Vin keyed his code into the door lock and stepped into the spartan surroundings of his quarters aboard station.
“Bloody maintenance units have been messing with the heating again.” he groaned as he changed into his flight suit.
A week planetside had allowed him to indulge in a little more food and drink than he was used to and the flight suit was a little more snug than he remembered. Either that, or the service robots had washed it on hot again.
On the ride back up to the station, he had been strapped in next to a trader who, to be fair, could probably bore his own reflection to tears.
The diatribe coming from the seat next to him had all been about Frontier – the guy had insisted that space trading and flight had to keep him wrapped in cotton wool. Apparently, during simulations, commanders had been pulling the plug on their sim rigs before being destroyed and disappearing on the spot. The trader had been insisting that the same was possible with Frontier’s new comms net – in effect allowing commanders to pull their log card and net jack out mid combat and he was insisting that this simulated pilot unconsciousness and Frontier were duty bound to deliver him to the nearest station, cargo intact.
Vin had bitten his tongue at this point instead of arguing. Space was a dangerous place, with plenty of “off the grid” locations where piracy was rife. Traders were the lifeblood of any spacefaring system and whilst the law protected them, scamming the system to get a free ride past other pilots and danger seemed just a little underhand.
The law seemed to revolve around the basic tenet of “Thou shalt not get caught” – something that almost seemed to encourage piracy and rogue trading.
Preferring real flight to the sim environment, Vin picked up his remlock kit and headed for the hangar.
Reaching the ship designated to him for the latest round of testing, he keyed in the commands that would kit it out with the cheapest options – 100cr seemed plenty to be wasting after a week away.
Climbing into the cockpit and powering up the drives, he glanced over at his watch – an hour to “kill” felt about right.
“Let’s see if they’ve ironed out that jumpy scanner.”