Well to be honest a few formalities had to be observed first. One of the first things I had to deal with the next day was the official muster out ceremony. I told myself I wouldn’t cry but I let a few tears slide down my cheek. I had my hand shaken by the Senior Scout Leader and was given my official mustered out jacket which has golden trim but otherwise looks the same. I was a high-ranking officer of sorts (equal to a Navy Captain) but I felt the fanfare was a little much.
It was the more unofficial sendoff that was actually a little more time consuming because it involved alcohol for six hours with what seemed like half the scout force. In true Scout Service fashion one of the men from my last team visited me in the night. He was a pretty sweet guy so I didn’t mind and the sex took the edge off a long and exhausting day. When I awoke the next morning he was gone and the reality of having to make a living on my own set in. I had to take stock of my assets so I closed all the airlocks on Scout-305 and set them on high security. I then stripped off every stitch of clothing I had and stood in front of the full length mirror in the stateroom bathroom.
To the untrained eye I had not changed at all since the day I left Regulus III. I still had my nice figure of a young woman in her early twenties and my silver hair was still shoulder length only now I usually wore it in a pony tail down my back. My azure eyes still beamed but the sparkle was a little different this time as they beamed with experience and passion and not the glint of the innocent. I had no scars and nothing sagged anywhere, my nipples were still perky and I was shaved everywhere to a baby smooth. I was forty-six years old but I looked twenty. I was a veteran scout now but outwardly it didn’t show. Physically I was no different and I was strong, agile and tough. Mentally I was very sharp and I had the best education I could possibly have. Socially I was still the daughter of former planet administrator.
I was a complete starship operator. I could pilot, co-pilot, navigate, operate communications and sensors, so any starship bridge would love to have me. I also could act as engineer, run, diagnose and hack the computer systems, and could maintain electronics and gravitic systems. If it was on a starship, I could operate it or fix it.
I could if necessary be a support crew member too. I was qualified medic, could do security with my skills in handguns, small blades and unarmed combat and could be decent cargo hand although I was more likely to program some robots to do it for me. I could man the turret guns if necessary and had a good knowledge of starship tactics. I could handle a Vacc Suit in Zero-G like a pro. I had been a good leader and ship captain.
I had been a spy. I could pass through most societies and keep my cover. I knew administration, how to bribe, I could walk on the worst streets and the best streets without anyone thinking anything was odd. I could handle state dinners or an information gathering session at a seedy pub. I knew how to pick locks, pick pockets and break into safes.
I had few odd but helpful skills as well: I could survive on any world as long as I had the means to gather the resources I needed and I had a degree in history that allowed my to investigate anyone, anyplace or anything and get good information on them. I had the basic grav vehicle skills I had since Regulus III.
In short, I could be a lot of things but what ultimately came to mind was hopping star systems and to pay my way I would do what I needed to do and there were a lot of options for a former scout. I could run cargo in this little ship. Sure it didn’t a have a large cargo hold but it could handle some. I could however deliver what I delivered best which is information and some information people didn’t want everyone to know. I could investigate things and follow up on them across the systems. I was an operator on a lot of levels and selling my services seemed like a good idea. The fact they I also had a starship at my disposal just made that idea sweeter. I simply had no idea how to begin or what to call my self officially.
I stood there naked in front of the mirror for a long while, then it hit me. I went to the bridge and sat down in front of the computer station. I typed all my skills into the banks with all my qualifications. I listed some of my experiences and then when it came to the job title for my business I typed in “Independent Scout for Hire” after my name. Then I gave how to contact me and then put it on all the starship trade publications. Now all there was to do was wait.
I then got up and had a good stretch in the living area and then got dressed. I decided as an independent scout I need my own uniform. I decided on black skin tight pants with knee high black boots. Then put on a blue tank top (which revealed a lot of cleavage of course) and covered that with an open black jacket. It was much like the scout services jacket only it was jet black with silver buttons. I put on my watch which was also my personal communication device and a simple silver necklace and silver earrings. I decided to let my hair fall over my shoulders like back when I was younger. I looked good.
I then went back to the computer and checked to see if I had any job offers. I had three.
The first one was a ‘holy hell’ moment. It was the pornographic company that had originally wanted me in one of their films way back when I first landed on Aurora. They must have kept a computer search program active on me and when it found I was unemployed sent me a new offer. It was generous and completely up front what I would be doing. I sent back a polite negative reply. I knew my hair and eyes are an unusual combination and my fame a little bit of an asset, and I enjoy sex. It is just that I don’t want someone filming me having it so the public can see it all for the sake of money. No thanks.
The second job offer was about following a guy’s wife to see if she was cheating on him. I paused for a second. Then, I hacked into the computer banks of the company she worked for and got their security camera footage where I found a video of her and her boss banging on the desktop in his office. I sent the footage to him with a note saying: ‘Yes, she is having an affair.’ and a bill for 500 Credits. It took me about a half hour. Oddly enough, about two minutes later the 500 Credits was wired into my account with a note: ‘Thank you.’ Easy Money.
Finally there was cryptic message about meeting someone face to face for a special mission that involved some historical background work and maybe some poking around in some of the more dangerous parts of the planet. The place they wanted to meet was public and while they didn’t give a credit amount for payment, they said they would make it worth my while. We messaged back and forth for the next two minutes and agreed to meet the next morning in the public place designated and hear what they had to say.
My first adventure since leaving the Scouts was about to begin and oddly enough it wouldn’t even involve me leaving Aurora. It would also have a profound effect on me for the rest of my life.