"Atmospheric shielding?" the Captain asked.
The first officer was a young, newly qualified officer, keen to impress his grizzled and jaundiced superior.
"Charge the hull, negative polarity."
"Sir?" the query came back.
"Just do it. You'll see."
The Captain looked over the controls and noted the astrogation settings. He turned to the passenger, seated at the rear of the cramped cabin.
"Should be planet-side in about twenty minutes, sir."
The figure nodded in acknowledgement but said nothing. The Captain turned back to his controls. He wasn't happy with the mission, not happy at all.
It had seemed straightforward enough, fly to Larais, drop off a passenger, wait for an hour, pick up another passenger and then return to Lave.
Then it started to look distinctly odd. Firstly Larais was a ghastly place to have to go to, and all dest