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by David Boultbee
Category: Science Fiction
Description: John Marks relationship with Naziah Rogers is unconventional. It starts with a slap across the face and it only gets hotter from there! This not-so-chance meeting leads to conspiracies, sabotage, and a search for a rare mineral in the seething atmosphere of Venus, culminating in a desperate battle in space.
eBook Publisher: Champagne Books, 2010
eBookwise Release Date: September 2010
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [86 KB]
Reading time: 54-75 min.
"That hardly seems like an equitable return." She looked at me skeptically and I nodded.
"It's not. It was your talk of Venus that really convinced me. I think the tellurium is just the tip of the iceberg. Venus has often been referred to as Earth's twin. It is very similar in size and mass to Earth but its close proximity to the Sun and other differences make it special. Take tellurium for example. It is one of the nine rarest minerals on Earth but on Venus there is so much of it that it condenses and falls as 'snow' on the mountain tops. What other opportunities exist that we don't know anything about? I also think that we're going to start seeing diminishing returns from the asteroid mining operations. The new drive will allow us to explore further but that's just a stop gap. It wouldn't surprise me if we had a thriving mining colony on Venus in the next fifteen to twenty years."
"Wow, you think big," she replied as she looked at me in amazement. "I guess I was wondering how much influence I had in the decision. It just seems like everything has moved so fast. We only met on Friday and now you're telling me that you think I'm the person you're meant to be with. It hardly seems real."
"It has moved fast," I acknowledged. "But as I said I didn't build LaGrange Enterprises by moving slowly. Even today LaGrange is noted for its nimbleness and ability to respond to the market quicker than its competitors. We make decisions quickly but not rashly and once they're made we execute on them just as quickly. We'll sometimes miss an opportunity by making the wrong decision but that's fairly rare."
I paused and looked at her. "The same goes for my personal life. I'm still on the north side of sixty but only just. With advances in medical technology that's not old anymore but it still represents a lot of living. In all that time I've never met anyone who makes me feel like you do. This isn't infatuation or anything transient. This is real. I know that we're moving fast and we can slow down if you want but I'm not going anywhere."
She didn't say anything, she just reached out for me and I pulled her close and held her tight. I knew that it was a lot for her to take in but I meant what I said--I wasn't going anywhere.
We didn't speak much more during the remainder of the ride, content to just be with each other. I was actually starting to feel pretty optimistic when we got to the penthouse. I took one step inside and all that changed. I didn't know what had happened but the grim look on Karen's face said it all.
"What happened?" I asked.
"There was an explosion at the Whitesands spaceport. The Ted Rogers was completely destroyed, along with a half dozen other ships."