Other Matters

She wondered if she did good. No, that was a lie. She knew she did good. She always did good. She couldn’t have not done good if she tried. It’s just how things were. If they were different she might have not done good but they weren’t so she did. She was the best at what she did and what she did was run for Mistress Dom. Mistress Dom was an imposing woman, particularly for a cephalopod. Ulfie shivered at the thought of how Mistress Dom’s large pale eyes seemed to unveil her soul and left her feeling utterly exposed under the older woman’s laconic yet hypnotic gaze. Her eyes don’t pierce like Scowly Dandruff Gill Face’s do, Ulfie thought to herself. It’s like they washed over you like bleach, removing any layers until only the core of you remains or something... She gave another involuntary shiver and thought of the Zeppulian instead. The ship which she had been tasked to confirm was indeed on the docks and take a pic of. The ship which seemed far larger than it had any right to be. It was just so huge. Like, why was it even that big? It couldn’t be practical, could it? She shook her head at the thought. No, that makes no sense. How would being that big help anything? She paused to consider this for a moment but couldn’t come up with any reason the ship needed to be as large as it was. And why was there a pancake on top?  

She suddenly realised that thinking about the impracticalities of the Zeppulian only caused confusion since little of its awe-inspiring design seem to make much sense. And there was the fact it looked like a fast ship although Ulfie couldn’t say why. It just looked fast. As though speed was something innate to its being despite its large size and peculiar design. Why was there a pancake on the top?!

 

Mistress Dom stood inside her office, her tentacle placed casually on her hip as she read the latest reports from her runners. She well knew that it was only on this space station that such an archaic method of communication and confirmation could thrive. She regularly gave thanks for the electromagnetic disturbance on the docks which completely threw out fon signal and electronic communication causing a “dead zone” where no reception can be gained. If it wasn’t for this dead zone, there would be no need for runners to carry messages back and forth or to run on site to gather evidence that a certain ship may be docked or goods had been delivered - There would be no need for her. That thought wasn’t one she welcomed and why she heavily lobbied the Tholspharium Harbourmaster to defund research into finding alternative solutions to fixing the dock’s dead zone. As she explained to him, having runners meant jobs for the homeless children who had fallen through the cracks of society and needed a purpose in life. He didn’t want to further disenfranchise homeless children, did he? Mistress Dom has expressed quite sympathetically she wasn’t sure if that was really the type of Harbourmaster people on the Tholospharium would want. It would be such a shame if word got out that the current Harbourmaster hated homeless children and wanted to take away their livelihood. However, if he was willing to accept an anonymous donation for his next election campaign, she was sure that no one would ever hear how much he hated homeless children. Unsurprisingly, funding for alternative dead zone solutions completely dried up following their arrangement. Now she only had to manage little empire of runners she had carved out for herself. There had been pretenders to the throne of course but they had either been bought out or struggled find a niche in the market she had successfully cornered. When you make a name for yourself as the best in the business the way she had, you eventually become the business. Or at least you do when you’re Mistress Dom. Despite her tenacity and ruthless business acumen, she treated her runners well and had the slightest of soft spots for the children in her care. Not that she expected nothing less than perfection from them. Especially from Ulfie. Ulfie had been her best runner for the past couple years and she held her up as an example to the other children. Eventually Ulfie would slip up though. It couldn’t be avoided that she was growing out of being a runner. It was inevitable and Mistress Dom knew this. Perhaps the child could be groomed for more managerial duties, she thought to herself. She’s got good head on her shoulders and an intuitive savvy despite her more ‘impish’ impulsive tendencies. It was a thought worth pursuing at the least she decided, putting it away for the moment. She was all too aware that Ulfie was waiting with anxious patience outside and felt she had made the Urchin wait for long enough.
“Enter,” she announced with a husky boom.

The door opened promptly as Ulfie scuttled in. She hesitated for a half-second as undecided whether to close the door behind her or leave it open, eventually shutting it. She walked to the front of the desk which took up a sizable portion of the office  and paused, her right hand fiddling with the spines on her left forearm, a habit she picked up in waiting rooms and during stakeouts which riled Mistress Dom. Ulfie felt the slightest glance of disapproval wash over her and immediately stopped fiddling with her spines.

“You did good, Ulfie,” Mistress Dom declared softly.

Despite her earlier confidence, Ulfie started and blinked her soft white eyes.

“Yeah?! You really thi-” she gushed back before regaining some composure and clearing her throat. “I mean, thank you.”

If Mistress Dom thought anything of her young ward’s enthusiastic initial reaction, she gave no outward indication.

“The client is on their way to intercept the ship,” she stated simply before pressing her tentacles together. “Now, I understand you saw the passengers disembark.”

It was a statement but she clearly expected an affirmative response as though she had asked a question.

“Yes,” Ulfie replied before gulping and adding, “I mean, yes ma’am.”
“Could you describe them to me?” Mistress Dom asked the eager-to-please urchin.
“Uh-huh, one of them was a Lofan. At least I think he was, I couldn’t quite see his wings, but he might have had them in, he was real cute so I wouldn’t mind getting another look-” she paused to blush profusely. Realising that Mistress Dom was waiting for more information, she continued, “I took a picture of them leaving but it was quite far. Another of them had flipper-hands? I don’t know what she, I mean, what species she is. Assuming she is a she, since she was in a dress but they could just like dresses. There was also this girl…”