There’s nothing really special about the mine but Bryllium is a very special and precious element. In the late 21st Century the deep space probe VirginGalaxy returned to Earth from a planet called Luminem that orbits the star Copernicus (or Copper Knickers as my old astronomy avatar used to say) in the constellation of Cancer.
Some jolly clever chemists analysed the properties of Bryllium and found that if mixed with certain well know Earth elements and compounds, the product could very effectively replace ozone in the Earth’s atmosphere to protect us poor Earthlings from our Sun’s increasingly dangerous radiation. It was a jolly brilliant invention (which might be why it was called Bryllium I suppose, but I might be making that up…..)
ITI – or Intergalactic Tax Inspector. That’s me. Wow, and what a job. I would never have dreamed of a job like this when I graduated from my local Learning World at the age of 27 with 137 digital badges covering topics from languages, alien lifeforms, history, lasers in society, through to communication skills, martial arts and mathematics. I was fully expecting to drift from homework to homework earning variable sums of credit. How lucky I was to be recommended by one of my old tutors (who obviously realised how talented I was) for a government sponsored fast track civil servant programme.
Fully intending to become a virtual government official, proofreading and air publishing new local laws, I managed to get on the wrong hoverbus outside the New Trainee transit station and the next thing I knew someone was taking my maths capability to a new level and telling me that I was going to become an ITI.
So here I am, several years later earning a good salary, travelling the galaxy with my trusty (ha ha) companion Cat, checking out the tax affairs of individuals and major corporations across many globes. I had quickly gained a reputation for managing complex and quite dangerous missions with the help of Cat. Of course, it (Cat) would have many believe that much of my success was down to it. But I knew better. I had lost count of the number of times I had pulled its furry tail out of the fire.
We sometimes would undertake missions on good old Earth, in between our space travels, and here again all of my skills and staggering capabilities came forth to ensure I succeeded, helping to make Cat look vaguely useful in the process. Cat acknowledged my skills, only recently telling me that my capabilities would come at least fourth on anyone’s list!!
Supercilious little irrelevance…….wait till I catch him farting again!!
Oh yes, everyone asks what Cat is. Well, in short, he’s a massive pain in the butt to me and a right little know-it-all to boot (occasionally literally:-) ).
In reality Cat (note the capital C) is an artificial intelligence or what I like to call a robot. He has a Rubanon skin which makes him pretty indestructible (though a T. Rex nearly bit him in half once). Now that’s a story – and of course once again I saved his bacon. Not that he’s a pig of course.
Anyway, he is a robot and he is there to serve me and protect me in my duties as an Intergalactic Tax Inspector. Aside from the fact that he has the hardest outer coating known, and inside is full of chips (not the edible kind), he looks to all intents and purposes, due to clever body sculpting, like an ordinary domestic cat. I have to say he has many of the nastier characteristics of domestic cats!!
Well actually Rubanon, strictly speaking, isn’t on Earth as such. It’s a substance invented around 100 years ago, just after the start of the 22nd Century, by Professor Retnug Natiloportem (try saying that when you’ve had a half of Navah syrup).
She combined good old rubber with the element Memon (the hardest metal known to the human race) to invent Rubanon. This skin like material provides an incredibly hard yet flexible covering that can be used for a range of purposes, including as a very lifelike and hard wearing outer skin for robots.
Memon was discovered many years ago in our own Solar System, on Mars.
Actually its quite easy really. It’s pronounced PUZZ-AXE-A-MIX. I learned that from Cat just as I was saving his life (once again) on this far away and very dusty planet. Pzzsxamix was a Bryllium mining planet but it was also home to the evil Mr Snosrap who was not only avoiding paying his galactic taxes but was also smuggling radioactive substances. I soon put a stop to his dirty dealings.
And where was this planet? Well nowhere near Alpha Centauri, which was where mission control told us to go before turning left. Useless lot.