Alex Nabihr slumped deeper into the conn, her fatigued body refusing to keep up with her still-racing thoughts. The closing comments in the case of Modak 6 v. Nabihr echoed in her mind. “The justice system of this planet...” Alex snorted softly; “justice” didn't fit in the same sentence as the Modak System. Had she been up against a farming peasant, she might have had a chance. Butting heads with Police Commissioner Bandy Perrine, on the other hand, was an exercise in futility.
“Alex... is that short for Alexandria?” the voice of her passenger interrupted her thoughts.
“No, it's short for Alex,” she remarked bluntly. “I generally don't take passengers. If I hadn't had court costs to cover, I wouldn't have accepted you. And when I do accept passengers, I generally do not permit them access to the bridge.” After a pause, Alex swung the conn about to face the man she was taking to the Fellight System. “Please return to your cabin. Accommodations are minimal, but you are welcome to whatever food or drink you can find.”
Ravin Sabik ruffled his fingers through his coarse, dark hair. “The only food I sought was food for the mind. But if there is none to be found...” The sallow-skinned man let his voice trail off with a slight smile, maintaining eye contact with the fair-skinned, fair-haired woman pilot.
“I'm selfish; I keep the best food for myself,” Alex stated flatly. “We're nearly out of Modak now, and we'll make the jump to Halene in about twenty minutes. Then it will be Zaire, then on to Fellight.”
“I'm familiar with the route,” Ravin nodded, the faint smile never fading from his lips. Alex shrugged and spun about in the conn, pointedly ignoring the man. The soft swishing of the door announced his departure a moment later.
The trip to Halene and Zaire was uneventful. Aside from the rote tasks of piloting the Sweet Journey, Alex spent her time reviewing her problems on Modak 6 and trying to make sense of it all. After unloading her cargo of fruit products on the planet, Alex had given the Sweet Journey over to port maintenance for scanner calibration. To pass the time during the maintenance work, she had settled into a booth in a nearby bistro to enjoy a tall coffee, iced. It was a soothing relief after the headache-inducing heat of the deserts of Central Ma'kalin. Within moments of relaxing in her window booth, Alex met Commissioner Perrine.
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