George was on leave from his normal job as a high school teacher and was taking the opportunity to explore cultures around the galaxy. It was interesting to him how many societies had ceremonies dealing with the discarding of left-overs after a large feast. Because of his wife’s involvement in the intergalactic populace nutritional council, he had a tendency to evaluate groups of people based on a ratio of their value generated vs resources consumed and the colony of mineral traders that resided in orbit around Beta 3-9 in the Arnufo system were no exception.
Because their machinery was manufactured to require very little maintenance they were able to produce large quanities of boxite and other important minerals without a large work-force of repair robots and their prerequisite wrench monkeys. They lived simply because they didn’t have time outside of their work, and the people who lived there didn’t join for the level of entertainment that is provided. People who moved to Beta 3-9 outpost were generally looking for a better way of life and were willing to sacrifice some of their creature comforts for the security that the stable interplanetary mineral markets were able to provide for their servants.
Occassionaly mineral markets would fluctuate based on some large increase in demand whenever a new colony was being developed or when some planet-shifter class ship began construction back home, and these occassions were marked by a huge celebration known as ‘fiesta’. All workers recieved some kind of bonus if the demand was marked by an increase in production, so the times around fiesta were always blustery and full of activity. Even the children played with a greater fervor and the animals danced about in the contagious excitement that was everywhere on these occassions. Job queues always ended the shift with an empty board and meal times were shortened by %50 without complaint.
All hands geared towards that bonus check and Beta 3-9 always exceeded the payout quota on minerals that were common on the planet’s surface. It was a planet with a large concentration of salts in the atmosphere that reduced anionic oxidation of metalic compounds and caused a natural galvanizing action whenever excess electrons discharged through the ionosphere. As a result, the landscape was covered by a dull metalic sheen and the occassional, naturally occuring crystaline structures stood out against the greyish metal rock with various shades of red and pink, glowing brightly in the perpetual sunset.