“March Walker Twenty Seven this is Poseidon, cleared for investigation and extraction as deemed fit, over and out” A good sign, he thought, as the unlock code ran through his visor, he sent this to all the equipment and suits nearby and with it Waldo and his team began the excavation process, heavy machinery rapidly came to life and proceeded to break down any debris blocking their progress and processing anything the team had marked previously as unusable as is, which meant grinding and forging. After half a planet day they had found nothing of importance, they had recovered resources but Waldo was conscious that more could be obtained by mining raw ore than what they had pulled from this operation. “Shit, command is going to rip me a new one for this” He said through the local comm and his team cheered him and asked him to remain positive, they had just begun an operation that was deemed for at least one Earth year. “Poseidon this is March Walker Twenty Seven, we have--”.
“Hey Waldo, wait, I’ve got something here!” The team of eight rapidly gathered around the private in yellow power armor and red visor, they examined it rapidly and at first it seemed a sort of metal tomb in the shame of a humanoid figure.
“March Walker Twenty Seven this is Poseidon, repeat”
“Poseidon this is March Walker Twenty Seven, hold on” Waldo moved in closer and examined the object, it was not a tomb per-say but he had seen or read something about this, in Earth exploration times the members of a crew would be sometimes jettisoned into space to avoid cannibalism when resources were running short, in other instances they would bury them in their armor if the conditions outside did not allow it or if they were bound to pick them up after an operation and it was unfeasible to carry the extra weight, for said purpose the emergency beacon would be turned on and deliver a signal asking to bring the deceased somewhere, this one in particular was not sending any sort of signal which gave several possible scenarios, it was either damaged beyond repair or the battery inside had run out. Whichever was the final case it meant good salvage which in turn meant good credit on the Company, putting more thought on it Waldo figured more of these should be somewhere on the planet and with luck they would be at reachable distance.
“Poseidon this is March Walker Twenty Seven, we have good loot on our hands, send in collector for inventory cleansing”
“March Walker Twenty Seven this is Poseidon, collector heading your way, signal will be sent when arrival is at the thirty second mark, keep everything in a designated area and mark it for pickup, over”
“Poseidon this is March Walker Twenty Seven, loud and clear” Waldo looked at the armor then back at his team and the equipment still running around. “Alright team listen up, get everything ready for collection; Chunky, mark the spot for pickup”
“On it” Chunky had a yellow power armor with black stripes crossing horizontally through his torso, he took out a small metallic tube, pressed one of the sides and created a large square in the ground, as soon as he finished he pressed one of the ends again and the machinery stopped working then walked to the newly created square to drop whatever they had gathered.
“So, what is it?” Asked Meinz, his power armor blue with a white helmet and black visor, as he kept examining the recovered tomb-armor with curiosity but without touching anything on it.
“It could be a tomb as Chunky mentioned or it could be lost equipment, casualties of war. It looks old, older than anything we usually run through the Company”
“I think I know what it is” The old-timer, Greg, had been around the Company longer than most of the field operatives or officers, while he had been liberated from any heavy work at the Company or any work at all if he wished but he decided to go into the field to avoid feeling useless.
“Give me some ideas Greg, is it from back in your day?” Everyone laughed, Greg chuckled for a while and approached the tomb-armor, he removed dust from the top and the sides, noticed there was no equipment and an empty utility belt, small marks on the front and the left side but nothing severe. “So?”
“It's not a tomb, this is not even Human, probably a machine of sorts” Replied Greg as he continued examining, moving it to the side and examining the back he found what looked like a service panel, removing it without the necessary tool would probably damage something in the process so he left it and placed it the way it was. “Definitely a machine, probably a service unit”
“What's it doing this far out into the Rim?” Asked Chunky as he formed up with the rest. “Weren't those only designated for the inner worlds?”
“Well you are in a way right about it, this should not be here but it is here and it is not working, I see no damage on any side aside from some dents which makes me suspicious about it”
“You think it still works?” Asked Waldo as he reached for his side-arm, a large laser pistol he could only wield with his power armor.
“I doubt it” Replied Greg with a serene voice as he examined the head of the tomb-armor. “We could probably salvage some parts and if we are lucky enough the memory core, transferring the information is a whole 'nother story”
“Anything else you know about this, Greg?” Asked Chunky looking intrigued at Greg who in turn would not stop examining the tomb-armor.
“There is a possibility though that this robot is an old remnant of an ARC expedition, it would be far-fetched though”
“No, that would make perfect sense now that you mention it” Said Waldo who rapidly started looking for information on his visor. “The old ARC's were not designed with the same layout”
“Could be a miner expedition sent by Earth, we do know for a fact that they sent many ARC ships out into space but for one to reach this far is crazy” Replied Greg as he stood up and wondered, he looked around him and the machinery still dropping their salvage and it struck him right there “That makes sense now, the debris around the planet could be remnants of the ARC, reaching this far into space probably sent it into emergency mode and it crashed into the surface. What a tragedy”
“That's horrible” Added Meinz “Do you think that's what happened?”
“Who knows, so far it seems reasonable to assume that” Answered Greg while looking towards space. “We did not find any ships floating or sending distress signals, no lifeboats, escape pods, tubes or boxes to hint us in the right way”
“We'll let the Company figure it out”