We decided to get high. As high as possible. Above the galactic disk. And then on Mechucos High Tea.
“I need to get the hell away from this nebula - and out of this damn rock,” my co-pilot explained. Somehow we had outstayed our welcome at the Omega Mining Operation.
There had been a lot of bad noise
earlier, and now we had too much time to kill before The Fleet departed. It was a good thing we loaded up on moonshine beforehand.
“Who knows what we’ll find up there, maybe something nobody else has?” I shrugged. Not that we needed an excuse, exploration was the goal of this entire expedition after all. “I wonder how long it will take?”
“We can supercharge our way there, 220 LY per neutron star… but only so far,” Gonzo squinted and leaned towards me. “Up there, in the black, that’s not the kind of place you want to be stranded. Even the fuel rats wouldn’t help us up there.”
He was right. Overcharging the FSD was well and good when you had a galaxy of stars surrounding you. But the higher your climb, the darker it gets.
The darker it gets, the fewer and further between the stars are. And if you make a supercharged jump without a neutron star on the other side, well…
That wasn’t a miscalculation a sober commander would make. Obviously, this was a serious concern for us.
“Do you think we have enough hooch? I mean, we might not be able to restock again for a while,” Gonzo glanced over both shoulders and leaned in close before answering.
“We won’t be getting any more,” Gonzo grumbled. “The distillery is a cousin of that damn commodities agent who tried to stiff us. We’re cut off. I ought to throw a bomb in that place, you know, right as we’re heading out to the mail slot...”
“Oh sure. I can careen over, nice and deliberate, roll down the window for you...”
“And before they know what hit them, we’re gone! Boosting towards freedom with justice erupting in flames and fire behind us.” My co-pilot leaned back into his chair with a satisfied thump, mimicking the desired explosion by expanding his fingers and silently mouthing BOOM!
“Right as some god damn Type 9 comes through the mail slot and we become just more scrap inside its cargo bay,” I grinned, waving down the lackey with two fingers in the air to indicate another round.
“Hell, wouldn’t be so bad. We could always crawl out of our wreckage, and once we explain the situation, have ourselves a brand new Type 9,” Gonzo considered, nodding. “It might have a hole to patch up, but it might also have an extra working engine or two.”
“Potentially that would improve the jump range...not a bad plan, all things considered,” I took the drinks, but the stooge didn’t leave. After a few seconds, he gave a subtle cough and held out his hand palm up. “Oh, of course! Where are my manners?”
We downed the drinks in one gulp and tossed the credits at the stooge’s feet.