Glotmorf on 20 Sep 2002 03:43:04 -0000

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[Spoon-business] Proposal: Nowhere to Go but Down

[[ Finally finished...]]

{{ _Nowhere to Go but Down_


"...And while the Saudis accepted the validity of our process after the demo, they'd still like some sort of guarantee.  They see it as a significant capital investment, and don't want to be caught holding the bag if it turns out we really can't spot the deep pools."

"They didn't go for the wildcat agreement?"

"Their position is that they've already got oil, and will for the foreseeable future; this is just a backup in case they're wrong about their current supply.  They don't need us as much as we need them."

I sighed.  International deals were a pain in the ass. "Tell them we'll have to discuss it with our backers."

"What backers?"

"Well, we'll have to get some, won't we?  Anything else?"

"Yeah..." Frank laid a newspaper on my desk. "Thought you should see this."

I saw it.  My jaw hurt from the clenching by the time I was through. "That bastard.  Has R&D finished their analysis of that speeder?"

"Yeah.  Definitely our localized dimshift model.  You think von Skippy stole our designs?"

"He'd deny it.  And it's possible he didn't...he might have bought it on the open market from whoever hit the lab.  But now he's selling the damn things..."

"...And Wonko's selling upgrades to them.  He didn't happen to mention that when he was in your office, did he?"

"He was in a hurry," I muttered. "Well, at least this'll help the balance sheet..."

Frank goggled at me. "Destruction of the lab, theft of our designs, competitors profiting off them...That makes us money?"

"Not exactly.  But the lab was something of a white elephant after the Old Man pulled out, and we'd've been in a rights dispute if we'd used the design.  Now we've got a big tax loss to write off, including profits lost from industrial espionage...the insurance company paid off on the lab...and thanks to these two clowns, what might have belonged to the Old Man in part is now in the public domain.  They ripped us off, now we can rip them off, and keep the profits."  I smiled faintly. "I mean, if the baron had just come to me and proposed it all..."

Frank cleared his throat, watching me carefully. "But he didn't.  Right?"

"No, he didn't." I looked up and met Frank's eyes. "And that's the truth."

Frank squirmed, but didn't argue.  I continued, "We should be able to produce most of these upgrades ourselves.  All we really need are the raw materials.  How did it say Wonko was doing it?"

"Looks like a salvage and recycling operation.  He's got a bunch of kids picking up junk out on the grid; he melts it all down and casts new parts."

"Hm.  And the baron'll probably do something similar through bio-engineering."

"I guess we could buy materials...?"

I smiled. "Nah.  We'll get our materials the old-fashioned way."

"What's that?"


{{ _Mining the Grid_

Entities can conduct mining operations on the grid to produce resource materials.  Mining is performed by contract mining companies, which operate on a per-job basis at a square specified by an entity, and whom are paid in advance.  Resource units produced by the mining are transferred to the employing entity.

The square to be mined must be accessible from an Elbonian Airways square.  The distance from said square to the square to be mined is not a factor; it is only necessary that a valid movement path can be navigated between the two squares.

A. Types of Mining

Mining can be conducted in one of three ways:

A.1. Quarrying

Quarrying can be performed for a cost of BNS 50 on a Big Rock.  If the Big Rock is unoccupied by a siren, it is automatically successful.  If the Big Rock has a siren, quarrying is successful on a roll of 3 on a 1d3; any other result means the contractors spend all their time checking out the babe.

If quarrying is successful, the Big Rock disappears, and the type of square formerly occupied by the Big Rock becomes gravel.

A.2. Strip Mining

Strip Mining can be conducted for a cost of BNS 75 on a surface square that is not of type mud, does not contain a brook, and is not occupied by players or impassible stationary objects.

Once strip mining has been performed, the surface square and anything on it is destroyed, except for gremlins which go into hiding.  The new surface square for the surface unit is the square one elevation unit below the former surface square.  The former type of the new surface square determines the material mined, and the new surface square type.

If strip mining reveals a square of type water, the new surface square is of type earth with a brook.  No resource units are recovered.

If strip mining reveals a square of type rock, the new surface square is of type gravel.

If strip mining reveals a square of type metal, the new surface square is of type earth.

If strip mining reveals a square of type gas, the gas explodes, leaving a square of type gravel.  No resource units are recovered.

A.3. Tunneling

Tunneling can be performed for a cost of BNS 100 on a square that is adjacent, horizontally, vertically, up or down, to a surface square or a previously tunneled square.  Tunneling can only be performed on non-surface squares of type earth, rock, or metal.

Once a square has been tunneled, it can be moved to from an adjacent surface square or tunneled square.

If a tunneled square is directly under a surface square of type mud, the mud collapses into the tunneled square, destroying the former mud square and causing the tunneled square to be a non-tunneled surface square of type mud.  Players in the mud square are thrown into Limbo; impassible stationary objects descend with the mud; gremlins go into hiding; all other objects in the mud square are destroyed.

If a tunneled square is directly under a brook or a square of type water, the water drains into the tunneled square, leaving behind a square of type earth.  The tunneled square ceases to be tunneled, and becomes type water.  If the drained square contained a brook, anything in that square remains there.

If a Big Rock falls on a surface square, and the square under that surface square has been tunneled, the surface square becomes of type gravel, and the tunneled square ceases to be tunneled and becomes of type rock.

If a water square is tunneled into, it floods into the square being tunneled from, leaving behind a square of type earth.  If the square being tunneled from is a surface square, it gets a brook; otherwise it becomes a non-tunneled square of type water.

If a gas square is tunneled into, it explodes and becomes a non-tunneled square of type earth.

B. Square Types

The type of the mined square determines the resource units returned from mining operations.

B.1. Earth

Mining a square of type earth yields 10 resource units.

B.2. Rock

Mining a square of type rock (which includes quarrying a Big Rock) yields 35 resource units.

B.3. Fire

Mining a square of type fire yields 15 resource units.

B.4. Metal

Mining a square of type metal yields 50 resource units.

C. Prospecting

If a square's type is unknown, and it can be reached from an adjacent square, its type can be determined by prospecting.  Prospecting costs BNS 15 per square.  When a square is prospected (or if it is mined without prospecting), 1d20 is rolled, with the following results:

1-6: earth
7-14: rock
15-17: metal
18-19: water
20: gas



Frank looked over my notes. "You know a lot about mining, do you?"

"Me?  I hate getting my hands dirty.  That's what contractors are for."

"Won't that need some backing?"

"I'd think so, yeah.  Call the Saudis.  If they don't want to wildcat on their oil, maybe they'd want to on our grid."

"What happens if we strike oil?"

I smiled. "Gee...they said they weren't interested in oil..."



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