(http://assets.cgsociety.org/nvart/1204915768/1024bound)Dear Mom and Dad,
We are sending you this letter during the time of the Meet, because six months is too long a time for us you to wait for news. Weíre at the pinnacle of the Half-moon cycle so the Tumbleweed Town is assembled and the Galactic Swapmeet has finally begun. Grandpa would be so proud of us; weíre prospectors but the trick is, we prospect for fungi. Planetís codename is the same as the name of the special mushroom that we pick here-Pajal M79. The winds here blow at the nominal speed of 650-700mph but the picking doesnít begin until they calm down to a comfortable 200mph. You ought to see it to believe it! The entire planet is covered with Pajal mushrooms or Stools as we call them here. It is the dominant life form on the planet so we pick, process and then trade them. At any time, there are at least twelve Tumbleweed-class mobile platforms on the surface of the planet. Their main method of propulsion is the wind itself, although they can travel upwind by increasing the magnetism of the wire cages theyíre encased in and rolling along like giant childrenís marbles. If stopping or a radical change of movement is needed, the sails fold up immediately and anchors are shot out. Itís quite fantastic considering weíre floating! The outer hull of the rig is magnetized and, with the help of the aerodynamic shape, the surface friction is reduced to a minimum. I guess that for the engineers the orders of the day were: cheap, fast, simple, efficient and cheap!
For the expeditions outside the rigs we use harvesters (caterpillar driven, single pilot tractors used for stool picking) and runners (lightning-fast, three-seat scout vehicles propelled by wind, steered by airbrakes and motivated by stupidity).
The hurricanes are difficult to predict since the regular orbital satellite system has been deactivated due to the Accord between the Guilds and the Pirates Union. The ones who are getting hurt are us, because we donít know the best time to launch our support craft and subsequently we lose time and money.
Today, the rigs are all in one place so we open up our stores, clear out shuttle landing bays and start trading. In exchange for the Pajal we get food, medicines, spare parts and services of the negotiable affection type, if you know what I mean. Our rig is called Armadillo Station and you can see it in the foreground of the picture that Iíve attached to this letter. Iím using Pirate channels to deliver this mail, because itís full of sensitive info and I could lose my head for disclosing it. Still, I could not resist describing it to you although the words donít do justice to what I see through the viewport of my runner every day.
We miss the simple things like walks in the forests and momís cooking, but we hope to get enough money to afford passage offworld so we guess weíll see each other soon.
Rots of rove from your sons,
Mido and Keno ;)