Shouhei struggled to stay awake in the elevator as it traveled to the docking bays of Carlston's Cove.
The loud voice—and hands—of Enforcer Second Class Damon Hicks forced him out of his rack only twenty minutes before.
The young Enforcer had just fallen asleep after serving a fourteen hour shift when Hick stormed into Shouhei's quarters. Hicks ordered him to get back into uniform and to bring his sidearm. Peacekeeper Major Mao Stotter, commander of the Governor’s personal security detachment, had personally ordered Hicks and Shouhei to accompany him on an assignment. They were to apprehend a star pilot named Artimus Rawlings.
Rawlings had not paid his station docking fees for several months. He was also suspected of smuggling large amounts of ore from Sheba. Shouhei had heard his name thrown around by the veterans of the security detachment. Rawlings had earned the nickname of “Bakemono.” It was an old Earth word for ghost. He was the given the moniker because he had always managed to avoid being tracked down by the authorities. That is, until now.
“Fiko! Wake up!” Hicks’s booming voice—and sharp slap on the back—jolted Shouhei back into conscious focus.
Even the granite face of the Major winced at the high volume in the small space of the elevator. Shouhei had the feeling that Hicks was more hated by the other members of the detachment than himself.
The elevator stopped, the display showed Docking Bay Five, and the doors opened.
Hick's hand made contact again. “Showtime, Prize Puppy.”
Shouhei swallowed hard and followed the Major and Hicks into the wide space of the docking bay.