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MRC Story
Megaton Recycling Crawler 24LB

Frank wasn't much in adventure for all his life. He never had the wish to join the company's security forces. And North American Power had quite much Sec-Forces, controlling a vast number of the biggest fusion power plants worldwide and offworld as well. Instead he graduaded some technical licences and was assigned for 'NAP Maintenace & Support'. One routine job after the other. Much travelling sometimes but a quiet work without too much risk. Last week Frank was honoured for 10 years of 'Job well done!' and got a gratification in form of a living quarter upgrade of 5 squaremeters 'higher luxury standard' from the company. But Frank wasn't really happy about that, because in addition he was transfered to 'NAP Mobile Repair & Services'.

He heard some rumors in the sys-net about two crawlers, highjacked by rebel outlaws. The crawlers were quickly 'cleansed' by TNO-forces and given back to their owners. Now they need some new crew. The Team-leader told him, Frank's new working site will be 'Crawler-24LB', one of those he heard of.

Now, only one day later, he stands on this rainy shuttle platform of crawler 24LB. It's dark night and only some position lights at the edge of the platform are blinking. The Shuttle that brought him takes off. The Technician waiting for him on the platform looks at him with a weary grin and tells him that LB in Crawler-24LB stands for 'lousy bug'. What a 'warm' welcome. Frank smiles back with a frown, and follows the man down an oily ladder to the cockpit section. The man talks on and on '...the Captn's sleeping 't the moment, y' know, but an hour ago or something the reactor had a power drain of 5% again. Y' should look after that soon as possible, y' know. Some rebels damaged that damn cooling sys' electric, y' know. but I show y' the sleeping quarter first...

Every now and then crawlers are target of raids or sabotage. So the military defense is an important topic for every company running one or more crawlers.But the selfdefense isn't installed directly on the MRC. There is a mobile robot drone on the MRC which is communication with the GDS (Global Defense System). This new feature from the NAP-SEC (North American Power Security) is communicating globally with all the 37 MRC's now in use. So help is always on the way. Military intelligence is still working together with various surface operating units and satelite systems in low earth orbit.

One of the most memorable reminders of the vulnerability of the MRC was the LS16-incident back in november 2219, where a number of big
outlaw gangs worked together to bring up the crawler by hacking into the system and stealing information about the drive plan of LS16. Some weeks later the crawler sunk into a huge under surface hole, the outlaws dug out along the recycling route. The complete front of the crawler was under the earth, where it was raided by pirates underground!!! They escaped via historic underground pipelines. LS16 was irreparably destroyed and had to be deconstructed and recycled by another crawler (TS12) one month later.

Frank followed the man through the sleeping quarters, the recreation room and finally to the control room. Still dizzy from the journey to this far-away place, he wasn't really paying attention to explanations of his predecessor. Why should he? Everything on those new machines are practically selfcontrolled, he'd be a fool if he wanted to drive this thing! Most of the maintenance is still in the garbage disposal unit on the back, which is constantly leaking fosfates. After all those years no scientist has ever found the solution of breaking them into a usefull recycling process. The nano-bots are still working day and night to clean the inner surface, to reduce the thickining of the radion-ring in the center, the most precious part of the MRC (Frank often called it the real lord of the rings).

After the man has left with the shuttle, Frank immediately turned to bed. He didn't sleep very well, the ambient light of the sleeping quarters was making him restless instead of sleepy. A headache slowly came up. Time to use the medication which was prescribed years ago, after his first attaque of migraine. He grabbed his pen, a light blue metallic tube, and carefully puts the front of it in his nose. With releasing the pressure of the pen he inserted a legion of nano-bots in his brain. They searched immediatly for the residues of serotonine, a product of the brain which was causing the headache. The bots quickly found the troubled substance and converted into the harmless adrenaline. Only the side effect always was, that he couldn't sleep for at least a day...........
Bemalte Minis 2013: 39 • 2014: 23 • 2015: 58 • 2016: 44 • 2017: 104 • 2018: 5 • 2019: 122 • 2020: 140 • 2021: 52 • 2022: 231 • 2023: 49...

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