John’s SciFi Space Short Story
Once she checked in with the Council, gaining no clear direction on how to proceed, Gabriel conducted a background check on Cain. It uncovered what she already expected — he was just an ordinary person in the wrong place at the wrong time. But even ordinary people can become power hungry once they mastered it. Although, the essence joined with him wouldn’t have any intention of allowing him any such control. And Gabriel knew the demon possessed the strength to overpower any inclination for Cain to grab hold of it. Still, she wouldn’t get any further by chasing up leads from Cain’s past life.
It left Gabriel pursuing the crate’s origin, and who owned it, and she wouldn’t discover that in Babylon. She needed a ship and, this time, not just a commercial passenger liner. She needed her own ship, fast and well protected from what she suspected she would soon face. But first she headed back to the freight terminal to gain whatever information she could on the crate’s origin. It meant interacting with the overbearing supervisor, but so be it.
“What do you want?” The supervisor asked as she approached the warehouse office.
“Good to see you again, too.” Gabriel gave him a fake smile. “That crate. From where did it come? And who was the registered owner?”
With a furrowed forehead, the overbearing supervisor crossed his arms as he stared at her. It seemed she needed to force him to divulge the information until he sighed. “I’ll find out.”
“Don’t want to cause you any trouble.” Gabriel used her sarcasm to its most cynical extent. She understood her behavior grated on people, but she couldn’t help showing her frustrations when they proved difficult with her. It beat other more physical alternatives.
The supervisor stopped and glanced back at her, opening his mouth as if to say something, but deciding to forego his reply, and continued walking. Gabriel followed him into the office, as much to keep him company as to make sure he searched the database thoroughly.
“What’s your name anyway?” Gabriel asked in a more civilized manner.
“Despite our past conversations, I appreciate your efforts, Japheth.”
He glanced at her again. “Not sure I have a choice.”
Gabriel chuckled. “Yeah, maybe not.”
Japheth punched the query into the computer terminal, searching for the information Gabriel requested.
“Here we go,” Japheth said as he reclined in his chair. “Akkad Antiquities. Their name is on the freighting slip. I don’t know who they are.” He turned his head to glance at her.
“That’s a good start. You have anything else?”
He raised his eyebrows as if to ask how much blood she wanted. “Give me a minute.” He hunched back over and continued interrogating the computer terminal. “The crate came from Umma, but their headquarters are in the Kish system.” He released a gush of breath between his lips as he withdrew from the display, glancing at her again. “That’s it.”
She nodded. “That will have to do, then. Thanks for your time.” She turned and left.
It wasn’t much, but she now had a lead to investigate. Akkad Antiquities sounded like a shell company to Gabriel. She wouldn’t know for sure until she delved into the organization’s activities. She wouldn’t find the answers she wanted in Babylon. So she headed to the spaceport terminal to board the first commercial liner back to the planet Euphrates in search of a yacht suitable for her next tasks.
Traveling from the space station to Euphrates using the commercial transport took Gabriel almost a day. Once there, she directed herself to the local celestial agency office and entered it.
A young man sat behind the reception desk, facing away from her. He concentrated on his personal device, viewing whatever engaged his interest. She could’ve robbed the place, the amount of attention he was giving.
“Yeah…,” the young man said.
“I’m looking for a spaceship.”
“We don’t have any. Go to the spaceport.”
Gabriel grinned but waited in silence, wondering how long it would take before he noticed she still stood there with no intention of leaving.
The man turned and spoke. “Listen, I —.” Stopping once he saw her, his mouth hung open and his eyes mooned as they wandered up and down her body as if he was optically raping her.
“You finished?” Gabriel was in a hurry, and could’ve done with more professional curtesy.
Once he recovered from the shock, the man disposed of his device and stood, his face cherry red with embarrassment. “I’m sorry. It’s not every day…” He shook his head. “I mean…, what were you asking?”
“I’m looking for a spaceship I can use. Something fast and well protected.”
He frowned. “All our spaceships are out on assignment. One’s back next week. The agent’s coming in for debriefing.”
“What about the one I saw parked at the transfer station?”
“But that’s brand-new. We haven’t even checked it out yet.”
“It’s exactly what I need. The name’s dodgy, though. Samson’s Revenge? Does it come with a donkey jawbone?”
Gabriel smiled. “Never mind. What about it, then?”
“I was going to take it for a test fly this weekend.”
She raised an eyebrow.
“You might convince me if you club with me tonight.”
A hearty laugh escaped Gabriel’s mouth. “Unfortunately, my case demands me to leave straight away. But I might consider it when I return.”
The man’s eyes boggled. “Promise?”
“I’ll put a top priority on it. I don’t make promises. It’s against agency rules.”
He puffed his chest out. “I’ll keep you to that. Just imagine the look I’ll get from my friends when I come along with you on my arm.”
Gabriel laughed. She considered her beauty an asset on most occasions, although it became a burden when she wanted to keep a low-profile. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to spend an evening with the guy. “What’s your name, anyway?”
“Nice to meet you, Obed. I’m Gabriel.”
Obed’s eyes boggled again. “The Gabriel?”
She raised her eyebrow again.
Once his trance dissipated, Obed said, “I’ll get the access codes.”
“Much appreciated.” She stayed where she was while he disappeared through the doorway.
After several minutes, he came back with a package. “My superior isn’t happy, but he’s grudgingly released it once I told him who you were.”
Obed handed the packet over to her. “Don’t forget our agreement.”
Gabriel grinned. “I won’t.” She grabbed the package and left, heading for the next shuttle to the transfer station and Samson’s Revenge.
To be continued…