Episode One: Liberty for All, Part Six
Doctor Chanda Kakkar
Liberty was warmed than I'd thought was possible, in my sixteen years of life, I'd never felt so horrid than at that moment standing on the lowered platform of the Corvinus. The dry and polluted air made the Phi mark on my cheek itches badly.
The glass sign now looked like it could use a sweeping but the luminous writing shined through. We were still four beds short of full.
Passengers to Hera
250 L.S. per bed.
Cargo Space not included
"Ehm, excuse me, I forgot to ask," One of the the passengers asked. "How long is this trip going to take?"
I quickly summoned the application on my comm that quickly calculated the travel time. "At 0.1% of the speed of light, our cruise speed, we'll be there in a little over two weeks."
I sighed and sat back in the cloth chair when I noticed the well dressed man standing right there. I had managed not to hear him come closer. He was dressed in black from head to toe, a long tailed coat on his back and a regal cane in his hand. He tipped his hat but kept his mirror glasses. His cheek proudly displayed a Bioroid brand.
"Evening M'am." He said. "I see that you are offering rooms."
"We still have three beds in two different rooms, they are at--"
"Good." He interrupted me. "I'll rent both of the beds in one of your room, then." He then turned behind him where a large tractor was dragging a set of crates. "I'll need space to store those too." He dived a hand in his pocket and pulled out a large stack of bills, swiping them quickly before handing me a thick wad.
I counted, Two and a half grand as I did, he handed me a set of papers.
I barely spared a glance at it, we hadn't exactly checked everyone for papers, folks who came to low grade spaceport usually did because they couldn't pass security elsewhere. But then something catched my eyes, instead of the standard eight digits on the serial, there was a ninth. It didn't look like the kind of mistakes a forger would make...
"Everything seems in order." I said with a smile, using all the bedside manner I'd learned. "Mr. Vulpes Venator?"
"Vulpes will do."
"That's an interesting name you have, latin isn't it?"
"You're familiar with the language?"
"Just a little, it was part of the my classes on Novus, it helps understand much of the etymology of scientific terms."
"You're a scientist?"
"Doctor actually, from the Novus Alpha-Prime facility."
"And what can such a finely educated lady be doing here in liberty."
"Just drifting, seeing the world before my second decade ends. Unlike most bioroids, I could afford it and the Corvinus is a more thrilling method of travel than liners."
"I couldn't agree with you more." He said with a wolfish smile that would have sent shivers down a human's spine.
"What about you, I've never seen an Omega mark."
"I'm in business, as a private consultant, I handle government and company assets, help them make change in rosters and those kinds of things, often difficult things they like having someone else take care of."
"I see." I ran a check on his ID and despite what I was thinking, it checked out. The non-standard serial should have bounced normally... I needed to ask the captain, maybe he knew what it meant.
"Well, If you want to get installed, your quarters are at the end of the cargo bay, take left and the it will be the door on your right. Once everyone is on board, we'll brief you on how we do things."
"And my things?"
"I'll page Andrei to help us, he came back a few minutes ago. We'll secure the crates in a minute."
"Thank you." He said, again with the same smile, tipping his hat.
I walked back to the chair just as a man arrived, breathing heavily and sweating, a thick metal briefcase in his right hand. "Excuse me." He said. "Do you still have a bed available?"
"Yes we do."
"Good... I'm Albert. Albert Newland." He extended a hand and I reluctantly shook the sweaty palm. "Dr. Chanda, please welcome aboard."