25% Spaceship And Dragon / Chapter 4: Prelude (Part 1)

Chapter 4: Prelude (Part 1)

She was supposed to graduate in two months, after 6 years of internship aboard the Motive.

Naomi woke up in horror, threw her blanket away in panic and ran out of the room.

"I'm going to be late. I can't be late the third time. Why am I like this?"

She brushed her teeth with two hasty strokes, slapped some water on her face, dried it with a towel, then threw the towel into the basket. "Why do I always 'just a bit more sleep'?", Naomi ridiculed herself, "You never sleep 'a bit', you know that, why do you never learn, oh Naomi?"

5 minutes later, she bolted out of her student apartment, nearly crashed into something in the hallway.

"Good morning, Ms. White, going somewhere in a hurry?"

"Sorry Mora, have a good day". Naomi waved her augmented hand to the janitor robot without looking back.

A "Do not run in the hallway" hologram warning flashed in front of her face. "I'm sorry, Gimmic, just this one, please, I am very late!" Naomi averted her eyes quickly to the left to dismiss the message, while pleading to the monitoring drone above her head. "I will share 'The Garden of Love' file on the neural net with you in a few minutes, I have seen you riding the elevator to listen to it."

The drone finally gave up and flew away.

"I must thank Officer Emma for sending me the song". However, Naomi didn't like dubstep, despite her effort to like the favorite song of her closest crewmember. "Why would someone so young and cheerful like Officer Emma have the same taste in music as my grandfather?" Naomi regretfully thought.

Having arrived at the Dimensional Transferring Station downstairs, Naomi hurriedly swiped her student card before jumping into a vacant pod, typed frantically into the control panel and pressed 'confirm' for her desired location: The Alexa Corp Hangar #25.

***

"I'm going to let this one slide. Just this one. Because you're cute. But just this one. Do you understand?"

"Yes, sir. Sorry, sir. Thank you, sir."

"Okay. Have you prepared for the mission? What's the mission?"

"Our 241st mission is to scan Emerald galaxy of the universe 00A26 for possible dark matter energy rich locations, sir."

"That's right. I trust you understand that Emerald galaxy is uncharted, and navigation through the sector must be handled with more care than usual?" Captain Jack raised his eyes from the manifesto to look at the panicking student in front of him. "Cute, so cute". He thought while utilizing every bit of his mental power to look back at the manifesto.

"Yes, sir. If you'll excuse me, I want to watch Pilot Wang prepare the ship for an uncharted scanning mission, sir."

"You do that."

Naomi walked a bit away from the captain, then she started to run. She was uncomfortable interacting with the man. She was pretty sure that the man liked her. "There is no way I'm dating a 39-year-old guy." The age gap of 15 years was just too much for her.

In front of her lied a long, big, black spacecraft, Alexa Corp mining vessel number 4210, "the Motive", a state-of-the-art universe-jumping mining vessel.

It was one of the few spacecrafts recently equipped for universe-jumping.

The expansion of the original universe, or 00A01, was the cause for the application of the new technology. Instead of folding billions of light years of space, which costs tons of energy, to teleport to the next galaxy and do the same to carry the raw condensed energy back to the Andromeda galaxy, the mining ships of the new generation would travel to galaxies in parallel universes, on top of the original one.

It was a huge spike in profit compared to the old mining method.

After all, the efficiency of the energy mining business was the top priority of Alexa Corporation.

***

Instead of going to pilot Wang, the mischievous young pilot-to-be turned to the engine room to meet a young mechanic.

"No, there is no need to wear gloves for this. I'm just looking for the sonic screwdriver."

"Are you even listening to yourself? 'An ungloved hand could short-circuit the tool storage computer and explode the ship?' If you don't stop being annoying, I'm going to reset you back to default, Alexa!"

Naomi smiled. This has been a usual occurrence on the ship in the recent couple of months.

"When I graduate and get my own neural assistant, I'm never going to modify it." Naomi promised to herself.

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