Star Force: Cascade (SF73)

Star Force: Cascade (SF73) by Aer-ki Jyr

Book: Star Force: Cascade (SF73) by Aer-ki Jyr Read Free Book Online
Authors: Aer-ki Jyr
exposed
to a ‘natural’ environment.
    One of the other techs frowned at their chief. “What’s
a kitten?”
    “A baby cat,” the older man explained, throwing a
glance at his age peer in Claven .
    “Cat…like Scionate cat?” the tech asked, still
confused.
    “No,” the Administrator explained before the chief
could. “It’s a race that now lives exclusively in the sanctuaries. Back in the
day they were kept as pets and would make a soft rumbling sound when they were
asleep or happy.”
    “What’s a pet?” another of the younger techs asked.
    Claven sighed, looking at
the chief. “I’ll leave that one to you. We’re good here? Aside from their lack
of dark age cultural knowledge.”
    “We’re good, though I think in a couple, maybe three
days we’ll have to pull a maintenance shutdown given the amounts coming in. Gotta manually scrub those headers.”
    Claven nodded. “Make the
call when necessary. Still no word on the upgrade yet.”
    “That’s alright, boss. I don’t mind the manual labor.
Gives us something to do other than watch holograms and push buttons.”
    “I prefer it that way,” Claven differed. “If you get busy that means things are breaking and I’m having a
really bad day. So stay bored, please.”
    “As ordered.”
    “Carry on,” the Administrator said, walking out of the
booth and back into the hallway to continue his rounds. He couldn’t hit
everywhere on the station, for it was just too freaking huge, but he chose a
few vital areas and then stopped by locations he hadn’t in the previous days.
There was something wrong about being in command of a facility that you never
set foot in, not because he didn’t trust his crew to do their jobs, he just
didn’t like to be out of the loop.
    An hour later his wrist beeped and he held up his arm
lateral in front of him to activate the holographic torso of one of his
assistants.
    “What is it?”
    “Supply convoy is here early. Do you want me to get
the ball rolling or wait for you?”
    “Anything unusual in the manifests?”
    “Just getting them now.”
    “Are they all loaded?”
    “Seven ships in total, two are empty.”
    “Start filling them with the armor pallets. I’ll
handle the rest when I get back.”
    “Offloads?”
    “Put them in the bays the pallets leave.”
    “What about bay 7?”
    Claven shook his head. “No,
we’ll have to slow production here when the backup hits. Keep bay 7 open for
the chori .”
    “Understood. I’ll tell them to hold off until they can
shovel out their own floor space.”
    “I’ll be back inside half an hour,” Claven promised, deactivating his communicator and casually
walking on, cutting his inspection tour short but hitting two more locations
before heading back up to the command center and his staff of 6. If he didn’t
make these tours those 6 would be the only faces he saw on a regular basis, for
given the size of the station and the automation, his crew of over a quarter
million were so spread out that they didn’t bump into each other much during
work, and Claven spent most of his time working or
training, with almost no interactions in the residential zones.
    He was in them to eat, sleep, and train…all of which
he did quickly and usually alone, then he was back in his office or roaming the
station. This posting was too important for him to allow himself time off, so
he never did. If a time came when he needed a break he’d resign and let someone
else fill the slot. Until then he was on call round the clock in order to make
sure this behemoth kept functioning and feeding Star Force the valuable
materials that only it and its twins could produce, and until they caught up
with the Prometheus ’s production
levels the weight of responsibility was even more on their shoulders.
    Or rather his, for he deferred everything to himself
while allowing the crew the downtime he didn’t take. They all had shifts and
replacements to take over while they decompressed and pursued

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