Johnny2

<——–Continued from Johnny 1

“Hey man, I’m sorry.” Johnny said, stepping off the raised disk, his legs feeling like jello, his head feeling like fifty pounds. “I have a wicked hangover.”

His co-worker’s name was Pat. Pat was a bigger guy. Pat laughed.

“I hear that. You look like you were hit by a truck.” (trucks were outdated, but the expression still hung around)

Johnny smiled slightly and sat next to Pat at the control table. The sudden rest brought Johnny down on his elbows against the console. He groaned.

“Is it really that bad?” said Pat.

“I’d be fine if the window broke and I was sucked out into space.” mumbled Johnny

“Well I have some motren.”

“motren?” said Johnny, his head still firmly planted in his arms.

“If you wanted some.”

“I’ve never taken any for a hangover before.” Johnny said into the table.

“What?” said Pat. “You’ve never taken medicine for a hangover?”

Johnny looked up just to see Pat’s genuine reaction of shock.

“Nah, I only ever just rode them out.”

“That’s crazy. I never would have made it through the academy without motrin or stims.”

“To be fair, I’ve only ever had three really bad hangovers. This one might be four. I was up till Five at Dave’s unit, and I ended up sleeping on his couch until One. I had to deposit my credits at the bank and return a book before I caught an hour nap back at home. Now I”m at this here.”

Johnny thunked his head against the table, suddenly realizing that he needed to be awake. He lifted his head and nearly fell backwards as he straitened himself in the chair. Pat could see the glassy redness of Johnny’s eyes and the pain in his expression.

“Damn. Look take three of these.” Pat dug into his pocket and produced a bottle, dumped out three pills and handed them towards Johnny.

Johnny regarded the offering of three red diamond shaped pills skeptically. Sure he had worked with Pat for a few months, but he didn’t really know the guy. Those pills could be anything. They sat there, mysteriously holding any possible effect within them from poisons to hallucinogenics. Their reaction with his body was completely unknown.

But that never stopped him before.

He held out his hand meagerly and Pat flipped his hand over, dumping the caplets into Johnny’s who quickly pretended to take all three in one gulp. In reality Johnny only swallowed two, just to be safe. He snuck the third into his pocket.

Just then, the lights and warnings on the console in front of the two whirred and beeped. Pat stood, checking none of them.

“Well I guess we have one incoming.” Said Pat. “I’ll take the first one, you…you hang out for a second.”  Pat strolled over to the transporter and in a sudden whirr of blue energy was de-atomized from the room.

Johnny looked out the observation window to see a new elite class Vector Stromirani making its way towards the dock. Those things were F-A-S-T with two outboard V-X Jupiter rockets, sleek thrusters and paneling. The cabin interior was opulent without being to…verbose. It brought a smile to Johnny’s face to see it, they handled like second body to him, a big metal body that could break space and time but still be smooth and light on the controls. This one was orange with blue accents. If he had 38,000,000 Credits, that’s the kind of ship he would get, only in black and red.

The Vector docked for a moment in the exchange Johnny knew so well (as it was his current employment). A minute later the ship took off towards the hanger at the top of the space station. He watched the dream ship until it was cut off from his view. The thought of piloting one again left him him in a lingering daze, he even forgot his hangover for a delirious moment before it was quickly brought back to him by the sudden whirr of controls and warnings.

A pit formed in his stomach as he waited for the ID number. It started with F67- which meant it was a freighter. He sighed as he stood and looked out the window.

A Carrilian Orion. The clunkiest, most utilitarian ship that visited the station. Normally they arrived at the service dock. Dock 27 was for patrons and travelers. He turned, still bleary eyed to a small microphone on the control panel.

“F67-GTMF3.” He said into the mic “State your purpose on Station Five.”

A crackly voice returned.

“Name’s Orely, a gambler from Omega, here to see the games of chance on Station Five. I won this ship fair and square, I know it’s-”

The Orely guy continued talking long after Johnny lost interest. He wasn’t a lost freight driver.

Johnny switched off the mic and waited for the ship to dock at the bay before hopping (as well as he could “hop”) onto the transporter. In a wirr of blue energy he arrived at the staging area of the docking station. The couplings latched on to the fuselage of the Orion and the airlock door opened revealing a tall gentlemen in a white suit and a wide brimmed hat, opulently dressed. Johnny with his Mohawk, work shirt, shorts and boots looked dejectedly at the man.

Orely stepped out into the staging area towards the podium and transporter where Johnny stood.

“I say boy, do keep it close,” He said “I know it’s a piece of junk, but its my piece of junk, and there’s more where this came from…”

Orely held out a bill worth 500 units.

Johnny perked up as well as he could, making sure the bill made it safely and quickly into his shorts pocket before holding up a small plastic card on his belt. Which scanned Orely’s ID card automatically. The strange gambler mozied on past Johnny’s podium and through an automatic door to the Traveler’s Lounge.

“Have a good time on station five!” Mumbled Johnny. He looked at the door to the Hefty ship and walked through to the drivers seat.

His headache seemed to be fading as he powered up the thrusters, The couplings detached and the ship freed into space. Then the spots appeared.