Settling In

The stranger, who's name turned out to be Daniel, led Jeremy through the maze of ships and cargo containers that was the Dockyards. They left Stuart to his boat. He'd done his job - Jeremy was here, alive and in one piece, and he seemed content to fuss over the damage that had been done to the vessel by the would-be pirates.

As they walked, Daniel filled him in on what he would be doing now that he was here. "You work directly for the Dockyards," he explained. "Part of the support structure, you know? Any dockworker that needs your help, you make sure they get put back together. Don't worry about compensation up front, the Accountant will make sure you get paid for it. Other than that, you're free to take on any other customers you see fit. Just remember, as a dockworker yourself you're expected to stay out of all the usual ruckus that goes on around here. That way you're a neutral party, see?"

"Sure," Jeremy said. He wasn't sure what the 'usual ruckus' was, exactly. But if he was expected to stay out of it, he figured he could manage without knowing. The smell of cooking food wafted through the air, and his stomach growled in response. He asked about food, and Daniel nodded.

"Oh yeah, plenty of place to eat around here. Most of it's even palatable," he said with a grin. "It's a regular floating city, the Dockyards. You've got everything you could ever need. Hydroponics facilities for growing food and medicinals, bars, machine shops, etc. Now we've even got a few doctors running around." Scattered gunfire rattled in the distance. Jeremy gave a worried glance in it's direction, but Daniel played it down. "Don't worry about that. If its not right around the corner, it's somebody else's problem."

They arrived at what would be his office and combination living quarters. It was fairly unassuming, from the outside. Just a stack of weathered cargo containers among many others in the Dockyards. It had windows, here and there, and a proper door fitted to the front. He also noted the cables that ran up to one corner, presumably providing the makeshift habitation with electricity.

"Well, here you are," Daniel said. "The place has been outfitted with just about everything you should need. Furniture, equipment, stuff like that." He handed Jeremy a card. "You have any questions, you give me a call, OK?" He said he would. "Good, good. Oh, and you're not expected to be open for business the minute you walk through that door. Take a day, get settled in. Just don't take too long." He gave Jeremy a keycard and was on his way.

Jeremy eyed the card, eyed the surrounding area, and then eyed the door to his new space. More gunfire rattled in the distance, but it was further away than before. The keycard slid easily through the electronic reader that had been fitted to the door. With a click it opened, letting him through. He set his bag down just inside the door, and fumbled around until he found a light switch. Despite the efforts of the windows, the place was dim.

It was impressive what they'd done with the space. It looked almost like the inside of a regular medical office. The front area had been set up as a waiting area. Beyond a door, he found a basic examination room. And beyond that... well, it was obvious they expected him to make use of all of his skills. They'd included a full surgery unit with a lot of very expensive and specialized equipment. The only thing he didn't have were nurses.

A set of wrought iron stairs led to another locked door, which gained him entrance to the cargo container above his workplace. It had also been subdivided into rooms. One was obviously an office space, complete with a laptop computer. There was a bathroom (the whole place had somehow been rigged with plumbing as well as electricity), a bedroom, a living room. He was surprised to find a small kitchen. All the comforts of home.

He thought about unpacking, but another gurgle from his stomach convinced him that it would be better if he found food first. Unfortunately, he had no map. Thankfully he remembered where he'd smelled food before. He headed back in that direction, keeping careful note of where he was going so as not to get lost.

The End

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