Have Engineer Will Travel
Meet me at the Crossroads
Location: Rigel VI Moon 3
Jinkra was...at least semi pleased to see him, Jonas was certain of at least that much. The Bolian woman had agreed to see him with offers of authentic parts for his EM-33 project. He'd had to meet this new captain somewhere, so he'd agreed to kill two birds with one stone and meet him in the Upfront Bazaar, at Jinkra's booth. Not that it was any more or less illegal then other places, but the goods tended to be more run of the mill rather then slaves and drugs and things like that. An engineer could get lost in a place like that. He checked his wrist mounted scanner, only a few minutes until his latest rendezvous.
"It's always nice to see you too Jinkra..." he said as he pried the Bolian woman off him and took a look at the particle filter she'd procured for him. An old friend from his days with the Dovetail, he was probably....stretching his probation talking to her. But being in Rigel seemed to him like it was one big stretch of his probation. He frowned as he waved the small item over his wrist. The leather bracer had a flexible screen built in and served him as well as any tricorder for his scanning needs. Sadly, it told him the little filter was in dire need of realignment, at least a 3 day project. Still, it WAS authentic and that was what he needed.
"3 slips?" He offered, giving her that boyish charming smile that seemed to work every now and then. Even she wasn't immune.
"I'll give it to you gratis if you look at a side project for me..." Jakra replied, even as Jonas shook his head a little. Her "projects" were generally something that would definitely break his probation. Sliding the slips across the booth, he waggled the part at her.
"Tell you what, if this new job doesn't work out...we'll talk ok? Those were 3 of my last 10 slips.."
While working with the Maquis, Braedyn had learned to blend into the background, which is what he was doing now. He was pretty damn good at it for someone who came to it later in life. He scanned the crowd until he picked out the engineer he was supposed to meet. Braedyn had 'acquired' the engineer's file. Wasn't difficult. His criminal conviction was a matter of public record, as were his identity documents. The probation department's file was a bit more difficult, but there were people in places that either owed Braedyn favors or had a stake in his little venture working out. Satisfied that he had the right guy, Braedyn sidled up to him at the Bolian trader's booth.
"Jonas Pavan," he said. "I think maybe you're looking for me."
Jonas turned his head, avoiding the daunting look that Jakra was giving the person that dared interrupt her sales pitch for the next crime of the millenium. Giving her a little wave, he turned his body towards the man and began slowly moving away from the booth, to walk and talk at once. "Got me in one..usually looking for some fried coin crabs, but a job's as good a path to them as anything else. Captain Tann I take it?" He held out his hand for a moment before realizing the small part was still in it. He gave a smirk as he tucked it into his pocket and offered the hand once more. "Heard you're looking for a spanner monkey?"
Braedyn shook the offered hand.
"Why don't we stop in over there and talk," he said. Braedyn led Jonas into a tavern. A waitress leaning on the bar, backside out, turned around when he walked in. He nodded to her and wordlessly she escorted them to a booth in the back. "Two Rigelian Lagers please."
Braedyn slipped her enough for the drinks and something for her to keep on the side. She smiled and winked and walked over to the bar. Braedyn waited until after she left to start talking.
"So," he said. "Jonas Pavan. Doesn't coming to this moon sort of invite the probation authority to violate you?"
Jonas waggled one hand a little bit, while the other toyed with the drink a little, not taking a sip. He rolled the glass around untill it was precariously tipped over, then let it tip back, the liquid still safe inside. A perfect metaphor maybe. "I prefer to think of it as the time honored alcoholic who works in a bar kind of test."
Leaning forward he fished around in the bowl, grasping a handful of fresh kanzlok from it and tossed them in his mouth. Not exactly his favorite snack but delicious nontheless. "Besides, you can't do the kind of work we do and not go somewhere illegal now and then. The best parts, the best jobs..and at this point it's kind of..probbie on paper only now..I'm not going anywhere and they know it."
"Good to know," Braedyn said. "So, how good of a spanner monkey are you?"
"Good enough. " Jonas thought about it for a moment as he chewed thoughtfully and the squishy wiggly food. "Any engineer can tell you they know it all but that's a load of toss. I know enough that I know enough to know that you've have to learn half the problems as you go. All those silly little production engineering concepts that look so nifty on paper but...well..not so much in the real world."
"You're not wrong kid," Braedyn said. 'Kid' was a relative term. Three hundred years ago, Braedyn would have been on the downward slope of his life. In the 24th Century, with humans living to be over 120 years of age, he still had six or seven decades before he had to worry about where he wanted to be buried, and maybe another decade beyond that. "Well, the Cortina is packed with upgrades for you to play with, as long as everything works when I need it to, plus a few toys you may not have had the opportunity to work with. Her space frame may be an old design, but she's been completely rebuilt bow to stern, dorsal to ventral."
Braedyn to a sip of his lager.
"Look," he said. "I know that you've got a past. We all do. That's not going to be a problem for me unless you can't be honest if or more likely when trouble from your past catches up to you. Because, when it catches up to you, it's going to catch up to the rest of us. My crew works together. They have each other's back. Your problems may just become our problems, just as ours may become yours. Can you handle that?"
"Sounds like a decent place enough to hang my hat, as soon as I buy a hat and start wearing them." Jonas eyed that lager again for a moment, then drummed the still full glass on the table. "My problems are mostly in lock up. I doubt they're ever letting her out. Old friends. Can't live with them, can't take them down to the river and drown them in a sack. But I'm in for a penny in for a pound and all that."
"On Earth they say someone like that is like a bad penny," Braedyn said. "Always turning up at the least opportune moment. Alright, you're hired, so if your personal bad penny shows up, she'll have all of us to deal with. The Cortina is in a hangar at Elkin Shipyards in Polar City Colony on Rigel IV. If you need somewhere to stay, I've got a deal with the local spacer's inn. They'll put you up and feed you til we leave, on me."
Braedyn slid Jonas a card with his information on it and a chit for the inn.
"Meet me at Elkin Shipyards, Hangar Nine and Three Quarters, tomorrow morning, Braedyn said. When Jonas looked at him funny, he explained. "It's from some Old Earth book from the early 21st Century. I've never read it but Mister Elkin has and he numbered the hangar he's got set aside for special projects 'Hangar Nine and Three Quarters." Anyway, we'll do a walk around and through the Cortina then and I'll show you the toys you'll get to play with."
Jonas palmed the chip and slipped it into his shirt pocket. Another handful of the table snack went into his mouth as he nodded "Well, I was planning on sleeping in an alley, but that sounds a bit better. You've hired yourself an engineer, skipper."
"Welcome aboard, Jonas," Braedyn said. "I've got to get back to Rigel IV. Need a lift? I borrowed one of Old Man Elkin's shuttles."
"If it saves me a fare over there, sounds good to me...home again home again."
Braedyn nodded and led the young man to the shuttle he'd borrowed for his trip.