Dukk stared at the wall behind the bar and let the barely touched drink go warm.
“What in the world is going on?” he thought.
His self-reflection was interrupted by an incoming alert on his comms. It was Annee.
“Ann, what is going on?” Dukk answered in a daze.
“Are you alright?” Annee asked.
That woke Dukk up.
“Yes, all done here. Rachelle has taken all her stuff from the master cabin. Bazzer and I gave it a once over and moved your lockers in there.”
“So, I was thinking I could move into your old cabin? I already checked with Bazzer, and Larinette is hardly in hers, so she shouldn’t care?”
“Wait, what? You are staying? What about you and Rachelle,” Dukk asked calmly. He was starting to get used to the idea of the unexpected by this stage of the afternoon.
“All good things come to an end, Dukk. Besides, I have years of potential left in me. I am not ready to settle down or be grounded just yet!” Annee replied awkwardly.
“That is brilliant news!” Dukk replied gleefully without thinking.
“Actually, I will miss her,” Annee added.
“Oh, of course, I mean, I am sorry for you and Rachelle, but I am delighted you are staying with the Dinatha, you are one in a million. And, definitely, take my old cabin.”
“Thanks, Dukk, see you at dinner,” Annee added and ended the call abruptly.
That suited Dukk fine as he felt it was getting a little uncomfortable. He was struggling with his emotions and was in no state to help Annee with hers.
Dukk used the heightened awareness following the call with Annee, to get his thoughts together. He used his heads up display to access the contracts board.
He searched for urgent high value beef contracts. There was only one. It had just been posted.
“Odd! And as suggested by the mystery man, the contact went by the name of ‘Wallace’,” reflected Dukk.
The listing gave the details of the load and destination. It all looked legitimate. The listing also gave the place where Wallace would be tomorrow at 9pm, local time. He saved the details. Paid the tab, left yet another drink barely touched, and headed for the door.
As Dukk made his way back to the h-pod to shower for dinner, he did his best to disconnect from the day’s events. He did his best to quieten his mind. Which wasn’t easy. His curiosity streak was strong. It had been pivotal in his decision to follow the mystery man’s orders. And now it was working overtime on what this might all be about.
Before entering the h-pod, he stood for a moment. Undecided.
“Should I check-in on the Dinatha, before getting ready for dinner?” he thought to himself.
“No,” he concluded, “The Sentinels will keep it secure. Besides I must clear my head and be present and engaged at dinner. I will need to be alert so that I can pick the right moment to take my leave and get to the VG station on time.”
(to be continued...in the next chapter)
[Uplift, Double Take, Chapter 3 - Grounding (Passage 5 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 ...