“Nickel Stream” is a science fiction short story about industry, loyalty, and the time-honored value of minding one’s own business.
The tale follows events at a solar mining facility stationed within extraction distance of a Nickel-rich star’s photosphere. Gina is a line worker, following in her father’s footsteps, and she is moving up in the company. Just how far and how fast, and by what means, are matters she hadn’t considered before. But the time has come.
First published by Perihelion Science Fiction in 2014, Nickel Stream is now available as a Kindle e-Book for 99¢.
The cover design is my own. The images were obtained from the online image provider, Dollar Photo Club, and then modified using GIMP and arranged using Microsoft PowerPoint. I think the whole thing can be done in GIMP, but there’s a learning curve for that tool that I’m still just now barely starting to understand.
The story begins:
EVEN THROUGH THE FULLERENE-GLASS filter, the stream of Nickel-78 plasma brightened the work station transition chamber. It was a big leak … bigger than any Gina had seen. It reminded her of the early stories, when solar miners earned their hazardous-duty pay.
Things heat up from there. Gina has some tough decisions to make. And despite the exotic setting, there is something timelessly familiar about her dilemmas.