Chapter 3

The sky was beautiful at sunrise. The beautiful colors made by Diphidia II's sun were awe-invoking. Time to get cracking, thought Taryn, sleepily, gotta find a job to buy that ship. And the crew's depending on me. She stepped in from the balcony of the hotel room, and headed for the shower.

By this time in the morning, almost all the crew was waking up, except for the newer crewmembers and night-shift security staff, who were struggling with their alarm clocks, and the habit of sleeping during the day, respectively. Those that were up, or getting up, were all thinking about the same thing: job-hunting, excepting one crew member, who was purring away, thinking of fish, and how good the warm sun felt. Many of the crew would find jobs in manual labor, as it was more readily available, and, in some cases, paid more.

Taryn was ready to get out, and start searching. She looked tough in her coveralls and hat, and her hair was pulled back neatly in paramilitary style behind her head. She had her captain's insignia tucked away in her pocket, and her datapad hooked to her arm. She snatched her room key off the bedside table, and headed out into the hallway.

Into the Gravlift tube, and down to the first floor. Taryn reminisces about a time she can remember when mechanical elevators were still in use. The Gravlift rapidly grew in popularity during her childhood. She loved the exhilarating feeling of floating in the air down a plexiglass tube. Nothing compared.

No sooner had her feet touched the ground, than had she started walking. She had a mission, and she was going to complete it, in any way possible. I will find a job. Taryn thought to herself. I don't care how difficult it is, I will do it. Anything for my crew, anything for my ship. My new ship. My soon-to-be ship. The thought of her lost ship depressed her. I'll really miss her.

Taryn was absolutely determined to find herself a job that paid decently, so she could gather up the extra cash necessary to afford the Argosy. Her pace quickened. The door closed behind her, and the polluted air poured into her lungs. She didn't cough, because all the air tasted the same on this planet, inside the hotel and out. She called a Sky Taxi over to the landing pad on the top deck of the hotel, and leaned against the calling post to wait for the closest taxi.

She had only just leaned against the post and a taxi was just pulling around the top spire of the building. This was not one of the normal taxis she was used to seeing, but rather, a slightly larger one, in red. It pulled a loop and headed straight downward for the landing pad, almost in a suicide dive. It pulled up at the last second, and went into hover.

The door opened. "Hello Taryn. Didja miss me?"

Taryn had to fight to keep her jaw from dropping open. She only let a smirk sweep across her face.

"Well, well. You haven't changed a bit. Whatcha been doing all this time? Have you been in Cryo?"

"Well, actually—"a normal yellow taxi came around the building, "Hop in, I'll tell you on the way."

Taryn approached slowly, ran her hand over the door towards the handle. She pried open the door, and climbed in.

"Buckle up. This is gona hurt, otherwise."

Taryn obliged. The buckle was fastened in seconds as the car accelerated almost explosively away from its pursuer, over the edge of the building.

"Having fun?" The mysterious driver looked over at Taryn, who was frantically searching for somewhere to anchor herself.

"Oh, yeah. Loads," replied Taryn sarcastically, "Do it every day."

"Oh, good," he smirked, "So how long has it been? Twelve years? Thirteen?"

"Something like that," she lurched as the Sky Taxi suddenly leveled out and merged into a flight of traffic, "So really, what have you been up to?"

"It's complicated."

"What, have you been working for the Confed intelligence, or something?" she inquired jokingly.

"Something like that."

Taryn gave him an odd look.

"Let's just say I'm a white collar office-worker. I mean, where the heck do you think I got this car, anyway? I bought it. Straight out."

"Nice. It really moves."

"Thanks. I like it," he thought for a second, "I slipped those pirates your flight path. I can't tell you anything else. That's how I got the car. Lots of money."

"WHAT?" Taryn was suddenly interested with every part of her arms and head, "How could you do that to me? That cargo was worth millions, and it is going to be late. Once it's late, I don't get pay. If I don't get pay, my crew lives like shit."

"I can reimburse you for your troubles. That's why I came to pick you up. And why I rushed off. I stole a fare, and they can't know that. Also, I need your help. A job, I guess you could say."

"Wait," Taryn commanded, "Reimburse? Job? What do you want me to do?"

"A quick job. I need you to pass off some information. We're short some agents, as they're busy with a big job. I've been given clearance to give you this information, but if I tell you any more, there will be no turning back."

"Alright. Hold on," Taryn collected herself, "If I help you with this 'Job,' and IF I forgive you, which is a bit sketchy right now, you'll reimburse me?"

"...Yes..."

"Ok. Buy me a new ship."

The man was suddenly panic-stricken, "What the hell? How can you expect me to afford that? I can buy a car, but not a ship. How much money do you think I have?"

"Enough. Look, if it helps any, we've already got 400k. You come up with the rest, and a little extra for the basic upgrades, and you've got yourself a deal."

"Ok, I'll se what I can do. Don't consider anything final until I talk to you tomorrow. I'll be in touch."

And with that, they were back at the hotel, hovering a meter off the ground, about to land. The door opened, and out jumped Taryn Throve, Proud future-owner of an Argosy.

Taryn turned around, "Oh, and thanks, James. I'll see you around?"

"Sure thing."

Taryn turned on her heel, and waved over her shoulder to James.

James sped off in his red taxi, dropping off the edge of the building and disappearing from sight almost instantaneously.

She had a bit of extra bounce in her stride. She was proud that she managed to find herself a job. She reached for her datapad, and dialed up a private channel with Elena.

Crackle.

"Hello? Elena here."

"Hey, it's Taryn. I ran into an old friend. And found a job. And got the rest of the 750, 000. I'll fill you in when I know more. I just wanted to let you know I got something."

"That's great! We'll be able to get off this over industrialized planet sooner than I thought. When can the crew find out?"

"Once I know more. I promise. Have fun doing whatever you're doing."

"Don't worry. I will. Bye!"

"Later, Elena."

Click...

"Ahh, that's great...YES!" Taryn jumped up high in the air, and bolted towards the hotel lobby doors.