The next morning I found myself tucked in bed but alone. I got out of bed and did my full body stretches and then headed to the apartment kitchen area. Sabine and Madame Hawker were there and they had laid out for me a full breakfast. I ate with them and we had a few laughs but after only an hour I got up and got dressed. When I came out they too had put on some clothes. Sabine her shorts and cut off t-shirt and Madame Hawker a long flowing semi-see through gown. I had packed my bag for the last time but I put it down to hold and kiss them both and then after some tearful goodbyes I threw my bag over my shoulder. I told them I would look them up whenever I was back on Aurora but right now I needed to get Space under my feet.
With that I walked out the door and headed back to my ship. This time I was now pretty much adept at getting back to the surface and getting past all the checkpoints. I took the first shuttle to the Starport and within a couple of hours I had gone from small apartment over the Happy Phallus brothel to the interior of Scout 301. Scout 301 began to become a tiring designation for my ship so I had been stewing over a name. About two weeks ago I settled on one and had an artist come and paint it on the nose – “The Sabine Hawker“. I smiled every time I saw it.
I had added a new part to my security routine when I bedded down for the night. I would shut the doors, do an electronic security sweeps but then I would do a life detection scan with my mind on the interior of the ship. So far it had yielded nothing each time but I felt it was still a good move. Once I knew no one was aboard, I locked the place down for the day. I stripped back down to my skin and made some lunch. Then I moved to the bridge and checked my messages and my job board. One job offer now lit up like the sign over the Happy Phallus.
It was a request for quick and discrete passage to Preston IV for two people. Preston IV is planet on the outer edge of Republic space and it would take a few jumps to get there. This would mean about 50,000 Credits just in passage profit to me. I mean I had three spare staterooms. They also did not want to leave for a couple of days so I might be able to negotiate some cargo and mail freight. I might even be able to secure some information deliveries. I filed my flight plan to leave in two days and contacted the clients. They were excited that I could help them.
The thing about being a starship operator is that once you file a flight plan and tell how much space is available for others to use, other people begin to contact you. My first destination to get to Preston IV was the Solax System. It was a two parsec jump and not well-travelled by starships which meant some stuff had been stacking up at the starport looking for a delivery ship. I found a small cargo that was deemed important enough to put a 10,000 Credit tag on it for delivery to Solax. I also received a request for passage to Solax from another passenger so I would have three total and that filled up my available staterooms. Then I got a message from the Scout Service that had some package mail to deliver to Solax. They also would download the latest information from the X boats at the moment of my departure.
I spent the next day going over the ship making sure all systems were good and setting up my security protocols. At mid day a delivery robot loaded the cargo I was transporting which were medical supplies. The Scout Service Robot showed up with the mail delivery a little after that so I spent a good chunk of the next few hours securing my cargo bay and leaving room for my passengers luggage if they had any. That night I sealed up the Sabine and was settling down to one last drink before bed when my airlock alert went off indicating that someone was buzzing to be let in. I checked the camera and it was Sabine.
I got up quickly and opened the door for her and let her in. She was wearing robes over her pants and shirt combo with her slippers on her feet. She seemed normal but I felt her do a Life Scan after I shut the door behind her.
“Sabine, what are you doing here so late?”
“Institute business. I need you to deliverer a message to Preston IV.”
With that she handed me a portable information storage device.
“Can I ask?”
“Well, there is a rumor of rogue telekinetic on Preston IV. If my information is correct then this should help them identify him and track him down.”
“Ok, I will make sure it gets to the destination. What is its destination?”
“Open your mind for me.”
I relaxed my shield and her message came into my head giving me the address of the place I need to head to with the location of the Psionic Institute on Preston IV.
“Ok, it will be done Sabine. I thought we had already said our goodbyes?”
“Me too. It is however good to see you again before you leave. The Sabine Hawker, huh? Thank You.”
With that she kissed me again and then headed back out the airlock.
I did a security sweep and another life scan with my head and then went to bed.
I awoke very early the next morning. I dressed in my uniform and put on my weapons. I checked cargo hold and secured it. I then opened the two airlocks so people could come aboard and then stood outside my ship waiting for my passengers.
The first to arrive was actually the last guy to book passage. He was about my height and had brown hair and brown eyes. He was average of build and probably in his early thirties. He was dressed the latest fashions of Aurora but his manners were pretty gentle and not snobbish at all. He handed me his Middle Passage ( I don’t have facilities or a steward to charge for a High Passage) and I showed him to his stateroom which was next to mine down the hall. He seemed pleased and I returned to the outside to look for my last two passengers.
In about fifteen minutes they arrived. It was two young women a little shorter than me. They two were wearing Aurora style dresses but of the teenage middle class. One was dark-haired and the other had red hair. They were about the same build and probably were fresh out of General school teenage girls. Their IDs showed that they had both recently turned 18, the age of their majority and that they had graduated school which confirmed my suspicions. They handed me their two Middle passages for this length of the voyage and I showed them to their staterooms. They were across the hall and asked if I could open the door between their rooms so they could share. I consented. Two star struck lovers or two friends trying to get far away from their parents. They were of majority age so I could not really stop them. I just was wondering where they got the money and if it would haunt me later.
Once everyone was aboard, I announced that we would be leaving shortly. I told everyone to go to the lounge for some instructions. Once I got there I told them a few rules which basically amounted to: do what I say, stay out of my stateroom and stay out of areas marked for personnel only. I then told them to relax while we took off and I headed to the bridge.
I sat down and fired up the drives. I asked for clearance to leave and it was granted. I lifted off the ground a little, waited for the landing gears to slip in place, and then turned the nose up and, engaging the thrusters, felt the The Sabine Hawker shoot into space.