Alpha Test Phase 4
Vin had watched from the station bar as the rest of the Alpha pilots jumped away to the new test area. Feet up and with a beer in hand, he had revelled in having the place to himself.
The console feed had kept him up to date with the progress. As it was, the second load of test teams had still beenat the station, working through simulator runs in preparation for being unleashed in a new corner of the galaxy.
Frontier hadn’t spared much expense – they had approached the various galactic factions and had them provide, equip and stock an area of space for their own testing.
The Federation military had sent a few fleets for “manoeuvers” in the area and Frontier had turned a blind eye to a few of the more notorious pirates and bounty hunters who had stolen some of the new test ships.
He had waited for a week before jumping out to join the others – the cobra had been loaded on board a heavy lifter with the last of the medical equipment and Vin had hitched a ride on one of the new Lakon 9’s.
The pilot was at odds with his ship – rake thin and smartly dressed – the cow itself was a beaten old hulk – scraped and battered.
“Vin,” he muttered, extending a hand.
“Commander Smith. Your dunnage all stowed aft?”
Vin had to chuckle quietly at the seafaring terms.
“Aye. Gear is all loaded. Two crates in the aft compartment.”
Vin looked around at the hangar, glancing at the ship ident for the Cow.
“Smith, that’s a new ship ID – this thing can’t be more than a week old? Seen some action, or is it a rebadged old shipping hauler?”
“Some fool designed the new stations with docking ports too small for the larger cargo haulers. This kind of thing has been happening since the 21st Century. Old Sol France did much the same with their train system – bought new trains, damned things didn’t fit the stations they had to visit. Plus ca Change, plus c’est la meme chose.”
‘That explains the dress sense then’ thought Vin.
Settling into his passenger cabin on the Lakon, Vin felt a surge as the ship made its jump. The muffled noise of thunder resonated throughout the ship, backed by the whine of the drives.