“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.
“You are some pilot. I was on the numbers giving you this deal!”
“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.”
“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 had 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 onboard 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.”
“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 if 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...)
[Uplift, Double Take, Chapter 7 - Instability (Passage 4 of 5)]
All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2021 BJ Allen
Chapter 1 - A routine descent
Chapter 2 - Perspective
Chapter 3 - Grounding
Chapter 4 - Cause and effect
Chapter 5 - The first meeting
Chapter 6 - Staying goodbye
Chapter 7- Instability
Chapter 8 - Orientation
Chapter 9 - Loading
Dukk opened up a video feed to the passenger seating and then selected the broadcast channel.
“Welcome to orbit. I hope you had an enjoyable launch,” Dukk announced as he watched the video feed. Annee and Mentor were amongst them helping them unhook from the g-juice. He continued.
“Our flight path to the Mayfield system will take us via the Teegarden, JR18, JR56, JR72 and Maple 12 systems. We’ll have a twenty four hour layover in Maple Tower before continuing on. The 2nd half of the trip taking in the Maple 15, Maple 18, Finch 2, Finch 12 and WZR22 systems. We will likely take a couple of intermediary inspections along the way. All going well, we should reach Mayfield within 9 days. The flight plan and progress is available within the rig information panels in your cabins and living spaces. We have just under twelve hours before our first traverse. I will be around later if you have any questions. To help you prepare, you’ll hear from me and my crew fifteen minutes prior to the first ...
The convergence of two key events gave rise to this space. The first being frustration over the madness of the world and the cliff we are all charging towards. The second being the realisation that time was getting on and I’d better get the stuff out of my head before it was too late. So, I created this community on Locals.com. My plan is to experiment with this format as an alternative to the traditional book publishing path. My plan is to publish stories as they evolve, probably a chapter at a time. The first piece of writing that will unfold here is a story that I am calling Uplift, Double Take. This piece explores life 200 odd years from now, based on the trajectory of the current madness.
Your financial support would be greatly appreciated, but not needed to read the book.
This is because, I am publishing the book one passage at a time via normal posts within my Locals community.
You simply need to join the community and you’ll get book passages delivered directly to you as ...