She didn't tell me that these logs were open to the Pilots Federation. I make a fool enough of myself, I really didn't need any help.
Course, she just responded with something akin to 'That's no excuse Vandal.'
So now I'm sitting here at Obsidian Orbital's very own rescue ship just hoping I don't get used in one of Galnet's witty irony stories about someone posing as someone that's interesting.
Turns out Sonia was at least some right. Got some communication from some groups that are trying to do more than the average folk.
But that's not where I left off, is it.
Was just another day when it happened. Really it was.
I called my Beluga Liner the 'Star Surfer'. People at the gateway lined up to get on board to find out for themselves that there's no nicer place than Ride Gateway anyways. I liked the gig because I could stock up on the necessities and it was just part of the job. When your passenger is some sort of 'Pop God/Goddess' or some fancy CEO, you stock the Lavian and Kamitran daily.
So Sonia is finishing the loading of these 'very important' people, I stood on the captains overlook and slipped some Lavian Brandy into my coffee. (I keep a flask on my person at all times you know.)
The overlook was part of the promenade deck and while Sonia was busy it allowed me to get a little pick-me-up in without her nagging me to fly sober.
Who the hell wants to go 215,000 light seconds to the station freaking sober anyways? Madness.
I'm giving my coffee-treat a quick stir with my finger when my PDA buzzes, my earpiece letting me know that there's a 'mission critical' message that needs to be received.
What brilliance it was to let a rock-star bother the Commander with needs of their fashion magazines that I didn't stock for them because it cut into brandy storage space. And they suck. I don't stock the consumer tech because they suck. They need to sit down and shut up while I fulfill the contract they paid me for.
I had gotten a little bit of joy previously from tapping the 'ignore' button on my PDA. Not this time. It was sad really. So sad I didn't even finish my damned coffee.
So I climbed into the commanders seat and droned out Sonia's pre-flight check and nagging that she can smell brandy on me.
I left before all checks where complete. I departed Ride Gateway before all of my passengers were even seated. If the Surfer didn't fly like a station anyways there might have been more trouble. I had turned the belts light on before engaging thrust, after all.
I couldn't wait to get the trip over with and Sonia actually fell quiet while we made the hyper jump.
She must have asked me what was wrong a dozen times.
Only thing I said was "A billion is enough."
She about burst then. Ranting about 'enough for what' and wondering aloud if I'm drunk.
I drowned it all out. Sonia stopped her ranting when I took the Surfer into the Behring Gateway slot at 260 meters per second. I had locked her out of all but the condor controls. I didn't even remain seated as the computer took over the landing effort.
Sonia stared as I paced and drank from my flask in the large command cabin of the star liner. Moments later the passengers, with only slight grumbling, exited the liner to their destination of choice. My Pilot Federation credit account flashing with the transactions.
I told Sonia to have the Vandal Star shipped to Jameson Memorial.
She came back with how much it was going to cost us to do an operation we could do for nothing if we tried.
I told her again to have the Vandal Star shipped to Jameson. Only this time I added "Immediately" to the phrase.
I wanted it there when we arrived ourselves in the Surfer.
With only a few jumps to get to Jameson ourselves I didn't want to waste any time. I told Sonia to run diagnostics on her condor and get her combat suit on. By that point she was no longer arguing about anything. Just sending dirty looks my way.
Easy flight to Jameson. 4 jumps.
I could already see the Star being shipped in. That luminous paint from the Pilots Federation.
They seriously always have the best stuff.
I let the computer take over for clearance and docking while I went straight away to get in a sonic shower before changing into my combat suit.
I do love this ship.
The conversation in the docking halls was minimal. Really more in the line of a series of nods that somehow signaled good will to the bay hands that I crossed paths with.
Sonia had trailed me to the outfitting station and had remained silent through the walk, only noise she made was when she gasped at all the red lights I was pressing onto the console.
All of the parts had to go. Bring out the old reactor, distro and sensors.
She watched intently as I keyed the console, credits disappearing from my account with nearly every stroke of the data pad. The bay hands looked pissed as I lined up their entire day.
Sonia scowled visibly when I started removing the rail guns and beam turrets.
Had to make room for the experimental modules. Missiles. Flak.
I flashed a grin at my X-O but she looked a tad green as I lined up the xeno rockets for purchase and signaled for the old modules to be transported back to Ride Gateway.
I took a drink from my flask and stood back to admire my work on the data pad before I told Sonia that we were going to Maia.