I started the day not really expecting much. The past couple weeks have just been one day after another of drudgery with little to show for it. I’ve been scanning the surrounding countryside, expanding out from Liberty and focusing on any area that seems like it might have useful minerals. Of course it’s work that someone needs to do, and I’m the girl to do it, but that doesn’t make it any less tedious. I’ve always loved field geology, but all this pouring over satellite and aerial imagery is so…blah. Or at least it is when you don’t find anything. And all this time John’s been playing a pivotal role in turning Liberty from a camp into a town and Summer’s been out there learning new things and helping get electricity to the people what need it. And unless I’ve totally lost my touch as a big sister, they’ve both got something of a flame on the side too. To top it off, I’ve been having “those dreams” again, as John put it the other day after I had a particularly restless night’s sleep. All of which just made today the sweeter.
As usual, I had been getting a little help from Mark (Tilley – he used to work with computers, although mostly here he’s been learning to farm) downloading the info from the Rock and all. An hour or so after noon I was going over the data from the mountain range to our north when I noticed something odd. The densities over a several dozen square mile area were practically off the charts, with the center registering high enough that (at least according to all the geology I’d ever heard of) it virtually had to be a nearly pure deposit of one of a select few heavy metals. As far as I know no deposit even remotely this large or this pure of any of those metals has ever been discovered. After double and triple checking the data I finally convinced myself I wasn’t making a mistake. Well, there’s a first time for everything!
I punched my wrist comp. “Andy, this is Elana Pierce. Private and secure, if you don’t mind. Do you have a minute?”
“Ms. Pierce, of course,” came the reply. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”
“I found some interesting up in the mountains that I think Strike Force Alchibah might be interested in at some point.”
“I’ll be right over.”
Ten minutes later…
I was just wrapping up my little presentation to the Col.
“So it’s virtually got to be tungsten, platinum, gold, uranium or one of only a couple other metals. It doesn’t look like it’s gonna take too much processing, so I thought it might make for some good high density ammunition. I only requested private and secure because, well, despite it being virtually worthless as a commodity I’m sure at least a few people would get pretty excited if they knew there might be about a zillion tons of precious metals just laying there for the taking.”
“Good thinking. The Council’s got to know of course, but the last thing we need is people grabbing picks and shovels and heading for the hills when there’s real work to be done.”
“My thoughts exactly Colonel.”
“Well,” Stuart said, “as we are going to be business partners; might as well make it Andy.
“Strike Force will prove up the claim for you for a portion of any Tungsten found as well as first dibs on that Tungsten. Then Andrews Tool and Die will offer a very competitive bid for the rest.”
“Why?” asked Elana.
“Without Tungsten it’s awfully hard to make Tungsten-Carbide Steel. That is essential for Tool and Die manufacture as well as Vacuum proof Weapons barrels.”
“Well then, assuming that’s what out there, you’re in business,’ was my reply.