Recruiting a Pilot
Meet me at the Crossroads
Location: Tan 3 Ginger Spa
Cara was sitting in a booth enjoying a smoothie and looking over job listings on her PaDD. This wasn't a normal bar, hence why it was called a spa instead. If there was ever a non-alcoholic bar with all the seediness of a normal bar, this was it. The main difference was people talking about being vegan and doing crossfit. It wasn't normally her scene, but the smoothies were literally out of this world - most of the ingredients were imported.
Braedyn wasn't normally into the crunchy vegan super health nut scene, but the Lean and Mean made a great smoothie. He normally preferred locally grown ingredients when he was home, but the Lean and Mean had access to some exotic fruits you just couldn't find here on Rigel IV. He entered the restaurant and looked over the clientele. He noticed an attractive young woman with bright pink hair enjoying a smoothie in one of the booths. He smiled at her when she looked up and winked, then went up to the counter to order something.
"Welcome to the Lean and Mean where our all natural smoothies will help make you both lean and mean," drawled the guy behind the counter. "Now, what the fuck do you want?"
Braedyn ignored the obnoxious counter person and just looked at the menu. After a minute, during which the counter guy looked bored stiff, Braedyn ordered.
"I'll take a gantha berry smoothie with banana and vanilla soy milk. Add some chia and some Bajoran skeksa bee honey," he said. "And if you spit in it I'll slice your balls off."
The guy at the counter looked like he was going to give more attitude but stopped when he looked in Braedyn's eyes. Convinced that the crazy old bastard might actually cut his balls off, the counter guy swallowed his pride, if you could call it pride. He shrugged and started making Braedyn's smoothie.
The man that just came in looked familiar so she winked at him when they made eye contact. Why was he familiar though? Looking back at her PaDD, she scrolled up several pages and then saw the ad. He was looking for a pilot! Was this her lucky day? Perhaps it was. As his smoothie was finished, she checked the man's name and waved him over, leaving the PaDD with his ad up in plain view. "Captain Braedyn Tann? Please, sit with me. This is a nice booth and I'd like to talk with you about an ad, if that's ok."
Braedyn looked over when the pink-haired woman called his name. At first he had no idea what she was talking about and then he realized she must have seen the classified ad he'd put out.
"Sure thing," he said. He walked over and took a seat across from her. "So, what's your name?"
"Cara Vahn. It's a pleasure to meet you," she replied, offering her hand for a handshake. "Your ad says you need a skilled pilot familiar with the Ju'day class."
Braedyn shook the offered hand.
"I do," he said. "So, are you a skilled pilot familiar with the Ju'Day Class? I hope so. I'd hate for this to be a short conversation."
Cara nodded and smiled as brightly as her hair. "I have a level 5 Pilot's license and I spent the last couple years as the pilot of a Ju'Vej class, which is basically a Ju'Day with cargo pods. I also ran a few Dominion blockades with it. Interestingly, it had a more user friendly bridge than the luxury liner I did night duty on."
"So, blockade running, huh?" Braedyn said. "That means you know how to maneuver under fire? I ask because I'm pretty sure we're going to get shot at enough for that skill to come in handy."
"We weren't as maneuverable as I'd like but I was able to avoid three kamikaze attempts while only losing one wing under full load. Twenty three hundred tons of fuel isn't as easy to move around as most people think." Cara didn't like bragging, but that's what happened and what was put in the logs. She even had a small commendation for it, though she'd never admit to it.
"You'll find the Juan Cortina a bit more maneuverable since we don't have cargo pods and we've got some upgrades to the engines and maneuvering thrusters," Braedyn said. "You have some records with you I could look at?"
"Yes! Of course!" That had almost slipped her mind. Switching her PaDD over to her resume and service record, Cara handed the PaDD over to Braedyn. "Everything is in there, including my academic failure at Starfleet Academy."
Braedyn said nothing as he looked over her records. She seemed familiar to him somehow. Then he remembered. A colleague of his who taught at Starfleet Academy told him about a cadet that had failed out. The colleague had described the cadet as 'potentially the best damn pilot he'd ever seen.' The cadet's name had been Cara Vahn.
"If I'm right about who you are," he said at last. "A friend of mine described you as potentially the best pilot he'd ever seen. 'Maybe even better than you,' my friend said. My friend actually is the best pilot I'd ever seen so coming from him that's high praise. So, are you that good? Should I take a chance on you?"
"I'm not sure if I'm the best or anything... But I was the only student I know of to make a Nebula class do a powerslide at warp. It was a simulation of course, but I'm told they're very true to life." Cara blushed slightly and fidgeted a bit. Best pilot? No, she'd seen better out there. Or at least far more experienced, at least.
"Well," Braedyn said. "I can only tell you a little about what we'll be doing, but what I can tell you, I will. We are of course set up to haul small loads of cargo over small to moderate distances, but that's not all we'll be doing by a long shot. We're going to be a crew of problem solvers, as in people will hire us to solve problems for them. We'll go where our clients can't, we'll locate and bring back what they can't find, and we'll solve people's transport needs, people or cargo, particularly if there's something tricky or even dangerous to be done. Essentially we'll be a special mission ship for a variety of clients. Don't worry, we've got the firepower to handle ourselves and the defense systems to protect ourselves. So, you still interested?"
"I am. Will I have shared or private quarters?" Cara asked, worried about her collection of cat miniatures. "And will I be able to display my cat figurines? I know it's an unusual hobby, but they're so very cute."
Braedyn chuckled. Cat miniatures fit perfectly with the pink hair.
"You may have to share a room with someone else," he said. "But I'm sure we can figure something out for your cats. You may need to find a way to secure them down so they don't end up all over the place if we get into a skirmish or need to do some fancy flying, but we'll figure something out. Do you have some place to stay?"
"I have a gravity control mat that I can lay across a shelf so that's no problem. As for a place to stay, I'm currently bunking with a family friend until I can find another job." Cara replied.
"Well, you're hired," Braedyn said. "But the ship's in a hangar in Elkin Shipyards and they're still finishing up the work on her. Probably not a good place to stay. If you need another place to stay go here."
Braedyn handed her a card and a chit.
"It's a local place for transient spacers," he said. "Military, civilian, whatever. It's warm, it's dry, you can wash up there, and they feed you. If you've worn out your welcome at your friend's place, go there and show them the chit. They'll put you up until we're ready to leave."
"It'll be nice to not have to sleep on a couch. Thank you." Cara replied, slipping the card and token into a pocket. "I'll report to the ship in the morning so I can at least get a feel for the setup before we take off, if that's ok."
"Sure," Braedyn said. "I'll let them know to expect you. Nice to finally meet you Cara Vahn. Welcome aboard!"
Braedyn slurped up the last of his smoothie.
"Well," he said. "I'd best be off. See you in the morning if I'm over there."
"I'll see you then!" Cara called happily as Braedyn headed off.