Sunday, 31 January 2010

The Grind, part 3

Ambry walked into the hangar early that morning, finishing the process of tying her shoulder-length dark hair out of the way. She didn't expect the captain to be there at this time of the day -- the captain, in fact, hadn't gone near the ship in four days. Four? She counted; yes, four days. But that didn't mean Ambry, or the rest of the crew, should relax in their work. There was always something to be done, and should the captain suddenly require the vessel, they would all need to be ready.

The crew chief worried, quietly, about their captain. A reasonable and bright young thing, and remarkably personable for a podder. But she didn't seem to be dealing well with things. She'd spent more time staring moodily at the Vexor or jumping clones to lowsec than she had in space. The crew didn't care -- they got paid no matter the situation -- but Ambry worried.

And clone-jumping... She shuddered. Why anyone would put their body into cold-storage and then entrust the very core of who they were to FTL transmission relays, waking up in a new body elsewhere.... What if the packet was corrupted along the way? Would they forget things? Gain or lose bits of their personality? It was all too unpredictable for her; but then, she supposed that was why it took just a bit of insanity aongside the long years of intensive training to become a capsule pilot.

There was a message waiting for her when she reached her office near the heart of the ship, the blue alert light blinking cheerfully as the room lights came up. She settled into her chair before reading, then sat back with a thoughtful frown. This wasn't entirely unexpected.

Tapping a command into the console, she brought up the audio system and leaned forward to speak into the receiver.

'Attention all personnel, this is Crew Chief Koll. Prepare the ship for long storage and report to InterBus port 113 by 2200 for transit back to Empire space.'


'Hello, Captain Tiann. Back again, are we? Vat A-32 is available. Which link shall I establish today, Barleguet or Vitrauze?'

'Vitrauze, Mr Nirraen. Send me home.'