I took a job at FTL Courier Service. Deliveries had to be made in a tight time window, which became a problem.
I liked it in New Babbage and I wanted to stay here. So I looked for a job. There were many companies here. Then the FTL Courier Service office caught my eye. I recently installed a very fast Crossfield Quantum drive in my Cutlass. I was able to score and make the company name FTL (Faster Than Light) almost a reality. Well, just almost.
I got the job. My first order was an entire list of deliveries. I had to collect several boxes on Microtec and its moons. The deliveries all went to different stations in the Crusader planetary system. That was easy money.
When everything was delivered, I received the order list for the return flight. I had to collect a total of 8 packages on the Crusader moons and on the space stations at CRU-L1 and CRU-L5. All deliveries had a destination named “Landing Pad New Babbage. And there was a tight schedule. That should be doable, I thought to myself.
The Crossfiled did not bring me many advantages on the short jumps between the Crusader moons and the spline jumps on a moon. It took a long time to charge the quantum drive. This Quantum drive was rather built for long travel. Time was running out to deliver my freight on time.
I hurried and rushed from outpost to outpost without a break. There was no time for a short conversation with one of the employees in the stations. When I finally picked up the last package at CRU-L5, I was completely dry and thirsty like hell. I took a short break and drank a Coke. Right now, I just had to go to the landing pad in New Babbage, so I didn’t see a time problem.
When I finally got to Microtec, I headed for the landing pad on the roof of the building in New Babbage. A strong wind blew, my Cutlass went back and forth. It was not so easy to land on the little pad.
After placing the box in the storage box, I noticed that each package had to go to a different landing pad. I looked at the delivery list in horror. I had to fly to 8 different pads. It could take a while, it became very tight with my given time limit.
In the meantime the wind had grown into a strong storm. I landed on another pad and opened the loading ramp. The icy breath of the Microtec storms blew towards me. Even with my equipment, I couldn’t stay outside for long. I took the box and went to the entrance of the building. At least I tried. I fought the storm. I could hardly stay on my feet. I made slow progress. Ice formed on my armor. I felt cold despite the effort. The wind blew towards me, time ran away from me.
The last shipment went to a research station just outside of New Babbage. I was no longer able to deliver it on time. I was annoyed. At first glance, it was not apparent that I had eight different destinations. This task could hardly be accomplished. An exploitation of the couriers.
When I was back in the FTL office, the dispatcher scolded me. I would have wasted time. I could take a break and have a drink in the Quantum flight, but not at a station.
I quit the job. Occasionally a courier job as a freelancer was ok, but I didn’t want to be employed by these exploiters.