He woke up the next morning to great news. The food was definitely consumable. Which meant, of course, they could stay on the planet for a prolonged period, and not have to pick up supplies on the way home. He had Al set up the machine that would convert any food into dehydrated form, and got ready for his first day exploring.
He went out with the mining crew. None of them were from his previous trips, so he didn’t know them real well, but they came recommended. Faar went out with him, even though he was more than capable of defending himself. “Faar, I can fire a gun just as well as you.”
“Girgis. I am the security officer. You hired me for my ability to keep the crew and you safe. Let me do my ko job.” She answered in her usual calm, no nonsense fashion.
He grunted in return. They headed out going a ravine nearby, which had a ton of exposed ores. Jin had proposed it was due to recent earthquake had cracked open the ground. It was good news, because it meant it was unlikely to be any more earthquakes here for a while.
The crew members joked back in forth as they hauled all the equipment, and additional rigging. Girgis, instead, was looking at the forest. The trees were old, and very lush. He could see small, timid animals run away from all the noise they were making. He could smell the moss, and damp. It was wonderful. He spent most of his days aboard of ships, but he always missed the smell of real dirt, plants, and animals.
“Are you paying attention at all?” Faar’s voice broke into his thoughts.
Girgis shook his head. “I thought that was why you were here. I’m just soaking in the atmosphere.”
Faar laughed. “You are one weird spacer. And there’s the ravine.”
Girgis peered over the side, it wasn’t really tall, maybe two or three people lengths high. The crew had already attached a bunch of rigging, pulleys, and other assorted gear yesterday. They had not started mining, yet.
“You aren’t going to help are you, Captain?” The head of mine crew asked.
He could tell right away, the man was hoping the answer was a no.
“Nope. I wouldn’t let you fly my sweetheart, I won’t get in your way, Halkin. I’m just here to observe.”
Halkin nodded, working very hard to keep a smile off his face. “You wouldn’t be in the way, sir. You just shouldn’t risk yourself unnecessarily.”
“You hear that, Faar, I’m valuable.” He nudged the security officer with his elbow.
“That all depends on who you ask.” She responded with an impish grin.
Girgis sat next to the ravine watching them work. He noticed the alien lady from yesterday approaching them. She bowed.
“Settle down, Faar, she’s no threat.” Girgis said, sensing Faar’s tension already. He nodded toward the alien woman.
She came over and sat beside him. And the whole eight hours they were there, she watched them.
When, they got up to leave, she bowed to each of them, before disappearing into the forest.
Girgis was starting to get very curious, as to what she was up to.