“I can’t believe you have to head back already.” Stana huffed. “I mean you were told you could have that time off, and then she just doubles back on herself and takes it away from you again? What a cow.”
Both Radim and Stana were making their way back to her apartment with a rather brisk pace. After Radim had received his rather unexpected call from Lady Mitch, the two had begun heading back, with Stana not speaking for the first few minutes of the journey.
“This woman.” She continued. “Just because she is in a position of power she thinks she has the right to dictate our lives as if they were her own.”
Radim shook his head as he continued walking. “It’s not like that at all, she wouldn’t have asked me to return if it wasn’t something really important.”
Stana huffed. “And I suppose our time together isn’t important? I have these days off I was going to spend with you and now look, taken away from me.”
Radim suddenly stopped in his tracks, and turned to look at her. “Come with me.”
Stana stopped, and for the second time of the evening turned to give him a surprised look. “What?”
“You said yourself you have this time off, and if you come back with me, you will be able to see my job first-hand, as well as meet Lady Mitch.” He paused briefly. “Maybe you’ll see her in a different light once you meet her.”
Stana sighed. “I don’t know…”
Leaning in closer, Radim took hold of her hand. “Trust me.”
“But what would you even say to her? How exactly would you explain it?”
“I wouldn’t need to say anything.” Radim smiled. “Not really anyway, I could just say that you want to come to station Scorpion with us, see how things are done. You could be her assistant on the journey.”
Stana frowned. “You want me to act as an assistant to that woman.”
Radim cupped her hand between his, and softly looked her in the eye. “I want you to trust me in this.”
Stana sighed and averted her gaze, looking back at the direction they had come from. After a lengthily pause, she spoke again. “Alright. I’ll do it.”
Radim beamed. “Great, you go on ahead and pack, I’ll contact Lady Mitch.”
Stana shook her head. “Okay, let’s do this.”
The Journey back to Nimura Station was yet another overnight one, and Stana spent most of her time in the shuttle asleep, but not before Radim had given her a quick brief on how to address the Station leader, as well as how to respond to certain statements.
“You don’t have to worry too much.” He had told her simply. “Just let me do the talking while we are on Nimura, but if she does ask you any questions just give short answers, but, polite ones of course, especially in front of her hand servants.”
Yet now, as the two of them stood by Lady Mitch’s shuttle, Stana did feel nervous. She had opted for the dress that Radim had suggested, one that complemented his suit, but was simple enough to not run the risk of looking nicer than what Lady Mitch might wear.
Her nerves rose drastically when Lady Mitch did leave her house however, as the simple attire the station leader was wearing was not what Stana had been expecting. She found herself drawing in a deep gasp, casting a quick and worried glance at Radim before quickly reverting her eyes to Lady Mitch.
The two hand servants stopped at the door as Lady Mitch made her way to the Shuttle, her walk showing an elegance that Stana had never before seen, before she stopped directly in front of her.
“So Mr Spurling, this is the new assistant you wish for me to give a trial run?”
“Yes Ma’am.” Radim gave a faint nod.
Lady Mitch looked Stana up and down slowly. “Ms Prithrauck, am I correct?”
It took all of Stana’s composure to hold back how terrified she was. “Yes Lady Mitch.” she gave a respectful curtsy.
The corner of Lady Mitch’s mouth smiled faintly for a moment before she spoke again. “Well let’s hope that you are as good an assistant are as you are a dresser.” With that she promptly stepped into the shuttle. “Let’s go.”
Stana quickly cast a wide-eyed glance at Radim, before stepping onto the shuttle herself, followed promptly by Radim, who closed the door behind them.
A few moments later, the engines wound up, the shuttle undocked, and made its way to the Station airlock.
As soon as the shuttle was clear of Nimura, Radim’s face appeared on the screen in the passenger compartment, much to Stana’s surprise. “We’re now clear of the station Lady Mitch.”
Lady Mitch slouched back in her seat slightly. “Thank goodness, and the anomaly?”
Radim shook his head. “It’s still there as usual.”
“We must figure out what that is.” Lady Mitch clicked her teeth, before turning to face Stana. “So, Stana.” She smiled. “I’ve got to say it’s a pleasure to meet you, Radim talks about you all the time.”
Stana’s eyes widened and quickly began darting back and forth, between Lady Mitch and the screen.
“Stana its alright.” Radim spoke up. “I told you that you had nothing to worry about.”
“It’s all an act you see.” Lady Mitch leant forwards. “As a member of the committee I am expected to act and behave in a particular self-righteous way, but that just doesn’t fit who I am. I’ll chalk that down to meeting Radim all those years ago, but I have to keep up appearances else I might lose my spot as leader.”
After a few long moments, Stana responded. “Are you all like this then? Lady Mitch? Do you all put on a show for everyone?”
“Well I can only really speak for one other member, but as for the rest I don’t know.” Lady Mitch admitted. “But If I did know it would be defeating the purpose of keeping up appearances.”
Stana shook her head slowly, exhaling deeply in the process. “Forgive me Lady Mitch, this is just a lot to take in.”
Lady Mitch laughed. “The confines of this shuttle is the only place I can truly drop the formalities and just be myself, and only one other person besides the two of you knows this.” Her face suddenly went serious for a moment. “So I ask that outside of this shuttle, and especially when we are on Station Scorpion, you keep up the formalities, and act like I am a tough, vicious leader it is hard to work for.”
Stana once again cast a glance at the screen, just to see Radim smiling back at her. “Of course Lady Mitch.”
Lady Mitch once again smiled. “While we are in the confines of the shuttle, you can drop my formal title, you can use my given name; Elora. I’ve told Radim many times he can call me that too, but he refuses.”
“I just know that if I start using it I’m likely to end up saying it in the wrong place, and neither of us want that.” Radim defended himself from the cockpit.
Stana nodded faintly. “I think he has a good point, I’ll do the same, Ma’am.”
Lady Mitch waved her off. “Please yourself then.”
“This isn’t what I expected at all.” Stana rubbed her hands down her face. “Radim didn’t warn me at all.”
Lady Mitch nodded. “And so he shouldn’t have. I’m sorry for the secrecy but I could lose my seat on the committee, and who knows what would happen to Nimura if I did.”
“Probably fall into the clutches of someone like Lord Cammeo.” Radim nodded. “And we don’t want that. Although on that topic, we aren’t far from Scorpion now.”
Lady Mitch nodded. “Right, I had better get ready.” With which she removed the box from inside the sofa, and began getting undressed, much to Stana’s shock.
“You’re…What… Radim?!” She explained.
“Don’t look so surprised.” Lady Mitch carried on undressing as she spoke. “I have to look the part for these meetings, but the clothes are so uncomfortable I only wear them when I have to.”
“This is common?” Stana felt her jaw drop slightly. “With Radim watching?”
Lady Mitch and Radim exchanged brief looks of bemusement, before she stepped forwards, gently grasping Stana by her shoulder. “I’m not doing this for Radim.” She spoke, putting on a sultry voice. “I’m doing this as a personal show for you.”
Stana flushed bright red. “I’m…”
Radim laughed quietly to himself. “I’ll disconnect if it makes you feel better Stana. I need to start focusing on docking now anyway.”
Lady Mitch nodded. “Good idea, do you remember what I need you to do while we are here?”
Radim nodded. “Of course, although you might want to brief Stana on her role before we get there.” With which he signed off and the screen went blank.
Stana looked up at Lady Mitch, showing clear signs of confusion. “My role?”
Lady Mitch nodded, her face now serious. “Yes, while we are up here, I need you to do something for me…”
A few minutes later, the shuttle docked next to the others on Station Scorpion.