My name is Dorf and I’m a miner. And a girl. Yes, my stupid parents named me Dorf. I don’t like to talk about it… I go by “D”. Due to their general ignorance and lack of empathy, starting with their choice of name for their child, I left home at 17.
I have always been interested in mining… I LOVE the Orion… she’s fucking beautiful. Oh yeah, sometimes I swear a lot too. Sorry, I guess.
So, at 17 I set about trying to get a job as a miner. As a 17-year-old girl it’s really not very easy to get a legitimate offer to crew a mining ship… most captains with legit rigs wouldn’t hire me and everyone else was a pervert.
Finally, when my funds were looking a little… well… ok, they were gone… grisly old Captain Frank Vesta gave me a chance to work on his similarly aged Orion. Saved my life. I think I actually kissed him.
At first, of course, all I did was keep things tidy and learn the ins and outs of all the systems. I loved the Scan Operator job, shootin’ those RMAPs right into the heart of the asteroid. There are lots of important jobs on the Orion but that was the coolest, and the hardest.
Delilah was the SO when I joined the crew of the Rock Crusher (old Frank wasn’t very imaginative). I got to know her very well… at first I think I annoyed her because I asked TONS of questions but eventually we became good friends. She taught me everything about the job. Even Peter, who was the Beam Operator, gave me some tips from his perspective.
I did my job as well as I possibly could. I eventually moved into the SO job when Delilah left to start a family with a marine she met on one of our stopovers. I still remember the first asteroid I hit perfectly on the sweet spot. Frank was so proud, he wrapped me up in a big bear hug as the rest of the crew filled our hold with titanium-rich ores. It was a great day.
Over the years I grew very close with old Frank Vesta. My second, and best, father. We would sit together comfortably during downtime and he would tell me decades of mining tales – tangling with pirates, an especially big score, crazy space anomalies, space whale encounters… Frank particularly enjoyed picking apart pirate ships with the huge mining laser that he’d named Hilda.
I cried a lot when Frank died. It wasn’t anything dramatic… he was just old. 154 years. So many stories. So much living.
I cried almost as hard when his will was read. Frank had left me the Rock Crusher. I couldn’t believe it.
For weeks I wouldn’t go anywhere near the ship. So many memories. I had to grieve.
Over all the years I had amassed a pretty reasonable pile of credits. Frank paid fair and all my expenses were taken care of on board the Rock Crusher.
I decided the only way to move on was to fix up the old Orion.
I commissioned a work crew on Crusader to refurbish her, make her bright and shiny and new. I also replaced some of her aging systems with updated components. I kept all of her original colours, so she just looks like a newer Orion. Inside there are still some signs of her age but not many.
I renamed her Vesta. It seemed fitting, to honour Frank, while still keeping with my goal of a fresh start.
I retained some of her old crew that wanted to continue on with me. Peter was even still around, now MY beam operator. Some of the others that had been real close with Frank moved on, leaving me with their best wishes.
Captain Dorf… ugh… nope. Captain D. That’s… somewhat better.
So, through this mess of circumstance here I am… I’m 24 and own a multi-million credit ship with an awesome crew, all of whom are much older than I. Thankfully they love me as much as I love them and don’t cause problems about my age.
We’re just easing away from our docking with a Covalex station after fueling up. I look around to my crew and smile. My pilot, Lena, looks over her shoulder at me once we’re clear.
“Where to Captain?”