John Brau-in was simply referred to as Captain by most everyone he knew. To his few close friends he was called Jack. His fame meant little to him, but it stretched across the settled universe.
His ship, The Pegasus, was a typical Prometheus-class freighter. Like others of its kind, it had the ability to separate into smaller units, up to 10. Mostly this feature was used to efficiently deliver cargo to multiple nearby destinations at once. But thatâ€™s why John Brau-in was famous.
Captain Brau-in had mastered using the separation feature of the Pegasus as a defensive measure. His freighter was of course, outfitted with some weaponry. Truth be told, he probably had more than most freighters, and probably a tad more than the trade regulations allowed.
But he rarely used them. Captain Brau-in took pride in training his crew to efficiently separate the ship into 10 separate pieces in less than 20 seconds. He used this ability to great advantage and had not yet had to sacrifice one unit.
Thatâ€™s why Captain Brau-in was willing to take the most dangerous delivery jobs available. Thatâ€™s why Captain Brau-in was famous. And thatâ€™s why Captain Brau-in was rich.
Above all, that was why Doctor Rebecca Davis sat across from him attempting to engage his services for one of the stupidest ideas heâ€™d ever heard.
â€œIâ€™m pretty rich you know,â€ said the Captain.
â€œYes, but you still take highly dangerous missions. You donâ€™t seem to be slowing down towards retirement,â€ said Dr. Davis.
The Captain shifted in his chair. â€œLook ladyâ€”â€œ
â€œOf course. Doctor. Iâ€™m not scared of running guns to one side or the other of the Hugo Mafias. As long as the shipment is up front and legal, I know how to survive. But what youâ€™re suggesting,â€ he shook his head. â€œWell I donâ€™t even KNOW what dangers to look out for. And when would we come back?â€
â€œYou canâ€™t mean youâ€™d iss your home life. From what I hearâ€”â€œ
â€œI live on my ship. Yes, itâ€™s mostly true. I have a family home on Terra. My second cousin lives in it and takes care of it for me. I donâ€™t mean Iâ€™d miss a house I inherited and never see. I mean coming back to civilization. To music I like. Restaurants with food that tastes good. Beer. Youâ€™re mission is exile.â€
Dr. Davis sighed. â€œWhile it is a ten-year mission, we would return every two years or so for maintenance and resupply. You could stock up on beer and food then.â€
â€œHow much? In ten years I can rake in a lot of good jobs. Even if Iâ€™m crazy enough to sign up for this, I canâ€™t lose money on the deal.â€
â€œWeâ€™re prepared to meet your rates if considered reasonable. Can you estimate how much you would make in a ten-yearâ€”â€œ
He smirked. Heâ€™d shaken her resolve. He had a feeling his number might appear unreasonable suddenly.
Now she smirked.
â€œI didnâ€™t agreeâ€”â€œ
â€œDidnâ€™t you? Well, we can always reverse charges if you change your mind. Credit will be made by mid-time. Weâ€™ll meet next day with your officers and a few of my team leaders. Say at 15? Same place?â€
â€œWhere do you get off Dr. Lady. I havenâ€™t said yes.â€
â€œBut you havenâ€™t said no. I can tell you want this mission. You crave this mission. You want to see whatâ€™s out there even more than we do. Youâ€™re bored evading mafia thugs. Tâ€™s lost its thrill. I can tell Captain Brau-in, youâ€™re made for this mission. In ten years weâ€™ll see it all. The desolation, the undiscovered life, and the best part? The unknown. And you wonâ€™t have to stand behind glass will you. Youâ€™ll touch it. Youâ€™ll smell it. Youâ€™ll feel it between your toes. Iâ€™ll see you at 15 Captain Brau-in.â€
A damned psychologist as the Commander of his ship. What had gotten into him? And how did she know about the glass? He shook his head at his own foolishness. Bu still, he couldnâ€™t wait to get underway.