Thursday, April 2, 2020

Day 13: Treasure Hunt 2101 (Short Story)

This article is part of The 100 Days Offensive.

"Are you sure we're right here?" Rob asked as he unpacked the digger, "This looks like normal wasteland that has gotten too much Agent Yellow like everything around here."

"The card clearly says it must be here," Ed repeated for what it seemed to him to be the hundredth time. Rob was too pessimistic for his taste, but this time he had no choice. There were people who would knock out security guards or kill journalists on every street corner. Fences almost begged for orders. But specialists who could take apart hundreds cubic feet of concrete in one night were in short supply. And the next police bunker was only a quarter of a mile away.

No, this time he was depending on someone. But it could be worse. Rob was nervous and scared like a kitten, but the best concrete cracker he knew. It was said that he once flattened a skyscraper in the time it took the opposing lawyer to read the order on the demolition stop. But today there was no more demolition. Every shack was left standing because of the valuable raw materials that were lost with every demolition.

It took only about 30 minutes to erase all doubts, of which contrary to all claims 50% were owned by Ed. Than they came across the first concrete block. After another two hours, they had excavated five of these twentieth-century monuments. Each of the cubes had an edge length of almost two yards.

"Opening our treasure chests is your job," he said to Rob.

"If you have misinformed yourself about the contents of the babies, it will be over faster than you think."

Ed wasn't even annoyed. "You should get a prescription for your pessimism! Do you think I would like to come across a dioxin cocktail? No, my documents prove that this is pure gold in the form of old batteries. At least 500 kilos of the best cadmium, mercury, lead and other treats our industry craves for. "

"And how do you know that they didn't secretly pour in a few remnants in it too? That was common at the time. You should know better than I did."

He used his most soothing voice. "Don't worry. My files come from the archives of an eco-lawyer who sued this landfill. The company had to work under official supervision at the time. They could only use concrete and batteries."

"And why are we the first to make a grab this stuff?"

Ed had seen that one coming from a mile away. "The company went bankrupt shortly after. The owner went to the Bahamas with 20 million and everyone else took cover. In order to make any persecution more difficult, they previously deleted the local data storage. In addition to the company data, the stock brokers were also badly hit. They put a virus on everything affecting this company. It even went so far that a company of the same name in Honkong went belly-up too because it was no longer known by any bank. "

"And where did you get your information from?" Asked Rob as he took out his bacteria.

He smiled. "As I said, from an eco. You know what these people were like. Don't trust anyone over 30 megahertz! He still had an old-fashioned paper archive. When I found the stuff, I actually wanted to sell it. But the guy has used recycled paper so that I was offered only 2 plastic dollars per page. Accordingly I took the time to read it."

Rob was ready. "So it starts! I set the bactis free and we have the most beautiful concrete dust. They are my own breeding. In contrast to other biological crackers they work absolutely noiselessly. But we have to live with some dust in exchange. It might have been better if we would have taken masks with us ...."

"What's the news about the two dead treasure hunters we found yesterday?" Lieutenant Madoc asked.

"Yes, the guys were really deep into bad luck. Their information was good, the blocks were full to the brink with old batteries. Our colleagues from the Ministry of Recycling think that the stuff should be worth about 3 million bucks."

"But you don't die from batteries."

"It was part of the concrete. Instead of gravel, a highly toxic slag was used. They should hardly have felt anything, the poison immediately attacked their nervous system. We would have found the stuff long ago if the whole area wasn't heavily loaded anyway."

"And the company that is responsible for the landfill?"

"No information available, there was probably an accident in the responsible IT department."

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