“We usually don’t unload until after inspection.” The captain, Xaylum, leaned against the closed door to their cargo ship.
“I told you,” Skylar waved their red badge attached to the lanyard. “I can’t board any ship that is capable of leaving orbit. Scan my badge and you’ll get access to all the paperwork.”
It took months to get approval to even come to the cargo wharf, since Skylar had to leave Qwortar’s surface. There were promises, and character witnesses, mini trials, gifts, begging, the works to convince everyone Skylar wasn’t trying to leave Qwortar, just do what is required for their business.
Xaylum scrolled through the information, eye stalk twitching. “Fine. But it will be about an hour to unload everything.”
“Thank you.” Skylar clicked their beak. “I’m sorry for the extra trouble.”
“As long as you don’t want to send things back, I guess it’s not extra trouble, just out of the ordinary.”
Skylar sat on a bench, watching the crates of banamints get unloaded. They fiddled with the badge, counting the trips the captain and other workers made. Catching glimpses of the ship’s interior, those lights, the sounds echoing.
“Ready for inspection?” Xaylum walked over to Skylar.
They both walked among the crates, Skylar opening most of them, shifting a few of the oblong fruits around to see the ones near the bottom.
“So, uh,” Xaylum twirled their stylus around. “How’s Benti?”
“They’re fine.” Skylar paused. “They just had a familial obligation they couldn’t reschedule since you came a couple days early.”
“So, uh, they’ll be coming for the next shipment?”
“That’s the plan.” Skylar tilted their eye and peeked over at Xaylum. “Part of the conditions of me coming up to do inspection is that it is not a regular occurrence.” Skylar held up a tentacle. “Should I tell Benti you were asking about them?”
“Oh, uh,” for a moment the captain shrunk their appendages back a little. “Um, I, uh, don’t know.”
Skylar chuckled. “Don’t tell Benti I said this, but they were disappointed they wouldn’t get to see you this time around.”
The captain paused, and their eye grew a little bigger. “Well, then, I suppose it won’t hurt.”
“Thank you.” Skylar closed the lid to the last crate. “Everything looks good as always.”
“Great, we’ll load it onto the shuttles and you’ll get your fruits later today.”
Word count: 394