The Tornado Sojourns (4) – Chapter 07 – Holiday Talk
After an enjoyable and surprising Eastertide Festival on Marikya the Tornado returned Bagg’s brother, Trebreh, his wife Xandra, and her brother Ale, along with Duff Tarver and his wife Chani to the peaceful agrarian settlement of Montrose on Eirkos, and then proceeded to Soman to pick up a load for delivery to Eikon Minor.
After delivering the three pods of freight to the Legionnaires Garrison they returned Wisma Berita to the Visitors Rest which was the bar she owned in Gipki, then with all their passengers returned to their homes, the Tornado returned to plying its trade in the Eikon Cluster.
The system was known as the Eikon Cluster due to the high number of M class planets and moons in the Eikon solar system, they could always rely on an abundance of work with Golbolt Interstellar, based on the moon Soman, and the main reason for that was that the Operations Manager was Oshwin Lemik and he fought against the Legion in the Shaxson War along with the Skeet brothers, they as pilots and Oshwin as Logistics Commander.
From the moment they were reacquainted, the Tornado got as much work as they wanted and regularly ran between Eikon Major and Minor, Eirkos and its moons, Soman, Rekar and Marikya, and neighbouring planet’s, Achrem and Zenden as well as Zenden’s moon, Linden, plus a host of other smaller moons and asteroids.
In the time they had been in the Eikon Cluster they had familiarized themselves with the planets and moons they visited and had cultivated great friendships along the way, and in the months that followed their Sojourn to Marikya they delivered their cargo to every planet, moon and asteroid in every corner of the system with barely a moment’s respite.
Until after almost nine months of continuous toil Merri exclaimed
“We need a vacation!”
She was on the flight deck, sitting in the left seat with the huge framed figure of Parse Sacrod stood behind her with a hand on each shoulder, the Tornado’s second in command Malena Endia was in the co-pilots chair and Shiyne was at the nav panel.
They were in a holding pattern on approach to Eikon Major following a Leviathan tanker, which was going painfully slowly, and it was as she looked out through the glass at the arse end of a Leviathan when she made her exclamation.
“We need a vacation!”
“Yes, that would be nice” Shiyne said unenthusiastically, she had made the Vacation statement countless times before and they never got one, so they had no reason to think this time was any different, they had short breaks of course like the one on Marikya, but not a proper holiday.
“I’m serious, we really need a vacation”
“We agree” Malena said “But that doesn’t mean we’ll get one”
“Because you always say you need one and then another job comes up and then bang goes the vacation” Shiyne replied
“Well we’re having one” Merri said indignantly “Get everyone in the mess room once we’ve unloaded”
“Aye, aye Captain” Malena said and threw a salute
The Tornado wasn’t a huge ship as freighters go, especially compared to a Leviathan or a Gargantuan, but pound for pound the Tempests had the highest freight to fuel ratio yield of their class.
The front section comprised of a sizable pressurized hold for large freight accessed via a front loading ramp, above which was the flight deck, living and sleeping quarters, mess facilities and bath rooms, at the rear was the main propulsion and amidships were the universal pod bays, which allowed for a mixed cargo option, which allowed for quick inspection and loading, although sometimes pods were sealed which meant it was either very valuable or very illegal, either way Merri didn’t mind and transporting sealed cargo paid much much better.
The Tornado always flew with at least one pod but then that was because it was where they stowed their gear and where the hidden compartments could be found, or not, which was where they hid the contraband, or even fugitives when necessary, but not so much in recent years, they had even toyed with the idea of doing away with the “special” pod, but couldn’t bring themselves to do it.
Once on the surface the Tornado dropped their cargo pods, which were driven away, and then the ground crew maneuvered the three loaded pods into position for the return trip.
Once the Pods were in place Merri lowered the Tornado to secure them and then lowered the front ramp, so the remaining smaller freight could be unloaded.
There were only four small pieces for the return so once they were aboard and the manifests had been checked and signed they closed the door and as they had three hours until they could take off again, Merri called the meeting.
Lyris was the last to arrive in the mess and Merri said
“Good of you to join us”
“I thought it was just the usual scones and coffee, or is there a special occasion?”
“Yes, there is and that’s because we all need a vacation” she replied, and her remarks were met with a chorus of derision
“Not that old chestnut” Lyris said
“We’ve heard all this before” Asti added
“You always talk about a vacation but that’s as far as it goes” Zerrad chimed in
Even Pulsat and Vanzyl were emanating unsympathetic noises so she asked
“What about you Bagg?”
“Well we have been here before” he replied “and we probably will be again”
“Oh, is that right, well let me tell you this, I’ve already contacted Oshwin and told him to clear us a fourteen-day window so what do you think of that?” she said, and a happy murmur spread around the room.
“That’s made you change your tune” she said, and they all took it in turns to kiss her and say thanks.
“Well I suggest you all start making plans” she said trying to keep her composure and then added “and now I will have pancakes”
The whole mood aboard had changed, and the mess room was buzzing with excited chatter as they made their plans while Bagg fed them freshly made pancakes.
Merri checked the time and after finishing her mouthful she said
“Our departure time is approaching, so it’s time to prepare for take-off, Lyris you’ve got the left seat, Asti co-pilot, and I’ll be up when I’ve had more pancakes”
There was a lot of discussion among certain members of the crew as to how exactly they would spend their holiday, but not so much for others, as Bagg would spend it with Wisma and along with the two engineers, Pulsat and Vanzyl, go to the peaceful agrarian settlement of Montrose on Eirkos, where Bagg and Wisma could enjoy two perfect weeks with his family, brother Trebreh, sister in law Xandra, her brother Ale and friends Duff and Chani Tarver.
For the engineers the time would be a little less peaceful but nonetheless enjoyable as they would be run ragged entertaining the village children, or “small humans” as they called them, Pulsat running and chasing them in the meadows and Vanzyl swimming with them in the lake.
For the rest of the crew however, as much as they loved Montrose and the people, had something a little more adventurous in mind, they would obviously spend a day or two enjoying their warm hospitality, but the bulk of their holiday would be spent elsewhere, the problem was where.
Merri, Malena and the Skeets wanted some adrenalin fueled fun, and although Shiyne would also enjoy that, she and Terrell also enjoyed cultural centers, where museums, art galleries, sculptures and antiquities would keep them enthralled, an activity to be made all the more enjoyable as they were doing it with each other.
Asti was looking for luxury and pampering, while Parse Sacrod primarily wanted to play some sports, but they all wanted to spend the vacation together.
So, they looked for common ground and in addition to their first choices, they all liked to dance, they all liked to drink, and they all loved to gamble, so in the end it was an easy choice, The Clarissoss Resort City on Eikon Major.
With Luxury Hotels, casinos, bars, clubs, and restaurants, sporting facilities to suit every taste, located close enough to the wilderness for the adventurous types and only an hour’s shuttle ride away from Eikon Major’s Capital City, Rendon where those of a more cultural bent could indulge themselves to their hearts content.
So, once they had made their decision it was left to Malena to make all the arrangements and they spent the following two weeks suppressing their excitement.
During their time in the Eikon Cluster, they had heard a lot about Clarissoss, but they had never been, in fact the closest they had got to it was the capital, Rendon.