Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer

“Good morning. What a glorious day to be chugging through the cosmos in a scow named Cameron.”
“Fuck off, Mike.”
“No need for that, my esteemed colleague. We should revel in the sinecure we’ve been given.”
“Are you high?”
“Merely full of the joys of spring.”
“Keep your hands to yourself, then.”
The bearded roughneck chuckles as he slides into the pilot pod that has ‘Mike’ stencilled on the side.
“Do you know you’ve got a narrow worldview?”
Dan sighs and reaches up from his pilot pod to slap the bald spot on Mike’s head, then points out the vertical cockpit window.
“Yeah. It’s about a metre wide, five high, and shows me nothing but stars and spaceshit.”
“I rest my case.” Mike brings up the flight schedule.
“Well, Dan, your digital horoscope shows an improvement in mood. Care to guess?”
“Don’t keep me in suspense, dipshit.”
“We’re collecting a double load from Connecticut Orbital and heading on out to Trashteroid 42. Going to overnight there as we’re bringing a train of empties back.”
“Yes, I’m going to be drunk on my own tonight while you slave over a hot girlfriend.”
“She’s not my girlfriend! We just get along.”
Mike grins. He’s never known a couple so determined to deny they’re a couple.
Dan confirms their course and checks for any HEO traffic they could conflict with.
“Hey, Mike. I don’t think you’ll be getting drunk tonight.”
“Why not?”
“Looks like the train we’re bringing back is the Christmas and New Year overspill. So many we’re coming back with tugs fore and aft. We’re tail-end. The lead tug will be the Johnson.”
“Stacey’s going to Trashteroid 42?”
“Docking a few hours before us, according to the conflict list.”
“I say, old bean, fancy a double date?”
“Providing you promise to only show off your scars to Stacey, and only after we’ve left the room, yes.”
“Top hole, old chap.”
“Let’s not get into details.”
Mike chuckles.
“Cue up some Tygers of Pan Tang, brother. Let’s rock the rubbish all the way there.”
“Classic rock the rubbish, you mean.”
“More than merely classic. Noah was headbanging to this stuff on the Ark.”
They both laugh as the opening riff of ‘Suzie Smiled’ shakes their consoles.
“Hell yeah.”