The decision to apply for an apprenticeship as a haulier was made after the results of The Test, at the age of ten. The Test marked him as very unlikely to get above level eleven. The observer said he would never reach level one to become one of the twelve EOs whom ruled each citadel.
The Test results said he lacked the necessary identity characteristics to excel in the Rule of Twelve training. So, there, and then he chose the status of deprivileged. He accepted the life of someone who would never be allocated any level of privilege.
Besides, he found those that embraced the Rule of Twelve training cold and repulsive. He assumed EOs would be the same. He much preferred mingling with fellow deprivileged, who worked hard, were authentic and treated each other with respect.
Annee was one such fellow deprivileged. She was short, but strong. Her muscular and fit body was only second to her sharp tongue and cheeky grin. Her dark brown and cool toned complexion added to her poise and style.
At this moment, she stood in the hatch that separated the cockpit from the passenger seating area. Dukk had given her the task of seeing that the passengers were ready for the descent.
As she complained to him now, Dukk was reminded that there was a time when he had fantasised there could be something between them. But that idea was extinguished long ago when she and Rachelle stopped hiding their companionship. It wasn’t clear to Dukk, what would happen when they reached port. Annee was a talented haulier, and she would be hard to replace.
He was hardly listening as she shared her concerns about getting the six passengers and the observer strapped in before they pointed the nose. Dukk wasn’t paying attention to those worries, as he knew Annee was well able. He smiled as he realised, she was simply lightening the mood, as if she could read his thoughts.
As the door closed behind Annee, Dukk parked the thought of her leaving the rig. There were far more important things to do right now. One problem at a time.
The hatch indicators on the panel before him, showed him that Annee was already through the passenger seating area, and onto the landing. The landing was the top of the stairs to the lower levels. Beyond the landing was the transport pods and airlock that made up the rest of the upper deck.
Soon she would be on the accommodation level yelling commands at the guests. The twelve-hour delay in orbit would have increased their anxiety, but also increased their complacency. They’d need a good barking at now to snap them into line so that their effects could be stowed securely, and seats taken in the upper level.
(to be continued...)
[Rule of Twelve, Double Take, Chapter 1 - A routine descent (Passage 2 of 5)]
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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
Rule of Twelve, Double Take - Ch15 (Passage 5/5)
“Hi,” came Luna’s voice as she bounced into the suit locker.
Dukk turned around.
“Are you alright? You are all flushed?”
“Yes, I am fine. I was practicing some yoga in zero-G. I lost track of time. Quite challenging and not what I expected.” Luna replied.
“Yoga?” Marr mouthed silently at Luna from behind Dukk.
Luna smiled cheekily.
Marr held her hands up and looked away as if to say ‘I don't want to know’.
Dukk laughed. He’d been an apprentice too once. He knew what was on his mind the first time he was in zero-g. And, he could tell an intentional lie.
“Are you sure you want to try this now? I can go alone and you can get back to your ‘yoga’?” Dukk asked in gest emphasising the last word.
“Nope, I’m good. Let’s do this.”
Thirty five minutes later, Luna stood at the port outer doorway. She was in awe.
Dukk and Luna had completed the same process Bazzer and Marr had done earlier. Marr, with ...
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