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BLUE HORIZON 1261

by Ted R. Blasingame

Chapter 31
The Captain's Journal

 

SS Blue Horizon PA1261

Captain's Journal 

First entry.

The Blue Horizon is laden with food supplies for the fishing colonies of Crescentis and is en route to that watery world. Sometime soon, I will come back and chronicle the events leading up to this moment after Jiro and I started this business several weeks ago. For now, I will keep it brief, noting that after a few mishaps on our maiden voyage, the crew of my ship is working well together.

Jiro Brannon was once a faceless enemy across spatial lines drawn between our respective planetary governments, but with the hostilities over and common interests discovered, he and I have become the best of friends. He is my first officer, and although he was ill through much of our first voyage, he is getting stronger each day and should be up and about soon.

Samantha Chase, an ex-girlfriend from my past, has joined us on our journeys. Although I am trying to play innocent, I know she is trying to rekindle our relationship, but at this time, I prefer just a good friendship. Perhaps I will change my mind later. I won't go into the particulars of our past in this journal, only to say that despite an initial rocky start during this adventure, I am glad to have her along.

Ivy Sparks, or "Sparky" as everyone is now calling her, keeps the masses fed with a wide variety of dishes that seem to fit everyone's appetites and preferences. I'm not sure how she does it, but her menu keeps the meals from getting too predictable, and she says she enjoys surprising us with new things. Although I do not suspect a romantic interest, I have recognized a good friendship forming between her and Durant, my accountant and cargo load master.

Durant's first name is Leonardo, but he was named after an uncle who later proved to be untrustworthy, so he will allow no one to address him by anything but his surname. When I first hired him, it was to be my accountant, but with his past experience as cargo master I coaxed him to take on a second title, with its own pay to fill that position. He was unsure about the double-duty at first, but with long idle periods between star systems he has agreed that he has plenty of time to take care of both.

Jasper and Jerad Porter are brothers with equal engineering experience that we have taken to calling Patch and Pockets, respectively. Jasper is the more serious-minded of the two, so I made him Chief Engineer, although Jerad sometimes seems to have more drive in experimentation to constantly improve our systems. He recently saved us from freezing by throwing together a makeshift heater core when the original was damaged by a leaky corrosive, and then once we got to Kantus, he managed to locate and install a new unit when it looked like there were none available to us. He said that Sam's computer skills aided in locating what was needed, and she even assisted him in its installation.

Before we were hired by our first client, I'd had several weeks of frustration trying to entice anyone to trust their goods to a new ship just starting out. Had it not been for Taro Nichols' timely arrival, I may have been forced to cancel the crew contracts and sell the ship before ever leaving the ground. Taro has a wide range of contacts throughout the Planetary Alignment and is keeping us in a steady line of customers now.  Although I don't want to dismiss any member of my crew, she is probably the most essential at the moment and I am glad to have her among us.

The only real thorn in my side was a human woman named Connie Davies. She lied about her experience during the job interview, and due to inexperience in treating non-humans, her misdiagnoses and ill-chosen drug administration nearly cost us Jiro's life. The sickness was initially my own fault, since I had neglected to have the crew inoculated with PA-regulated shots. The illness that Jiro suffered could have been prevented with the proper inoculations. This has since been remedied, as we were all inoculated the night before we launched for Crescentis.

Before corrective action could be taken to insure that Ms. Davies began online schooling to learn how to treat an anthro crew, Connie jumped ship in breach of her contract. She will have legal action on her hands if I ever see her again, and I may have trouble trusting another human for a while.

Thankfully, Tomilyn Arden, or "Tomi" for short, stepped in on short notice to fill Connie's vacated position as the ship's medic. She was a physician's assistant at a spaceport-side clinic that caters to all Fur species, so her experience was in no doubt. Despite this, the situation with Connie prompted me to have her references checked anyway, but she spoke the truth. In addition to her medical skills, she is also a certified pilot for aerial and spatial vehicles, and has even flown an Okami freighter before, although she never actually served aboard as part of its crew.  Everyone here seems to like her and I believe she will fit right in.

As for me, I am in good spirits. I'm the captain of my own ship and crew, and although I have no idea how long this business venture may last, I plan to make the best of it.  In addition to bringing in a good income for me and those I employ, this is also giving me the opportunity to travel around the Planetary Alignment to see people and places I have only previously heard about.

Samantha has just showed up at my door to remind me of this evening's movie-night. She has an old classic video that follows the misadventures of a submarine on Earth trying to avoid both sides of a conflict because it was inadvertently painted pink and forced to launch across an ocean in the midst of wartime. It sounds odd to me, but she says it's a well-done comedy worth seeing. We can all use a good distraction during the voyage to Crescentis, and I believe everyone is looking forward to it.

All in all, despite our initial mishaps, things have turned out well. I am pleased. 

Reporting this day Merlin Sinclair, Captain of the SS Blue Horizon

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