A diamond mine is in many ways just an industrialized version of hope. Workers sweat in the darkness for the chance at surviving another day or two with a few spare dollars in their pockets. From their toil, the reward is the occasional sparkly prize. But even that doesn’t look like much more than occasionally shiny gravel until it has been cleaned, graded, cut, and polished.
At the end of the day, the product has value because it is rare and hard to find.
A value that the cartels reinforce through campaigns of intimidation against any who would find markets for the stones outside of their control.
The mine might as well be Pandora’s box. Wars break out over it. Men fight tooth and nail to control it. Lives are spent with abandon in its depths.
The ghost manifested, if it was seen at all, at midnight and stayed no later than dawn. It was seen best by moonlight, with the pallid glow of the moon added to its appearance without drowning it. It did not seem to be a malignant spirit. But it was insistent that it be seen and heard. Being nearly invisible and nearly silent did not help with either condition.
Whatever its mission, it lingered in this world against the normal order of things. The longer it stayed, the higher the stakes became.
Until then, there was something humorous about using the light of a ghost to read by.