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   Chapter 6 Tailored

Bactine By Paul Kater Characters: 8555

Updated: 2018-02-11 12:03

Daniel's confinement had been ended. He was relatively free to move about on the star base, as long as he did not wear the uniform. He felt odd walking around in civilian clothes. He had to buy something more appropriate than his old vacation stuff. Colourful shorts and bright shirts were not helpful in keeping a low profile.

He spent a lot of time in the library where the big Spacenet hookups were. He put in an effort to learn as much about NGC6637 as he could. The heart of NGC6637 was a class V sun, in what on Earth was known as the Sagittarius zodiac sign. It was part of a binary star system, and the planet where he was going to be stationed was named: NGC 6637 - VIII. It was the 8th planet in system, and the people that lived there had not taken the trouble to actually name their planet something. They referred to it as 'the planet', if at all the subject came up.

The atmosphere of the planet was quite breathable, no problem for enhanced lungs, Daniel read. That was good. The people were very humanoid, slightly smaller on average than people from Earth. Also good. Something that surprised him was the fact that there was no air traffic on the planet. All transport was done by either ground carriages or boats and ships.

Daniel rubbed his forehead. "No air traffic? What on earth do they need security for then? Wonder if I can find something about border patrol. If that's there, I'm quitting before I get on the job." Then he recalled the remark of Captain Chambers, about sea sickness. Boats and ships. Right. That had to be the connection.

Spacenet provided no information, as usual. Daniel knew that there was too much information around, and cataloguing all that took a lot of time. And this was not something important for the majority of people searching stuff. He selected the last bit of information that was there about NGC6637-VIII: "Visitors to NGC6637-VIII are advised to observe the dress code."

Daniel wondered if he should be worried.

Later that day, a package was delivered to his cabin. In it were microblots with more information about the planet. Someone, he thought, is going through a lot of trouble to prepare me for that place. It looks as if they are doing all they can to get rid of me.

They, whoever they were, also made it that Daniel did not get in touch with the other Rebuilts on the base. All, that was, except Rhonda Flower. Rhonda had too much leverage on high command, because of her work and skills. She could do everything she wanted, within certain limits.

They often sat in the Gla

with growing disgust, frowned. "What do you mean?"

"There. That thing. Umbrella. Is that normal?"

Rhonda scrutinised the picture. "Dunno. I'm the wrong person to ask about women's clothes, Daniel. You should find a more reliable source for that. Just be glad it's the boys wearing suits and the girls wearing skirts. I once was on Ophelius. You'd really have to-" At that point she was interrupted by a beep-signal. "Damn. Emergencies coming in. I have to run, Daniel." She jumped up and sped off.

Daniel watched her go and wondered what he would have to, on Ophelius. A blinking light in a corner took his attention away from Ophelius as well as the people in the picture. He opened the message.

"Orders and information for your imminent mission to NGC6637-VIII.

Mission: you are to assist the Ship Owners Society of NGC6637-VIII in securing their sea faring vessels. The Society has requested security assistance for their vessels, as pirates have been engaging their ships in battle and 'captured crew and cargo, sinking the ships'.

Upon arrival at the planet, you are to report to Seigner Waldo Skinsh ko Talush who will inform you in more detail. You are under all circumstances obligated to adhere to local protocol.

Departure: you will be leaving on a shuttle from platform Delta 1 tomorrow morning at ten o'clock.

Others: Before being taken to NGC6637-VIII, you will stop at space station Red Eagle where your attire will be made to fit."

Attire will be made to fit. These were the only words in the message that seriously loomed over Daniel. "Did I mention being screwed?" he asked the tablet. "Pirates. I hope they don't expect me to go fight some bloody Captain Hook!"

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