Skyway Chapter 8
I was still against the plan for stopping at Jupiter station, but we ran out of Earl Grey, coffee, and protein bars. The girls were still keeping us well feed with the ship plants and the food in the hydroponics unit but I was missing my caffeine. I could tell that my crew mates were also missing caffeine. Ann and Amair thought that they could grow the plants needed for Earl Grey, but they needed another hydroponics unit.
I think Jupiter station needs describing for those who have not left earth or Lunar Base III. Jupiter Station makes Lunar Base III look like the height of civilization. To draw a historical comparison Earth would be like Europe at the turn of the 19th century. Lunar Base III could be compared to the east coast of America. Jupiter Station is the equivalent of the “Wild West”.
Jupiter Station was build around one of Jupiter’s Moons, Europa. It was originally built by the military as a place to watch for the next big asteroid to hit earth. During the war of 2050, it was abandoned due to lack of funds. When miners started mining the asteroid field another station for supplies was needed so the station was reopened by several enterprising business men.
Europa is a little over 3,000 km in diameter. The station circles it at the diameter. Ships dock at the outer ring. The inner ring holds shops and entertainment for miners. I usually sold my minerals at Lunar Base III. The merchants always paid you less for your find since they had to ship it back to earth. The supplies you bought on Jupiter Station where also more expensive for the same reason.
As things turned out I was glad that I was not the one who had to pretend to be Lar. Lance's first goal was to buy the hydroponics unit that the girl's wanted. While he was looking at one unit and Ann was looking at a nearby unit a tall Red head walked up to Lance and put a gun into his back and told him to start walking. Wisely, Lance did as he was told.
Ann saw that Lance was leaving and guessed that something was wrong since he refused to look at her. So she followed at a distance. Ann did not need her skills as burglar to keep up because the woman was so upset that a group of elephants could have followed and she would not have noticed. When the Red head got to a deserted hall she asked Lance "Where is my husband.”
Lance I guess could only stammer. So, Ann talked to the woman and found out her name was Mav, Lar's wife. Lar had spent most of his time in space mining. Mav had spent her time on Jupiter station as a dancer. When she had heard that the Prometheus had docked, she had hoped that her husband had returned. She was angry to find out that Lance was pretending to be Lar.
Ann told Mav how we had found the ship. Lance decided that the only way to keep Mav from revealing that they were imposters, or shooting him was to show her the files. I had the Faree remain near the hydroponics when they brought her on board.
Mav surprised me when I first saw her. She was taller then me by about an inch with bright read hair and green eyes. If I was going to attack a person with a gun, I would have worn a comfortable ship suit and shoes that I could run in. Mav wore a sleeveless short dress with 3 inch heels. Her hair and makeup made her look like she was ready to go to a party not shoot a person for impersonating her husband. I learned later that she was a dancer at one of the bars on Jupiter Station.
When she arrived I was ready with the files. We had Mav sit in Ann's room so she could watch in private. When she was done Charis directed her into the kitchen were we had been waiting. Her first words, “Your plan would not have worked” surprised all of us.
Mav went on to explain that her husband was well known on the station. She would do the shopping for us but her payment would be a trip to see where her husband ship had landed.
If I would have been the only one on the ship I would have taken her to she her husband grave, but I did not know how she would react to the Faree. Fortunately for me I did not have to make a decision.
Amair walked into the room "We will take you to your husband. I hope you don't mind if we don't take a direct route because we are looking for my husband."
Once again Mav amazed me. She never questioned the fact that she was talking to a short pregnant woman with wings. She accepted the fact easily and soon the three women started to make plans. Mav would sell the ore that we had mined and buy our supplies. She would also announce that she was going to live with her husband and quit her job. I did not want her to quit but when I argued the point I got the feeling she had wanted to quit for a long time. Lar had felt that space was too dangerous for woman and insisted that she stay on the station. The ironic part he might be alive today if he had allowed her to join him.
Mav was now going to be part of my crew. The thought of another crew person did not alarm me as much as the arrival of Lar, Ann, and Captain Ritzer. With each new crew person they had brought skills that the group needed. Mav was no exception. It turned out that Mav was a good seamstress. One of her jobs had been to make the costumes for the other dancers. Amair was very excited about the fact. I guess I guess it would be terrible to wear the same garment for the last 100 years.
The girls decided that “Lar” would suddenly catch a bad viral infection. On Jupiter station an illness would sweep through the station, so anyone who became sick would be confined to there cabin or ship. This would confine him to the ship and explain why Mav was doing all of the buying and selling.
A week after we had attached to Jupiter Station we were on our way. We now had four hydroponics units in the cargo area. One was growing soybean so we did not have to buy protein rations and one unit had tea plants, so we would have caffeine. I was also able to pick up more memory chips for Charis.
We were also able to pick up 4 child size ship suits. This way when we were on an asteroid both Amair, and Captain Ritzer could leave the ship with everyone else. Mav also had a ship suit that Lar had bought her a long time ago, but she swore that she would never use it, except for the one walk to her husband.
Mav and Ann became roommates. Mav knew it would be a long time before she would leave the ship, but she only brought a few personal items. These included pictures of Lar, a few items of clothing, and a sewing machine. The rest of her belongings were sold to raise money for supplies.