So yesterday was a bad day, we kind of knew it would be. I’ve had worse; to be honest right now I can’t think of one of those worse days, but I have had worse.
Right now everything is just fine, im rolled up under a tarpaulin right next to the housing for Gormongander’s Power Plant. Nice and warm but protected from the harmful radiation coming from all that reacting plasma. Also due to some custom work on housing chassis I knew that only somebody determined to find me would in this tangle of gantries and walkways (not that anybody would want to find me). Right here was my safe space.
I opened my eyes and decided “Today would be a good day” as I made my way up to the bridge. I mean I had a million credits in my processor, and the bounties earned from Gailard and his crew had paid for the repairs that should already be underway, how could it not be a good day. I would inform the ‘Mother Gaia’ faction back in ‘Sol’ that the delivery had been made then go and get some food. Some real food, real meat, real vegetables and (oh please god let them have some) some real eggs. This would set me back a couple hundred credits but I deserved a treat.
I was going over this little fantasy in my head as I stepped onto the bridge. The flashing light at the con immediately caught my eye telling me I had a message. I loaded up the comms panel. It seemed that my exploits had already made their way back to ‘Abraham Lincoln’ and 'Mother Gaia' were very, very happy with the way I had fought for their data (thank god they didn’t know what had really happened. I was the one who put it in danger in the first place). They said my steady progress with them had been noticed and that someone high in their ranks appreciated my efforts. There would be more of the same work coming my way in the near future if I was interested, with similar pay-outs.
‘More of the same’ that phrase caused the hairs on my neck to stand up. I could really get rich. Then I could actually get my little fleet back together, as long as they hadn’t scraped for parts. In the excitement I quickly sent a message to the general broadcast centre to put out a search inquiry for my old ships, with names and idents. I did know where one was, my very first ship. But she deserved her rest; she was just there to remind me of who I was.
I headed out into ‘Hutton Orbital’ to get that well deserved breakfast. I got chatting with some commanders I met the night before in the food hall. Most of these commanders where here for the Silver being extracted. I hadn’t known that Hutton had some of the best prices for purchase of Silver in the bubble. But I did know that ‘Abraham Lincoln’ had some of the best prices for retail of Silver. The abacus in my head clicked away as thought how I could make money coming and going between 'Sol' and 'Alpha Centauri'. I really could get rich here, stinking rich.
Then out of nowhere a friendly face, Commander TigerTiger. We had flown a few missions together about a decade ago, got into and out of a lot of trouble together. He was steady like a rock, if he said he had your back, it was something you didn’t have to think about, he had your back. He got out of that life a long time before me and it showed. He looked great. Good hair, good clothes and he looked healthy, but most noticeably he had lost the eye patch it looked like he could finally afford that new eye. We chatted for a long time, he told me how he was making a mint as a passenger transporter, explained how people paid a fortune to get to hard to reach places like ‘Hutton Orbital’. My mental abacus clicked away and I saw the credits piling up in my mind’s eye. Then he got serious, said he had heard about Gailard. Said they told him about a red Python taking on 5 Pirates, how it gave chase even after they tried to retreat, how it hunted and picked off each ship 1 by 1. Said he knew it was me before they mentioned the ships name. TigerTiger looked me dead in the eye and asked “Why in such a rush to die?” there was silence; he gave me a brotherly hug said “Take care Guru” and disappeared into the crowd. I knew I would be seeing him again.
I stopped at the metal merchant on the way back to Gormongander and bought 70 tonnes of silver to transport back to ‘Sol’ costing me close to 300,000. As I moved through the crowds back to the dock I could see a lot of medical and science uniforms. These must be the people commanders like TigerTiger where shipping around. But I had to ask myself, what sort of science was going on at this platform.
When I boarded my ship the dock crew where still loading the Silver. So I went through all the flight checks and safety protocols, hadn’t done that in ages, checked all the repairs that had been done and called the dock master to thank him for his efforts and to ask for launch clearance.
I had logged a route back to 'Abraham Lincoln', taken a regen shot in the side of the neck to replace any minerals, electrolytes and elements I had lost in the past few days. As Gormongander lifted off I could feel the real food and the regen shot begin to do their work and I started to feel better. Before we left ‘Hutton Orbitals’ flight space the dock master got in touch to say he had received a message about a search inquiry I had sent out that morning. Someone had Spotted YAMATA, and guess where she was? ‘41 Lambda Hydrae’ I knew that name was familiar.
I really should read that Message from Elder N.R.Crosby, and I would but for now I just needed to get back to ‘Sol’.