Jin Mei leaving home

08.12.123 – Lirsautton III

„Ready?“

„Yes.“

„Then let`s go.“

The two young women took a deep breath, before they entered the building. They were not alone and followed small groups of other people to their destination. A large hall within the building, where the people stood in line in front of some desks. They did enqueue in one of them and waited, as the line slowly moved forward. Eventually her friend was at the front.

„Family Name and First Name?“, the man at the desk asked.

„Watanabe. Hana.“

„Date of birth?“

She looked around, as her friend registered. This was one of the places on the planet, where young people were able to sign up for the so-called Volunteer Year. Young people in the Federation, and the Jin Mei were no exception to that, were expected to grow up to become productive members of society quickly. They enjoyed Freedom. But that also meant, that they were responsible for their own fate.

But the Government had realized, that at the end of intermediate education, young people were not necessarily ready to decide, in which direction their life should develop. And that it was maybe useful to give them the opportunity to „test“ their career choice. And so the Volunteer Year was born. For one year, they would work as some kind of intern in any kind of profession.

Corporations, big and small, had welcomed this initiative. Getting rid of a disillusioned intern was easier and cheaper than actually train an employee, who realized to dislike his career choice and was bad at what he was doing.

„Next………NEXT!“, the man said. She made two steps forward.

„Family Name and First Name?“

„Kobayashi. Daiko.“

„Date of Birth?“

„13th March 103.“

„Desired occupation?“

„Federation Navy. Pilot.“

For the first time, the man looked up and into her eyes. „That`s a good choice. It is not for everyone, but the Federation needs men and women willing to serve for society.“, he said and began to check something on his screen. „There are still enough spots left. You will have to report today in a week at the Federation Navy Academy at Couster II. Good luck.“

„Thank you.“

A few minutes later, Daiko and Hana stood outside again and looked at her documents, they had received via Mail already.

„Did you make it?“, Hana asked.

„Yes. Next week at the Academy. And you?“

„Center for Advanced Studies. Information Technology.“

The two smiled at each other. They had really got what they wanted. They hugged each other with a smile on their faces. Today in a week, their new lives would begin.

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15.12.123 – Couster II

It is amazing, how fast a week goes by, when one is busy. Daiko had been packing her things, say goodbye to her friends and eventually departing from home, where her mother tried to be brave about her daughter going away. But at the end, they both had been crying. For good reasons. Although spaceflight was normal for some people, she had never left Lirsautton besides a short excursion with her school two years ago.

Now she had to take a ferry and make a total of seven jumps to get to Couster. Admittedly she had been blown away and felt even slightly overwhelmed, when she arrived at the station. Fortunately she and a small group of others had already been expected. Someone from the Navy had welcomed them, shown them their accomodations, issued a station plan and a schedule for the day.

Now they were sitting in a considerably large room with lots of chairs. They needed just a few of them. Respectively none, since they all stood along the windows. They had a view on a docking hangar with lots of small ships. But in the distance they could see larger ships pass by. This was really a completely different world.

„Attention! Please take seat!“, a female voice from behind said. Daiko and the others did as they were told. Before them stood a still considerably young woman in uniform. The tall appearance immediately gave away, that she was Gallente. Interesting was her lipstick in Navy blue.

„I am Navy Staff Sergeant Facent. I will be one of your instructors and during the next days I will guide you through the first courses. At least those of you, who survive this day. The Federation Navy is a large institution. We need people from all walks of life for a wide variety of duties. You chose to try to become a pilot. Not everyone qualifies. Becoming a capsuleer means to give up something of your identity. Or add something to it, depending on the point of view. Anyway. This afternoon at 15 hours all of you will go through the first test, whether you are capable to handle the systems of a capsule. Those who are not, are still welcome to the Navy, just with a different occupation. Questions? None? Then you are dismissed until the afternoon.“

The Sergeant left the room. The others looked at each other quizzically. They just realized two things. One: They entered a military institution, where the formalities were completely different from normal life. Two: There was the chance, that their adventure may come to a sudden end.


„Are you okay?“, she heard the voice of the Sergeant via the comm system.

„Yes.“, she said, although that was not necessarily true. She did not feel bad. But extremely excited. Overwhelmed. The Capsule was strange. Fascinating. She was not a Capsuleer yet, since that is a long process. Interns like her got connected with a less invasive, but also less efficient way to the Capsule systems. But as soon as the connection was there, her brain got flooded with new input and it seemed, as if she could “feel” the Capsule.

Eventually she became calmer and was open for the explanations of the Sergeant, who directed her through the displays. Then she was supposed to set a course to a point a few Astronomic Units away from the station. A few moments later the Capsule made a 180 degree turn and went into warp.

“Who…WHOOOAA…”

“Daiko? Are you fine?”

“THIS IS AWESOME!!!”, Daiko heard herself screaming in excitement. The Sergeant looked to the right, where another Sergeant was monitoring the displays and slowly shook his head with a broad grin on his face. Apparently someone had just passed the test.

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16.12.123 - Couster II (Federation Navy Academy)

A different and smaller briefing room. Daiko looked around. Three people were missing. According to rumors, they had to get out of the Capsule before making their first short voyage. There were still roughly a dozen left. But the faces of the remaining people reflected the joy of still being here, the marvel of yesterday`s experience and the insight, that there was a long and rocky road ahead of them.

“Attention!”. Everyone stood up, as Navy Staff Sergeant Facent entered the room.

“Take seat. Ladies and Gentlemen, with the passing of yesterday`s test, you are hereby approved for our pilot recruitment program. As of now, your rank is Navy Volunteer Cadet. Should you reach the end of the program and still be willing to sign up for the Navy, then you will enter Federation Service as Officers and I will have to salute you.”

Some calm giggling was to be heard.

"But before that, you have a lot to learn and to prove yourself. Me and four other instructors will teach you the basics of what it is like to be a pilot. You will learn skills for different duties, internalize military protocol and get in touch with the different departments of the Federation Navy.

I am going to assume, that some of you are here, because you imagine some heroic stories of space combat with you as protagonist. Please forget that immediately. Although the fighting Navy is an important part, it is by far not the largest. In my course we are going to the basics of spaceflight, and that is production.

During the next days, you are going to be occupied with rocks, metals and production chains. Some of you will love it. Many of you will hate it. I promise, that basically nobody of you will have a so-so opinion about it. But let there be no confusion. What you are going to learn the next days, is the most important part of everything you see here.

The Navy has an incredible demand for ressources. Needed for Ships, for Stations, for spare parts, for maintenance. Although a lot of this demand gets met via the free market, the Navy has an own department for ressource gathering and production. That is so in order to be at least partially independent from private contractors. Also to have its own expertise in these fields.

So. You will dive in this maybe not glorious, but vital part of our duties. There will be several small tasks and exams and I expect, that everyone here pays full attention and does the best job possible. A schedule was uploaded to your system. Questions? Dismissed.“

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19.12.123 - Couster II

„Let`s see, what we have got.“, Sergeant Facent said while going through a list. „Two Civilian Afterburner, twenty Cap Booster 25, one Civilian Shuttle and one Navitas. Looks good, you finished all production exams.“

„Thank you, Mam.“, Daiko replied and felt a bit of relief. The course had come to an end and every Cadet had an evaluation meeting with the Sergeant in her office. She had been a bit nervous about it, but the Sergeant seemed to be satisfied and so she felt more easy now.

„How much Ore did you extract?“

„Wait…“, Daiko meant and checked her data. „A total of 18.220 cubic meters, Mam.“

Facent slowly nodded with her head as she looked at the younger woman. She actually did it. A lot of Cadets, being bored by the rather unspectacular assignments, simply bought ressources or even the required items somewhere and pretended to have extracted or produced them on their own. „What were your impressions during the recent days?“

„Well. I think it was nice to be out in space without actually happening a lot. I feel better with the ship controls now. But I would not have thought, that there would be Drones or Ships coming to attack me while pointing Lasers at some asteroids.“

„That is an important lesson. Those without guns may very well get gunned down too. This system here is a safe haven. But out there your ship, any ship, may be an interesting target for a multitude of people. People who want to hurt the Federation. People who do that as some sort of sport. So whatever you do and whereever you are, always stay attentive to your surroundings.“

„Fortunately the enemies here were not very strong.“

„That is so because we put them there.“

Daiko had to think for a few seconds before she reacted. „You mean, those Drones were fake?“

„Yes. Absolutely.“

„And that former Production Assistant of yours that went Rogue?“

„A colleague from the Navy who volunteered to play a role. He is alive and well on Deck 18.“

„Wow.“, Daiko said with a sincere amount of shock and disbelief.

„Do not be disappointed. These exercises were necessary to make you think about all the people who are out there to get you. Of course we don`t expose you to a serious threat on your first days. By the way. You did a good job. We scan the ships of our Cadets. You equipped your Mining Frigate with two Drones and a Shield Booster and independently learned the skills to use these items. Well done.“

„That was because you told me, that there would be enemies out there.“

„Truth be told. There are always enemies out there. As of now get used to not undock with a ship, that can`t fight for itself or escape when it wants to. You will need to learn more to equip your ships accordingly. But I promise that in a few months all of this will be completely natural to you. Anyhow. If you enjoyed this course, maybe you will think about a career in the production department. We always need good people.“

The Sergeant stood up and so did Daiko.

„Good luck with your future efforts, Cadet.“, Facent said while shaking hands.

„Thanks, Mam.“

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22.12.123 - Couster II-1

Daiko sat in a chair and looked at Navy Sergeant Bruelle. During the last days she had seen her a few times and she did not cease to fascinate and confuse her. The Seargeant was not that much older than herself, but at first she was not sure whether she was a woman in the first place, since her bald head gave her an androgynous appearance.

Anyway, she proved to be a calm and competent person. Maybe a bit too calm. Her way to explain things with a relaxed, but also a bit monotonous voice was not to Daiko`s liking. Maybe that was a sign of professionalism. But maybe of a lack of emotions. If the latter, she blamed the working environment.

The Acquisition and Logistics Department was the second stage of her basic training and she perceived it as sheer boring hell. In the last days she had bought numerous items and shipped them from A to B, which had been about as exciting as falling into a coma. She was happy, that it was over. She imagined, that the only way to fail the course was to actually fall asleep in the capsule and crash the ship into a station or gate.

Eventually the Sergeant was done with writing her report and turned to Daiko.

„So. I think we are done here. What can I say? You finished all tasks without mistake. Wasn`t that fun?“

Daiko could feel, how her eyes got a bit larger, although she tried to prevent it. Fun? She has had more fun at the dentist.

„To be quite honest, Mam, no, it was not really my cup of tea.“

„I would have been surprised, if it had been otherwise.“, the Sergeant said and smiled. „I can understand, that what we are doing here is not exciting and adventurous and surely not, what young people dream about. The next course in the program will be about exploration. I guess, you will find that more interesting. But please keep in mind, that the work of this Department is necessary and important. All the things, that get produced in the Factories everywhere, have to reach the troops. No matter whether directly at the frontline or in maintenance yards. And, should you decide to not stay in the Navy, remind yourself that not a few merchants make a fortune by transporting goods from one station to another.“

Daiko thought about that and remembered, that she had seen a commercial freighter in Dodixie two days ago. Next to her Corvette that vessel looked like a giant and she had wondered, how many tons of products one was able to transport with it. But the idea, to do that for a living, was not really attractive.

„Do you have any further questions?“, the Sergeant asked.

„No, Mam.“

„Then thank you for your attention and good luck out there, Cadet.“

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25.12.123 – Couster II-1

The recent days had been interesting. She had seen staged examples of different anomalies, that one may encounter when exploring the depths of space. Although these tests were most probably easier than what would happen in real life, they gave her a first impression of what it is like to search the needle in a haystack, as the saying goes.

Navy First Lieutenant Vacoloure had been a good instructor. The young woman with the incredible red hair and the soft voice had explained everything in detail, but also had a lot of anecdotes to tell, so things were very relaxed. Now they sat together and the Lieutenant went through the results of the tests.

„All in all, I am pretty pleased, Cadet. I think there is some room for improvement when it comes to efficiently managing the scan drones. But you got a good grip of the mechanics and, what is more important, I think you like it.“

„I do, Mam. I do not want to sound silly. But I am not sure, what is more fascinating. The sheer infinite space. Or the ability to find some tiny objects in it. I do wonder, what one may find out there.“

„That is a good attitude to have. Because space is and always will be fascinating. Of course a lot of your job will be to find remote pirate bases and the occasional asteroid with ressources for our Production Department. But you will also stumble over abandoned old structures. And with old I mean maybe even from the early stages of spaceflight shortly after or even before the time, that the Eve Gate closed. Archaeologists will be grateful for everything you find out there. So always be curious. Although you may have it harder than others.“

„You mean because of my Clone?“

„Yes. You are not a Capsuleer yet and even if so, you would begin as Alpha. That means, that more advanced technologies will not be accessible for you. But I tell you something. If you spend time to maximize the knowledge available to you and invest some money on proper equipment, then your Imicus will be a reliable workhorse.“

„I will do that, Mam.“, Daiko said and the two women smiled at each other. „See, Mam, I think I would really like to join the Navy and, if it is not too early, express interest to be a part of the Recon Department.“

„That is good to hear. But actually it IS a bit early. First you have to finish the basic training, then prove yourself in the rest of the year. If you sign up at the end of the year, then it is time to decide about your affiliation. Should you still be interested, then I will gladly support your application.“

„Thanks, Mam.“

„No problem.“, the Lieutenant said. She raised from her seat to shake hands with Daiko. „Good luck, Cadet.“

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30.12.123 – Couster II-1

Daiko sat in a larger office together with the two Lieutenants Parcie and Aulbres, who were obviously in high spirits. She was not, since some things of the last days had been surprising, to say the least. Five days of intensive combat drill. Drones, railguns, armor repair, remote armor repair, warp disruption and some more things. At one point she felt, as if her head was about to explode. But the only thing exploding had been the ship she was in during the last exam.

„Well, Cadet, the exams are over and your results are pretty good. What are your thoughts about it?“, Lieutenant Aulbres asked.

„With all respect, Sir, but I think the last test was not fair.“

„Why?“

„There were too many targets, who also scrambled my warp drive. There was no option for me, that I could win or escape.“

„Exactly.“

„You mean, you send me there to see me getting shot?“

„Yes, Cadet. Because we always leave the most important part for the end of the course. You may think, that the test was unfair. And of course it was. But the message here is, that life is not fair. No matter how good and skilled you are or how well-equipped your ship is, at some point you will lose. The enemy may outnumber, outgun or outsmart you. Or maybe you simply make a mistake. At some point you will get shot out of your ship. Happens every day all across the Cluster.“

Daiko thought about that experience. She was aware pretty quickly, that there was little for her to do besides waiting for the destruction of her ship. It was a feeling of complete impotence, that had made her a bit frustrated and angry. Eventually her Capsule was all that was left and she returned to the station.

„To be honest with you, Cadet, we were pretty fair.“, Lieutenant Parcie explained. „Because people out there will not stop shooting at you, until you wake up in a clone facility. One has to react quickly to shoot a Capsule, but people will take the time if they feel like it. We just wanted to show you, that you always have to be ready to get defeated. But I think you can handle it. A few people just freeze in such a situation. You did the right thing and immediately got out of the combat zone.“

„Thank you.“, she said, but was not sure, if she was really thankful. It was probably an important lesson to learn, but surely did not feel good.

„In other news you have finished your basic training, Cadet. Me and the other Instructors are pleased with your perfomance and grade you with a B. You get an electronic certificate these days. Congratulations.“

„Thanks, Sir.“. Finally some good news, that made her smile again.

„There is only one thing left to do. You have to pick a station for the rest of your year. You got a list of respective stations these days. Did you decide already?“

„Yes, Sir. I would like to go to Jel.“

„Fine.“, the Lieutenant said and looked at some documents. „Then move your equipment to Station VIII-20 in Jel and report for duty at Staff Sergeant Delgin. It was a pleasure, to have you here, Cadet. Now you have to make something out of the things you learned here. Good luck for your future efforts.“

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31.12.123 – Lirsautton III

Unbelievable. Merely two weeks had passed since she had left and now she was strolling through the streets of her hometown as if nothing had happened. She had asked, whether she is allowed to celebrate New Year with family and friends. The Lieutenants said, that she is not in the Navy yet and she can allocate free days as she pleases, as long as they are not free weeks. So she left Couster this morning after sending a message to Jel, that she would report on the 3rd.

It was a good feeling, when she arrived in the Orbit of her home planet. In her own ship! It had been amazing to talk with Traffic Control and ask for landing permission in one of the spaceports on the surface. Daiko Kobayashi. Space Pilot. Merely two weeks had passed. But as inexperienced as she still was, she knew that this short period of time had changed her life.

Nevertheless she enjoyed to be here. This was a warm planet. It felt comfortable to walk under a blue sky with the sunrays on her skin. As fascinating as space was, it was also cold. The life support systems aboard of ships and stations did their best to create a proper environment. But it would never feel the same as being on a planet on a sunny day.

As she walked along and whistled a song, she came to her home. A small house at the edge of the city. No garden, but still a nice place to live in. She greeted a neighbor, who was standing at the window, before she knocked on the door. After a while, her mother opened the door.

„DAIKO!“, she said way louder than she wanted. But it did not matter. She hugged her daughter as tight as possible. A tear of joy was running down her cheek. „Please come in.“


„You have to tell me everything. How are you? How was your stay in space?“, her mother said ten minutes later, as they sat in the living room. Hoshi Kobayashi had been surprised about the choice of her daughter for the Volunteer Year. Then excited. Then worried. Or maybe a bit of everything at the same time. Now that she sat in front of her, she was relieved. And curious. She was her child and she could see in Daiko`s eyes, that she had a lot of things to say.

„It is…a strange life, Mom. Completely different from anything I have seen here. Different from what I imagined it to be. I mean. To be quite honest, I am rich. A bit.“

„What? How so?“

„Do you remember how proud I was a year ago, when I earned my first own money with that vacation job in retail? Forget it. I have 15 million in the bank.“

„Are you serious? No. Not really. Or are you?“

„I am dead serious, Mom. And that is one of the strange things. From the point of view of a normal citizen, I don`t have to work anymore. But when I compare that with what other Pilots earn and possess, I am dirt poor.“

„You are kidding me.“

„Absolutely not. The amount of money that is circulating above our heads is astonishing. Because all this technology, the huge ships and stations, are assets with a total worth beyond one`s imagination.“

„And how is it out there?“

Daiko had to think about that, as she looked her mother in the eyes. „Wonderful. The feeling of infinity. Beauty. But also tension.“

„You mean, it is dangerous?“

„Yes, that too. Partially. But what I actually mean is, that the feeling of being a Pilot and steering a ship through space is so intense, that nothing else is comparable.“

Hoshi saw, that Daikos eyes were shining, as she tried to describe her feelings. She smiled, as she let her hand glide over her daughter`s face.

„I am very glad, that you found something, that fascinates you so much. And proud, that you are going your way.“

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03.01.124 - Jel VIII-20

“Volunteer Cadet Kobayashi reporting for duty, Sir.”

Daiko stood straight in front of the desk of Staff Sergeant Delgin and gave a proper salute. The Sergeant returned it and made a gesture toward a chair, so she took seat.

“Welcome aboard, Cadet. I am Staff Sergeant Raymond Delgin. If you address me, simply say Sergeant. Well, Couster sent me a message about your arrival and I got your mail too about you reporting today. Did you have a good new year celebration?”

“Yes, Sergeant. I was with my family.”

“Very good. We want you to give your best here, but don`t forget your relatives and friends. Write them, call them, let them know that you are fine and how you are feeling. So. Me and other Sergeants oversee the training of new recruits and also volunteers like you. I am your contact person for any problem or question that may arise. Since you are not in the Navy yet, there are less rules for you. You may use all Navy facilities aboard this or any other Navy maintenance or logistics station in the Federation. In exchange we expect you to work for us only. We also ask for a weekly report concerning your activities, including audio and video recordings for at least one mission. That you are not permitted to any illegal activity should go without saying. Questions?”

“If I want to try producing things, will I do that for the Navy only too?”

“I read in the report from Couster, that you are interested in that. Well, let me put it this way. If you have ore, minerals or products to sell, then the Navy has a right of pre-emption. If we are not interested, then you can go to the free market.”

“Thanks, Sergeant. I think I have no other questions for now.”

“Fine. If there is anything you need to know, contact me. Did you already get a plan of the station?”

“Yes, Sergeant.”

“Then good luck with your endeavour here.”

A bit later, Daiko had found her new home. Nothing to write home about. A tiny appartment. Kitchen and living room in one space, bedroom, shower. A small window to look into the infinity of space or at a small part of the nearby moon.

After leaving her backpack behind, she left the appartment again to explore the station a bit. Whole decks were restricted to maintenance or special Navy personnel only. But this was also partially a commercial place. Decks with private living quarters, shops and offices. There was basically no service, that was not available. Also a multitude of cafes, restaurants and bars could be found. She stepped into a small cafe called “Blue Corner”, ordered a tea and a snack to eat.

Eventually she just sat there and looked out of a nearby panorama window. One had a good view on the ships, that were docking and undocking from the station. Small Frigates coming from patrol duty, freighters delivering goods of all sorts, mining ships on the way to a random asteroid belt. It was not necessarily a busy ant hill, but enough traffic to be fascinated by the variety of ship types and how they appeared out of nowhere. Or suddenly disappeared.

This was her new home and new life. As of today, she was on duty.

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10.01.124 – Jel

„Just wait a little, I will get you.“, she said, as she operated the Data Analyzer. It was fascinating and she had to think about what Lieutenant Vacoloure had said. Invest in skills and equipment and the Imicus is a reliable workhorse. She was right.

At first, it was difficult to locate the tiny energy signatures of some cosmic anomalies. Then she had invested time and money in improving her situation. It was still a lot of work, but eventually she got to a point, where she was able to pinpoint even the most remote anomalies.

The other thing was that, when she arrived at a location that would get classified as Data Site, it looked exactly as in the training. Everything seemed very familiar. And so she began her work. This specific site was not difficult to handle. The firewalls were really simple. It was just a matter of time.

„GOTCHA!“, she said louder than normal. But this was the first time, she successfully hacked something. Didn`t hacking count as illegal activity? Well, the owners were most probably pirates or other criminals, so this was probably a case of law enforcement. Anyhow, she began extracting the stored Data and felt happy about the result of her accomplishment.


Later that day, her ship just floated in space. She had given her Imicus the name „Argos“. After a mythical monster with one hundred eyes, that was able to see everything in the world at the same time. Her ship was not that omnipotent, but she had to smile when thinking about another thing, the Lieutenant had said.

Criminals may feel safe in their remote hideouts. But at the very same moment, one may operate a ship ten Astronomical Units away and direct a small Navy fleet to their location to ruin their day. She meant, that if one wanted to feel as omnipotent as humanly possible, then one had to command either a recon ship or a Titan. She began to understand, what she had meant.

But besides the small sites, that were designed to be hard to find, there were more obvious signatures. She had registered very strong energy emissions just four AU from her home station. So strong, that there could be little doubt, what the source was. It took little time to get a location and so she jumped to that place.

Now her ship floated just twenty-five kilometers from a wonderful space anomaly called Wormhole. As she understood it, there existed some „pockets“ in space, that randomly connect to any place in space for a day or two via such wormholes, before they collapse and the game begins again somewhere else.

She looked at this floating, swirling phenomenon. It looked as if there was a wet surface in space that made waves. On the other side? Maybe explorers. Maybe a criminal syndicate. Maybe miners. Sergeant Delgin had said that basically anything and anyone can come out of it and meant, that it would be better for her to stay on this side for a while, until she had more experience and better equipment. But she was curious. Did space look different in one of these pockets? Someday, she would find out. For now, it was time to return home and write her report.

On the way back, she received a message. It came from Alma Larousse, a Pilot slightly older than her that she had become friends with these days. The message contained just a few words: “Welcome to the One Million Club. Drinks on me tonight.” Daiko had to chuckle. All the courses one finishes are worth a certain number of points. She completed her first million points today, which seemed to be some sort of rite of passage. So be it. She and Alma would have some fun tonight at the “Tacco”.

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17.01.124 – Jel VIII-20

Back home after roughly half an hour. Traffic Control gave her clearance for docking. Her Venture slowly glided toward one of the approaches to the Station. Inside its storage were five thousand cubic meters Plagioclase. It wasn`t her first run today. Before this run, she had hauled some Scordite. After all, she would end her working day with a nice amount of the big three: Tritanium, Pyerite, Mexallon.

As her ship moved into the station, she thought about the sheer amount of minerals necessary to create such a massive structure. And not all of them were available in what was called High Security Space. The most common ores could be found literally everywhere. But due to decades of intensive mining operations, the less common ores were gone and one had to rely on people working in Low or Zero Security Space. Miniscule amounts of them could get restored through reprocessing of old, damaged or excess ship equipment. She had very small amounts of Omber and Nocxium in her station storage. Plus some crumbles of Megacyte. Long story short: Her respect for resource management and sustainability has increased a lot recently.

„Are you going out again?“, the Dock Sergeant asked.

„No, I am done for today.“

„Except the paperwork.“, the Sergeant said with a grin in his face.

Paperwork. Of course there were almost no physical documents anymore. But that just meant, that she, just like any other pilot, had some electronic files with an increasing amount of documents. Mission reports, lists of salvaged equipment and ship parts, documents concerning the use of station facilities, all sorts of bills for purchases, sells, maintenance expenses and usage fees. She had to admit, that this was not the favorite part of her new job.

She went down a few Levels until she came to the production decks. One of the Corporals working here recognised her.

„Daiko. Daiko!“, he said a bit louder, since he had to drown out the background noise. She approached him, as she heard her name.

„Daiko. Your order got finished at noon. The pallets are in Hall F.“

„Thank you, Dymon, you are the best.“, she replied and left again.

Something she had learned pretty quickly, were the differences in etiquette. If one was talking toward a direct superior or someone with a clearly higher rank, then a Sir or Mam or the rank was the mandatory adress, accompanied by a salute. But the lower the ranks were, the more relaxed things got and one talked to each other using the first or last name.

She went to Hall F and looked at the items. She was a total newcomer, so she had started with producing ammunition. That was something that the Navy and other pilots would always need. She checked, whether the amount of items was correct and prepared a mail to the office of the Quartermaster. Eventually she went away again, since she wanted to go to her appartment for a shower.

On the way she realized once more, how fast things became „normal“. She was here for just two weeks so far, but she had been accepted by the rest of the crew almost immediately. She imagined, that it was probably absolutely normal, that people went away and new staff was arriving on a daily basis and that fast integration was a necessary must in order to keep things running.

Anyway, she was happy that it was so easy to be part of a new community and establish a new daily routine.

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