Grace Echo met her future husband on her eight birthday. Although they would not meet again for twenty years as Samuel’s father was transferred to Mialea station soon after. Grace got her degree in internal medicine and astrophysics which kept her busy during her teenage and early twenties. She had mostly forgotten about her childhood friend when she found herself on Mialea station awaiting her first placement. She wasn’t even thinking of Samuel when she visited the station’s shopping district.
When the attractive young chef introduced himself, they realized their shared past. It didn’t take a lot time to become something more than friends this time around.
Grace was at the station to meet her new boss. She had taken a position as medic and chief scientist for the newly commissioned transport ship Tighar. The captain, Amy Arias, had visited Grace’s graduating class and the offer had been too tempting for Grace to pass up. Captain Arais had inherited the ship from her family and the dream of running her own shipping business from her husband.
When the mechanics had finished retrofitting and upgrading the Tighar, the ship was ready for its first commission. That mean leaving the station they’d spend the last six months on. Now that Samual had refound Grace, he wasn’t going to let her escape again. He found a way to secure a berth. Although replicators could make the finest and most nutritious yogurt, able to keep anyone alive indefinitely, the Captain and her husband were grateful that he was able to turn the raw ingredients into an amazing range of food. Especially as Captain Arias was pregnant at the time.
It didn’t take long for Grace to fall in love with Samual. They were out in deep space for months at a time and there was little to distract her from his attentions. They were married by the captain within the year.
And the expecting their own child the next.
The Tighar did quite well. Captain Arias had a head for the business, taking the best jobs, trading to advantage. It wasn’t long before the Captain was able to choose which jobs they’d take rather than being forced to take whatever came their way. They often picked jobs on the other side of Known Space. Fewer ships were willing to make such long runs, but the Tighar was well provisioned for deep space, and that meant the pay was better.
After plague hit the Captain’s small family station, her uncle, the only survivor, joined them as a general handyman and jack of all trades. His presence gave everyone the opportunity to take a day off here an there and they were all grateful.
With two families with small children on board, the Tighar was a family ship in the strictest sense. George was able to help out by watching the kids and teaching them while he wasn’t doing odd jobs. They rarely stopped on stations for longer than a couple months, only long enough to repair the ship. And those stops lessened when they took young Electra on board.
She’d pretty much talked her way onto the ship and refused to leave when they were ready to depart. Since she was a mechanical genius they agreed that the dully colony life she’d been born too would be a waste of her talent. Once Electra was on board to keep the engines in repair, their crew was complete.
For twelve years the Tighar flew the shipping lines of Known Space near and far. The cargo of gypsum bought by a new frontier colony was right up the Tighar’s alley. The colony was so new it still only had a single port city: Shenset. Tighar’s crew accepted the job eagerly, not realizing it would be their last.