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"So, where are we headed again?"

"I told you. We have to make a stop in Barbadous to go meet the new client."

Jacob paced about wondering if he had made the correct decision. The Bengal Tiger paced back and forth in the Briefing Room which adjoined the Bridge. The black panther watched him silently, contemplating if he should get any more information. "Ian, please go back to the bridge." Jacob requested. Ian hastily went out of the room.

Ahh... Time to relax..., The Tiger started to get comfortable in his plush chair as he was about to go to sleep.

"HEY JAKE!"

"Yes, Sonny." Jacob said in a disgusted tone of voice.

"We're here, and have been cleared for landing. Ya might wanna buckle up. There's some turbulence!"

"I'll be sure to do that." he watched as the cheetah went back into the bridge. Time to go.

* * *

"Wonder what he's like."

"Hasn't told me anything Callo. Not one word."

The red fox looked at Ian and thought that he was holding out on her. She brushed her long hair to the side and looked at the foward view. Barbadous. She heard of this city through friends. It was nicknamed the world of 2 faces. It was the center of the ITF, or Interstellar Task Force, the main policing unit of the United Stellar System Alliance. It was also home to "Darkwood."   The black market capital of the USSA. Anything one needed one could find at that planet

"Hey, it'll be ok. I'll protect you." Ian said with a smug. That was responded to a kick in the head.

"I plan on getting some food, need some decent snacks. That robot doesn't really prepare the great food." Maya retorted.

"Oh, good food. Like... Poisoned Chips?" Ian quickly jumped out of his chair as another kick to the head was attempted by Callo, but failed.

"Ok, break it up you two." Jacob commanded. He grabbed both their arms and took them toward the hall. "You two are coming with me." The two followed their captain as he made a stop at one of the intercoms and pushed a button marked PA

Will everyone please meet me outside. I'd like us all to meet our new person at once if possible. 3 minutes people.

* * *

"Hey Reg, let's go!"

"Hey! Can you hear me?"

"Come on!"

Maya leaned toward the open hatch where her comrade, Regin was busy working on repairs. She could see his shoes sticking out and kicking.

"I'll give you 2 SECONDS!!!"

"All right in a minute." bellowed a voice from inside.

Not good enough. Maya thought as she took off one of Regin's boots and started tickling his feet. First came laughter than an audible thump. The tan rabbit came out, holding his head in pain. "Got any pain killers?"

"Nope. That's what you get. Now let's go outside." Callo instructed as she left. Regin quickly put his boot on and continued outside.

* * *

"Everyone here?" Jacob asked as he took a quick head count. "Ok, he should be at the Trade Centre. Everyone keep in eye's distance. Don't let anyone let anyone out of their sights." Everyone nodded as they went towards a large grey looking warehouse with a few spotlights illuminating. The only light that cut through the darkness of night.

The five entered as each one of them was amazed. Many planets had these kind of centres. This is where they got most of their supplies. But none were as big as this. Shopkeepers were lined across, wall to wall offering everything from small arms to spices. This was the norm. Except that this one was unusually crowded. "OK, EVERYONE, WE'RE HEADED TO THE TENTH FLOOR." Jacob yelled. He hoped that someone was listening, though he couldn't even hear himself. The constant exchange of words from all the patrons were enough to deafen a gunshot.

* * *

The ding-dong of the elevator awakened a shady figure shrouded in a corner. He looked at the figures filling out and smiled to himself. "Is anyone there?" Jacob asked. "There's nothing up here..."

"That's why I chose this place." The shady figure revealed himself as a young wolf-morph, he had a slight grin on his face as he extended his paw. "Kattan. Kattan Delincht."

"Jacob. Jacob Lossarot, but call me Jake."

"Easy-going boss. I like this already. Who's the rest of the motley crew?" Kattan requested.

"To my right is Ian Seral. Com and cash Person."

"Whazzup?" Ian yelled as he patted the wolf on the back.

"To my right is Sonny Ikari. Our main pilot of my ship, the White Pheonix."

The cheetah gave a slight smile and waved. Kattan looked at him with an odd look but then turned to his new employer. "This..."

"Callo Timorsu. How ya doin?" the Callico gave a wink to the wolf. "This is... where's Maya?" she asked as she looked around.

"She went to buy some food, or something. I'll go get 'er." Callo winked as she left for the elevator.

"Well... Over there is Regin. Our chief mechanic." Jacob continued.

"Only mechanic, mind you.... Hi." the rabbit extended his paw as Kattan shook it.

"That's about everyone. Do you have anything ya wanna bring with you?" Jacob asked.

"Yeah. My place is nearby... where are you now?" he asked.

"Dock 4. Umm... need any help?"

"Nah... I have a friend that can help me move the rest of the stuff. See ya later." Kattan gave a slight wave and went down a nearby staircase.
 
 

"So... I heard that our new employer was here. What's the order?" Regin asked Jacob.

"Salvage Op. Some freighter was broken down. Destroyed by pirates. We gotta go get it back."

"Ahh... Least it's an easy one. How much?" Ian asked.

"Everything goes smoothly, were talking 100,000 credits. Enough for some new equipment on board. Come on, drinks on me everyone." the tiger said as Regin, Ian and Sonny gave a howl of delight.
 

* * *

"Maya? Girl are you here? Somewhere..." Callo yelled into the deafing crowd. She sighed as she pushed through the crowd seeing all the different species of storegoers. This is rediculous. Why did I go out again? she thought to herself. "Screw it." she sat down on a bench and buried her head in her hands. Looking up, made Callo's face gleam with happiness as she saw Maya talking to someone, witnessing something passing hands between them. As the feline reached the fox, the other figure mystically disappeared.

"Who was that?" she asked.

"Who was what?" Maya replied.

"I saw you and you two were giving each other something."

"Oohh... that, yeah..." she said as she pulled out a vial of spice from her pocket. "Very rare spice. It's good though."

"Since when did you know how to cook?"

"For a while. " Maya replied, sticking her tounge out. "Come on, I wanna try this stuff out."

* * *

"What do you have in there?" Sonny asked as Kattan lugged a large trunk case and a duffel bag up the ramp of the White Pheonix.

"You really wanna know?" he asked, motioning him to come closer. He then whispered, "My dead girlfriends."

"Cool! Can I see?" Sonny asked, trying to open the lock. Kattan sighed as he opened the lock showing a cache of handguns, rifles and machine guns. Sonny quickly went back into the hull.

"Crazy." he said as he finally managed to lug his trunk to the elevator. He entered it and pushed the button marked "4."

The elevator's glass door closed as it ascended, emitting a small hum. When the elevator stopped, he stepped in a large room with cloths drapped over pieces of what he thought to be furniture. Maybe this isn't where my room is. The wolf then went to one of the intercoms and said, "Hey. Lil' help here?" Unbeknowinst to him, his claw accidentally hit the PA system annoncing his problem to the whole crew. The elevator moved down the elevator tube and up came Callo. "Hey." she explained. "Rooms on 3."

"Oh. Whoops." he said as he sat on his trunk.

"What's ya got in there?" she questioned.

"Arms. My personal collection." he said as he opened the trunk. Callo picked up one of the guns and examined it. "T-41 Chakat, very hard to get."

"I see we've done our homework. Yeah. I'm kinda a gun nut. I'd rather not use them on people unless it's really nesscasary." Kattan explained to Callo.

"That's good. Not too be rude, but is that all you do? Play with your guns?"

"Hahaha..." he said, nudging her chin with his fist. "Actually, I'm more of a musician than a gun nut. Here." he said as he pointed to a electric guitar.

"Neat. Never really had musical inclinement." she said looking at Kattan. He nodded and brought over his guitar. "A... Giza Guitar? These things don't come cheap. What's your secret?" she questioned.

"Well, living in darkness, facing violence, anguish  and learning how to deal in the black markets can go along way. That's how I survived."

"Oh... sorry."

"Don't be. Still alive, got a good job, and have more knoledge of handheld and starship weaponry than most professors do."

"Proud aren't we?" she said as she noticed his shirt. "311? Who're they?"

"Oh. Old Terran band. You'd be suprised. I think that most music today is all the same, with a few exceptions. Picked most of this stuff cheap as it came through."

"Ahh.... ?" Callo nodded his head. "Wish I had some MD's or something. It's funny. I bought a new MD Player but no MicroDisks."

"Borrow mine anytime. Got like a hundred or so of these. Feel free."

"Thanks. Look foward to talking to you in the future. Which will be soon. These things last from a day to 2 1/2 weeks."

"I think I'll like it here." Kattan thought to himself again.  Where's my room again?"

"2nd one on the left from the lift."

"Thanks." He said as he grabbed his guitar and went to the lift. He followed the feline's instructions and found a unmarked door. It slid open to reveal a small bed, a desk with an attached monitor and a small closet. It's a small world after all...Quite cozy... he said to himself. He quickly put his clothes away and put his guitar on the bed and went down to the first floor.

* * *

"Ok, let's see."

"Desist, Ms. Katia."

"Desist this." Maya lifted a large sledgehammer and smashed the robot's treadwheels in the Kitchen. "Teach me what to eat will you!" She continued her assault on the defenseless robot as it was mercelessly beaten into  parts of metal and wires.

"Hey Roboguy, got any.... Wha???" Sonny said as he looked at the scene in front of him.

"You can get whatever you want in the Fridge." Maya said as she cleaned up what remained of the ship's cook.

"I don't think Silver will go well with the green countertops or the off-white walls." he said, noticing the room around him. The cheetah suddenly burst into shock as he realized one small problem. "YOU KILLED THE COOK!!" he yelled.

"Calm down. I can cook." she said as she began to take out a few items from a nearby storage coubard. "Tell everyone dinner is at... Let's see... 1950...20... 2020 ok?" Sonny gave her a strange look and exited.

* * *

"We are cleared to go." Ian said to Jacob who was sitting in a nearby chair on the bridge. "Good... good..." he said as he hit a few switches and pushed some buttons. The hum of the engines could be heard as the ship started to move.

"I'm... here. WHOA!" Sonny yelled as he triped on the door, stumbling down the few steps and landed right next to the captain at the navigation controls. "Nice to see you too." Jacob commented as he pulled the White Pheonix into space. "Where's the new guy? He should be up... There you are." Kattan walked down the few steps and looked at the bengal. "So, what do I do know?" he asked.

"You have bridge duty. Know how to fly?" Jacob asked

"Fly???" he said in a very suprised tone of voice. "I've never even been off the planet."

"It's easy." Jacob replied as he got out of his seat. Kattan then sat in his seat. "Now. Crusing Throttle is this bar over here to your left. GDrive is over here. When we reach 300,000 miles from Barbadous, hit it. Now, this screen shows the current position and Ian over there has radar to watch. Anything bad, come call ok?"

Ian slumped in his chair as the captain left. Why'd he pick a kid? What can he possibly add to the crew? he thought as he pulled out a small book and started to read.

 

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