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The Glory Star Project

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ROUGH-FINISHED CHAPTERS

Here I place the 'rough' finished chapters as they become available. Remember that I am likely to change or update these as the work progresses.

























This is the first chapter just thrown onto the page. You'll notice I did not bother to describe the girls a whole lot, I was much more interested in dialogue. The chapter is fairly close to the target word count, going over just a little bit, so it might work better to describe them more fully next time we see them instead, or perhaps move the dinner scene into that next portion so they can be more fully described here. In any case, I know you guys have been waiting for my busy a** to get back in here with SOMETHING...lol.

ONE ROUGH

Glory Star had heard all her life that there was nothing quite like the purple and green auroras that emanated throughout the night sky on Regulus Prime, but she was just not the sort of a girl to take things at their word. She longed to step off the world of her birth and explore others, to see them for herself. It was a longing that her parents simply didn't understand, so they had just dropped her off for the evening at the Community Center with her friends.

On a world with an unbreathable atmosphere, rocks so sharp they could cut right through your outdoor suit, and a class structure which was strictly adhered to, it was pretty much unheard of to sneak off somewhere else instead of doing what one was told, yet that's exactly what Glory did within her mind. At least they had not invented a way to prevent a girl from dreaming of a brighter tomorrow.

Thankfully, the job feeds that were constantly shown on the computer monitors were open to all classes, even if the jobs themselves were not. Glory, who had spent the last four years of her life training as a technician and mechanicals specialist, was uniquely qualified for jobs both on the planet or in space, and though her parents did not want her to seek employment off-world they could not stop her from seeing what was out there. The trouble was, the more she looked, the more she wanted to take one of them.

Lacey said, "I should not even be attempting to help you with your rebellion, since your success would mean my loss of a friend, but I just saw something come up on the job feed I really think you should be looking at."

"What do you mean?" asked Glory curiously as she moved to have a look at the ad her friend had spotted. She read it out loud. "Starship Captain in need of a new assistant to help maintain his vessels, plan for the future, and generally keep him sane. Previous assistant has decided to marry and remain on Regulus Prime. To apply, come to Luna One this Wednesday for an impromptu hiring event. Only persons willing to travel to other sectors need apply."

"He may as well have written the thing for you in particular, right?" said Venus, her smile quite wide. "We have got to get you up to that interview somehow. We are talking about the rest of your life."

"Wait, who is this guy anyway? I'm not going to just up and traipse off across the universe with just any starship captain. Not all of them are very nice," Glory pointed out. She tapped on a few cyberbuttons and the panel came to life, bringing up hologrammatic details of both the captain looking to hire and information about his ship and crew.

"He's pretty hot," said Lacey. "I'd assist him myself if I had the nerve to leave home. Of course, we all know that I don't. It's up to you, Glory, to pave the way for the future generations of Regulus Prime. Maybe once our parents see that you are successful there will be hope for Venus and me."

"What are you, crazy?" Glory asked, scoffing at both of them. "How am I supposed to go to an interview on the moon? My parents are already breathing down my neck to take a job--do my part. They're not going to authorize me to take a trip to the moon."

"You graduated at the top of our class," Venus reminded her. "You could tell them that we've invited you to take a little time to yourself before starting at a new position. Make sure you drill it in that you've earned it. I know it's sort of like lying to them, but what's a little white lie compared to the chance to follow your dreams?"

"And did you look at him, Glory?" Lacey added, fanning herself dramatically.

Glory had not particularly looked at him. She had been too busy reading the data. Captain Xavier Richards apparently made a career of visiting galaxies that could be reached using the wormhole. Which meant they would spend only minimal down time in cryostasis, and most of their time actually experiencing life on the various planets. Better and better.

Then, to placate Lacey, she glanced at his hologram. Strong, chiseled features, a pair of no-nonsense eyes she couldn't quite see the color of, and a shock of golden hair, trimmed up short on the sides, but pulled back from the top into a shoulder-length braid. And yes, he was as hot as a sun. She could tell even through the regulation GalactiCorp uniform that he bulged in all the right places.

"Oh, you're right, he is pretty hot," she gasped, attempting to keep her tongue in her mouth rather than drooling over him. "Not that I would take the job just to enjoy the view or anything. I'm trying to start a career of my own, not take a back seat to someone else."

"Yikes, I don't know," said Venus. "That guy seems pretty alpha. I'm not so sure he won't end up just using you to bring him his coffee. Wouldn't that be a tragedy after all your studies?"

"Shut up, V, there's no way I'd let anybody treat me that way," Glory boasted. "In fact, I've just made up my mind. I'm going to do it. I'm going to tell my parents we want to go on a one-week joy ride on Luna, and I'm going to go do an interview with this guy. Even if he doesn't give me the job, at least that way I'll have the satisfaction of knowing that I tried."

"Stars, Glory, you're actually serious," Lacey marveled. "I could never do something like that in a million years. I don't know if I should be excited by your set of balls, or bummed out because they'll probably get you hired, and then we won't be able to see you anymore."

"I'm getting off this rock in any case, Lacey," Glory insisted. "If not with Captain Xavier Richards, then certainly with somebody else. Enough is enough; it's time for me to go!"

"Speaking of time to go, it's five clicks already," Venus reminded them. "Our parents will be back to get us at any moment. We probably ought to get back into our outdoor gear so we don't have to keep them waiting. Come on, girls."

When they had on their air suits and had thoroughly checked each other to ensure they were properly sealed, the three young women headed for the airlock, waving good-bye to the ten other people who were in the room at large. Some of them returned the gesture while others completely ignored them, not that Glory cared. The three people in question were the children of entrepreneurs, whose families did not even reside in the city itself, but rather isolated themselves among the wealthy folks out in the desert.

To be more precise, the entire world was a desert, its atmosphere too toxic to terraform, its soil unable to grow plant life. Everything the thousand people on Regulus Prime used to sustain themselves had been brought in from other places. People and synthetics lived in multi-family domes, and they were easily classified by the color of their clothes. Now that they had graduated from four years of tech training Glory and her friends' clothing was all in gold tones, while the snobby kids were all wearing purple.

The significance of that color choice was not lost on Glory. Centuries ago, it had been the color favored by royalty, and most of the desert dwellers fancied that was exactly what they were.

Three different ATR units drove up, each one sporting a different family crest to help them identify the vehicle they were heading for. The Star family vehicle was easily discerned by the huge, reddish colored starburst pattern painted all across the wide expanse beneath the windshield. ATR vehicles were only eight feet tall, but because Glory was barely five feet tall herself she was dwarfed as she reached the entry door and waited for her father to depressurize the interior so she could join him inside.

"Any luck?" he asked her hopefully.

"Not really," Glory answered with a sigh. "I'm sorry. I know Mom will be disappointed. But it's only two weeks since graduation, though. It may take a while for the new job offers to post."

She waited until she was seated at dinner with her parents and her brother Red before she told them about the Luna One idea. "I worked so hard for so long, you know? Me and the girls figure once we find jobs we'll never have any time for anything but doing them. The only opportunity to have any fun at all has got to be right now."

Her brother's jaw dropped at such a concept, and he dropped his fork. It clattered loudly on the glass tabletop and skittered onto the floor. A cleaner-bot immediately scooped it up and headed for the kitchen area. The maid-bot just as quickly brought him another, and he continued eating without missing a beat.

"Yes, I could see why you might feel that way," said her mother as she adjusted her purple hat--as a teacher, she was considered a member of the elite class, and she loved to emphasize that fact whenever possible. "I have many young students who do such a thing before they even go to specialty school at all. But then, you have always been a sensible child. I suppose a desire to cut loose once in a while is inevitable in every human at some point in their life. You have my permission, Glory, but you must also convince your father."

"I can see no harm in it," he added with a smile. "After all, my dear, if we had not left our own comfort zones all those years ago, we never would have met. Maybe such an adventure might work out quite well for our daughter."

"You guys are the best!" Glory told them happily. She knew it was deceptive and manipulative of her, but after all it was just like her mother said. Everyone needed to cut loose sometimes. It was just that the cut she wished to make was a bit deeper than most. As soon as dinner was over, she would tell Lacey and Venus the good news.

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