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Cerberus Shipyards & Salvage
Lysander Cutler tapped impatiently on the table with his long fingers as waited for the Master Mech to return.
The Master Mech was a large man, equally as wide as tall, with a wary yet work-worn face.
“Cutler, I have some bad news.”
“Your ship the …” He paused to look down as his overworked eyes struggled to find the name of the ship in question on his personal data pad.
“..The Indomitable is toast, Finished, nothing to be done.”
“What, what do you mean? She’s had worse and you’ve fixed her!”
Well, you see Mr. Cutler err Lysander,” said the Master Mech noticing Lysander’s stare. Lysander disliked being called Mr. anything. The Mech continued.
“Lysander, you’ve brought The Indomitable here many times over the past few cycles and we always have been able to make her operational. Not this time.
Current shipbuilding materials can sustain an immense amount of damage and all around wear and tear, but even that has its limits. Your ship has reached those limits. She can’t take anymore. She’s worn out. I might be able to patch her but she’d take you no more than 5 parsecs and then you’ll be lost to the depths of space.
The Indomitable is played out, its time for her retirement.
Lysander sat silent, contemplative and sullen.
He had just made a successful run and was about to make a killing when Three authority ships appeared off the starboard. It took serious piloting skills and sweaty back breaking toil to escape from them with the cargo intact even if Indomitable wasn’t. And now this; it was almost too much to bear.
Resolved to carry on, He spoke.
“And what do you expect me to do with my cargo and without a ship?”
“Listen Lysander, you’ve been a valued customer here for years. You well know that our 2nd operation here is Salvage. While Indomitable will never soar again, we do get older ships than her here all the time. Many of her systems are still very usable. We’ll buy her from you at salvage rates and apply that toward one of our 2nd hand ships- all guaranteed you know.”
“Why would I want to buy another old ship only to end up back in the same situation in a fortnight or less?’
“Oh it’s nothing like that at all. We guarantee in writing, that you get 5 years minimum, out of any ship we sell and offer discounted rates on future repairs for the first two years.
Quit looking at me like that Cutler, I don’t want to mistreat one of our top customers.
Think of the negative press- it would ruin our sterling reputation.
That’s better. I’ve got just the thing for you- Its in hold 3."
“No Lys no!
We’ve just started to turn a profit, and now you want to throw that away.”
Romeyn Ayres, Lysander’s spouse, sat across from Lys in the galley of the Indomitable. Her normally radiant features were twisted in the snarl of anger. She hated Lysander’s schemes, especially when they involved their money.
“Look at the alternatives Romy, if we don’t get a new ship- we’re land locked, marooned. We’ve got to get that cargo to its delivery point. 3rd party shipping now would leave us with next to nothing.”
“As opposed to your plan Lys, which would leave us with LESS than nothing, and more debt?”
“No it would leave us with a ship and a little bit of debt.” Lysander held his thumb and forefinger about an eighth of an inch apart.
“After a few “alterations by Torn, even Syl Coopersmith, the old Curmudgeon, will love it.”
Romeyn Ayres Sighed. She had seen her husband like this all too many times.
“Lys, I’ll follow you to the ends of known space, but not to our own oblivion. This had better be good.”
“Stop staring at my like a long lost puppy, you know I hate when you do that. Show me “your” Ship.”
“OUR ship is right this way”, Lysander said as he led Romy out of the ship and down a main causeway. “Her name’s the Dark Lady.”
The Stars Are Dreaming Wicked - Out of Print
Plane of the Ecliptic - Out of Print
Zone : Science Fiction
My Reference Books:
Infinite Worlds: The Realms of Speculative Fiction
Attributable to Human Error
My Favorite Reads:
A Short Jump Into Darkness - Out of Print