave mine after all, and some improvements just could not be tolerated.

Because their captors were unaware of the captured’s level of extensive communication, and the skill set that the ‘disruptunion’ had amongst themselves, there was no way for them to prepare for what was bound to happen when the captured were given the sonic drills.