Death on Leda
The rumors are true: on Jupiter's smallest moon, crystal miners die and return to life with remarkable consistency.
Today's dispatch from the future takes the form of a corporate memo penned by a company flack who stumbles upon a bizarre and profitable disruption to the human workforce on a distant mining operation. Enjoy. -the ed.
TO: V.P. Panel 904b-Market R&D
FROM: I.C. 6004512-0002-I
RE: Investigation of Death at Leda Mine
The rumors are true: on Jupiter's smallest moon, crystal miners die and return to life with remarkable consistency. My 75-hour inquiry/visit confirmed that no death has been reported among the 9,000+ UnEarthCo miners, supervisors, Artificial Gravity Monitors, scientists, counselors and support staff during 12 years of mining on Leda. Leda's Chief Medical Doctor Technician (I.C. 2004923-0058-M) reports 176 patients declared dead deceased during the past year. However, she adds, none remained deceased, including 14 suicides and one miner crushed under heavy machinery. Repeat: None remain deceased.
Death, as defined by UnEarthCo Medical Charter, is diagnosed when "a certified physician establishes the absence of brain activity." Patients without brain activity are legally and medically deceased; no further medical treatment is recommended. Until now, death has been considered permanent. At the Leda infirmary, however, death rarely exceeds 6 hours. For example, the recipient of a bone-crushing blow from a collapsed Jumbo Vibrating Screen actually died 16 times (per UCEMC2092 guidelines) in an 11 hour span. Each time, the patient resumed life—sometimes as soon as half an hour after expiration. Not until the injured miner was placed on a transport to Lunapost Las Vegas did he permanently die, 920,000 kilometers away from the planetmoon.
I asked interviewed one of Leda's Coital Recreation Technicians (I.C. 3000768-4352-S) and asked her to describe her suicide experience. At first she declined refused to comment, claiming that it had all been a mistake and her Transfer Application had been approved after all and could I please not mention her to anyone. However, I convinced her that my interest was purely Corporate-scientific in nature and had no connection with Human Resources. She then told me, "If you want to know the truth, I was damn disappointed by the whole death thing. Sure, there was a bright light and a voice, but the voice was a recording saying that said my death would be answered in the order in which it was received. So finally, after maybe half an hour, some lady in white detoxeralls yanks me through the light and seats me in a waiting area. She hands me a clipboard with 40 pages of forms and says bring them to the desk when I'm finished. There's questions about the quality of the light and how would I rate the experience of rising from my body, 1 through 5 with 5 being the best. So finally I said screw it and jumped back through the light. Frankly, it was a relief to get back to this shit hole."
The "waiting room" experience is apparently common among those who have (temporarily) died on Leda. Many have filled out the death paperwork only to wait 3 more hours for an interview with an afterlife account representative. None have thus far inquired about the corporate or government agency managing the bureaucratic process on the other side. Thus the nature, intentions, and market impact of this potential competitor and/or trading partner remain undetermined—adding further layers of mystery despite this initial confirmation of the afterlife.
One miner (I.C. 2004503-0160-P), whose death lasted 11 hours and 48 minutes (longest demise on record), reported progressing as far as "the Line to God." He said, "I’m telling you, the freaking queue was seven miles long. There were rumors God had scored some sweet severance package and moved to Lunapost Oahu under a false I.C. Yeah well, no way was I standing around to find out, so I bolted. Just before I jumped back into the light I overheard some maintenance guy talk into his voicecom about a defective soul valve or some crap. I didn't care. I wanted out.”
Further inquiry pertaining to "soul valve" technology seems warranted.
Leda's staff was instapolled regarding the mortality anomaly, and responses were mixed: 38% wanted an extension to their Leda assignments, 42% wanted off the moon immediately, 27% had experimented with death, and 12% would suggest death on Leda to a friend.
RECOMMENDATION: Send Advanced BioMed Team ASAP, including multiethnic/cross-cultural focus group, for further death testing, as well as Contractual Negotiators to secure exclusivity within potential emerging market. Clerical (as in clergy, in addition to documentation and administrative tasks) team warranted. Additional crew of Reverse Engineering Technicians also recommended. Considering the potentially multitudinous market/workforce on the "other side," it seems both crucial and advantageous to conduct further research on Leda.