En Route to the Future

Alisha was rather saddened when most of her friends and family had expressed disbelief and disappointment when she had phoned them and explained where she was going. None of them thought she had it in her to be a Spacer. Maybe they were right. She was about as domesticated as you get. However, Alisha didn't really have much in the way of property and obligations holding her down at the moment. If ever she was going to get an opportunity to see more of the universe, now was that time...

Alisha had arrived at the docks five minutes prior to the time she had agreed to meet Captain Dohler, only to discover a message on her phone from the Captain instructing her to find her own way to his ship, the Cornucopia.

Fortunately, the Cornucopia was not hard to find; the massive ship could be seen from miles away. Getting onto it was proving to be difficult, however...

"I'm sorry lady, but the authorities have grounded all transport in this sector. There is nothing I can do for you until they say the coast is clear."

Alisha gave an exasperated sigh as she was rejected by yet another cab driver. Usually these guys would jump at any opportunity to get business, but today they seemed on edge.

Speaking of on edge, Alisha received a second call from the Captain urging her to get on board. That was appearing to be easier said then done.

And then Alisha's eyes fell on a young girl that she recognized to be one of her former students, a girl named Julie Hayti, whom Alisha recalled had been one of the most responsible people in her class. Although a very intelligent and capable girl, Julie had been forced to look for work instead of going to college in order to support her family, as her father was an alcoholic and her mother was almost always sick.

Alisha had lost touch with Julie after she had graduated, but seeing as she was now standing next to the drivers side of a taxi, apparently she had gotten a job as a cab driver. Alisha waved her down and saw a smile flash across they young woman's face as she recognized her old science teacher.

"Miss Zarai, how are you! I haven't seen you in, like, 2 years!" Julie exclaimed as Alisha approached her cab.

After a brief but warm hug, Alisha explained, "I am doing alright, Julie. I was layed off a couple weeks ago, but I have just recently found a new job."

"What! For real!?..."

Julie and Alisha spent the next several minutes catching up with each other, during which time Alisha got buzzed by the Captain for a third time.

"So, Julie, I think my new boss is testing me. I have been tasked with getting to that big ship you see out there, but unfortunately nobody here seems to be willing to take me there."

"Yeah, we were ordered by the FPA not to fly for the next hour for some reason. Hopefully they'll tell us later," Julie replied.

Alisha sighed. "Is there anyway you could pretend that you hadn't heard that order?"

Julie became rather nervous. "I- maybe..."

"I'm going to lose my new job before I can even get started..."

Julie took a deep breath. "Alright, for you Miss Zarai, I guess I can do it. Get in."

"Thank you Julie!..."

Alisha quickly stuffed her suitcase in the trunk and jumped into Julie's taxi shuttle. Soon they were in the air, and Alisha could feel the eyes of the people on the ground upon them. The radio on Julie's instrument panel blared to life.

"Driver of shuttle 412G7C, this is Lieutenant Weston of the Federal Port Authority. Please land your shuttle immediately. I repeat..."

Julie shut her radio off and sighed. "Miss Zarai, what should I do? If I ignore that order, I could lose my license, or worse."

"Well, if I were in your shoes, I'd probably land, but if you do decide to continue, I will try to make it worth your while, as I'll probably get fired..."

"Okay, fine, lets finish this. Ask your boss where the Haell I'm supposed to land in that massive thing."

Alisha did as she was told. She dialed up the Captain but instead got ahold of his AI, who sent her a map of where to go after she explained the situation.

The next ten minutes were very tense to say the least. The big ship had begun to move, causing some damage to the dock, and other larger port authority ships began to arrive. Meanwhile, Alisha's phone was constantly getting bombarded by alerts from the Captain.

Eventually, Julie got into the hole Aurelius had described, and a little after that, Julie managed to find and park in a shuttle bay. For a moment, neither of them said anything as Alisha finally let her breath out (which she had unconsciously been holding) while Julie panted.

"Holy crap, I actually just landed into a moving ship," Julie gasped.

"Julie, you are amazing," Alisha agreed. "You just saved my hide."

"Thanks Miss Zarai, anything for you," Julie blushed.

Alisha transfered 15000 Carnassian Credits, which was about a quarter of Alisha's money, to Julie's account, causing the young woman's eyes to widen. "I can't take all that. That is like taking a bribe!" she protested.

"Take it Julie. You might need to use it to bribe the Port Authority," Alisha replied.

"Good point."

Alisha got out of the shuttle and pulled her luggage out of the back. Julie got out and as well. "I- I hope this works out for you."

"I hope so to." They hugged each other, and then Julie returned to her taxi shuttle. Alisha dragged her suitcase toward the walkway, the looked over her shoulder as Julie flew off. She hoped that the girl would get back safely without getting into too much trouble.

Well, now she had to find her way to the bridge. That was what they called the place where the Captain worked, right? "Aurielius, I have finally gotten onboard. How do I get to the Captain from here?"

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