Freefall 1111 - 1120

Freefall 1111

After dinner


No matter how hard I try, lapping up water is a noisy affair.





Sigh. Slow down. Concentrate. Drink too fast, lower jaw gets soaked and I drip all over the place.

It's not without its upside though. Blow dryers are the next best thing to having your head out of a car window.

After dinner


Ready to go?

I'm good as soon as I pay the bill.

There's something… There's a piece of paper stuck to your tail.

It's the bill.

Okay, now these waiters are just showing off.

After dinner


The bill was more on your dress than your tail. Still pretty good.

This is the first time I've seen french ninjas in action.

Or should I say, didn't see them in action?

I wonder if they wear uniforms? You know, berets and stuff.

Ours did.

After dinner


So, do you have any plans for the rest of the night?

Not really. How about you?

I'm open. Anything you want to do?

Let's go for a walk.

I was thinking that, but I didn't want to suggest it.

Well, it wasn't my first thought either, but we're overdressed to play Frisbee.

After dinner


You've been here a couple of weeks now. How do you like living on planet Jean?

Jean? The planet's name is Jean?

Sure. It's traditional. The first planets were named after the Greek gods. Mercury. Venus. Pluto. Mother Earth set the tradition for life bearing worlds to have female names.

And it's short. When you have to fill in a planet's name ten thousand times on terraforming paperwork, you want a short name.

Looking at it that way, we're lucky every human planet isn't named Bob.

Плакат на стене – “Титан после гибели Земли” (KALDYH)
Планета Боб – отсылка к вышеупомянутому мультфильму.
На самом деле боги были римские (Жирафик Рафик)
Точнее, их имена. Сами боги – импортные из древней Греции (Tambov)

After dinner


This has been an interesting planet. If I had known I was coming here, I'd have been better prepared.

How can you go into cold sleep and not know where you're going?

This isn't my stop. I'm supposed to go on to the next system, and from there to a research station.

McClaw Heavy Industries

Sigh. Half way through a 24 light year flight and I get bumped.

When will travel agencies learn that you can't overbook a starship?

After dinner


I've never heard of anyone actually getting bumped off a spaceship before. The penalties for that are rough.

For a human, yes. I'm considered live cargo. The penalties for that aren't as severe.

I talked to the shipping clerk. He told me a C.E.O. had retired. Passage back home was part of his contract. I was the cheapest thing in cold sleep to bump.

It's a good story. Still, something doesn't feel right.

I agree. When C.E.O. retirement is involved, it never goes by the cheapest route.

After dinner


Who decided where you went after you got bumped?

Interestingly enough, the same clerk who bumped me also assigned me to Sam.

No other offers. No competitive bids. Very unusual. It's something I'll have to look into.

Sam is my captain and he's not well versed in human bureaucracy. I need to make sure this shipping clerk isn't taking advantage of him.

After dinner


Enough about me. Let's talk about you. What's it like being a veterinarian here?

Karon Realty. Own your home

Good. We're in the final stages of planet sculpting. Everyone doing asteroid drops are trying to get their own personal touches in. Rivers that form initials. Faces in the arrangement of mountain ridges. That kind of thing.

Like kids writing their names in wet cement.

Only on a planetary scale.

After dinner


Let's see. I came here on the second colony ship when I was 14 years old.

It was a slow ship. 17 years in transit. At the time, I.D. cards only cared about date of birth, not how long you spent in cold sleep. Technically, I was 31 years old.

I bet they fixed that fast.

Yeah. Too many five year olds with driver's licenses pretty much ruined it for everyone.

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