"You're getting a signal."
"Gah... What?" Shadrick questioned, stirred from his slumped position over the steering wheel.
"I said, you're getting a signal," repeated Bishop. "Looks like its related to work."
"Rock on," the pilot cheered as his hands beat on random controls in the cockpit, trying to remember which one performed the sought action. His search disturbed his pet bird, causing it to flutter to new spots, only temporarily, as he patted down the panels. Locating the correct switch, a screen lit up with one mean face. Meaner faces generally led to tougher jobs from his experience, and tougher jobs were usually the fun ones.
"Is this wave sending to... Anathema?" questioned the sender.
"This is he, Shadrick Hopkins of Anathema," confirmed the pilot. "How may I be of service to ya?"
"I'm sorry, I... prefer to speak to my clients directly, and I can't see you," the potential employer explained. "Is you're equipment down?" Shadrick's eye shifted over to his bird, perched over the camera lense.
"Unfortunately so, sir," he lied, petting his avian friend on its hatted head. "However, I believe my record speaks for itself."
"Your record, if you could even call it that, resounds a single theme," informed the sender, looking over some files prepared before him, "you're a hazard. You're shifty, rash, a risk taker, and ... possibly psychotic?" Bishop was about to laugh, but Shadrick knew him too well and already had his hands muffling him. "Sadly, that is just what I am looking for. I have a special job I need done that requires someone of your... talents. A certain... 'package' needs delivered."
"Oh, a delivery? Of course," the pilot agreed, leaning forward on his elbows. "So, where can I pick it up?"
"The coordinates will be sent to you, along with where payment can be retrieved afterwards," informed the employer. "I trust you won't have any trouble keeping things safe?"
"Depending on how bumpy the ride is, sure," Hopkins answered with a smile wasted on blind eyes. "Anything else?" The employer squinted hard into at the camera into him, despite not being able to see him.
"You're a Tellusite, ... aren't you?" Shadrick flicked his bird off the lense, revealing what he was. Thin, gray hair hung over his pale, white skin. A long, thin chin sat at the bottom of his face. A tall nose protruded from the center, sided by two beady eyes on the front and an ear on each side. It sat upon a scrawny neck set on a trunk wrapped in cloths. This largely was his vintage bomber jacket from the Third Worlds War, lined in frizzed fleece. Taking a bony, five fingered hand, he turned the camera to look at him straight on.
"You got a problem with Tellusites?" the man harshly questioned the Glothorian, who immediately waved a tentacle in dismissal.
"By no means," corrected the blue mass, "in fact, it may help with your task." Hopkins raised a brow. "It's just that your kind aren't too common in this sector. Plus, no one would suspect a Tellusite to have anything of value with them. You'd be an ideal transporter for this parcel." Shadrick wanted to be mad at the Glothorian employer, but he was right. His species did have its advantage, and it was one of the reasons that Anathema was one of the better shipment industries. Nodding to Bishop, he input the directions into the computer, and the vessel was off. The square cab soared through the empty, starless sky pulling the boxed trailer, housing the engine, in tow. Activating the spacial slide drive, it was not long until he came to the destination point. Backing up Anathema, another trailer was attached in train. It needed to be delivered some distance away, so, even with the slide drive, it would be some time.
"Crap, it just hit me," cursed Shadrick after a few spans into the trip. "I never asked what it was that we got back there. It could need climate control or something."
"Well, aren't you a genius for just getting that," Bishop chimed in. Hopkins turned a fierce gaze to his grimly colored pet.
"... Shut up, Bishop." Releasing a latch above his chair, Shadrick drifted up into a passage joining the cockpit to the next trailer. Slipping between the narrow channel through the engine room, he progressed to the very back. Ensuring that all seals were properly secure, he went to examine the cargo. As the hatch popped, he was met with a shocking surprise.
"Hey, you aren't a package at all."