Cold Storage – 1.3

“That was a little too easy,” Gaia said. “We’ll be sending the mechs out first.”

The ship’s two mechs were standing ready at the airlock. The one-meter tall bipedal mechs were standing at attention when the crew entered. Gaia examined their components to be sure that they were properly equipped for their missions before issuing orders. “Leena, I want a full atmospheric analysis. Scan for life forms, but don’t engage. Devon, find the ship’s control center. Determine its course, flight objective, and defense systems, but don’t engage with any crew. Understood?”

The two mechs nodded what passed for heads in response before entering the airlock between the two ships. The gantry lift carried them up into the larger ship.

Thaniel sat at a monitoring station watching the feeds from the two mechs as they entered the upper airlock. “Signal is strong and clear,” he reported. “Leena reports a breathable atmosphere. No positive signs of life though.”

“Have her keep looking,” Gaia sat down next to Thaniel. “Does Devon have anything to report yet?”

“He’s still climbing the central shaft,” Thaniel replied. “Should I make him climb faster?”

“Too risky,” Zack objected. “We can’t risk Devon being discovered; and he’d make too much noise if he climbed any faster.”

“Zack, Thaniel, we could be here awhile.” Gaia rose from her seat. “Zack, you stay and watch with Thaniel. The rest of us will get some sleep, or at least try to.” Gaia motioned to Sander and Jason as she moved toward the Antarctic’s central lift.

The two followed her into the lift and the three slowly descended to crew quarters. After seeing Gaia and Sander to their quarters, Jason returned to the lift and continued down to a lower deck. He opened an airlock and drifted across the space between the Antarctic’s outer hull and the inner hull of the larger ship.

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Cold Storage – 1.2

When the Antarctic reappeared, it was several thousand parsecs beyond the jurisdiction of the High Council and Speaker Law. It was also on a collision course with an object that could hold at least a million ships the size of the Antarctic. Gaia and Zack managed to pull the Antarctic into orbit around the giant craft.

“Looks like it times to wake up the rest of the crew,” Gaia knew that Sander was already halfway to crew quarters by the time she finished the sentence.

A slow scan of the surface of the giant cylinder showed no visible means of entry. The front of the behemoth was concave with a central spire that appeared to be either collecting or emitting some form of low-radiation.

“What in the name of space is that?” Thaniel Phoenix, the Antarctic’s Engineer was the first of the now awakened complement to reach the command deck.

“I was hoping that you would know,” Gaia replied. “We’ll check it out if we ever find a way in.”

“Have you tried the back door?” Jason Freed was the ship’s Med Tech. He was from Old Earth, unlike the rest of the crew. He had joined the crew to study the Novans. He wanted to find how much alike or how different they had become since settling Nova Terra. . He had stayed because the Antarctic had become his home.

At the goliath’s stern, the massive thrusters forced them to move away to avoid a collision. As the Antarctic pulled away from the mystery ship, they were treated to a view of the leviathan’s engine array. Dead center of the ship’s massive thruster array was the way in.

The opening was just large enough to allow the Antarctic entry after trimming the shields and shutting the ram scoops. Thaniel started channeling power from the field drives to the shields and the scanners.

The crew braced themselves for penetration, but the Antarctic slipped smoothly inside the larger craft. The scanners revealed that the docking equipment on the unknown vessel was compatible. Gaia let her ship drift slowly against the docking contacts. The Antarctic was suddenly pushed backward as a docking airlock extended from the unknown ship.

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Cold Storage – 1.1

Docking Bay Six had never seen so much activity in its four hundred and ninety-three years of existence. Four fully armed security officers posted themselves at the outer bay door, while four more posted themselves at the inner door. Two guards moved in on the Antarctic’s crew hatch while four more took stations at its cargo hatch.

If they had known about it, the Council would have assigned guards to the service hatch and the corresponding service entry to the docking bay. Gaia was able to slip through their security net through the service crawlway.

“Welcome aboard, Captain.” Sander Phoenix was the Antarctic’s second in command. He was a competent pilot, a capable engineer, and a master of the art of combat in space.

“Let’s get out of here,” Gaia took the pilot’s chair next to Zack Wald, her cousin as well as the ship’s navigator. I see that Council is still thinking in two dimensions.

Sander took his seat at the Antarctic’s defense console while Gaia brought the ship’s engines to life. The engine whine caused the guards to run for safety, which they barely reached in time.

As soon as the Antarctic cleared the bay, Sander activated the shields. Gaia kicked in the rams just as three patrol fighters appeared. The Antarctic managed to escape by engaging the field generators the instant the ship left atmosphere.

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Cold Storage – 1.0

Gaia Wald was not looking forward to her meeting with Speaker Herald Law. When the highest planetary official requests your presence in the Council Chamber, it means serious business. If only it were business, the Antarctic could climb out of the financial hole that it was in. What Law and the High Council wanted was a favor that they believed Gaia was in no position to refuse.

Speaker Law sat at the center of a horseshoe desk. There were no other members of the Council present; Gaia saw this as an advantage. Never one to waste time, Gaia asked, “what do you want?”

Law smiled, “Who says that I want anything?” He waved his hand to usher her toward a chair closer to the desk. “How’s business?”

“Not so good, but you already know that,” Gaia declined the seat and instead stood behind it. The Council had gone to a lot of trouble to drive her into debt; and now they were about to pay off her debts in exchange for something dangerous. “Just cut to the chase. Now that you have me dangling on a string, what do I have to do to get free of it?”

“Do I detect hostility in your voice?” His whole face smiled, “I’d like to think that we could be friends.”

Gaia turned to leave.

“I understand that the Antarctic is outfitted for long-range.”

“There are plenty of other ships outfitted for deep-space exploration. Any one of them would be willing to open a new trade route or look for new sources of industrial raw. I suppose you want us to bring down the price of industrial crude.”

“Something more dangerous,” he replied.

“There’s nothing more dangerous than carrying industrial crude.” Gaia continued her slow walk towards the exit.

“You’ll be back,” he yelled after her. “You’ll never leave port.”

“Don’t bet on it,” she said as the door closed behind her.

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An Open Letter To Attorneys Advertising Paralegal Positions

Dear Attorney:

I am applying for your advertised position. I realize that I do not have all the qualifications that you have listed in your advertisement. I do not have a four-year degree. What I do have is a two-year degree, not a certificate, from an accredited Community College in an American Bar Association approved program in Paralegal studies.

My fellow graduates and I worked hard for that degree, spending a minimum of two years to earn it. There were no easy A’s in this program. Out of the twenty-five (25) students in the Introduction to Paralegal Studies class, only twelve (12) graduate each semester. We who graduate are the ones who can do the work you need done. We have proven ourselves in the field, if only for one hundred (100) hours.

I also do not have the two to five years of experience that you ask for. Had I the experience, I would likely not be applying for your position because I would be quite comfortable in my current position. I am, after all, looking for a permanent place to work.

I know that you want an experienced paralegal because you believe that you will not have to train that person. You are mistaken; they have been trained, but not to do things your way. You will find yourself spending time explaining that you don’t care how their previous employer did things, that this is how you want things done. Hiring an entry-level paralegal will at least save you that headache.

Another savings that could come from hiring an entry-level paralegal would be financial. You could offer the trainee a lower salary to start. You would be getting work done and saving money at the same time.

I am a capable person. Although my first college pursuit didn’t work out, my recent college activity has been stellar. I was able to earn a cumulative GPA of 3.95/4.00. I am an apt student and you will find that I learn things rather quickly (as my internship supervisor will testify).

Give my former classmates and me a chance to prove our worth. You won’t regret it.



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Hunting the Unicorn: The Search for an Entry Level Position

In the two weeks since the end of classes, I have been busy looking for employment in my most recent chosen field. I have not had much luck this time around either.

My first time around was after I completed an Associate in Accounting. Jobs that should have been entry-level were being offered, but the requirements were ridiculous. Jobs that required minimal accounting knowledge to do, because they were primarily clerical work, were requiring a Bachelors’ degree and/or experience.

This time around, I studied to become a paralegal because the program involved gaining practical experience as an intern. There was no pay, just college credit. Essentially, I paid for the privilege of working for an attorney. I thought that it would help to have this experience on my résumé. It has not.

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Oh… Look, A New Ladder!

Last week was a busy week.

On Tuesday, March 29, I completed the last of my duties to the Paralegal Club. The presentation of the final revisions to the club’s by-laws went rather smoothly. The NCC Student Senate voted to approve the final revisions, which made the recently revised by-laws official. As we (our new club president attended the meeting with me) were leaving, one of the senators commented that our club had the best organized by-laws that they had ever seen. I should hope so – we are paralegals after all.

Wednesday was spent at home while repairs were made to my heat pump. They finished changing out the broken compressor only to discover that they had to come back to complete repairs.

Thursday featured the installation of a new garage door opener. The technician came in the early morning, earlier than I would have liked. I had sent an email to my Estates & Trust professor telling him that I would be late. And then I discover that he didn’t have the right part for the size door that I had. He would have to come back later in the day. So, it was back to the computer to email my professor and ask him to disregard the previous email.

The hours of my internship had to be rearranged to accommodate the needed repairs. My professor decided it would be a good week to meet at the work site on Friday. Despite being a little nervous at the onset of the meeting, I was feeling pretty good at the end of it.

The week ahead will start with a  glitch, but it should be easier on the nerves.

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