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Aphelion's Demise
Published by Brad Chambers at Smashwords
Copyright 2011 Brad Chambers
Edited by Jessica Chambers
Smashwords Edition, License Notes
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Derek sat dozing at the controls. It was hard to stay awake when you were staring into the darkness of space. The glow from the control panel lit his unshaven face in a dim light, giving his skin a sickly yellow cast. It was quiet except for the distant hum of the generator charging the batteries, and the fans circulating air through the circuit boards of the controls. It had been a week since he left the warehouse base on Mars and he had two weeks left before he reached the station that kept synchronous orbit with Mars just past Saturn. Then he could take a few days off and socialize a little before he started the return. One more trip and he would have his freighter paid for and he could start making some real money hauling for whoever he wanted instead of only who his creditors told him he could. They wanted stable income so he could make his payments. He was ready to pick and choose and take a few risks on chancy cargo.

The sound of the heat kicking on roused him from his fitful napping and he rubbed his eyes to clean the crud out. When I start making decent money, I'm going to get a humidifier for the ship so my eyes won't dry out so badly, he thought to himself. Glancing over the controls he saw everything was functioning in an acceptable range, even the magnetic clamps in the cargo hold. That's something else he would get when he made a little money. New magnets so that he wouldn't have cargo floating around. Entering a planet’s gravitational field could make a mess if you had containers of food or lubricating oil hovering above the deck. Pulling up the media player on his control screen, he selected a series of music from his collection of ancient jazz and set it to play through the entire ship. Standing in his grav boots, he stretched and left the flight deck to check over the ship.

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