Chapter 3: Life Aboard A Freighter
Copyright© 2018 by Duncan7
Travel to the freighter via the Ori shuttle was uneventful. We were still in Tian controlled space, so we travelled without delay. I was glad when we docked with the Opolu Naa.
“Permission to come aboard,” I said at the airlock.
“Permission granted. Welcome aboard Brian,” captain Jegho was here to greet me personally. “I understand you had some trouble planet-side, but you can tell me about it later. We should depart as soon as you are aboard and the shuttle departs. Any delay could give Tian system control an opportunity to stop us.”
I was directed to my assigned quarters, where I dropped off my gear and cleaned up. I had not yet been assigned duty, so I did not know what to do next.
By now the freighter was moving out of the solar system. Tian Prime was out of sight, if I were looking for it. I was not. I still had business with a list of beings back there, plus some not on my list who nearly messed up my plans. They would have to wait, but I would not forget them.
In my cabin was a workstation, so I used my ID chip to log in. It was not much different than the ones I had used before, only the language was in Ori. I figured to get acquainted with the protocols aboard the freighter and getting up to speed on things I would need to know. I found a section of training videos, which was very helpful, so I dug in. After each video was a test. It wasn’t too difficult, even in Ori. Actually, it was good to listen to more of the language, including technical terms used aboard the freighter. I had to think in Ori and not just mentally translate into Tian.
My training was distracted when an alarm sounded, warning that the hyperdrive was coming online. Soon I could feel a low hum and I knew we were on our way. I was aware that interstellar flight needed a huge amount of power, but until you experience it aboard a vessel, you can’t really grasp it. As a shuttle pilot, I was used to sub-light speeds. This was so much more.
An hour or so later, the hum was no longer distracting to me. I was done working through the basic training material. Several crew members had stopped by and greeted me during that time. They were all quite friendly, Ori were much less reserved than Tians. This was going to take some time to get used to. It was also different not being the tallest person in the room. In fact, there wasn’t anyone shorter than me.
On the workstation, I pulled up my profile, to see what the ambassador had done. My work visa was cancelled. It seems he had granted me full Ori citizenship and hired me as part of his diplomatic personnel. As of today, I was assigned to captain Jegho aboard the Opolu Naa for unspecified duties. Well, that made sense. I suppose a captain of a freighter like this would be a diplomatic representative for the Ori Confederation. Especially when stopping off at planets where they did not have permanent offices. My new Ori passport was a diplomatic one, which gave me certain immunities on planets with treaties with the Ori Confederation.
I decided to make a new list, of beings I was grateful to. The ambassador had the honour of being the first on this list and I suspect the captain would also be on it soon enough. Sadly, I could not think of any Tians who deserved a place on the list right now. I also felt sad that until now I did not need this second list. Perhaps after I cooled off, I would think it over some more. Right now I was still upset with my experience at the spaceport.
Later I got a summons to meet with captain Jegho. He had an office just off the tactical room. When I got there, he was sitting at his desk, studying some reports.
“Come in Brian, take a seat,” he said, smiling. His office was nice and a bit more fancy than something you’d find on a Tian vessel. I sat down in a chair opposite. “How are you enjoying your first day aboard?”
“So far so good sir. I’m very glad I made it aboard,” I said.
“Yes, I heard from the ambassador you had a tough time leaving. Did you know you are the first Tian to be serving aboard an Ori vessel?” the captain asked.
“No sir, that’s news to me.”
“The Tians are decent enough beings, but they tend to keep to themselves. Individual Tians don’t approach us looking for work. They would more likely seek work on Tian vessels. You were an exception Brian.”
“Well, as Tians, we are normally quite reserved. But I’ve had a strong desire to get out into space for a long time. As I grew older, I felt a need to distance myself from other Tians.” I said.
“One thing I’d like to emphasize here. You are Tian, but you are more than Tian. You now also have citizenship in the Ori Confederation, so you are as much Ori as Tian. I understand that your species from birth is called Human. If you were playing cards, I’d say you have an interesting hand. How you play that hand, and what you achieve is up to you.” He looked intently at me as I considered his words and then I nodded.
“While aboard this freighter and under my command, you are part of the crew. Just like the ambassador, I have your best interests at heart. I take care of my crew and in return I expect your loyalty, loyalty to me and to your fellow crewmates and to this freighter. If you ever come across a situation where you are unclear where your loyalties lie, you should come talk to me. Do you understand?” the captain looked at me all serious.
“I understand sir. You won’t have any trouble with me,” I said. My eyes mirrored his serious stare. I knew we had just made an important pact.
He smiled. I would have to get used to all these visible expressions that were so un-Tian. “I didn’t expect there would be any trouble. We are a family here and we live and work in close proximity. Any issues you can’t resolve peacefully, bring it to me and I will settle it. Make friends and get to know your crewmates. Be there for them and they will back you up when you need it. Your ID says you’re on the diplomatic team, assigned to me. Being a diplomat requires you to connect with people. We meet people of all races and with all different mannerisms. Your former life on Tian, being reserved will not help you here, so this is your special assignment. Make friends, build connections, earn their trust.”
“Yes sir. I will endeavour to connect with my crewmates.” It will take some effort.