“So what’s the story?” Bethony Sommern asked.


“About Jupiter.”

“Oh.” Haskell shifted in his seat. “The Lán Tàiyáng is meeting with apparent success. The Fāxiàn Gǒu and the Tiěquán are warming up to make the crossing to Jupiter.”

“So we’ve got fuel for the next infinity years.” She grabbed an apple out of the refrigerator, logging the action on the adjacent clipboard. “How’s the volatiles?”

“The Belters are keeping to their end of the bargain. A few of them are working on ideas on how to strip-mine Europa and send some chunks of ice our way.”

“And how do they propose to do that?”

“Either blast some chunks off the surface or use the ol’ hammer and chisel, I’d assume,” Haskell finished, “or maybe drop a line down to the subsurface ocean and suck some up. Them big Chinese tankers can get some, and maybe some of the other ships too, like the Heavy Lifter or the Charles Atlas.”

“What are they saying now, fifty years?”

“Sixty.” Haskell grinned. “It’s a project of astronomical proportions.”

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