Today’s the day. My time at the University is finally coming to an end. Years of hard work, study, and a few runnin’s with those a**holes from the pilot’s division are finally over.
I opened the door and went to the cafeteria, my last meal in this ****hole. The old man gave me a scoop of what might be the nastiest franks & beans i’ve ever had, yet I always get it, might be the only thing i’ll miss.
5:00pm, the whole university is in the auditorium, 200,000 in this year’s graduating class, pilots, explorers, generals, researchers, data miners, if you’ve heard of them, they graduated here. MUD scholarships brought 90% of us here, with the elite 10% taking all the top accolades makes life hard. Failing to follow through on the scholarship contract we signed wouldn’t lead to a good end. Glad i graduated successfully, I heard those who fail end up as a janitor on the frontlines in run down ships fighting against USTUR or ONI.
Though it’s not much, the mining license in my hand means I can finally crew a ship and start earning something for myself. I’ll find myself a place to stay with the 5 atlas they gave me at graduation and find a ship that’s higher. Gonna be tough competing with my classmates, but I know I’m better (graduated 3,234/67,560 in mining, not to brag to myself here) so I’ve got time.
4:00am, I got up from my squeaky bed, and uncomfortable mattress. Good thing I have no plans to stay in this crappy place after today. $.01 atlas for a night…cheap, and close to the space dock but definitely wouldn’t wanna live here long term.
Ever been to the space dock? Not the sparkly pretty dock you see on posters that the elite use, I’m talking about the real dock, where you have the legit and the illegal, where you gotta keep your hands on your tokens or you’re gonna lose them. This is where I’ll find my fortune.
Lesson #1 in the dock, information brokers are good business. They’ll give you good info so long as you pay for it, and good info is how they keep their business. I know a guy who graduated 2 years ahead of me, Hettlon, never told me his last name, but he told me to find him when I graduated for a good job, and I’m sure he’s got something good for me.
Took some wandering but I finally found Hettlon. Almost got pickpocketed 3 times on the way but par for the course when moving around the dock. Hettlon told me about a fairly small mining operation happening on a belt near the border zone and told me to find “Teklana” a packlite making its way there later that day that was looking for someone with expertise in mineral identification.
Now the dock is HUGE, and when you are told to find a small ship without any directions, it’s even harder. I found the closest information droid and found that the Teklana was located in the western sector. It was too far to walk, so I hopped on a shuttle and made my way there.
Seeing the Teklana it was surprisingly clean, not what I expected based on the story Hettlon told me, but maybe they got a big payoff from their last run, surprised they have space for another crewman.
Found the Captain, he couldn’t understand his name with his accent, some with a G. He just asked if i could identify rare minerals, and I of course said I could. He hired me on the spot, I’m a little suspicious but the payment he’s promised 10 atlas minimum upon safe return, is a solid sum for what should be a fairly quick first run for me. Always good to start off with an easy one.
We launch later this afternoon. I’m excited, it’s the first time I’ll be leaving the area and heading into deeper space, even if it is just in the medium zone.
Time to fly. As a “first time flyer” I was expecting a fairly smooth ride, lo and behold, flying in space is not comfortable6. Gravity is suspect, sometimes you’re walking along, gravity is gone and you float an inch off the ground before gravity turns back on, and you slam back down to the floor. It’s really hard to stay vertical so that you land on your feet when it turns back on. I think I fell flat on my face 6 times before we even got up to speed, and I stopped counting after about the 11th time when I’m pretty sure I broke my nose. I’ll need to get it checked out when we get to the mining operation. Maybe it’s just the wear and tear of the ship but I hope when I own a ship one day this isn’t what I have to deal with.
1 week in a small space, with random strangers, while nursing a broken nose, I really hope this operation is worth it, and the rest of the trip isn’t as bad.