Copyright© 2018 by UtIdArWa
After he cut the connection, Jimi Anderson sat back in his command chair and began chuckling to himself. “Oh, you sweet, wet, sumbitch”
Jimi reached over and increased the resolution on his scope. What he saw was a broad white scar on a dirty grey background. Recently something had hit, revealing what was under the rock and dust.
Jimi had found a dead comet. At some point in it’s ancient past, it’s stellar wandering had come to a halt. Either it had hit something, or been captured. Jimi didn’t care, it was his. He was looking at 10 to 15 gigatons of pure water.
Now the real problems started. First and foremost was how to get this monster home. Ordinarly you could grapnel onto a roid, set your anchors and using gentle thrust, get the rock heading the way you wanted.
With a giant snowball, the mechanics of the issue changed immensely. First off, anchors would pull loose, if it didn’t break the roid up. Not to mention that magnetic grapnels didn’t have anything to grab onto.
The easiest way was to bring a refinery in and work it in place. The problem with that plan was the rent you had to pay to the ship. Including the wages for the workers.
The worst part was the discovery clause. Normally the assay office taxed 1 percent of estimated return value. But if the real return value was greater than 10 percent of assay value, they taxed 25 percent, which went straight to the ship.
The only way around it, if you could demonstrate a 50 percent or better return. Minus operation costs. In that case the ship only charged 10 percent.
The best, optimistic, option for Jimi, was, 70 percent, minus refinery rent and wages,
IF he could tow the roid in to the collection zone. He avoided the refinery rent, And worker wages.