Krokus Joe was a time miner. There were only a few time miners on Earth primarily because their average lifespan was so short. You see a time miner, once qualified, could earn huge sums of money but the dangers of time mining were significant. No one really knew why for sure, but often time miners would simply disappear and never be heard of again.
President Professor Ulnada EraDay, the World’s leading authority on time in the 23rd Century, has been quoted as saying that she believed that there was an organisation of beings ultimately controlling time and they periodically would act against any time miner who risked the universe’s delicate time-balance by mining too deeply.
Anyway, Krokus Joe was now in his forties which made him unique within the profession.
An Antipodean, Krokus put his success down to a micro-mining approach that he had invented, and kept carefully secret, plus a combination of “beer, fags and incinerated meat”.
In the late 22nd/early 23rd Century, interest in being able to make use of time had blossomed. Early experiments conducted by President Professor E. Poch in the mid-22nd Century had demonstrated the principle of ‘capturing’ time from the edges of black holes.
However, various issues led to Professor Poch’s experiments being suspended. First of all, too many of the spaceships used to extract the time wound up being dragged into the black hole or enveloped in lethal gases from black hole ‘burps’. Secondly, the small amounts of time that were captured by these early experimenters couldn’t be used in an even vaguely controlled manner.
It was only in the 2190s when the first time battery was developed that it became possible to store and the discharge, with some control, packets of time. However, packets of time are notoriously unstable and managing them is as much an ‘art’ as a science. Only a small handful of individuals study time mining as the dangers that confront a trained time miner at work are so great. Statistics show that only one in twenty time miners live into their thirties though in many cases, rather than definitively dying, they simply disappear.