Here I was thinking I'd posted this before, and come to find out, I haven't. *slaps self* Thank you Ma'am, may I have another!
This is an excerpt from a story called Opening Worlds that's coming out in an anthology with Storm Moon Press in June. They're looking to contract for a novel that continues the tale in 2012, which is 100% pure, organic, unadulterated and hypoallergenic awesomeness. I'll keep you updated.
And in other news...hot season has returned with a vengeance, but we're promised rain for Easter. Please, God. Please.
Jason Kim looked over the mission log his supervisors had sent down earlier that afternoon and stifled a sigh. Back to Perelan. Damn it, he knew that the Silver Star was the best ship for those particular runs—part container vessel and part upper-class cruiser—but that didn’t make him like them any better. Admittedly, the cargo was good. There was always a high demand for luxuries on Perelan, and he never had a problem filling the hold while he was there, but the passengers... He could happily give them a pass. It was part of the deal, though, and while he was captaining a merchant vessel instead of a military starship these days, he always honored his deals. No pretending the life support couldn’t handle an influx of people, no insinuating that their treatment of his highly-trained civilian staff was anything other than exemplary. In fact, it was likely his staff would do the civvy version of a mutiny if he refused passengers from Perelan, and Jason didn’t want to deal with that.
He sat back in his chair and glanced at the log again, charting courses and times in his mind. He’d load fuel and foodstuffs for arrival at Ceyla City and pick up passengers there. That would include three Perels, who apparently had decided they wanted to finish their post-adolescent “tour of the ‘verse” in high and expensive style. Following Ceyla City, they’d stop by Ishtar to load elegant, hand-crafted consumer goods that would be snapped up on Perelan, and then finally circle back to the vaunted planet itself, to drop off his three interlopers. After that, thank whoever his scheduler was, he was off-duty for a month. It was past time, too.
“Orders come down the pipe, sir?” his second-in-command asked, smiling slightly. “Fluttering down to you like little angels from on high? Zipping along the information super conduit? Smacking into your brain at warp speed—”
“Thank you for that series of outdated turns of phrase, Flo; you must have been saving them up for a while.”
“Yes, well, I like Old Earth idioms as much as the next person, sir.”
“Or far, far more than the next person.”
“Yeah, that.” She peered at the screen with interest. “Where’re we going?”
“Ceyla, Ishtar, Perelan.”
“Money run,” she noted, not at all put off by Jason’s terseness. “Passengers?”
“Whomever we can fit comfortably, but we’re reserving three suites for some Perels coming aboard in Ceyla.”
“Oooh, they’ll need them,” Florence smirked. “Make sure they get the biggest beds available, too. Perels rarely sleep alone.”
“I’m well aware of their preferences.”
“They’ll be good for business. Everyone wants to travel with a Perel...” Florence’s voice trailed off as she remembered why Jason might not like to hear that. “Sorry, sir.”
“Water under the bridge, Flo.”
“Nice one,” she congratulated him.
“For you, I’m willing to make the effort.” Jason looked over the mission log again. “The delivery for Ceyla should be arriving around fifteen hundred hours, local time. Can you handle the loading and pre-flight check? Make sure all the staff are on board and prepped?”
“Absolutely, sir,” Florence said immediately. “I’ll let you know when everyone is settled and we’re ready to head out. Go and do something relaxing. Have a bubble bath. Hit a punching bag. Holo-snipe something.”
“Point taken,” Jason said dryly.
I will probably give you more later. I'm a giver:) Happy weekend, people.