• "Jessamine! Jessamine!" Someone shook her roughly by the shoulder. "Get up, you lazy bum, there's packages that need hauling, and they need hauling NOW!'
    "Wuh?" Jessamine lifted her head off her arms, and stared, blurry eyed, at the large woman before her. "Ugh... Sorry Mam. I guess I fell asleep during break." She heaved herself up using the table for support. "I'll get right on it, you can bet I will, Mam." Mam harumphed, and waddled out of the cafeteria.
    When Mam was gone, Jessamine took a flask off her belt and took a swig from it, wincing as the fiery whiskey burned her throat. She stoppered the flask and stretched, readying herself for work.
    The loading docks were noisy, people chatting as they loaded, different types of music from separate stereos mingling together, and over it all, Mam yelling orders in her loud, officious voice. Jessamine grabbed a wheelcart and pushed it over to where the cargo was waiting to be loaded. She loaded fifteen boxes onto the cart, and delivered them to the proper stations. One box for the ship to Salvadore, two for Beachmouth, five for Firstland, three for Highland, and four for Volcarro. She was going back for her second load when someone called her name.
    Jessamine looked up, at the source of the voice. A small figure waved to her from the cockpit of a ship. "Rugan? What are you doing up there?" It wasn't safe for him to be high up, he was only thirteen, and a reckless daredevil.
    "My father is taking me on a run with him! Isn't that grand? We're going to Beachmouth!"
    "Well, that's all jolly good, but I have work to do, so if you don't have anything important to say, I'll be on my way!" Jessamine turned and walked away, without sparing the boy a second glance.
    She fumed as she loaded up her cart for a second round. I can't believe him! The little brat, she thought as she dropped off four packages at the Salvadore ship. Over privileged little monkey! Just because his father owns half the ships doesn't mean he can go breaking all the rules! Rugan's just a stupid boy, he's not even old enough to co-pilot! To co-pilot a ship, you had to be sixteen at least, and also undergo rigorous physical and mental evaluations. To be a pilot, it was even harder. Jessamine was planning on taking the co-pilot tests this year, and she had been training hard. Rugan would never pass the examinations. He's a scrawny little thing, and I've seen him struggle with some of the lighter loads. At least when she passed the examination, she would have something to rub his nose in, instead of the other way around.
    Mother won't approve, though. She thinks it's absurd how I'm so competitive with a boy three years my junior. She had even said as much, one day when Rugan's mother called to complain about the beating Jessamine had given the boy three years ago (the git deserved it).
    "All dock workers are to report to the break room in five minutes. All dock workers, report to the break room in five minutes for your briefing." The voice over the intercom, not Mam's for once, jolted Jessamine from her internal ranting, and also alerted her that she needed to finish her job quick or else her pay would be docked. She hurried to finish delivering her current load, and even got two more finished before the five minutes was up. She parked her cart and followed the hoard of workers to the break room.