The Comet Hunters

Anastasia Sokolov was jilted out of torpor to the sound of a terrifying silence. On a mining ship the absence of noise means that life support has ceased to function and a space death is soon to follow. Hanging from her sled she reaches up with a shivering hand and smacks the release which sends her thin body crashing to the floor with a sickening slap. Not sure where her ship has crashed the first order of business is to get into her suit, secure the crews emergency life support, check their torpor sleds and survey the damage. Outside on the black surface of this small planet it was clear that the ships fresh water shielding tanks and recycling plant had taken significant damage as had the main antenna array. The Diplogen’s inner hull protected by the crushed tanks appear to be intact, so once she gets the laser reactor going again this ship might just be able to fly. Judging from the way this iceballs ultra black tholin layer absorbs her scanners radio signals she deduces that this is no ordinary rock that the ships computer has run into. Her suspicions are confirmed when the coring drill that she sets up to run during her repairs begins to return a startling revelation, they have struck it rich, this ice is heavy, the whole ball is deuterium ice!But can they make it back to port with nothing but heavy water to drink?

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