By Robert Lynch
The spaceport was busy and loud. Jack had never seen so many ships in the one place before; he wasn’t sure that he’d seen that many ships in his whole life. He marvelled at the dance of ships floating up and out of the port only to have new ships swoop in and take their place. It reminded him of watching bees in a beehive.
He readjusted his pack strap on his shoulder as he fumbled in a pocket for his comm. One-handed, he flicked through the Apps on his comm until he got to Space Ship and Sleep. The SpaceSnS App had revolutionised space hitchhiking. In one place you could find cabins for rent, cabins for work, and sometimes even cabins for free. Free cabins had a bad reputation; they could be super low quality, or unsafe; maybe that was just a rumour, but Jack wasn’t willing to find out today. Today he was looking for a cabin for work.
The App prompted him for a destination. He flicked through the options. There were thousands of destinations to choose from. It didn’t matter to Jack. Anywhere was better than here; he just needed not to be here anymore. Next to the destination field was a ‘surprise me’ button. Done.
He added his skills to the App, and it tried to find a ship that was advertising for skills that matched. In seconds his comm dinged with a complete list. More than 300 ships had openings. A rush of excitement filled him; leaving had never seemed so close before. He could almost taste freedom.
One ship, The Thalassa, was headed for an orbital platform above Enceladus to begin an ice run to the extra Saturnian Colonies. Jack had always heard that the Enceladian eruptions were something everyone should tick off their bucket list. Good enough place to start as any, Jack thought, flicking the accept button.
He was now a proud crew member of a spaceship! He started towards the spaceport tram to take him to his new ship.
He was focusing on getting off of Earth, getting away from here. He was doing everything he could not to ask why so many spaceships had jumped at the chance to hire a crime scene cleaner.