Six days ago
The Valkyrii Expeditionary Office outer door swished open, admitting Toril inside. She frown, taking in the empty desk in the office vestibule. It was an older military surplus model, but had been repainted in the green and grays of the Valkyrii Expeditionary colors.
"Just a moment!" a woman called out in Terran English from the open door behind the desk. Moments later, a toilet flushed. Toril frowned, one eyebrow raised as she waited.
"Toril!" smiled Sigrid as she stepped out.
"Kvartermester Astradatter," the somber woman nodded, her wings held rigidly formal on her back but the slight curve of a smile on her face. "I am surprised you left the front desk unguarded."
"Cameras, Sersjant," Sigrid shrugged. "I can see all from back there. I only sit in front so the customers know we are open. What can I do for you?"
"I am in need of supplies, and a new job."
"My ship is small."
"It worries me that you're out there alone."
"Please do not concern yourself."
"I will concern myself as I feel necessary, Sersjant!" Sigrid scolded, her wings tensing, then she relaxed with a sigh. "Plus, there are not as many jobs for singles. You would do well to pair up."
"Then I shall consider it."
"Liar," Sigrid laughed, sitting down in the low chair behind the desk, adjusting her wngs as she reached out to touch the desk surface to bring up her work screens. "Let's see what we can find."
"Axi Prime?" Toril frowned.
"An abandoned station, but should still be functional. And just five days transit if you push your ship. I can have the supplies you need delivered in two hours. But it's the only opening - unless you want to wait for something... better?" Sigrid asked, cocking her head slightly as she smiled at the younger woman. Toril froze, what little color she had in her cheeks disappearing.
"Toril?" Sigrid reached out to take the younger woman's hand, but Toril pulled back with a rustle of wings.
"I am fine," she lied. "Please Kvartermester, have my supplies delivered immediately."
"Would you stay for dinner, at least?" Sigrid pleaded, her shoulders and wings drooping.
"N..no, I can't."
"How long has it been since you have talked to a sister, little one?"
"You are the first in three months," Toril admitted, feeling her cheeks burning.
"You should not isolate yourself. Perhaps you should return to Valkyria...?"
"It would be the start of winter in the Home Sector," Toril shook her head. "If I take this job, I can return at the start of Spring."
"Will you?" Sigrid asked, concern in her voice.
Toril frowned as she saw a second ship moving towards the station. They looked to be pulling up to the docking ports. The Valkyrii mercenary frowned. Only one of the hanger bays was functional - but as long as there was a working airlock, it was of no concern. Erring on the side of caution, she decided to bring her ship in, angling for Hanger Bay 6 to give herself a little room.
She eyed the sleeker ships of the visitors in the display as she crept by. Hers was a surplus modular supply transport, left over from some alien war and going cheap, so of course the Valkyrii High Command purchased all they could get their hands on. Each ship was reconditioned before being sent out, modified for the Valkyrii pilots and soldiers who used them until the High Command purchased new ships to replace them.
But instead of scrapping them, the salvageable ships were sold to Expeditionaries who were mustering out of service. The High Command had a reason for that, as well as a vested interest in keeping these old ships in top condition and supplied for their small crews. Mercenaries picked up all the gossip as they traveled. One could learn a lot that way.
Hanger bay six hung open, exposed to space. Some ship leaving the hanger bay had buckled the doors, preventing them from opening or closing. Sized for a dreadnaught, her tiny ship had no problems slipping inside and landing on the deck, the electromagnets in the landing struts clamping down securely.
Minutes later, the tiny supply transport's airlock cycled and Toril slipped out in her armored vac suit, wings tightly folded up on her back. Securing the hatch, she leapt for the catwalk on the edge of the bay and crossed over to the airlock, entering the station, her pistol strapped to the side of her suit as a precaution.