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Friday, February 26, 2016

F3 Celestial Glory

            Kashari Station didn’t boast much in the way of amenities. Most Consortium stations boasted complex speculative marketplaces and warehouses with assortments of goods. Kashari, though, only had basic goods directly for sale, and no marketplace. Instead, they were a stellar cartographer’s dream.
            The Consortium didn’t have a formal exploration program, like the Alliance, instead encouraging private citizens to explore the galaxy. This was the farthest point both coreward and widdershins in the Consortium, where people ventured into the unknown, and infrequently returned with their charts. Consequently, Kashari had the most advanced navigational charts and software in the region, all privately developed, so it came without the bureaucratic nonsense typical of the Alliance software.
            Flynn was reviewing the charts he just purchased, and the accompanying software upgrades for Calypso, when he bumped into someone.
            “Excuse me—” he began.
            “Watch where you’re flaring going!—” A familiar voice cursed.
            “Flynn? What in blazes are you doing here?”
            “Me? What are you doing here? I just upgraded our star charts.”
            “Um, the same. I was just going to do that.”
            “Well, don’t bother, now. Let’s get back to the ship.”
            This is odd. She doesn’t do things without being ordered, not like this.
            Her eyes darted from him to the Cartography Center.
            “What is it?”
            “I still need to go in there.”
            He cocked his head to the side, arching an eyebrow. “Are you feeling all right? You don’t’ volunteer for duties.”
            “Fine!” She rolled her eyes. “I need the charts and data on the Seven.”
            “The Seven? Wait, the Celestial Seven? They’re around here, somewhere, aren’t they?”
            “Yes, which is why I need the data.”
            “But that’s a pilgrimage site. I never pegged you for the spiritual stuff.”
            “I’m not, voidbrain. You joined the Fleet because you had your overly-developed sense of duty. Defend and protect, blah blah blah. I joined because I wanted to explore. I wanted to see and fly to the wonders of the galaxy. But since we have to scrounge around to get anywhere, at least I’ll be able to look at the charts and vids of the area.”
            Flynn rubbed his chin, then stepped aside. “Go.”
            Ann didn’t wait, pushing past him.
            “What?” She looked at the ceiling, clearly exasperated.
            “Find out what the pilgrims might need in terms of supplies; we can do a trade run.”
            She looked at him, then. Her eyes narrowed in skepticism, but then she finally nodded and went through the door.

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