Looking around the ranch as the sun dropped below the horizon. Remmie smiled. His wife, Jelena, sitting next to him, glanced over.
“What are you thinking about?” she asked softly, her hand on his arm.
“Oh, just how lucky I am to be here with you and the kids. That you and the kids even exist,” he said, squeezing her hand.
“You know, you never did tell me the full story of how you wound up here. I mean, this isn’t the most populated or popular planet. A lot of people would call it a backwater. I know you were a trader, and that you always wanted a farm on a quiet planet, but how did you make it happen?” she asked.
Remmie turned to face her fully. “I didn’t? Well, it’s not a long story…” He leaned back in his chair and let his mind wander back to that day…
Remmie sighed and set down the invoice. At this rate he’d be shuttling less-than-legal goods between not-quite derelict space stations and planetary outposts for the rest of his life. But what else was he going to do anyway?
He rubbed a hand down his face. Well, he’d just have to put off that dream of a little farm on a quiet planet for a while longer. He had the money, but he’d been hoping to spend it on picking up some extra cargo and maybe trade up a bit in the quality of the goods he was transporting and selling.
But without a functional jump drive, he wouldn’t be able to navigate any of the jump gates which would severely limit his trading area to the three planets in this system and there was no way he’d make any money doing that.
“Um, sir?” The mechanic’s voice jarred him out of his spiraling thoughts.
“Oh, right. Sorry. Yeah, go ahead with the work. You have my comm number, and I’ll be staying over at the hotel by the space port,” Remmie said, handing over his credit chip.
“Yes, sir I have your number. The repairs shouldn’t take more than a day or so. I’ve got a couple other small things here, but I should have yours done by midday the day after tomorrow,” the mechanic, who’s name tag read “Andrej” said.
“Okay, great. Thanks, Andrej. I’ll see you in a couple of days.” Remmie retrieved his credit chip and headed out the door.
Back at the hotel he decided to have a drink in the bar and try to relax. He had a book on his tablet that he’d been trying to get to for a while now and this enforced down time seemed like the best opportunity to do that. A comfy chair, a beer, and a good book sounded like a great way to spend a couple of hours. Decision made, he walked into the hotel bar and found the perfect comfy chair in a corner near the fireplace. While it wasn’t full winter yet, the days were getting colder and the warmth from the fire felt good on his chilled hands. One or two other people apparently had the same idea and were ensconced in other comfortable chairs scattered around the room. He stopped at the bar to get his beer before settling himself in the chair.
Half an hour later, Remmie felt eyes on him and looked up from his tablet. An older gentleman accompanied by a young girl about ten years old, stood on the other side of the fireplace staring at him. The man’s white hair gleamed in the firelight. The little girl clutched a stuffed dog, and her free hand was clinging to the man’s suit coat.
Remmie returned the stare and smiled.
“Can I help you with something?” he asked.
The older man shook his head. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to stare. But you have the look of a trader. By any chance, are you? And do you have a ship here?” he asked.
Remmie nodded. “I am and I do, but my ship is out of commission for the next couple of days. I’m having some much-needed repairs done. What did you need?”
The man stared down at the girl’s head, a soft smile on his lips. He brushed his hand over her hair.
“My granddaughter and I need to get home to Yaveron. I’d pay you very well if you can take us,” he said.
“Well, as a matter of fact, that is my plan as well. I have some goods that I’ve acquired here, and they sell well on Yaveron. But, as I mentioned, I’m not going anywhere for a couple of days at least, and my ship is small. I can only offer you a double-bunk cabin and a shared toilet,” Remmie replied.
“That will be fine. My name is Josue Whittaker and this is my granddaughter Emilia Logan,” the gentleman said.
“Happy to meet you. I’m Remington Hargrove. You can call me Remmie,” Remmie said.
Back in the present sitting next to Jelena, Remmie smiled. “Turns out Josue Whittaker is a very wealthy man. He paid me more than the value of my cargo as passenger fees for him and his granddaughter and rounded up buyers for it when we got to Yaveron. So those repairs, while necessary and not cheap, were worth it in the end. I only ran trade routes for less than a year more before I found this place… and then met you. And the rest is history.” He smiled and squeezed Jelena’s hand.
A new year and more prompting fun! My MOTE prompt challenge this week came from Padre: “The repairs were necessary and not cheap, but worth it in the end.”