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October 16, 2021
Rule of Twelve, Double Take - Ch7 (Passage 4/5)

(… continuing)

“Annee, can I talk to you for a moment”
“Sure, what’s up?”
“I know you have aspirations for your own command someday and want to be doing more of the flying. However, for this contract, I need your skills elsewhere. I want to put you as chief mate. I need someone I trust who knows the protocols inside out.”
“I am ahead of you on that. I figured the same. While you were napping, I did a stock take and placed an order. Food and other supplies are being delivered to the pad; we’ll have everything we need. And we will avoid having to pass through the ID Gateway. That’ll save us even more time.”
“Thank you, Ann. You are undeniably brilliant,” Dukk replied.

Dukk’s comms sounded. It was an incoming call.
He checked the Caller ID this time. Wallace.
“Hello, Wallace.”
“You are some pilot. I was on the numbers giving you this deal!”
“How so?”
“I got a call from Rachelle. It appears her worst fears were unfounded.”
“Let’s just say we are dancing around some bad omens at the moment!”
“Ok, not sure what that means. I will never fully understand you hauliers. Anyway, I owe Rachelle and made some calls. I sourced some stabilisers. They are reconditioned, but they are all I could swing this quickly. They should be good enough for this first run. They are already at the pad. I assume you have the skills onboard to fit them.”
“Thanks, Wallace.”
“And, I saw you hadn't posted any passenger notices, so I put the word out. It looks like the observers have reserved two seats already. That leaves four seats to fill if I, I mean you, want to make the haul more profitable.”
“Umm, very good of you,” Dukk added as Wallace continued.
“Yes, it is. So, I have two going to Mayfield. There were pretty insistent on getting this ride. They said they are tourists. However, I have it on good authority that they work for the Atesoughton family. By now you will have determined that Craig Atesoughton the Third, is the client. And, that your destination for this beef contract is his settlement for the rich and famous, on the only inhabitable exoplanet in the Mayfield system. So, it looks like you have a couple of chaperones along for the ride. Which may work in your favour, I believe.”
“Yes, I got the gist of things from the contract dockets. I am also familiar with this resort. I’ve hauled there plenty. And, yes, I agree having these two on board could help ensure we get a clear run through the waypoints and hub.”
“Speaking of the hub. I also found two wanting to get to the Maple Tower space port. Before you go pushing back. Maple Tower might be a little rough and attract some unsavoury types, however these passengers are paying well. Besides, I have a good relationship with Ileadees, the Port Commissioner in Maple Tower. He will ensure you have a pirate free passage with minimal hassle,” concluded Wallace.
“How very convenient. Let me guess. Ileadees has given you a good rate on refuelling?”
“Favour for favour, Dukk. You know how it goes. I sourced the stabilisers. Now you help me reduce my overheads.”
“Send over their passenger proposals and Ileadees’ profile, and I'll do a little diligence of my own”.
“Of course, I wouldn’t expect it any other way.”
“By the way, do you have anything for the return yet?”
“No passengers, I'll leave that with you. But, yes, load. Out of Mayfield, I have a container of personal items and a container of empty crates.”
“Anything that actually pays?”
“Yes, a metals shipment out of the hub at Kaytom Beach.”
“More favours.”
“Of course.”
“Typical. Nothing substantial, but it will sweeten the deal you already have, Dukk.”
“Send over the dockets. We’ll take it.”
“Already on the way. Also, I gave a couple of small packages to one of your new crew members, Mentor. A gift for each of your existing crew members. It will help them feel more included in the conversations,” concluded Wallace as he ended the call.
“Gifts? Coded bracelets perhaps?” thought Dukk.

“Ann, as the Dinatha’s new chief mate, passengers fall into your area of responsibility. So, I’m forwarding you some proposals.”
“Let’s see,” Annee shared as she brought up the proposals on her console. She continued, “So, two tourists for Mayfield. And two for,” she paused, “Maple Tower?”
“Yep, looks like it’s the best way to keep everyone happy.”
“Ileadees still in charge?”
“Looks like it.”
“Bazzer won’t be happy!”
“No, he won’t. Let’s keep the flight plan to ourselves until the final pre-departure circle-up.”
“Playing with fire, Dukk!” Annee warned.
“Keeping it interesting is all. Anyway, I’ll leave it with you to check these proposals properly and share the rig codes and directions. And make sure they can get to the pad within the hour. We don’t have the luxury of pandering to whims.”
Annee smiled and nodded.
Moments later she looked up, “That’s done. I’m going to the crew mess. I need a coffee. You got it covered up here?”
“I’ll manage,” Dukk said smiling.
“Operator, I am passing pilot communications over to the captain as I am leaving the cockpit,” Annee said into her comms.
“I am on the numbers here too,” Dukk thought as the cockpit door closed.

(to be continued...)

[Rule of Twelve, Double Take, Chapter 7 - Instability (Passage 4 of 5)]

All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2021 BJ Allen

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September 22, 2022
Rule of Twelve, Book 2, Convergence

Read Book 2 right here in Locals.

Navigate to "Content", "Articles" and choose Book 2 from the playlist

September 22, 2022
Rule of Twelve, Book 1, Double Take

Read Book 1 right here in Locals.

Navigate to "Content", "Articles" and choose Book 1 from the playlist

August 31, 2022
Locals now has Articles


Now that Locals has Articles, I will be able to publish whole chapters in a single post.

I will gradually move the content across to Articles. You can then navigate to "Content", "Articles" and read a whole chapter without any further following of links.


November 24, 2022
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Rule of Twelve, Book 2, Chapter 15
Convergence - Bonding




The hunting game went as Dukk had anticipated. Dukk and Craig did a reasonable job of getting hits. Dukk’s flying skills complemented Craig’s skill with the air rifle. However, Marr’s shooting skills were far superior. She and Emeelie worked together to find a creature and get it moving. Then Marr simply pulled up, aimed, and took the shot. She didn’t miss. The women won five to two.


During one of the men’s turns, Marr and Emeelie were sitting on their scooters waiting for the flare.


“Last night we talked lots about keeping and hauling,” Marr said. “We didn’t talk much about anything else.”

   Emeelie nodded.

   “I am curious about what your story is,” Marr said.

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November 15, 2022
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Rule of Twelve, Book 2, Chapter 14
Convergence - Redemption




After a moment of staring at each other, Dukk took a half step backwards. He then crouched down while still holding her gaze. He collected the dress off the floor and stood up.

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November 03, 2022
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Rule of Twelve, Book 2, Chapter 13
Convergence - Temptation



“What is going on? What is so funny?” Marr asked as she joined Dukk in the corridor.

   “You know those formal clothes you found in the dressing room upstairs?” Dukk replied as he composed himself.

   “Yes. What about them?”

   “Fancy giving them an outing this evening?”

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