Stories of The 39th Midnight Squadron
Karen 'Spark' Allasen
Spark usually has at least one smear of grease, oil, or other lubricant/whatever staining her hair. She prefers to be basically clean, but she’s stained. She wears hard-wearing clothes designed for safety, gloves, boots not shoes, etc. Goggles and respirator mask are common, too.
She has her Equivalency, but since she grew up on a mudball planet that’s still in the ‘paying off its enormous migration debt with resource exports’ economic stage, it’s just the computer-generated ‘education’. Her actual education was helping her mother in the workshop, and then being apprenticed to an aunt.
Her maternal family is skilled labour, mostly mechanics, some electricians, plumbers, other trades. Her paternal family is semi-skilled, mostly refinery workers. It was a love match, and her father has never recovered from her mother getting ‘colored’. He blames Spark for it: she is starting to understand that her mother used the drug to relieve the pressures of working for a crimelord.
Unfortunately, the colonisation of the planet was largely funded by the Banu, so .. what are you going to do? They’re the main employer.
“SPARK! Where the hell are you?”
“I’m down here!” Spark pulled herself out from under the skimmer, pushed her safety goggles up onto her forehead, banged the torsion wrench lightly on the gear housing. “Fixing the hover. What ’choo want, Pa?”
‘He’, with that emphasis, could only mean trouble. Spark got up in a hurry, put the torsion wrench down, and ran up the stairs. She brushed a grease-stained hand through her hair, trying to smooth it down, then paused before walking into the main room of their tiny dwelling.
The Banu who spoke was dressed elegantly, dripping with jewels, looking most out of place in the small room. In some regards, he looked almost like a stereotype of a pre-space-flight ‘pimp’.
“Hzyn. I’m still working o-”
“Hst. The Nyathi Lyka has failed.”
“Again? I told you, the flyboys need to bring me an H7 flux matrix capacitor if they’re going to keep pushing it bey-”
“Hst. You will fix. Now.”
Spark waited just for a moment, but the Banu seemed to feel the interview was over. He left the room, fastidiously never allowing his feet to touch bare floor. His attendant – another human – held the door, and another attendant brought the hover to the door almost before the Banu arrived there.
As soon as the Banu had left, however, Pa rounded on Spark. “How can you talk to him like that!”
Spark shrugged. “He needs me. Noone else on this mudball can keep his ships running.”
“Your mother can.”
“Pa, Mother’s colored out of her mind. She’s never coming back.”
“Never say that again! She’s sick, that’s all! And he’s got her in his hospital. She’ll get well.”
“Enough! Get going, girl. Your mother is counting on you.”
Spark sighed, and went to get her equipment. At least Hzyn’s workshop was well-equipped. With any luck, she could use his Crafter to make the new condenser her personal hover needed.