A round-robin story
The U.S.S. Starwave arrived later the next day, both to help the Ripclaw finish their salvage task, as well as to continue the Ripclaw’s planned patrol.
Time dilation had the two ships on almost opposite schedules, so Isaut wasn't too surprised to see her ‘uncle’ finishing his dinner as she punched in the codes for one of her preferred breakfasts. Eduonda’s father had mated late in life, giving Isaut an uncle only a few years older than herself.
Slipping into the seat across from him, she grinned, "So why the cryptic massage dear uncle?"
Eduonda tried to frown as he said, "Are you always going to tease me about that?"
"Yup!" she replied as she removed what looked like a hip flask. She opened it and tipped it over her pancakes, her body heat having warmed the contents just enough to help make the golden liquid flow a little easier.
Staring at her pouring the slow moving fluid, Eduonda demanded, "Where did you get that?"
Isaut grinned. "We got lucky this time. Among the other things we got at our last resupply was a little raw honey from Earth." Seeing her uncle’s frown getting the best of him, she laughed. "I seem to remember you eating a fresh banana in front of me last time! Fair's fair!"
Eduonda bowed his head a little in defeat. Even his mother had warned him that there would be retribution, and it looked like Isaut was enjoying it, perhaps enough to be willing to do him the favor he needed. "When you're done rubbing it in, I need a favor," he quietly said.
"Does this have something to do with your message concerning your honor?" she asked, dropping her teasing.
"I gave my word I would do something, but now we will be heading the wrong way."
"What is it?" she asked.
"Just a small package I promised I would get to Chakona. Then we were damaged by that pirate, so now we have to go home for repairs."
"What’s in it?" Isaut asked, growing curious.
"I don’t know," Eduonda admitted. "I promised to deliver it after I ran into a very sad chakat cub." He went on to describe the meeting, and the transfer of trust to deliver the package.
Isaut finally nodded. "Alright, I'll help you redeem your word," she said. Then she got a crafty look as she said, "But you will owe me big time ‘uncle’!"
"That I will ‘niece’," he said with a nod. He got up and went over to a row of personnel lockers that the crew used to secure things while they ate. Opening the one he had chosen earlier, he removed the package. He then placed it beside her plate with a small bow.
Isaut looked over the package with its seals and list of handlers. She smiled up at Eduonda and said, "I will be happy to add my name to those that have helped move this package." Eduonda handed her a marker, and she added her name and the Starwave to the slowly growing list.
Continued in The Package, part 8.
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