Valuable "Space Rocks" Accidentaly Crushed

Hygiea Processing Complex, Federation of Asteroidal Polities -- 24 Apr. 2057:  A collection of Original Space Rocks, Moon Rocks and Mars Rocks valued at dozens of credits was destroyed this day when it was mixed into a load of simple chondrite ores and fed into the machinery of the processing plant.  The collection, which belonged to Inter-Asteroidal Mining CEO Halan Gillespie and was being shipped by the company from his vacation residence in Trans-Arctica to his home in the Hygeia Residential Complex, was composed of common geological specimens which were sold as souvenirs by early off-Earth mining concerns.

"The rocks weren't valuable in themselves," the visibly distraught Mr. Gillespie replied to our inquiries in a vid-chat interview.  "In fact, that was kind of the point.  The first asteroid and regolith miners monetized tailings that didn't contain any valuable minerals or hydrocarbons by selling them to tourists and rich Earthers as 'Space Rocks' and 'Moon Rocks'.  The kind of rocks they were are a dime a dozen now, but those particular rocks were a piece of space history.  You know, I used to look up at the stars and dream about living out there, and news about the asteroid mines and Moonbase Alpha -- it was like other kids with super-hero comics.  I spent most of my life collecting those rocks.  Now they're dust, nothing but dust."

Max Throttle, the plant foreman who supervised the auto-loader which sent the rocks into the processing machinery, expressed disbelief at the stir that his actions have caused.  "I just did my job," he told us in an audio interview.  "Hoppers of rock come through here and they get fed into the works.  A hopper of rocks came in so I fed it into the works.  I don't get what the big deal is.  A rock is a rock is a rock."  Mr. Throttle has applied to his union, the Interplanetary Miners Local 32571, for a preemptive judgement of no fault.  "Wouldn't put it past the boss to try and have me shit-canned for this, pardon my Lunar.  You know how these one-percenters are.  Imagine, cryin' over a buncha rocks.  It's crazy."

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