Signing Bonus: Part One

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Altogether, it was the largest sum of money Dash had ever received. Growing up in Movari village on the moon of Ocia he had never even entertained so many antecedent zeroes addressed to him and him alone. The rate of 50,000 credits per professional engineering contract was very much above standard, sure, but nothing too out of the ordinary. The additional 50,000 from signing the contractual agreement for Kimney, however, brought the total up to a solid 100,000 credits. It was more than double the collective net worth of his old village, even today.

Dash hunched over the workbench of the engineering bay, elbows on the table, chin resting on his palms, studying his bank account on his mobile. It was too much. He pored over the options he had, and boy did he have options. 100,000 credits could buy him a lot of information.

Maybe he could finally track down...No.

After Vark, after the incident... he put his father to rest. Life was too short and now too full of opportunities to dwell on the past, to dwell on the non-existent figure that had already screwed up most of his life, to begin with. The signing bonus was Kimney's reward for Dash's hard work. Kimney had said as much himself. He had earned this, and no, he wouldn't let the specter of his father taint this either.

But this was still a lot of money. Too much. Dash continued to stare at the numbers. Weighing options.

What use did he have for so much money?

"50,000 credits could swing one hell of a party, couldn't it?"

Dorian stared at Kracker, dumbfounded. "You're joking."

"I'd never joke about a good time."

Dorian took a bite out of a moist but bland sponge cake and went back to cleaning out and re-organizing his medical bag.

"I bet you're just gonna shove your share of the credits in some savings account," Kracker chuckled. "Or are you gonna invest?"

Dorian leaned back. "I wish," he said as he turned to Kracker. "I still have my student loans to pay off. This will cover it, of course, but I'll have maybe a couple hundred credits left over."

"Ouch."

"Aren't you still paying off your loans?"

Kracker took a cursory bite of the sponge cake, grimaced, and set the half-eaten piece back on the table. "My loans were reduced. Disability scholarship."

Dorian rubbed the back of his neck with his hand. "Right...the whole wing thing-"

He noticed Kracker glaring at him. His eyes narrowed before he shifted away from Dorian.

"Yeah, the 'wing thing.'"

Kracker stood up to stretch. He ran some fingertips against the grain of his feathers on his wing, enjoying the cool air flowing over the bits of skin that were almost never exposed.

"It's not a big deal. I just do my flying behind a cockpit. I figure that I fly more than anyone back home, does. Even with Skyhaven not being very friendly to non-arial visitors."

Dorian smiled before returning to his bag. Kracker continued his stretching.

"I gotta say, this place is growing on me," the Parrack said as he peered around. "I thought this common room was a bit big at first, but there's a lot of airflow. It feels nice."

Dorian grunted in response. He was focused on an old-looking diagnostic probe. It made a rattling sound as he rolled it between his fingers. Kracker noticed the sound along with Dorian's souring expression.

"What the heck is that thing anyway?" Kracker asked.

Dorian grabbed at a small multi-tool and began to disassemble the probe.

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