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No Explanations. By Karen Reis
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No Explanations - Karen Reis


“Captain Stone of the Havilah?”

That's me. I'm Captain Stone. I was sitting in a quiet little cafe called the Red Bagel. When I dock at Clearly Station, I always eat at the Red Bagel because they have an even number of yellow tables and red tables and an even number of chairs. They always give me the same yellow table to sit at and the same waitress always served me. At that moment, I had a computer tablet in my hand and I was studying a screen full of lists. Years of practice allowed me to look up immediately to inspect the owner of the voice who had addressed me, instead of ignoring it as a part of me greatly wished to. The voice belonged to a male, a human, with strong looking, grease-stained hands. He wore coveralls with no name tag or company logo, so he was an independent spacer, like myself. His coveralls were clean but as permanently stained as his hands, worn at the knees and slightly frayed at the cuffs.

He was a worker. Rough, but clean and neat.

My glance up at him was apparently all the reply he needed, for he went on, “My name is Andrei Danilov. I’m here to apply for the position of 1st mate you advertised for.” Ah. I looked down at one of the lists on my tablet’s screen and found his name. I had posted my advertisement yesterday evening at 19:07 station time. One Andrei Danilov had responded to it at 5:56 station time this morning and set an appointment to interview at 9:30 today. It was now 9:28.

“You are punctual,” I replied with a smile.