From today’s news.
From THE MIRRORED HEAVENS:
So at the end of Moon there’s a labyrinth. At the end of that labyrinth’s a chamber. That chamber wasn’t built by man. It’s been there since this rock cooled. It contains the most valuable thing in this world.
“Water,” says Sarmax.
He steps into the light. His armor looks pretty beat-up. It’s been burned almost black. He walks toward the ramp’s edge.
“Come again?” says the Operative.
“Water,” repeats Sarmax. “Or should I say: ice.”
“My latest fortune,” replies Sarmax.
He stops just short of the edge—gestures at the sloped walls. He looks back at the Operative. He smiles. He’s so close the Operative can see teeth through visor.
“You’re a resourceful man,” he says quietly.
“It’s just too bad that such resourcefulness has to compensate for such lack of planning,” continues Sarmax. “Such a goddamn shame it’s forced to rely so heavily on pure luck. You almost brought the roof down on your stupid head, Carson. It’s a wonder you didn’t get buried in those tunnels.”
“Would that have been such a terrible outcome?” says the Operative.
“Now that,” says Sarmax, “depends on your point of view.” He gestures at the ramps and ladders stacked about him. “You see before you the industry of a new era, Carson. We live in the dawn times, old friend. Humanity is poised to boil out beyond the Earth-Moon system. The red planet will be colonized en masse within the next two decades. The prospectors are even now testing the tug of the gas giants. The Oort is surrendering her secrets to the probes. It’s all there for the taking. And it all makes me say I don’t give a fuck if you take me down. I don’t give a damn about the Rain or anybody else. Let them squabble. Let them plot. What does it matter when history itself is coming into focus?”
Congratulations, NASA. May we make it back to that rock yet.