Sie the Mystery Girl

“Hey Brenton,” Sie shouted as she walked into the hangar. Brenton was standing on a scaffolding and using a complex looking tool to fix something inside a small compartment he’d opened on the outer hull of his skeetship. The ship was a dirty, brownish gold disc that could fit maybe four, five people. In front, it had a shielded screen through which Sie could barely make out a very small cockpit for two pilots.
Brenton turned around, his face and hands sooty from all the tinkering, his black and greasy hair grown a little too long.
“Sie. Long time no see.”
“Long time indeed. What you up to, old dog?”
“Fixing the boat. I got into a nasty fieldstorm flying in. It fried a lot of comms circuits. Mostly fixed now, but I still get some damn static on long distance comms. I think this relay here is the one that’s bust.”
“That boat still fly?”
“What do you think? This beauty will stay in the air or the space or the phase space for at least another two thousand years.”
Sie whistled.
“Two thousand? Well it’s been around.”
“Yeah. Done my fair share of subluminal legs with it too back in the day. You know how it is with phase jumping without starjocks.”
“Yep. But your math’s still good?”
“As good as the next guy’s. You want to go somewhere long-distance, I can crack the figures a-ok. May just take a while. Sometimes a longer while.”
“Good. Good. Look, Brenton, it ain’t a courtesy call.”
“Didn’t think so. When would my sorry old ass be interesting enough for the wonderful Sie to just come say hi to?”
“Seriously. I need a favor.”
“Ok. Not big on favors, but shoot.”
“I need to get to Pan Caravel.”
“Pan Cara-what?” Brenton said and broke down laughing. “Pan Caravel? You lost your marbles?”
“No. I need to get there.”
“Pan Caravel? A junction city? You want some fairy dust and a pair of fire breathing dragons with that while you’re at it?”
“Brenton, I’m serious. I need to get to Pan Caravel. Discreetly.”
“Come on, Sie. It’s fiction. Pan Caravel is a fairy tale some dewy eyed optimists tell their kids to put them to sleep when the neighbours dog’s gone through a nanite meltdown. Through all the millennia of navigating the phase space, nobody’s come out anywhere else but this side of things. Everybody phases back. You know it.”
“It’s not fiction,” Sie said. “I know where it is.”
“Really? Oh really?” Brenton said and walked down the ladder from the scaffolding. “Look, Sie, if it was anybody else but you, I’d just laugh it off. But seriously, you think you know where Pan Caravel is? You think it’s real?”
“I think so, yeah,” Sie said.
“Well wouldn’t that be something,” Brenton said then. “Ok. Show me.”
Brenton accessed his ship on his AR layer and a small doorway opened on the side, extending a brownish gold ladder that whirred until it touched the floor. “Come on,” Brenton said, wiping hid hands on a grey towel. He climbed the ladder into the skeetship. Sie followed.

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