Anika lay on her stomach on the bed, the pages of Jake's most recent letter in front of her as she read it. The others he'd written all lay in a pile next to her, along with a small stack of blank pieces and a pen. She grinned as she read his description of Dani and how she was going, wondering just what he'd say if she showed it to Dani. She wouldn't, and it was probably one of the best descriptions she'd heard, even if it wasn't particularly complimentary just due to the situation. "Poor Dani," she murmured as she read it. She read through the letter again, as usual, before starting to write one in return. About two to three times a week they would communicate through letters, ship-to-ship communication for personal or private conversations more hassle than they were worth.
They'd spoken a couple of times since the tournament, on the air when he'd happened to be able to get airborne when she was, but otherwise it had all been through letters. Slowly they'd gotten to know each other a little better, their daily routines becoming a familiar thing, plus small snippets of life previous to the Exodus, which would creep in from time to time. She was still a little more cautious with what she wrote, the idea that her letters were going into the massive military maw of Avalon making her a little wary. Even though she usually delivered them on her run to the ship from time to time she didn't know what happened once they left the hands of the young clerk who collected the bag from her on hangar deck each time, exchanging it for one to go back to the central depot ship if she was going that way.
As she came in to land that afternoon she saw the clerk standing waiting near the doorway that led from the deck and wondered where Jake was, but as usual didn't expect to see him. She never really knew what time she'd be given clearance and most of her runs on the days she went to Avalon were geared so she could slot into the arrival patterns they had with the training flights and other traffic. Once Sting was settled on deck and she'd shutdown her systems she released her harness and stood up, stretching before opening the cabin door. Jumping down she headed straight for the lockers, greeting one of the few deckhands she'd grown to know with a half-smile and loading the things onto the trolley he'd brought over for her. The clerk hurried over, a worried look on his face.
"Hi Nik, got a special request from the boss. Seems this parcel has to be delivered to Babylon pronto, and you're the last shuttle heading out who can do it. Can you?" he asked, almost pleading.
"Frak!" she muttered, already a little concerned about her fuel levels and whether they'd get her back or not. A problem with the converters that morning had meant she hadn't been able to refuel as she'd wanted and she'd been running close to the bone. "Tell you what, you get me some juice for Sting and consider it done," she told him, the deckhand having heard the exchange chipping in there. He said he had an idea and would be right back, the expression on the young clerk's face suddenly lifting as he saw there was a chance he could get this thing sorted for his superior. "I'm really sorry Nik, but the boss has his balls in a twist.. oh frak, sorry!" The blush that suddenly coloured his cheeks was enough to set off heat sensors, she was sure. She quickly reassured him, with a little colourful language of her own, that it wasn't something she hadn't heard, or said before. "Can't hang around pilots as long as I have without picking a bit of it up," she added with a conspiratorial wink to the poor young clerk...