The Collector – 1

The Collector was a mining ship with a length of twenty kilometers long. It very much resembled a medieval sword with the crossguard shaped into arms that vacuumed the resources all around it – minerals, space debris, and other things floating in the darkness of space. An almost fully automated ship, it only needs a single person to pilot it. Its pilot, Roden, was a forty something man with thinning brown hair and a sharp pointed face. He sat in the control center with at least ten monitors surrounding him supervising each and every operations that were being done inside and outside the ship – from the collection of resources by the arms, to the segregation of said resources, to the transferring to storage (which covered half of the ship’s length). It was a lonely job but Roden had pretty much gotten used to it – usually spending no less than two Earth years per collection trip.

Roden swiped his hand over the left armrest of his chair and a holographic video of the ship appeared in front of him. It showed the collection process as it was being done. He had fully collected all that was worthy to collect in the sector around him. That signified it was time to go back to Earth to sell. Roden watched as the arms slowly retract back into the ship, their task done. Roden then punched in a series of codes in his right armrest and the video before him changed into the segregation section of the ship. He watched fifty bots move around all the space debris and picking things worth selling. Roden let out a yawn. His eyes drifted towards Monitor 4 where the screen showed the planet below him, H’rangan. The planet was small, a Class E in size. Its atmosphere was made up of poisonous gases which made it completely uninhabitable. It looked beautiful though – a swirling of colors ranging from pink to blue. He was about to zoom in on the planet’s surface when something caught his attention. One of the segregator bots’ head was flashing green. Roden looked closer. It had stopped moving in front of what seemed to be a metallic capsule. Segregator bots were programmed to identify a range of objects. Its head would flash red when it encountered something that could be harmful to a human’s health. Blue meant that the item was of value. A black light meant the item was of no worth. Green…green was rare. Roden had never encountered green before and he’d been a Collector for ten years. Green meant the bot had come upon something…alive. Whatever it was inside that capsule, it was alive.

Roden jumped from his chair and quickly headed towards the elevator.