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activity help: Asteroid Harvesting

Asteroids. What are they? Where do they come from? Why do we need them?

These questions boggled scientists of old Earth for many years until the Voyager Five probe, in 2078, managed to land on and analyse the content of an asteroid. It was found that in actuality, against common belief, asteroids contained various types of minerals, not just nickel or iron. This caused what is known as The Great Mineral Rush of 2079, as many people shot from Earth to harvest asteroids.

Using a primitive type of harvesting equipment on vehicles, they quested to try to get the minerals from the asteroids. Many were killed and even more were injured. By 2083, the Earth Alliance put a stop to it, declaring it unsafe. It became illegal in 2093 to harvest asteroids, and so the smuggling market began. This market was widespread and lasted for 14 years until Cartina Mirox was shot in a bar on Earth, ending the market rather unexpectedly.

After the war with the Caitsa, it became clear that something needed to be done for more resources or the human race would crash. Scientist Promat Gralian theorised that if you used harvesting equipment on a starship, you would be far enough away for the destabilization not to threaten you. His work took him into the bounds of illegal duty and in 2243, he was shot.

In 2403, a group of Cy-larkan applied to the SDF in order to resume Promat's work under a safe environment, with the modern technology providing a safeguard. At the same time, a group of Ryuchi applied for a similar thing. Both groups were granted permission, and then began the first roid race.

They worked well against each other, both coming up with startlingly great ideas. They tried and tested there technologies on government-supplied starships and were largely successful. It was not to last, however.

In 2410, a gun fight broke out when three Ryuchi were caught attempting to break into the Cy-larkan labs. The military was called in to break up the potentially dangerous fire fight after 15 Ryuchi were spotted heading to the labs. SDF Five Star General Kira Marla was the first high-ranking officer on scene, and is famous for being one of the only humans to tackle 2 Ryuchi at once. She made 5 arrests and was forced to stun 3 other Cy-larkan. The story goes that as she dropped the larkan, she said, "If you can't work together, you won't work at all."

Kira was given a badge of bravery for her acts, acts that potentially saved 4.5 thousand people who lived in nearby towns. Asteroid harvesting was then taken up by the trusted Stargate Productions, who then found that the problem with the two separate companies was that they were trying to best each other rather than make progress. In 2425, Stargate Productions released the first asteroid harvesting ship, known as the Frigate.

When The Great Disaster occurred in 2430, asteroids were thrown out of their orbits as gravity rippled throughout the known galaxies. Scientists theorised that asteroids had been vaporised in the explosions. This theory was proven wrong, however, when a dragon patrol ship exploring the outer sectors found a field of asteroids. The dragon Golfrats Golden Scale reported back to the military, and several ships were sent out to investigate.

They returned swiftly, confirming that yes, asteroids appeared to be forming into fields, the boundaries formed by the gravity upsets. Taking firm hold of this idea, Stargate Productions sent out a few tester Light Miners, the next step up to the Frigates, to harvest these asteroids. The experiment was a booming success. It was clear that now was the time for asteroid harvesting.

The market boomed and there was another roid race. As to be expected, it didn't completely go as planned. We were not the only ones who were harvesting asteroids. The Vacus had also found the fields, and they were brutal. After 3 cargo haulers of Vacus make were shot down by patrolling dragon ships, they made a furious counter, whiping all allied activity out of the fields local to their sectors.

A fear spread, and it was rumoured that the fields were unsafe. Military ships went out to investigate and were met with furious counters. It was handed to War Commander Voklab Grey Designation, who took 3 capital ships and an invasion ship out to a local field. As to be expected, they stormed the defenses there and kept going.

It took 4 days and we lost 1 capital ship, but we managed to push the Vacus out of the fields. It was still not safe and the Vacus, even today, still go into the fields, but after Stargate Productions released and approved the invention of combat drones, people viewed it as parcially safe.

In 2488, the SDF ordered that a Heavy Miner be made that had suitable shields on it. Stargate was only too happy to provide. The asteroid market had begun.

As the Vacus are currently in the middle of a retreat from near our space, you will not find them in local asteroid fields. Though, it's very uncertain about fields far from local alliance space. The vacus aren't the only danger, however. Pirates roam the asteroid fields and, depending on your good will to them or lack there of, will or won't attack you in order to drive you away, or destroy your ship.
You will need:
A Frigate, a Light Miner, a Heavy Miner, or a ship with asteroid harvesting upgrades.
A ship with the mineral types upgrade appropriate for the mineral you are harvesting. See shelp mineral table for more information on the minerals and the skill mineral Rank needed.
Combat drones.
A cargo drone with the appropriate mineral cargo expansions.
An ammo chamber and ammo (optional). Note: This option will only work if you can upgrade the ship with the ammo chamber upgrade. Not all ships accept this upgrade.

What to do:
1. Take your ship into uninhabited space. Remember that a sector's central point is 0 0 0. Each sector spans 500 units to the north, south, east, and west of this point, as well as 6000 units up or down. Flying beyond any of these points will bring you out of the local sectors into uninhabited space.
2. Scan for fields until you find one which contains asteroids.
3. Ensure your defensive systems are online, we do not want any nasty surprises!
4. Head into the field and scan the asteroids until you have found one which you can harvest. See ahelp asteroid processing for more info on how to enter a field.
5. Move to the asteroid and harvest it. Note: Do not land on the asteroid.
6. Go back to a planet or space station and transfer the goods. Use your normal starship navigation commands to do this.
*** Warning ***
You may encounter pirates if you are not careful! Avoid low security sectors unless you want to tangle with an unfriendly or two.

Commands:
scan field: Use this while looking for asteroid fields.
Field: enter or exit the field.
scan asteroid: Use this to find an asteroid once you have entered a field.
harvest asteroid: Harvest an asteroid.
stop: Stop harvesting your asteroid.
repair harv: Repair your harvesting equipment.
n-f: check for the nearest field.
damage: Check on your harvesting equipment.
deploy (from the combat drone bay): Launch a combat drone into space.
recall (from the combat drone bay): Recall your drones.
transfer: Transfer your minerals.

Required Upgrades:
1. asteroid harvesting gear.
2. Mineral types.
3. Mineral cargo expansion.
4. mineral amount per scoop upgrade, optional
5. upgrade that will try to save some of the minerals on your ship when it explodes, optional

Helpful tip: If you can't harvest an asteroid, ask yourself whether you have that mineral expansion both in your cargo bay, and the mineral upgrade on your ship. Remember that you will only be able to harvest each mineral you buy the ability to harvest with from the upgrade above.
Remember that you need both the expansion in your cargo bay, gotten from a cargo drone, as well as an upgrade called mineral types.
Rank: 120
Skills: minerals, asteroid harvesting
Race advantages: Cy-larkan and Ryuchi have a +3 in the mineral skill and a +1 in the asteroid harvesting skill. Humans have a +2 in the asteroid harvesting skill. Dragons have a +2 in the mineral skill.
Recommended help files: shelp rats, ahelp asteroid processing, shelp combat drones, shelp Finding and Moving to Objects, help sector security grades.
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