Chapter Twelve




It would be a couple of minutes before we were completely weightless. I lowered the throttle to zero G and swung the boat around. Gravity slowly went away as I dropped the throttle and stuff started floating a little. When I'd turned it around and given it enough power to slow us to to the right speed so Bill could catch us, the floating stuff slowly started dropping, and when the gauges said we were at the right speed I shut the throttle all the way down. Stuff started floating around again.
Shit, I forgot about the coffee. I flew back to my cabin – and I mean I literally flew through the air like a bat out of hell, since there was no gravity.
Destiny was floating above the couch. I pushed against the doorway towards the coffee table, hooked the pot down, and floated over to her after a gentle push against the wall. “I like this,” she said. “Lets make love, I've never been weightless before.”
“Well, I have, but I never made love when I was weightless before,” I said.
Having sex without any gravity wasn't easy. Gravity makes almost everything easier.
An hour and a half later my fone buzzed. “John? Bill here, I'm almost at you, can you adjust speed and trajectory and dock the boats?”
“Yeah, I'll be in the pilot room in a second.” I set my fone to the shipwide speakers. “Attention, passenger and cargo. We will be experiencing low gravity for a while followed by more zero gravity, so if you've been floating around with nothing to grab, now's your chance. You might want to strap down.”
After some simple maneuvers, they're in the logs, I docked with Bill's ship and started both of our boats moving faster. Of course, once we undocked and I went back to regular speed I'd have to check the engines again. He called. “John, you want me to come over?”
“You bet, old buddy. I ain't seen you in ages!”
“See you in a minute.”
“I'm going to cargo,” I said to Destiny. “Want to come along?”
“And miss meeting one of your friends? Try to stop me!”
God, but I'd fallen in love with this woman. If it hadn't been for her the whores would have had me by now. There were probably seventy or eighty of them, naked of course, in the commons area, I noticed as we walked past in the low gravity.
We met Bill at the dock, one floor down over the generator; it was next to machine storage and about two stories high. There was a six by six meter airlock in the middle of the docking bay door and a rail where you had a four story high view of the generator.
The door opened and Bill came in. “Bill, meet Destiny,” I said. “She's an astronomer and, uh, I guess my best friend.”
Bill said “I thought I was your...” and looked at Destiny. “Oh. Damn but I'm dumb. Pleased to meet you, Destiny. You hooked up with this guy? And I thought scientists were supposed to be smart!”
I laughed. “Fuck you, Bill. Want a beer?”
“You have beer? I was wondering what you were hauling. I thought you didn't do cargo runs any more?”
“Well, this one's different. It ain't your normal cargo.”
“If beer ain't your cargo why do you have beer?”
“I like beer! My houseboat's half full of it. I have wine, too.”
“Hell... can you spare some, old buddy?”
“Sure, I brought plenty. I can spare a few bottles of wine, too.”
“Wow, thanks!” he said. “No wonder I like you so much, you old asshole!” We both laughed. “So,” he said, “what's your cargo and why are you so rich right now?”
“I'm hauling whores. They gave me a fifty percent bump in pay to haul 'em.”
“Christ, you always get the good assignments! How the hell did you manage this one?”
“Hell if I know, the fucking CEO himself called me into his office. Scared the shit outta me.”
“You must be livin' right!”
I laughed. “Me? Damn, Bill, you know me better than that. The extra money don't come anywhere near making up for the pain in the ass them women is, though.”
Bill said “Uh, 'scuse me, Miss, uh...”
“Name's Destiny, Bill,” she said.
“Uh, can I have a word in private with John?”
She looked at me and winked. “Sure, Bill.” She took off, knowing full well I'd tell her what happened later, or maybe just reading Bill's mind, which wasn't very hard to do right then.
“Okay,” Bill said, “Uh, look, John, uh, I ain't been laid in like forever and you got hookers on board your ship. Uh, you mind if I spend a little money while I'm on your boat?”
“Bill, I am about to make your day,” I said. “No, I'm gonna make your year!! You're gonna get laid and it ain't gonna cost you a penny. These bitches are horny as hell. They're so horny they'd pay you for it if they had any money. If you want an orgy, just go to my commons area, there's a hell of a lot of naked, horny whores waiting for you there. Meanwhile, I'll gradually accelerate a little more for a while while those batteries are being charged back up, no sense in both of us being late.”
“Damn, buddy,” Bill said. “You're the best friend I ever had!”
I winked at him. “All for the company's bottom line. Make sure that's in your logs!”
“Christ, John, of course!”
“Look, Bill, have fun with the whores and I'll meet you in my quarters after you get your rocks off.”
Bill owes me! ...and, well, I guess I owe him, too. Maybe the whores will leave me alone for a while, I had Destiny. I didn't need no fucking whores, they were just a damned pain in my ass. I want a raise! Fifty percent more ain't enough to put up with them damned bitches.
It would have been a lot different without Destiny. The whores would have probably took over my boat by now.
I went back to the pilot room and sent paper to the company about the batteries, wondering why I had to send paper for a battery jump. I mean shit, I only charged them with my generator. It ain't like it cost anybody any money. Damned bureaucrats.
Then I recalculated trajectory... well, at least that's what the computer said it was doing, I get confused by those big words. I think “recalculate” means “do arithmetic” and “trajectory” means whatever map we're following but I ain't too awful sure. Anyway, then I raised gravity up a little more, but only to point two six since Bill's boat was docked to mine and I didn't want to damage the docking ring. We were moving faster now.
When I got back to my quarters, Destiny said “You should talk to Tammy.”
“Huh? Why?”
“She's not a simple street hooker, she holds two PhDs, one in anthropology and one in psychology. She was studying the droppers when she got hooked.”
“How the hell could that happen?”
“I don't know, ask her. “
“I can't, I was kind of an asshole when I first met her. I had to of course, but that doesn't make me feel any better about it.”
“She likes you, John. She said that's one of the reasons.”
“Huh? She likes me because I was an asshole?”
“She likes you because you aren't one of the stupid knuckle draggers that would have let her on board for a blow job. She said it showed you had good character, and I told her I wouldn't have been with you if you hadn't.
“She's really nice, really. I like her. Lets have coffee with her tomorrow.”
“Uh, okay, I guess.”
The doorbell buzzed. “Who is it?” Destiny said.
“Wild Bill Corpse. Jesus... them whores damned near killed me! But what a way to die!” he said as the door opened. He was smiling wider than I'd ever seen anybody smile.
“Did the robots finish charging the batteries?” he asked.
“No,” I said. “It will be another hour. Is anybody but me hungry?”
Bill grinned even wider. “I just ate! Damn, John, thanks! Hey, can I take a few with me?”
“Get paper from the company and I'll do anything you want. But not without it, you know that.”
He laughed. “You thought I was serious? Damn, John, I'd never do anything to get you in trouble. Especially after tonight. God! This might be the highlight of my whole damned life!”
“It'll be an hour before the batteries are finished charging,” I said. “Lets eat something, I'm hungry. Come on, Bill, pussy isn't very filling. How about pizza?”
“I could go for pizza,” Destiny said. “Bill?”
“Sure. Got a beer to go along with it?”
“Yeah, my houseboat's half full of beer, didn't I tell you? Have a beer and take a few cases with you. Robot, take six cases of beer and six bottles of wine from my houseboat and transfer them to Captain Kelly's ship.”
“Damn, John...”
“Look, Bill, what you did for me after that Jupiter run... you know. I couldn't have a better friend. You could have been ruined but you stuck up for me anyway. Ain't many people I know would do that.” I chuckled. “My Mom, um, probably wouldn't.”
“Well, John,” Bill said, “What about high school? You stood up to bullies for me, and more than once, too. How was that any different?”
A table with a sliced pizza and three beers and three plates and some napkins on top of it rolled over to us. Destiny put on some twentieth century classical guitar, I don't remember who but she played all the old greats. We both love the music from that era.
We talked and laughed and ate pizza and drank beer and had a really good time and promised each other to keep in touch.
Bill shook my hand again and went back to his boat, and I lowered gravity to zero while the docking retractors retracted the docking mechanism. Or something, I ain't went to college.
I raised gravity to point two for twenty minutes to let him speed up first, so he would be ahead if he had more trouble. If he was going to have more problems it would be when the engines weren't all the way heated up. Running on batteries... shit. But I'd still have to pass him to get to Mars on time.
Of course, after turning the boat around I had to inspect the generators and engines. A robot was working on number forty two, so I logged it. Everything else was normal so I went back to my quarters.
Destiny and me didn't bother with a movie, we just went straight to bed.


Chapter 11
Chapter 13

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