The outgoing captain, Rachelle, had given him the Conn shortly after leaving Drafuse. She wanted to start her retirement early, which suited Dukk fine. He had been first mate for over 5 years and had helped manage this old rig through many far more challenging situations. The run had been uneventful and the conditions for descent looked perfect.
Dukk was really looking forward to making a start on securing his own retirement. Which he knew meant clearing the many favours and debts accrued to get him to the position he was now in. And that being, about to become captain of the Dinatha. Two things had come together to enable that. Firstly, Rachelle had finally cleared her debts. Secondly, Dukk had finally secured the line of credit he needed to buy Rachelle out of her share. With the largest share, he would naturally assume the role of captain.
Dukk was average height. Wide shoulders and a big chest gave him a stocky look. Fair complexion. His petrol hazel eyes looked brown against his dark brown hair. He was attractive in an ordinary sort of way, with a warm smile but a seriousness about him. And he was reasonably fit and worked hard at staying that way. Not an easy task when spending so much time in near zero-g.
The life of a haulier suited Dukk fine. He knew the risks but kept coming back. After all it was the only life, he knew. He had made that choice as a teenager and hadn’t looked back. It wasn’t an easy choice. He recalled the moment he first grappled with the hard truth of his choice. He was about to board a rig for the first time. He was at a port waiting for the arrival of the rig that would be his new home. A port worker noticed Dukk there looking anxiously out at the approaching rig. He came over and looked out too.
“I wouldn't ever see myself in one of those contraptions,” he said.
And, then added, “it looks like a gigantic 20th century space shuttle. One of these days it will probably share the fate of Challenger.”
Dukk still had no idea what the port worker was talking about and put it down to madness.
(to be continued...)
[Uplift, Double Take, Chapter 1 - A routine descent (Passage 1 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
(Stay tuned for further chapters)
"Let's go Mentor, we've only got an hour to get everything we need ready for the next 3 weeks. The supplies are in the clearance hold with the load, but we’ve got to get them secure. The passengers will be here shortly and they’ll need briefing. Let's start with your travel lockers. We'll bring them through the nose door and to make light work of it, we'll use the vertical conveyor in the forward ladder shaft," Annee shared as she got up from the table.
"Show the way, and I am not afraid of hard work," replied Mentor as he followed her to the airlock door that lead back to the passenger accommodation.
"Don't worry, I have plenty of hard work in mind to satisfy that need."
"By the look of you, I am pretty sure you can satisfy my needs, bring it on, Annee," Mentor replied in a provocative tone.
Annee laughed briefly saying, “you’d be so lucky, old timer”, and smiled cheekily back at him and the others as she disappeared through the door.
Mentor laughed loudly as he headed into the corridor....
"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 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 ...