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Catastrophe on Ruhnuk

"Final Report on Ruhnuk Mining Disaster


Although output on the initial lodes of calcite and derillium were well above expectations, the next year's output was reduced to well below expectations for three reasons. First, the largest and easiest to exploit source was mostly consumed in that first year. Second, based on the richness of the earlier lodes, Project Overseer Fent Jucalla redirected mining output toward scaling up infrastructure construction on the planet's surface. This proved to be the kindling for the third factor: the arrival of an unusual nebula around the planet.

The dust storms that erupted as a result of the nebula's arrival slowed production a great deal. As the planet moved deeper into the nebula, energy disturbances interrupted communications. This made it difficult to coordinate operations.

Worse still, the interruption of communications caused the construction droids to lose connection to the master control systems. Survivors report that drilling droids continued through adjoining tunnels, heedless of what--or who--may be present in those tunnels. Others describe construction droids sealing workers in the ferrocrete tunnel lining.

Without functioning communications equipment, the evacuation of Ruhnuk was haphazard, and word did not reach headquarters until the evacuation ships cleared the nebula. Despite the abandonment of equipment and tremendous loss of investment, Overseer Jucalla testifies that priority in the evacuation was given to the surviving workers. Had it been otherwise, he claims, the ships would have been overburdened as they escaped the strange nebula that now completely surrounds Ruhnuk."

--From a datafile used in a Gatressa Mining Conglomerate board meeting