A week had passed before Radim had spoken to Lady Mitch again, and much to his surprise, it had been her that had approached him.
He had been sat, once again engrossed in a book about the past history of the stations, when the young Lady Mitch had come and sat down next to him, closed book in hand.
For a few moments neither of them had said anything, Radim had tried his hardest to keep engrossed in the book he had, while Lady Mitch had watched him curiously. Eventually she had broken the silence. “I wanted to say I’m sorry for what I said to you last week.”
Radim had frozen. For a long few moments he couldn’t believe it, most of him wanted to think that she was using her authority to play him. He eventually turned and looked her in the eye. “I accept. Thank you.”
Lady Mitch had beamed slightly. “When I got home I realised I had been horrible for no reason. I want to say that I mean what I told you last week.”
Radim felt his eyes narrow slightly as he cocked his head. “What part?”
“That I’ll hire you.” She had replied. “Look.” She handed him the book she had been holding. “This is one of my history books from my house. Because my family is on the committee we get special books that others don’t. You like reading about it all so I’m giving you a little bit more.”
Radim had slowly and cautiously taken the book from her. “Won’t you get in trouble?”
Lady Mitch shook her head. “Never have. I’m too special apparently”
Radim had clutched the book closely. “Thank you. Lady Mitch.”
She beamed back at him. “Don’t let me down, I want to see you as my pilot when the time comes.”
“I won’t let you down. From now on, everything I want to do I will make sure helps you, and everything you think is right, I will support.”
Radim felt himself smile as he remembered the events that had led him to his current slot. The initial calling of Lady Mitch’s bluff had just happened because he had been upset, but he would never expected the private friendship that was to stem from it. The privacy had remained on Lady Mitch’s request, she didn’t want to risk her chance of losing her future spot on the committee over one person, and while Radim had originally been rather offended by her wishes, she had been quick to point out that if she lost her spot, his chances of ending up shuttling a committee member dropped to near enough zero.
He recalled their lunches spent in the library, originally swapping discussions about the logistics of shuttle flying, the station layout and practicalities of being a future member of the Committee. At first Lady Mitch had known little of what responsibilities and burdens she would have to bear in the future. But as the months and years went by her family began teaching her the ways of leadership, teaching her to understand that as leader of the station she was the most important person on board Nimura, the other inhabitants were beneath her and there to serve.
And slowly, those of Nimura, the teachers, students and even inhabitants walking the streets, began to see the leadership side to her grow. No longer asking people for attention, a click of the fingers would come their way, greeted by complete disregard if it was someone she didn’t want to speak to. People grew afraid of her, shying away from speaking to her with anything less than complete respect, nervous of accidentally saying the wrong thing and provoking a reaction. Her bodyguards always two steps behind, ready to respond to any command at a moment’s notice.
Her family became visibly more and more proud with each passing day, proud of the leader they were raising to follow their footprints. One who would lead Nimura with an iron fist.
Radim was the only person who was able to see through her change in personality, and only because she was able to leave her bodyguards outside when in the library.
For her, the hour in there was the only time she was able to drop the façade and just relax a little. Radim was always in first, ready and waiting, and for that short time each day they were able to swap stories and theories about the inner workings of the stations, how the committee worked, and what could be done in the future.
Most of what they had discussed were still theories, and they both knew this, but the information they had found out and told one another had been invaluable in getting them both were they currently were.
As Radim rounded the corner at the end of the row of factories, he spied his own house down by the end of the street. While most shuttle pilots had a tendency to take up residence in a building close to their respective committee member, Radim had chosen a smaller inconspicuous building further away in an attempt to keep a low profile. Something Lady Mitch had agreed with.
As he entered his home, he was greeted with the lingering smell of smoke, smoke that drifted in from the factories but then became trapped. Letting out a heavy breath to blow the smog away from his face, he settled down on his chair and closed his eyes.