Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Nano Fic: The Gentleman Scoundrel (1)

I haven't fallen off of the face of the Earth, RocketFans; In this one month period, we have three birthdays, Christmas, and over a dozen holiday clogging performances (my daughter's in the Nutcracker!).  In addition, we've all five of us had the annual holiday stomach flu.  So no, I haven't been working on the blog too terribly much.

But I have been working.  Here is a little sample of some fiction I've done in the Hard SF Space Opera univese I've told you all about.  Hope you enjoy.

“How can you call this ship clean when it smells like this?”
    The Master of the Gentlemen Scoundrel, a sometime-trading ship, had a nasal voice that graded on the nerves of his Engineer, one Ipa Sam.
    “It smells like this because the scrubbers need to be replaced. They should have been replaced a thousand hours ago.”
    Master Aru Vakh looked down his thin nose. “Those scrubbers are rated for indefinite use, with proper maintenance. You have been performing proper maintenance, yes?”
    Ipa scowled and collected her tools from the vestibule floor. “As much as I can on your budget. We should have another tech for this. And we have to get a medic before we can carry passengers again.”
    Vakh dodged a suspiciously tossed grease rag and glared. “I don't need the plumber to tell me how to run my ship. It just so happens that I'm interviewing a prospect today. Probably the only decent prospect on this rock.”
    “Then I'll leave you to it.” Ipa Sam stood up, too close. “Permission to bathe, sir?”
    Vakh dismissed his Engineer with a wave and strode from the Airlock vestibule, past the lift tube and into the First Class Lounge. Nearly the whole of deck three, the part not taken up with the fuel scoops and the docking cradle for the ship's boat, was set aside for first class accommodation. A half-dozen staterooms, all single occupancy and including their own ‘freshers, a full service galley, and a medical bay formed a ring around the central lounge. The air here was musty and still with disuse. A single long table with eight chairs, perfect for formal dining, sat empty in the center of the lounge with a pair of comfortable couches flanking. None had been used for far too long. Each trip, the empty deck lost Vakh a hundred and twenty thousand in potential revenue. A Medic, especially one not above doubling as a cook and steward for First Class, should only cost a small fraction of that. If one could be found that met Aru Vakh's standards, that is. Given the conditions of this benighted planet, The Ship's Master could be able to hire a decent prospect for a good deal less than standard wages. Finally, Vakh allowed himself a thin smile.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Questions, comments, criticisms? All non-Trolls welcome!