Rue Di Pasqua was sitting on her bunk, reading a medical text book. It was two years out of date, but had enough information to keep her busy for a while. Things were slow, for now. Being a medic that was a good thing. After all, if things were jumping it meant people were getting hurt. Most of her recent calls had been for dehydration when one of the pilots came in after a rather long flight. They were never very good at taking care of themselves.
Rue was still young, though she felt her life slipping away. She wanted to be a full fledged doctor on the homeworld. Not a medic giving hypershots to drunk pilots after a late night binge. She pushed her braided brown hair from her shoulder as she took a few notes on the page.
When an alert came for her to report to the bridge, Rue sighed, and stood. Her room always seemed small when she stood up. Bending down, she pulled her medkit from under the bed. After stretching and doing her best not to hit her head on the low bunk, she walked down the narrow hallways. She walked onto the bridge.
“You called me, Captain?” she said as she stood on the bridge, looking out at the vastness of space. There was something frightening about looking out into nothing, and knowing only a thin sheet of metal kept all of space out. She shivered for a moment, before looking at her Captain.
Zard Anora leaned back in the acceleration couch behind the main navigation console. It was normally Havas’s place, but it was the closest thing the ship had to a throne, and the captain often appropriated it when she felt particularly in charge. She looked smug right now, curled up like a cat with an “I’ve just eaten the biggest damned canary in the world” grin on her face. She’d been waiting for Rue to arrive.
During this period of time, while the scout ships were out questing for treasure among a mountain of useless rocks, the Nomad Prime was pretty much on half crew. Only Captain Anora, Cat Shires, the engineer, Nvar Havas, who’s navigator’s console she had commandeered and Rue herself were on board. The pilots were out there, in the erormity of space, light seconds away: Kala Sui, the red-headed cowgirl, Bex Dobbs, big, blonde and surly and Julio Robles, dark and lithe, full of macho bluster, but softer than a pat of butter left in the sun.
“Got an announcement,” she said as soon as the medic was on deck. “Kala’s found something. Says she’s got a ship, dead in space. She thinks its an alien. I don’t know. But even if its an old Chinese or Russian ship, the salvage will make us all rich. If it really is from the Void, . . . Shit! We’ll be rich and famous, guys!”
Havas looked doubtful. He was natrually morose and never really believed that anything would go well. Most of the time he was right. Cat Shires grinned from ear to ear. And Zard Anora practically purred in anticipation of their rewards.
“Just ‘cos she’s tagged it don’t mean we keep it,” intejected Havas, the natural sourpus pouring water on their enthusiasm. “Plenty of folks want to hijack a derelict, let alone a real, honest to god alien. Cripple us, leave us to die and take it. What you think we should do, Cap’n?”
“Beats the shit out of me, Havas. What do you guys think we should do?”