"Right, let me welcome you all and I hope this is the start of something real,” Dukk said as he sat down.
“We have a big challenge ahead of us and on top of that we don't know each other. And, some of you are new to this game. So, let me start with a few non negotiables. Number one, no heroes. Your own safety comes first. As they say, attend to your own air supply first before helping others with theirs. Second, everyone has the obligation to challenge things that you don't understand or that don’t look right. If I, or anyone else, overlooks something or makes a poor decision out there, we all may die. So we all must be prepared to be challenged. And we must all challenge. And, finally, we leave no one behind, no matter the designation, privilege or whatever. Clear?"
Nods and smiles all round.
“Great. So, on this rig we operate in pairs, or buddies. You’ll cover the same areas of responsibility. You’ll be on watch together. You’ll eat at the same time. You’ll sleep at the same time. You’ll do whatever else at the same time. Buddies check each other’s equipment. You look out for each other. You keep each other alive. Mentor, Marr and Luna, are you okay with that?”
More nods and acknowledgements.
“Having said all that, we are one team. The default position is ‘how can I help you’, and not ‘that is your role not mine’. And, no-one on this crew is above cleaning the heads. We all do our share and help carry the load. Annee as Chief mate will be in charge of doing the watch roster and chores rota. What she says goes, no exception. Anyone got a problem with that?”
No one did.
“So, the buddies. Luna you are the least experienced, so I am pairing you with Bazzer. As the First engineer he will show you the ropes. Your goal will be to get to know every part and system on this rig, in intimate detail, down to the most miniscule component. Bazzer, as the most experienced haulier on this rig right now, is the right person to guide you. You good with that?”
“Yep,” Luna replied.
“Mentor, I am paring you with Annee, who as already mentioned is Chief mate. She’ll make good use of your varied skills. And, it is a tall ask being responsible for hosting our guests, and keeping us all secure, safe, fed and comfortable. And that is on top of being responsible for liaison and external communications. Your medical skills will also come in handy in that role. Okay with you?”
“I’m good with that, ” Mentor said confidently.
“That leaves, you, Marr. You’ll join me in flight control. You’ll have a steep learning curve as I need someone who can hold their own ASAP. You up for the challenge?”
“Absolutely,” Marr answered very enthusiastically.
“Excellent, so from this moment forward, Mentor, Marr and Luna you will be glued to your buddies.”
Luna had to choke down a laugh. The others smiled.
Dukk looked at Luna, and smiled as he realised what he just said.
Dukk continued, "anyway, moving swiftly along. We have about an hour before we will be locked and loaded. Hopefully our passengers are on time. We'll have 45 minutes after that before we can get clear. During that time, I want to do a evacuation drill. So, make sure at some point over the next hour, you get clear on your part of the protocol. Otherwise, normal duties as per your stations. Any questions?"
"Loading?" Bazzer asked.
"Marr and I will supervise the loading. Bazzer and Luna, you do the QA. Annee and Mentor will have their hands full with passengers and supplies."
"Anything else?" asked Dukk.
"Perhaps these are stupid questions, but where do we put our stuff and where will we sleep and all that?", Luna injected.
"SLEEP, who is going to be sleeping!" Bazzer answered.
"No such thing as a stupid question, Luna, just stupid answers," Dukk answered, looking at Bazzer.
"Bazzer will show you around, that will include your cabin. To reduce further hijinks, your cabin, Luna, will be the mid cabin on the starboard side. Not the aft on the port side, that would be Bazzer's. On the subject of quarters, Mentor you are aft starboard side and Marr, mid on port side. Mentor and I will see that your things are brought up and installed into your cabins. It is part of the responsibilities of Chief mate," shared Annee.
"Cool," Luna responded, smiling.
"Anything else?" Dukk added.
His answer was in the happy expressions on the faces before him.
(to be continued...)
[Uplift, Double Take, Chapter 8 - Orientation (Passage 2 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 ...