Zu Fields was Mars’s only failed Belt miner. There had been others—one who deliberately crashed his ship into the planet; some who returned to Earth owing SpaceM for their passage; and others who vanished in their mining ships without message or distress beacon. But of the sixty-plus people in the Base, Zu was the only one who owed SpaceM, had shorted oxygen tanks to pay the company back, and had been reduced to working in Reclamation when his theft was discovered.
. . .
Rosen leaned across the table. “I have a proposition for you, and SpaceM is backing it. They think I’m crazy, but they’re taking a chance. . . . I know where there’s some ore, already mined, that’s waiting to be brought in. If you go out for it, SpaceM will stake you, and if you bring it in, SpaceM will cancel the debt for your previous stake and this one.”