I have some downtime on my hands this evening. I'm sitting here in my office on the top floor of my building staring out the window at the starship traffic. Jameson Memorial orbital sure gets a lot of visitors.
Most of the last few days have been spent managing my company. There's so many details these days that require my personal attention. I'm renting space in my building and had to meet with the new tenants to evaluate their business plan before signing off on the lease. When did this become all about making money?
Somewhere along the way, I've gone off track. I started this journey because I wanted to fly a starship, not to become a business magnate. Sitting here watching the ships coming and going just reminds me of what I've lost along the way.
Tomorrow I'm going to hire a full time business manager and get back to doing the things I want to do. It's going to take some time, but I can make this happen.
I'm keeping this office, though. Maybe I'll convert the top floor into my residence. What the hell, it's my building after all. Gotta be some perks somewhere.
- - - -
Theo couldn't miss the ship sitting in the drydock cradle as he arrived for his shift. An Anaconda wasn't the sort of hull you overlooked. He preferred working on the Cobras here at the Faulcon DeLacy facility. They were designed to be easy to work on. Anacondas were anything but simple to work on. It was going to be a long day.
"Hey, isn't that ship the Jurassic? We brought her off the line earlier this year. Don't tell me there was something wrong with her." Jax was Theo's partner at work and had a photographic memory when it came to the finished ships.
Theo brought the work order up on his pad. He couldn't believe what he saw. "No, nothing wrong with her. Looks like the original buyer wanted a few changes." He brought the info up on the overhead holographic display.
Jax gaped at the display. "Stars! He gutted it!"
They both went over the display, looking are details and trying to guess why anyone would do this to such a beautiful ship. "All weapons removed, undersized power plant and thrusters, and that stripped-down power distribution system is a joke!" exclaimed Theo.
" And look at the size of this fuel scoop. What's he doing, supplying a fleet? This design is insane! " Jax replied. "Well, we'd better get started or we'll be pulling overtime for this one."
The biggest shock came when they got to the Frame Shift Drive. "What the hell am I looking at, Jax?"
" I've never seen anything like this. Someone's re-engineered the thing. And what are those glowy bits? They look like they're made of stone. "
Theo let out a surprised gasp. "I think that might be Guardian technology. Some kind of booster for the FSD. Man, am I ever glad the work order doesn't want us to touch that thing."
The two mechanics spent the day working on the Jurassic, removing bays and lightening existing parts of the ship wherever possible. The final item on the work order was to complete a systems test of the ship before signing off on the work order. They linked the ship's computer to the maintenance mainframe and ran a diagnostic.
"Are you seeing these numbers?" Jax asked his friend with evident awe.
"Everything looks normal to me." replied Theo.
"Take another look at the Frame Shift Drive specs."
It was Theo's turn to sound shocked. " That can't be right. According to this, she can make over seventy-five light years in a single jump! I can't believe it!"
"Belive it." Jax said. "It looks like this Commander Elders just built himself an Anaconda-class deep space explorer ."