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Sabeen finds herself in debt to Marcus.
Within a few moments he devised a plan to detach and drag away the mostly-empty fiber hopper that was attached to the drone, slightly reducing resistance that the unit's crawler drive would have to overcome to back off of the obstruction. Once the hopper was disconnected and dragged a few meters away, Ravi took position at the front of the drone and issued a verbal command; "Unit I147 engage drive, maximum reverse, ten seconds". The drones' crawler tread immediately engaged in reverse, kicking up dust and debris and creating a heavy vibration that Ravi felt through his gloves as he reached under the heat shield and took a firm grip on an the aluminum frame.
Ravi pushed hard, his booted feet chopping at the ground to gain purchase, trying to generate leverage to get the drone moving. He breathed deeply, grunting and straining with every muscle and kept pushing and churning. When the drones' drive shut off after the prescribed ten seconds, Ravi rested briefly, breath puffing inside his helmet, then commanded the drone to reverse for twenty seconds more. This time he felt the drone slide back off the obstruction a little bit; after a brief rest and another twenty-second push the unit burst free and Ravi lifted his feet to keep from hitting the object as the drone rapidly rolled backwards until the drive shut down.
Chest heaving, Ravi shuffled back and bent to look at what the drone had gotten hung on. It was a dull black triangular protrusion, smooth on both sides and rising to a point. The point was what had sliced into the drones' feed scoop and brought it to a halt. Ravi cautiously ran a gloved finger along one edge of the triangle; it looked pretty sharp. After a moment, he began sweeping regolith away from the object, digging a small bowl out of the asteroid material around it. This exposed more of the object, but it was just the same dull black triangle, widening at what looked like a perfect sixty degrees and disappearing down into the surface of Chilae.
Determined to see more, Ravi kept digging around the object, finally coming to a halt after about ten minutes of steady scraping and pushing away regolith. He had exposed probably half a meter of the black triangle and there was no sign of it stopping or changing in any way. He paused for a moment, debating whether to call Sanira back at the 'hab module, then decided against it. If he knew Sani, she was probably almost done with her workout and headed for her sleep bag. Instead, he queued one of the survey drones to come and take a closer look at the site with low-frequency radar and a seismic sensor. He had seen some really strange things on the asteroid before that turned out to be nothing that unusual once more data was gathered; and he had that second drone to free and a long list of other tasks to complete.
On Tarak Station
Kava Shakuntala leaned back in his chair, watching intently as the latest reports scrolled quickly across the holographic screen floating above the broad expanse of his desk. Much of the information was relatively mundane, including tallies of the resources sent by the projects' mass impellers down-system to orbits close to that of Duniya, the home world, then collected and routed to feed the needs of the Sahakari Collective.
A couple personal messages were also in the stream, including friendly notes from a couple colleagues and a brief video message from his wife.