JANE IN SPACE
Miss Polly Connor
Chapter 3 – A Favour Is Called In
As an alternative to gaol, or the lithium mines of Velloor, or an indentured contract with whoever cared to bid for him at the monthly restitution auctions. Jon had made the only possible choice, and he sometimes wondered if that old magistrate had known it would save him, would make him. Or if it had just been business as usual, one more bad boy come to grief amongst the stars, needing a nudge onto a better path.
That was all a long time ago. Now, Captain Jon Honorbright conveyed miners, their families, and the officials and notaries of the company administration, between planets and satellites in a small, insignificant planetary system. Nothing exciting, nothing notable, just steady and comfortable and paying the bills, somewhere over on the lower left corner of a dog-eared map of the galaxy.
Except this last month, when a Starza vice-president had run a red pen through Jon’s schedule for the next three months. “I’ve had a favour called in, and there’s no-one I trust to get the job done more than you, Jon,” he’d vid-explained. “The workers are getting restless, on the company planets, and even on the moons. All work and no play, you know.”