0.1 Providence Station

The Sanctuary's e-drive whirred to a steady halt as it exited a drift almost directly into Providence's space.

The ship's external cameras zoomed in on the mining facility, which was anchored between two large asteroids and floated serenely among them. The facility itself had been built into a similar hunk of rock, so it looked astoundingly like its two neighbors. An elliptical transit ring (meant for incoming and outgoing vessels) clung to the outside the station, connected to the asteroid's interior via a network of monorail tunnels.

At this distance, Keith could pick up very little of the station's Feed network. It was transmitting data to the outside world, certainly, including the ever-repeating distress message. But there was almost no chatter, which felt eerie to the construct, foreign in a way he could scarcely describe.

Before he could ask, the Sanctuary pulled up its scans of the area. 

Keith looked them over, but they were also frustratingly inconclusive. The minerals out here were resistant to standard scanning equipment, and what remained was a fuzzy rendering of space with even more fuzziness that represented everything from asteroids to mining equipment to debris.

Unfamiliar logos dotted the external hull of the transit ring. A quick database search identified them as belonging to the Miners Consortium, but the ship had no other information about the group. Speaking of the transit ring, it stood empty -- no incoming or outgoing vessels anywhere in sight. Nothing moved out here, no shuttles scurrying to and from the facility, no tugs, not even an unfriendly "fuck off" message that some settlements considered good manners.

Gather Information - [Strong Hit: 6 + 2 + 0 = 8 vs 4 | 7]

"Well, this doesn't look at all ominous," the construct muttered to himself and reviewed the data again.

One of the ship's cameras panned toward a section of the transit ring where debris was barely visible, floating between the ring and the facility. It might've been the scattered remains of a minor skirmish, but something about them didn't look quite right. A skirmish left behind ship parts that could likely be put together again, not pieces the size of a door.

"It appears that a tug exploded here," the ship said, speaking up for the first time since Keith had hopped aboard several weeks prior. "From the inside. I would recommend extreme caution if you plan on entering the station. I have attempted to contact transit control and port authority, but no one is answering."

The construct went to grab his EVAC suit. "Figured as much."

"I've connected to the facility's Feed network," the ship added, sharing the connection with Keith. A small trickle of data flowed to the construct, but it was minuscule and incomprehensible. "It's too quiet. No chatter, not even system-to-system communications."

For a supposedly dumb pilot, The Sanctuary sure had opinions. Keith didn't necessarily mind, and he wasn't entirely surprised to discover that his ship was conversational. Sentient AI existed, after all, though odds of meeting one were about the same as the odds of meeting a construct free of its governor module -- minimal and usually deadly. They were two of a kind.

"Can you dock here?" he asked.

"Of course," the ship answered in a sarcastic tone of voice. "There's a communicator in the compartment by the airlock. I suggest you take it in case the Feed isn't stable."

Keith grabbed the small earpiece and attached it to his shirt collar before zipping up the EVAC suit. He double-checked weapons and supplies, verified the performance rating on his implants, and generally checked himself over. And then it was time to get moving.

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