Santa's Refugee, part 1
It was a dark and stormy night (not really, I just needed some kind of opening phrase to start with)…
Hermes was in his office happily sorting paperclips when an alarm sounded. Not much of an alarm, just a chime that somebody had entered the Planet Express offices. He glanced at the monitor, and saw the visitor staring back at him through the camera lens.
He rang Amy to see to the visitor. There were still more paper clips that needed attention.
Amy grunted, put away her nail polish, and headed downstairs.
“Hello?” Amy asked as she entered the office lobby.
“Oh, hi. I’m hoping I could hire your ship.” Their potential customer was wearing a brimmed hat, and a well worn lightweight full length coat. She pulled off her hat, exposing purple skin, a slightly pig like nose, and greenish black hair. She shook off some rain drops from the hat and hung it on the back of a chair.
“My name is Heather, and I want to have a crate shipped from LeVerrier Port on Neptune to my flat.”
“Oh easy. You mean the Neptune in this solar system, right?”
Heather paused, not quite sure how to answer, and finally decided to glare. “Is there another?” She sighed, then said “I used to work at a Day Spa and Planet Express was a customer there once. That’s how I picked you.”
Amy raised her eyebrows, “Really? Thought you looked familiar. But…oh, oh yeah, Now I remember you. Sorry about the mess…”
Another glare. “When that robot over-pumped the tar, it caused quite a lot of damage. Expensive damage. Well let me spare you the details, but my manager needed a scapegoat and fired me over that.”
“Only because you were my clients and I couldn’t control all of you.”
“Oh” Amy fidgeted with some items on the desk. She brightened and changed the subject. “Er, Back to the matter at hand. What’s the cargo? When do you want it delivered?”
“I’m bringing back some items to sell here. Since I lost my job,” another glare, “I’ve tried several different things for money. I even tried a motorcycle photo shoot. But the cheapskate never paid me. Anyway there is a fair sized number of Neptunians here on Earth and I’m shipping in special clothes for us. Know how hard it is to get decent shirts with four sleeves?”
“Well, I had never thought of that.” Amy studied her client closer. Heathers‘ jacket was thread bare, and her nails were a mess. Amy stopped waving her freshly painted nails.
“And besides, I figure Planet Express owes me a big favor.” Heather picked up her hat, shook off the last couple of raindrops. “A couple of other things, the delivery has to be here in two weeks, and I’m coming with you.”
“We’re not really a passenger liner, you know. It’s a working ship.”
“I can imagine.” Heather lowered her head and muttered, “But it’s been so long since I’ve been home.” Then loud enough for Amy to hear, “Also knowing the Planet Express reputation, one of you’ll dump the crate and then say you ‘dropped’ it off.“
Heather turned and headed out the door into the night.