“Hot damn! I’ve never been outside the bubble before,” His voice cracking as it came in over the radio.
“Well then, it’s about damn time,” I replied. “You want some Lyrae Weed?”
“How about some Tarach Spice?” My co-pilot answered. “You got any Onionhead?”
“Nevermind!” I interrupted, feeling Merydian’s tension building through the vacuum of space. “Where’re you from Merydian?”
We had stopped at HR 6164
for The View
, and we had gotten a lot more than we bargained for.
As we had approached for landing Gonzo and I were hailed by a Diamondback Explorer politely asking if we needed any help. When we demurred, the commander, a certain Merydian, asked us if we wanted to wing-up for the journey to catch up with the Distant Worlds Fleet.
Why Not? I thought.
Seeing as we had the superior jump range, I let Merydian set the pace. It would be slower going, but it couldn’t hurt in a pinch. They always say: you don’t need to outrun a pirate, you just have to outrun the pilot next to you.
He had told us his origins by now, but I had been distracted by Gonzo and the Lyrae Weed. My co-pilot was fulfilling his duties with the usual proficiency.
“We’re on a very important mission for the Empire - the Ministry of Propaganda isn’t messing around when they send a Duke”, I started to explain. “You said you were from the Alliance?”
Before Merydian could answer, Gonzo interjected.
“Thread the needle, we need to make sure this boy is worth his salt.”
“What are you talking about?” I muttered back shaking my head in exasperation.
“A neutron star sandwiched between two black holes. Home to the grim’s reaper’s very own vacation station,” my co-pilot explained. “Why not?”
By the time we navigated through that deadly gauntlet of radiation and gravity sobriety would be as far away as Sol.
The Lyrae Weed was good, but I had a terrible thirst.
“You said you were from the Alliance Merydian?” I asked, perhaps not for the first time.
“What? I just told you -”
“Perfect, let’s break out the Eranin Pearl Whisky then!”