Furieux grinned as he sat down in the command chair of the Delicate Heart and made himself comfortable. Briefly checking the ship’s headcount manifest display, he noted that a handful of passengers were still in the process of embarking, meaning he had a few minutes before take off. The larger VIP transport vessel, the Velvet Presley, had proven to cause problems at surface destinations when carrying people of of notoriety or fame; the scanners of local SysAuth ships keen to search the cabins and holds of easy targets. The big Beluga simply wasn’t fast or maneuverable enough to make it reliable. The Orca on the other hand, handled like a souped up Viper in experienced hands, and Furieux was happy to be back in the cockpit of his favourite ship.
As the last of his travellers took to their rooms, he raised the loading ramp and closed the doors. As he did so, he remembered a recent conversation he’d had with Commander Talynne Star and reached under his seat to find a full, unopened bottle of Centauri Mega Gin. He shook his head in disbelief. “That woman’s ability is a complete mystery”, he mumbled, quietly. “Talking to ships and all that jazz. Nonsensical.”
He peered around the cockpit half expecting a reply. “What do you have to say to that, DH?”
He was met by silence apart from the normal cheeps and chirps the Orca uttered regularly.
“Figured as much. Well, sweetheart, let’s get you back into the black. It’s been too long. Afterwards, we’ll visit that nutter, Palin, and see if we can eke a little extra speed out of your thrusters, eh?”
The Orca chirped and Furieux swore that the sound was louder than usual.