• Got Bread?
    Got Bread?
  • The English Robin
    The English Robin
  • Afternoon Snooze
    Afternoon Snooze
  • Waterton Lakes Valley
    Waterton Lakes Valley
  • Magic Mushrooms
    Magic Mushrooms
  • Vino sulla Vite
    Vino sulla Vite
  • Fairy Stream
    Fairy Stream
  • Sunset Smoke
    Sunset Smoke
  • Om Nom Nom
    Om Nom Nom
  • Summer Lake Cabin
    Summer Lake Cabin
  • Stormy Mountain Sunset
    Stormy Mountain Sunset

Monthly archives: February, 2004

In the Navy

Scolluzer VII – Moon 3 – Federal Navy Academy School

Sakaane woke just moments before the bedside alarm went off. The unfamiliar darkness confused her; the room was pitch black and devoid of all sound save for the quiet hum of air circulation fans hidden away in the ceiling.

Then the alarm blared its buzzer next to her ear and she remembered. This wasn’t home; it was a small windowless cabin, practically a closet, in a space station light-years from where she’d been born. The alarm’s light reflected off the polysteel walls, bathing the room in a blood red glow that blinked on and off.

Just like the emergency lights on the passenger liner.

Groaning, she banished the thought and reached over to turn the alarm off. It was 0600 station time.

“Lights.” The overhead flicked on. Blinking, Sakaane shuffled from the room’s narrow bunk to the opposite wall, where a doorway revealed a compact lavatory. She squeezed into the tiny shower stall. The water was on the cold side of lukewarm and she gasped, muttering under her breath about how the accommodations certainly did not live up to the exorbitant fee she’d paid for only one night’s stay. But as soon as she’d looked up hotel rates the night before she’d realized such was station life: living in space was not cheap and any amount of real estate came at a premium.

The water did not encourage her to linger and soon enough she was dressed, checked out of the room, and standing before the doors to the academy with her travel bag slung over her shoulder. Excitement tingled through her. Without hesitation she pushed the door open and stepped inside.


Capsule-Bound

Verge Vendor Region – Ancbeu Constellation – Scolluzer System

The warp tunnel collapsed; a stargate loomed into view above Sakaane’s ship, dwarfing the battered Griffin-class frigate she’d bought from a salvage yard in Agoze. Abandoned on a battlefield where a capsuleer and Serpentis pirates had recently clashed, the ship was badly damaged and just barely functional. Yet it was all she had been able to afford. A shuttle was beyond her budget and she wouldn’t risk taking a commercial passenger transport.

Never again.

The burly man who sold the wrecked Griffin to her had been happy to be rid of what he called a “worthless hunk of squiddy metal” for the meager price she offered. He’d shrugged when she’d asked if it would hold together through seven jumps from Intaki.

“Mebbe,” he’d drawled, “if yer real lucky an don’t meet no pirates.” The salvage yard wasn’t terribly well-equipped; he’d pulled out a dusty paper map of the area. “You figurin on goin through Ost direct ta high security empire? Bad idea, that. Stac gate there usually camped.” He pointed. “Better ta use this gate here.”

He’d shrugged again when she protested about the course change adding another jump to the trip. “It’s yer life. Either way ya gotta figure some way ta fly this boat first. There ain’t no pod innit, an you ain’t no pod pilot.”

True, but that was the entire purpose of the journey. Becoming a capsuleer had never occurred to her before; she was Intaki, content to remain an artisan singing songs for her modest following, until Serpentis pirates had ruined it all. Now she was determined and had quickly learned from any pilot and mechanic willing to teach her how to rig the former pod ship for manual controls good enough to get by.

I will have my revenge.