At Callisto Station
Things were different when we came back to Callisto. On the run out to the Kuiper, to Varuna and back, the Captain kept us on a high efficiency run, about two-hundredths of a gee the whole way. Nearly eight months travel time and a month out there -- a voyage long enough to have a baby, but we still had cheap Jovian xenon in our tanks when we came back.
Seems a war broke out while we were gone. The Martians and the Belters are shooting each other up all the way out to Uranus. Callisto Station had been a busy place when we set off, but now, there's nothing on the scanners but a Martian frigate on patrol. We made a good profit on the run, but we were hoping to sell some of the Varunan goods to Belters. Looks like we'll have to dump them locally, now. And we've got fifty passengers headed for Vesta. They might be here for a while, since there's no neutral ship in port. There's a Loonie transport at Europa that might take them, but it's gonna cost a pretty penny.
Oh well, might as well enjoy our shore leave. I'll send you out a credit transfer once my share clears, but it might be a while until you see any more. Not sure where our next run will go. Or when.
-- Excerpt of an email sent by Katya Vilk, Second Officer,
CSS Astoria, to her daughter Natasha on Titan, 11 November 2519.
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by Geir Lanesskog, All Rights Reserved