“Settle down,” said Jasa, directing the muleship via the vocal transponder sewn into her trachea. The data that waterfalled across the piloting display represented the ship’s resentful bray in response.
Jasa rarely thought of the freighter by its official designation. A muleskinner trained in the Jovian moons, she knew the ships she tended by their natures, not their names.
This particular ship longed for the caress of an atmosphere, a suicidal notion.
Her attention shifted to the cargo umbilical stretching toward the Terran elevator.
The ship kicked.
Jasa sequenced the eject routine. She would not burn with the stubborn mule.
Christopher Rowe’s stories have been short-listed for many awards and have been published, reprinted, and translated around the world. He lives in Lexington, Kentucky with his wife, novelist Gwenda Bond.