Monday, December 2, 2013

Blood on the Stars - Part 1: Secrets & Lies - CH.1 (1)

I'll admit the first chapter or two are pretty rough. I do think it gets better as I settled into the story and get to know the characters better. I wrote this from a prompt given to me by The Capillary and wrote without any plot and only a general idea of where I was going. It was certainly an interesting NaNo writing without a plan, but this is the result of my month long journey.

Hans glanced around at the barren landscape that surrounded him. It was hard to believe that this part of the planet had already been terraformed. He did his best to hold back his opinion of this planet until he had seen more of it, but at least it was a step in the right direction. His own centre to be in charge of, it was a big step up even if it was in a place as remote as this one.
It didn’t take him long to collect what he had brought with him. All of the bigger items had already been moved into his new place by the company. With no issues at customs, he walked into the greeting lounge and looked for a sign with his name.
“Hands Bowlow…” Hans shook his head and sighed as he walked toward the gentleman holding the sign. He tried his best not to read into it, but he couldn’t help but feel slighted. He expected there to be issues, but he hadn’t expected anyone to be so forward about it.
“Hello, I’m Hans.” He didn’t bother to smile. It was purely business, he would worry about making friends later – right now it was all about getting the upper hand. He didn’t want his new employees feeling that they could walk all over him just because he was young.
“Riiiiighht.” He drawled the word out as he gave Hans the once over. “This way then, sir. I suspect you’d like to go right to your residence?”
“Yes.” He didn’t really want to go see his new place yet. He was more excited to see his new work area. He had been told that it would be state of the art despite being on a frontier world. Global Space Tech had assured him that it was only a matter of time before Cantun became a trading centre for the outlying expansion worlds.
As the landscape whipped by Hans found the need to re-evaluate his opinion of this world. It wasn’t near as barren and boring as he had originally thought. Mountains soared, dark blue against a purple tinged sky and he longed to explore them. There wasn’t much for vegetation outside of the occasional cultured park, but it wasn’t as bad as he had thought it would be.
His own residence, when he was finally dropped off, was considerably larger than he had grown used to on more populated words. It was definitely one of the perks of moving to the edge of civilization. Even by civilized standards it was a nice domicile – all of his stuff still waiting to be unpacked.

Hans was relieved to see that no one had tried to unpack everything for him. It would have been nice to have come into a place that was all ready for him, but he preferred to have it set up the way he wanted. He had never been too keen on other people touching his stuff.
It was late, by local time and Hans had to admit that he was pretty tired. Unpacking could wait till another day. He watched as the dual sun slipped behind the mountains and alien stars came into view. This new place was going to take some getting used to, but Hans also knew that that was the least of his worries.

Hans stood inside the massive new hangar, staring at the various crafts that were now his responsibility. It was finally sinking in that he was the boss, not just a lead instructor, but the number one go to guy for all the instructors, pilots and mechanics in this facility. It was a huge responsibility and he almost began to doubt if he was actually ready for this or not.
“That just won’t do.” Hans mumbled to himself and tried to shake the thought out of his head. He was going to be just fine and he could handle this.

“What just won’t do?” A familiar voice drawled. Hans turned around, surprised that anyone else would be here so early.
“It’s not important.” Hans smiled and held out his hand. “I’m sorry I didn’t realize you were actually an employee the other day or I would have made a proper introduction.”
“Duke.” He shrugged his shoulder slightly as he said it and glanced down at the proffered hand, but didn’t take it.
“Okay then.” Hans lowered his hand, but kept his smile firmly fixed in place. “Nice to officially meet you Duke. So what do you do here?”
“Mechanic.” Once again the statement was accompanied with a shoulder shrug as though Duke wasn’t at all committed to what he was saying.  
“I see…” Hans wasn’t exactly sure what else he could say to this man. Just like his misspelled name, it seemed like Duke was making his dislike of his new both well known without actually saying as much. “Well it was good to meet you Duke.”
Duke nodded and walked away leaving Hans alone in the hangar again. He took a deep breath and searched for where his office would be. It didn’t take him long to find the door marked ‘Manager’. He pushed it open. He walked around the desk and threw himself into the chair as the computer came to life, acknowledging is presence.
“Good morning, sir.” It was the nicest thing that had been said to him since he had arrived here and it was an automated system that was responsible for it. “My name is Alice and I will be your personal assistant here.”
“Good morning Alice.” Hans tapped his fingers idly on the desk, trying to phrase his first query properly. “Can you give me a list of all current employees at this posting?”
“Yes, sir.” It was less than a second before the entire list was displayed in front him. He glanced down the list till he found the one name that he was familiar with – Duke Willis. Reaching out to touch the name, it expanded into a full bio about him.
Hans gave it the once over and stopped halfway through to read it in closer detail. He had known that this centre had been open for a few months before his arrival, but he hadn’t known that Duke had been the interim supervisor for this centre. It explained a lot about his animosity. It was more than likely that he had been expecting to be given the permanent position, not some young off-worlder.
He worked his way through the rest of the profiles for his employees. I was pretty sure he wasn’t going to have an issue with any of the office staff, but a lot of the instructors and mechanics were probably going to be loyal to Duke. It wasn’t an ideal situation, but Hans was determine to make the best of it.
It wasn’t until someone knocked on his door that he finally looked up and realized that more time had passed than he had thought. He had been so absorbed in learning about his new staff that he had managed to lose track of the clock. It wasn’t normal for him to do so, but this was a brand new situation.
“Come in.” Hans waved the display closed and looked up to see a older woman opening the door to his office. She was smiling, but it seemed like one of those professional smiles that meant nothing. It didn’t reach her eyes, but then again, he was the new boss and no one knew him yet.

“Hi, I’m Marietta. I’m your front desk staff.” She stood unsure in the doorway as though she wanted to make a quick escape.
“Hello Marietta. I was just going over the employee profiles. Is everyone in today?” Hans smiled politely, trying to seem as though he was confident in what he was doing. In truth, he had no idea what he was doing, but he wasn’t going to let anyone else know that.

“Yes, they are.” She smiled a little more naturally this time. “Did you want to meet everyone in person?”
“Definitely. If you could get everyone together in the hangar area for me that would be great.” Hans watched Marietta wander off, leaving the door open behind her. He waved the display back up and made a few notes in a file for later. There was still a lot that he needed to know about his new staff, but it would have to wait.

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