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Cahir had taken to the sky and was quickly rising towards the stratosphere. He flicked some switches and turned on the automated system.
“Karin I want you to fly to the Estian Northern Space station .”
“Rendering…Route has now been found. As per my programming I must recommend that you fly to the nearest Space station which is the Valorian Central Space Station. That station is 0.12 miles away in comparison to the Estian Northern Space Station which is 3,456 miles from our current location.” Karin stated.
“From now on you do not make recommendations.” replied Cahir coldly.
“Understood Cahir, course has been set for Estian, travel there commences now.”

On most well developed planets space stations existed. These space stations were the only available routes too and from the planet. If a ship used any other route or just randomly flew towards the sky, it would be targeted by the defences around the planet and shot down before it left the ozone layer. This was why Cahir had no other choice but to travel to a space station, if it was up to him he would have already left the planet.

It took the ship around three hours to get to Estian following the airspeed limit of 1,100mph. Estian’s Northern Space Station was a known smuggling route for black market trafficking on Titania, where the illegal import of low class beings from other planets took place. The slaves that were smuggled in were used for medical experiments, military experiments, or often times they were forced into the Sex trade.
There was also the import of highly intoxicating drugs that were illegal in Titania but secretly distributed and taxed by the Government using these routes. Titania also tended to export their demon beast weapons for a heavy price to Space pirates and other sorts for the sake of extra budgetary funds. Outwardly the Government pretended they didn’t know about it, but it was the government allowing and funding it.
It was common for security to be lax around this station, and it made leaving the planet without proper documentation a lot easier, the only issue was that this station was a lot more expensive to use, but it wasn’t like Cahir was lacking money to bribe his way off the planet. He had made sure to store several hundreds of thousand demon beast coins in his storage ring.
Cahir had decided to use this space station because he knew that even if his brothers discovered his escape route they wouldn’t risk sending soldiers to this station. If things went wrong and the secrets about the Estian station were revealed to Titania’s press, than his brothers would most definitely fall from Father’s grace. However even though there was no risk that his brothers would send soldiers, there was still the threat from the Bounty Hunters. Those savages could be lying in wait for him at the station, or they could be hiding in ships on the stratosphere waiting to ambush him before he entered deep space. Just the thought of this gave Cahir a headache.

On the outside the Northern space station looked like a shabby, worn down, station that was about to close down. This appearance was only a cover to hide its real function and operations.
“Switch the operations to manual.” Cahir commanded.
“Understood.” said Karin.
Cahir grabbed the controls and smoothly guided the ship through the rusted gate of the space station. Immediately the ship was halted.
Cahir felt his heart race slightly as magnetic poles rose from the ground and began scanning his ship, if he messed up here those scanners could easily turn into lasers and fry him.
“State your purpose.” said a grumpy voice through a transmission box.
Without hesitation Cahir flicked open the comm.
“This is Panther, a transport ship reporting to make envoy to Planet Freeya.” he said in his best Freyan accent.

Cahir knew that Titania was loaning Planet Freeya 10 trillion demon beast coins in financial support, and in return Freeya was giving Titania large amounts of Crosm. Crosm was an illegal rare material made from the wombs of female Snarkel demon beasts, beasts which were only found on planet Freeya. This material was in high demand due to it’s incredible tensile strength, and was used for crafting rare weapons and rare expensive jewellery . The issue was that these Snarkel beasts were an endangered species and hunting them had been made illegal by the Endless Plains senate. If this deal became public it would cause an ethical protest and Titania’s standing in the Senate would be harmed. As a result negotiations with the Freeyan government were strictly top-secret. And ships from Freeya going to and from Titania had to go through the Estian space station to hide the illegal trade. Most nobles besides the King weren’t even sure if the deal was real or not but Cahir had learned about it from a trustworthy source. If the station staff believed his claim then they’d let him use the space station, no questions asked.

After a short pause the scanners dispersed and the magnets were released.
“Move to platform A for further checks before departure.” Spoke the grumpy voice.
Cahir let out a quiet breath as he moved the ship to platform A. He reached into his spatial ring and pulled out documents he’d prepared beforehand, the documents had nothing on them except for the Royal crest, which was all that was needed at the Estian station. For Cahir this had been too easy to obtain.
As he looked for a point to park the ship on platform A, his eyes widened. There were swarms of bounty hunters sitting around or blatantly wandering about the platform. They didn’t even bother to hide that they were waiting around for him. And the moment his ship came round they were eyeing it. He definitely felt a large headache coming on, but he’d expected the bounty hunters.

Cahir slowly parked the spacecraft on the rail line.
An armed official with the Space Station emblem knocked on his ship’s frame.
“Come out with your documents!” The official yelled and then mockingly pointed his weapon at the ship.
“This is definitely the Estian station, the staff here have no manners.” Cahir muttered under his breath.
He quickly pulled a white mask from his spacial ring and placed it on his face. It was common for traders here to hide their faces, his mask wouldn’t be seen as strange.
“Open the pod Karin.” he commanded.
“Yes Cahir.”

All eyes turned towards his opening spacecraft, the rush of air as the hydraulics released the sealed door sounded, and a ramp extended outwards.
‘Click’, ‘Click’, ‘Click’ were the sounds of his heels as they thudded down the ramp. As Cahir descended to the platform his slender figure came into view. He ignored the degenerate Bounty Hunters as they burst into sudden ravenous wolf whistles, yelling all forms of obscenities.
“Look at that delivery boy!”
“Nice arse!”
“HEY BOY, why don’t you stop working for delivery and come work for the service industry, a body like yours would make tons!”
He ignored the men, but wanted to slaughter all of them for their insolence, he knew Bounty Hunters were the scum of the Universe, but to be so openly foul was distasteful. He stopped in front of the official.
“Papers please.” The Official held out his hand and Cahir placed his documents on them. Just as he expected the contents of the document was ignored and only the Royal emblem was scanned. The Official’s scanner turned green. The Official gave Cahir the paperwork back.
“It seems to be valid, make your way up the platform and the doors will soon release for your departure.” The Official saluted him and walked off.
Cahir nodded, and made his way back up the ramp. The wolf whistles continued after him.
“Gorgeous, you’re not going to stay!”
“Hey let me get a look at your face before you go!”
“Don’t leave so fast, we’re lonely!”
Cahir ignored them further and felt quite a lot of relief as the doors of the ship clamped shut behind him. It was finally going well.
He maneuvered the ship higher and higher up the platform.
Karin’s voice echoed, “You have now passed the Tropopause point”
“You have now passed the Stratosphere point.”
“You have now passed the Ozone Layer point.”
“You have now passed the Mesosphere point.”
“You have now passed the Ionosphere point”
“Now approaching space.”

Cahir watched as large cavernous doors opened up in front of him. He could see the black depths of space awaiting him. Soon enough he’d be out of this space station and by the time they realised anything was amiss he’d already be in a Hyperspace wormhole and far away from Titania.

Whilst the space gate was opening Cahir couldn’t hep but second guess himself.
“Karin switch on the audio, I want to hear what those hunters are discussing on the platform.”
“Understood, Cahir.” The audio immediately turned on and he heard the rowdy Bounty Hunters yelling at one another.
“I just heard it on the Tannoy another ship docked saying that they were a transport ship heading to Freeya!”
“Why would there be two transport ships?!”
“Idiot cos one of them’s gotta be the Prince, and I bet my fucking teeth it’s the pretty boy!”
Cahir immediately yelled at Karin, “Switch to manual control” He grabbed the thruster and propelled the ship through the half opened gate, smashing the doors apart.
However it wasn’t only the Bounty Hunters on the platform that had caught wind of this information. A ship appeared in front of Cahir the moment he flew out into space and began firing at him
“Oh Shi-!” Cahir yelled as the ship’s left side was hit with a ballistic firearm.

The shock knocked Cahir out of his seat where he hit the wall opposite, he felt blood on his teeth where he bit his tongue. Luckily the ship was more sturdy than he’d thought it would be but it still took quite a bit of damage.
There was no time to run a logistics scan, shots continuously thundered against his ship.
He immediately switched to Hyperdrive.
“You haven’t set a destination for Hyper drive Cahir.” Said Karin
“Shut up! Any wormhole will do, just move now!”
“Yes Cahir.” Karen said.
The ship suddenly lurched forward.
The blood curdling speed of the ship entering hyperdrive made Cahir’s stomach lurch. The exterior of the ship was so damaged that he was feeling motion sickness. If the ships exterior deteriorated further he would feel the full force. Cahir prayed that wouldn’t happen.
He prayed the spaceship would last the entire hyper jump, if not, he was dead.

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Alexia

September 2019
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