The Other Half

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The Other Half is a short story from The ByWay to Freedom, book five of the Course Books.

The sequel to Half the Fun, this story covers Jason and company's return home from Gleskel Core. After the hassle on the previous story, Jason has arranged for the use of a Falcon-class corvette, borrowed from the Crimson Blade. Initially annoyed by the notion of spending several weeks aboard the cramped, Spartan vessel, Metanie is placated when she learns Jason has scheduled frequent stops, in fancy hotels every night, while never spending more than sixteen hours on board.

Hunter, meanwhile, shows off his gourmet cooking skills (which consist primarily of buying fancy foods whose names he cannot pronounce) and handles the food. Everything is shaping up nicely, especially when Jason explains how de-commissioned corvettes are popular as luxury "star yachts" for the very well-to-do.

The downside to the journey is quickly made evident when the ship, despite bearing Foundation markings, comes under attack by space pirates (presumably thinking it is an unarmed space-yacht). The heavily armed raider is accompanied by a series of light, maneuverable star fighters; all of which are, in fact, no match for a heavily armed corvette with an experienced crew. Jason puts Metanie on one of the gun turrets while Hunter mans the other, and Lily assists with the main weapons. Working as a team, they shoot down the nimble fighters and succeed in torpedoing the raider.

At their next port of call, Jason addresses Metanie, who is shaken by the whole experience. Instead of attempting to soothe her, he presents her with a small medal, explaining that her destruction of the fighter has earned her a "kill" in combat.