Dear Father Flanagan,
You asked me to write to let you know how things are going with my new assignment. I’m taking time before a battle to drop you a line, and this will arrive after I’m dead or triumphant.
Our ship was damaged from our recent work, and we needed to up our armaments, so we ventured to a system with a mining colony/recreation center. This is a family run facility about 40 years old. My companions enjoyed the skiing hill, and the fine entertainment venues while I was still aboard the ship giving the doctor his final checkup. He seems a bit misanthropic for his line of work, but we worked out some major issues. He may even take my suggestion of gorging before and after surgery so he doesn’t need to snack during operations.
Three events happened – one of the two brothers who owned the facility died in what could have been a mining accident with nuclear strip mining charges, his daughter (and heir) disappeared with her bodyguards, and the remaining brother offered a million dollar reward for her safe return. My group liked the reward money – it would be enough for repairs and then some – and they took the job. This brother has been the one running the mine while his brother and family remained off world. His security had looked everywhere in the domed city including the entertainment areas with no success. He asked us to go undercover in the mines to see what we could find there, and hopefully rescue his niece. He suggested his estranged mother might be behind all this.
I joined in with the group at a vehicle maintenance bay down under. The conditions are primitive. the people unhappy that their pay is not what they were promised when they signed their contract, and at least some of them were planning a revolution. 3,000 people and their church is just a place to worship, without a full time priest. We need to get someone in here.
Our investigations led us to a revolutionary leader, who led us to the off-the map, well guarded holdout. Our security officer hacked their security, and we got to the door. And behind the door we find the niece and her bodyguards, with a lot more firepower than we go through. Then came the two twists – our security officer negotiated a cease fire before anyone got hurt, and the niece was the power behind the revolution.
She spun a tale about her evil uncle who she suspects murdered her father, and has kept profits high by short changing the miners who are under a minimum 5 year contract. While well fed to keep them productive, the below-contract wages have made them virtual slaves.
The security officer and I volunteered our services. Another member of our group wanted to negotiate for a huge reward, and insulted the niece repeatedly, trying to badger her into a reward she knew she couldn’t agree to. It was a very ugly situation, but resolved peacefully. This member of our group was more excited about returning to the ski slopes than helping the downtrodden workers. Oh, my vows were tested.
So, I sign off and bless you for putting me where I am today. If I die, know that your efforts did save 1600 people from that lost liner.