“So ‘ow long d’ya reckon it’s gonna take to fix ‘er?” Max asks between mouthfuls of breakfast.
“Quite a while,” replies Grim. “That Gazelle messed her up pretty bad. On top of that, I haven’t had chance to do the monthly maintenance since we were on Grote because of our swift departure from Mithras. There’s a couple of days work there as well.”
“It’s going to take the best part of a week, I reckon.”
“No worries. It’ll give me some chance to do some trading. Maybe I’ll even find someone to buy that bloody broken fighter that’s been clogging up the hold for months. Where we going next anyway?”
Will flicks open his handcomp.
“Well it’s either Windsor or Aki. Windsor looks like the safer option. I see that Aki is Amber Zoned. If it’s anything like this Amber Zone, I would rather avoid it.”
Max is looking at his own handcomp now.
“There’s fack all there at Windsor,” he says wrinkling his nose. “Another of those dull mining village worlds. It ain’t gonna be good for trading.”
“Or passengers,” Autumn interjects.
“Aki’s got an ‘uge population,” Max continues. “Food and drink are rationed there, which is why the place is Amber Zoned ‘cuz the folks there ain’t very ’appy about it. Should get a good price for that bloody whisky we’ve been carrying for what seems like forever.”
“And large populations should mean we should be able to fill the staterooms,” agrees Autumn.
“We need to make some cash now,” Max says. “Losing that venison cost us a fair bit and there’s another instalment due on the ship in ten days – not to mention the cost of the repairs. Then, when we get to Glisten, we’re going to lose a month of revenue while we get our operations done and I’m sure we’ll all want to buy lots of shiny new toys while we’re there.”
“OK, point taken,” Will agrees. “Aki it is then.”
With breakfast now finished, Grim sets to work, assisted by Taeva. Jie’s offer of assistance is politely declined by Grim and so she assists Autumn in redecorating the parts of the Princess which got blown up or shot up during the last firefight. While Max goes to order the spare parts, Grim and Taeva start the repairs by cutting the sheets of crystaliron into place to fill the holes in the hull. Arvor heads off to see if he can find a mail contract.
By lunchtime Max has ordered all of the spares that Grim required and starts to look for buyers for the cargo.
The spare parts arrive mid-afternoon, but Grim and Taeva are still too busy with replacing the burnt out plates to do much with them right now.
The pair of them work well into the evening before exhaustion gets the better of them and they decide to call it a day.