Chapter Forty Six - Donovan Paulwell

The New Gennies

After speaking with Cilla, I walked the 'Vic trying to touch a guilt or a regret.

The Sags weren't going to be using this warboat to motherduck cargo.

It wasn't my portfolio, it wasn't my boat, wasn't my call.

We docked at Space Station 434, and out of my eye corner I saw two Gennies enter
the ship. I didn't look at them when I tossed;

"Let me guess, Your name is Gye?"

"No. Priam," came an extremely soft voice.

Gigoed, I raised my eyes and glommed, they glommed back. They weren't Gye and
seemed more identical than the Gye batch. I assume it's because I'm familiar with
Gyes to see an extra hair in an eye brow.

"Your cabin..." I begin.

"Where do we eat?" asked one in a very soft voice.

As I was going in that direction anyway,I led them to the small galley. Soft voice
examined stores, then to me, "When will supplies be delivered?"

"They have been, they're there."

He shook his head as if in terror. "There is no food here. Give me a chit, I will get supplies."

I wasn't going to argue. I hadn't overseen the restocking. I went to my cabin, Soft Voice dogging. I gave him a chit. He took it and went away.

Dinner is Served

Over the next hour or so, while the rest of the crew arrived, the Priams returned with a great deal of cargo. They'd spent more on food today than I had on three voyages.

I didn't remark, gave Cilla the order to take us out.

Taking a break I came down the corridor. The odor of food strong. I went into the
galley. There was Soft Voice Priam, making enough to feed an army.

"Excuse me, what are you doing?" I ask.

He looked at me, blinked; "Cooking," he replies.

"So much?"

"The...crew...."

"Oh." I tried to find a nice way to say it, gave up, "Priam, we eat our own food.
You cook for yourself and the other Priam."

"I didn't know that," he replied.

The other one said something to him in their language but the food spoke louder and looked good.

I say, "You can give me a plate."

Priam

He decorated the plate. The food wasn't slapped down but placed. I took
it to a table. It might have been the best meal, lifetime.

"This is really good!" I exclaimed.

Cilla walked in at 'good'. She went
to Chef, got a plate, sat beside me,
eating as if she'd been on a week's fast.

Then Ian and Shelly joined, and well, he could be Chef if he wanted.

He and the other one took plates, sat at the next table. The other one did most of the talking but in some strange dialect, while Chef ate with delicate table manners. Although identical in appearance, not in manner.

"What language is that?" Shelly asked.

"Sranan," clipped the speaker, turning back to Chef.

Shelly, doing her usually cow eyes, said, "He's so cute," making Cilla sigh.
Chef give Shelly a glance, she blushed, excused herself, we followed.

There was a connect a few hours later. I knew we were taking on other Gennies or
losing them.

"I hope Chef didn't go..." I toss, seeing the Gennie boat moving off the scanner.

First Watch proved he hadn't, for we had a fabulous breakfast and amazing lunch.

We docked at another Space Station to take on select cargo. There was no
dinner that night.

It had been nice while it lasted.

We stopped finding our way into the small galley, returned to the lounge
where meals were catch as catch can.

The remaining Priam left before we reached Cyberus via another secret ship and we were 'officially' Gennieless, though heat signs proved there were warm bodies in the living section off Hangar 12. However, as it seemed we were Gennieless, we began to return to our pre-Gye pattern.

After two days we became boisterous. We drank, we played music, we joked, we suddenly felt free, as if school was out. The way we'd been, before the first Gye came aboard.

Of course, the first Gye was different. He was almost one of us. Had he stayed longer, he would have been. Instead of being dead.

If Dalmar hadn't attacked this ship demanding him, if he hadn't escaped in the Viper, he might still be here. He might still be here and we wouldn't have had to be annoyed by dozens of Gennies with the name of Gye who weren't Gye.

As if my thoughts had summoned, there was the code, and Hangar 12 opened.

There were five such clandestine visits before we reached Cyberus.

It could have been posted on the bulkhead, Gennies would fill the ship, and as my crew and I came off, they'd take it out. Take it out in my name, while we frolicked on Cyberus, 'generic' Employees of Hawking; with no name on the Register.

War is near.

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