This is the seventeenth section of the second chapter of Sonnets from a Proton. The novel starts here.
The next section is here.
"Actually before we talk about James I hear the mines are having issues.”
“Not really, having to rebuild a few ‘bots, but nothing major”
“There’s a rumour there was a cave in.”
“Fancy explaining to me how you get a cave-in on an asteroid?”
Alice had a momentary blank look “Sorry that should have been obvious”
“Someone’s been playing chinese whispers clearly. No there was seam of quite powdery material that got in and gummed up the works of quite a few ‘bots so we’re having to scrap and rebuild them, otherwise it’s all good.”
“That isn’t a problem?” asked Alice.
“Not really, on those ‘roids there’s nobody to service them so it’s just easier to scrap and rebuild the ‘bots. I’ll say this about your AIs, you may not have got the hang of diagnostics, but you’ve got the mass manufacturing off to a fine art.”
“It’s just we really need that ore”
“Don’t blame me, James is the one who wanted to spread our bets, if we’d have just stuck with one plan we’d not have to split our mining efforts like this.”
“You don’t have to tell me, the breeder program is my baby remember”
“Yeah at least we’re ahead on our exports”
“All down to luck though, if we ever strike a ‘roid that rich in uranium again we can give up the freedom fighter business and hire some properly trained mercenaries.”