“So. What is your job on this ship?” Mike asked after the dishes had been cleared from the ‘wardroom’.
She had a hard face and looked at him as though considering where to hit him first. “I am the gunnery officer. Since you be a podder you might not remember what that is. I aim and fire, maintain, reload . . . In other words I and my team service the guns.”
Sighing, Mike looked her right in the eye and asked softly. “Why do you assume I don’t know about how the guns are kept and fired?”
“You podders always act as though you were he only lives that mattered on a ship. It takes a desperate or foolish astrotech to sign onto a capsuleer commanded ship. Life expectancies are short. Doesn’t matter what the pay is if you are dead at the end of the job.” She jerked a thumb to the woman listening quietly at the end of the table. “Now our Captain, she works hard to keep us all alive since she hasn’t got some other body waiting is she screws up.”
Mike looked over to the Captain who just nodded at him.
The Gunnery officer went on. “Have you wondered why the trip back to base is taking so long? Our nav officer is trying to track down some sort of virus in our systems.”
Mike sat up straighter. “What sort of virus?”
“Odd power fluctuations. Cannot keep the CPU cycles up long enough to be sure of good nav data so we are slowboating it the old fashioned way. Taking sightings and our time about it.”
“Captain,” Mike looked down the table concern apparent in his voice. “What is the value of this ship?”
“Almost 1 million isk.” She said, expression not changing except for a slight tension around the eyes.
That stopped Mike for a moment but he shook it off. “Who owns it? You? The bank? Or some corp?”
“A bank holds the mortgage and we get shares, the officers and crew. Why.”
Mike was tapping on his comm furiously while she answered. He slid at down the table to her without saying a word.
Taking it up she read it, blinked, then read it again. “Why?”
“I think what got my ship has infected yours. We need to abandon ship and I don’t want you hesitating out of some misplaced fiscal motivation.” He looked back to the Gunner. “Maybe so, Cherie, maybe some podders have begun to lose touch with who and what they were, once. But not all of us. And not this one. Captain?”
Calm eyes looked from the comm to him. “You doubled the value I quoted.”
“Hesitation may cost lives. Please, ma’am. Accept the contract and start the evac before it is too late.” Mike leaned forward. “I have not forgotten that there are people on these ships. Never have, never will.”
She held his eyes for a moment and then nodded, tapped his comm a few times and then touched her own, “Good news and bad news, kids. Good news is the ship is paid off and we all get a nice bonus. Bad news is you have 15 minutes to pack and evac. Not a drill. Move it.” She looked at Mike. “Now you own two dead ships. Starting a collection?
Mike grinned. “Mark them as hazardous, register it with the local authorities and call in a new towing op for the pair. I REALLY want to know just what the hell is going on.”
Fun exercise, look at your ship losses and figure out how many crew members have experienced the full depth of your skills or lack of there in.
Oh prizes are coming. comment for a chance at a random gift. Any post in the last four days or the next three to qualify
Fly it like you won it