A/N: Hi peeps, due to a change in my personal circumstances I’m running a donation drive. Please check out this news post for details and drop a few pennies in the hat if you can. Thanks to the four wonderful peeps who’ve already helped out. 🙂
“Family of the soul?” Amanpreet looked over at Niobe. “What does that mean?”
“Hmm…” Niobe tutted quietly as she considered the question. “It’s a concept found in several Mez cultures. We’d probably say family of the heart, but the Mez don’t consider their hearts to be the root of their emotions. It’s family you choose, rather than family you share DNA with.”
Amanpreet thought back to her best friend from primary school and the day they swore they’d be sisters forever. “So like promising to be blood brothers or sisters?”
Niobe nodded. “Except under the law of most Mez governments such chosen family has equal standing with genetic family as long as itâ€™s registered. Umi and Storm will likely ask us if we wish to formally acknowledge it soon. The Mez treat adopting kin similarly to getting into a romantic relationship – you can fall in love without marriage but it’s the formalities that give it legal standing.”
â€œWow!â€ Amanpreet tilted her head at that. “Well, I do care about that pair, but I think I want to know more about what this entails before I get into any legally binding relationships.”
Niobe nodded. “Very wise, and I know they’ll agree, especially since I’m not sure how it would interact with Damkinan inheritance law.”
“Badly,” Amanpreet said. “The inheritance laws are a mess.” She looked around as a soft chiming indicated another incoming call. â€œWell, we’re popular today,â€ she murmured as she answered it.
“Captain Amanpreet.” The speaker was a good looking black man with a friendly smile. He was dressed in the same uniform as the guard outside the door. “I am Denzin, head of human security for the Council chambers. They wish to hear your testimony about the Class Four Fish tomorrow morning. Is this acceptable?”
“It is,” she said.
“Very good. They wish to hear navigator Kayla’s evidence about Vaia immediately after yours, so I’ll arrange an escort for you.”
“That’s sooner than I expected,” Kayla said over Amanpreet’s shoulder. “It wasn’t due until the day after tomorrow.”
“They heard about the attacks on you and took an emergency vote to bring the session forward,” he said. â€œThey are concerned for your safety.â€
“Ah!” Kayla said. “I’m concerned for my safety as well. Thank you.”
â€œYou’re welcome,â€ he said. â€œTomorrow morning then.â€ He nodded and closed the line.
â€œThat’s good,â€ Amanpreet said. â€œWe can give our testimony, pick up our supplies and, once the repairs are done, head back to Damkina to get cargo to run to Talis. Then we can pay the Ishtari for the repairs we did there. Hopefully, all without being attacked this time.â€ She turned back to the console. â€œAnd I need to check the accounts and see if we can afford to hire Kayla.â€ She tapped on the keyboard to bring up her statement and her eyebrows shot up when she saw the balance. â€œWell, that can’t be right.â€
â€œIt’s bad?â€ Niobe bent down to look at the screen. â€œHow much!â€
â€œIt’s not bad,â€ Amanpreet said. â€œBut it must be an error. The supply run to Talis was lucrative but there’s no way we’re this much in credit.â€ She began to go through the numbers, carefully looking to see why the account was so much in credit. â€œOh!â€
â€œOk, did you find it?â€ Niobe asked.
â€œYes.â€ Amanpreet scowled at the screen. â€œWe have a down payment from the Council for a science run of some sort. I know they can force hire vessels but I wish they’d bloody warn you when they are going to do that. Finding a ton of money in your account is a heck of a way to find out your ship’s been co-opted.â€
â€œNot the first time I’ve been on a ship that got force hired,â€ Kane said drily. â€œIt’s probably because we’re here and thus convenient. And science work for the Council is lucrative, interesting and easy, so I don’t think we should complain.â€
â€œOh, I’m not complaining about the money,â€ Amanpreet said. â€œI just wish they’d be less rude about it. I would have accepted it anyway.â€ She shrugged. â€œOh well, I guess our supply run has been delayed. How do we find out what we’ve been hired for?â€
â€œIf the initial payment is in the account we should get contacted by the scientists soon,â€ Kane said. â€œProbably after you’ve given evidence, I imagine. But yeah, I quite agree on the dropping credits into people’s accounts out of the blue.â€
â€œOkay,â€ Amanpreet said. â€œWell, thanks to this unexpected contract, it seems I can definitely offer Kayla a job.â€ She looked over at her. â€œWould you like to join my crew? We can discuss terms and draw a contract up, if you do.â€
Kayla gave a brilliant smile. â€œI think I’d like that.â€
A/N: Hi peeps, due to a change in my personal circumstances I’m running a donation drive. Please check out this news post for details and drop a few pennies in the hat if you can. 🙂 Thanks to the four wonderful peeps who’ve already helped out. 🙂