3055: A Space Odyssey

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Re: 3055: A Space Odyssey

Postby SockFiddler » Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:18 pm

"Get your flight suit on."

"Eeeeh, and Boris?"

Boris' question goes ignored as Ithallius does a visual check out of the vulture's canopy window before leaning over the panels to check nearby contacts. I get up from the chair and hastily undress then redress in my bird's resident - bright pink, as chosen by Mira (oof) - flight suit. There are two further suits aboard; both the same kind of shitty, basic skin-suit that I once found myself dressing in not too long ago when Ithallius took me aboard his ship: neither the irony nor the humour of the situation breaks the surface of my concentration now.

I flip my helmet up, take a breath of the nothing-tasting, filtered suit air and return to my seat. Ithallius withdraws from the panels, out of my way, and similarly undresses and puts on a skin suit. Boris looks on impassively as Ithallius flips up his helmet, confirms vacuum seal and air feed, then returns his attention to the panels.

"Signal Nari. Send her this," he hands me a slip of paper with a 12 digit code printed on it. "Tell her to plug it into my 'conda. Tell her we need her here in 19 minutes. Then prepare for self-destruct in 11 minutes. Make it look like an FSD ignition error; make it big and showy."

"Roger," I nod, not really letting the full implications of his instructions enter my mind as I set about my work: there is a lot to do and I must rapidly prioritise. First I fuck up my FSD, working back from explosion to overheat to coil burn to ignition in my mind and realising that I need to start that process immediately. I am working on the panels while I dictate Ithallius' message to Nari who, I presume, will be our ride. I read out the code carefully, then read it again to confirm. When my vulture's AI realises what I am initiating, there is no big frenzy of countdown timers and flashing lights. Just the usual confirmation beep and the light over my FSD panel starts to glow an incessant red. it's a bit disappointing, really; I'd expected more.

Meanwhile, Ithallius is leaning over Boris, who still looks unflustered. A part of me is impressed by this one's nerve; the rest of me finds it deeply unsettling.

"In 11 minutes, this ship is going to explode. Violently. And then we'll be floating in space for 8 minutes after that. This means you have around ten minutes to convince me that you should be wearing this skin suit and getting picked up with us, or I'll vaporise your ass and wear the dust that remains on the nose of my anaconda. Talk, fucker."

"Is big fan!" says Boris brightly. I wonder whether he has even understood what is happening. Ithallius remains silent. Boris makes a few more gestures and some sounds like he's clucking and then taps on the floor of my flight deck. It is a rhythmic little tap that repeats and repeats and repeats: A code.

In fact, it is old Morse Code, and spells out "No Talk Bug".

Ithallius and I nod to each other, stand Boris up, undress him completely and then I shred and eject the remains of his clothing while Ithallius conducts a quick bio-chip scan of Bori's naked - surprisingly unpaunchy (he'd been wearing a padded suit to make him look weightier than he is) body. Two beeps and Ithallius doesn't hesitate. In fact, even Boris complies, holding out first his left wrist and then turning around and bending slightly to present his right arse cheek so that he can have the tiny little Triple L (Listening, Lifesigns, Location) chips cut out from under his skin. Ithallius works quickly and accurately, scanning with one hand and cutting into Bori's skin with the other. Another bio-chip scan and Ithallius nods that Boris is now bug-free.

Ithallius drops both bugs into a small flask of water before handing them to me. I make quick work of jettisoning them out of the garbage hatch.

8 minutes.

"Empire," says Boris. His accent is still Russian, but far less heavy, and his language is now flawless. "Wants you dead. Doesn't like how things ended up."

"Fuck me," I say, running my hand through my hair. "I thought all this was fucking done. How much goddamn more do they want from me because of Mira."

Boris shakes his head. "Not you. Empire doesn't care about you. Him." He tips his head to Ithallius. "Payback time."

Ithallius simply stares for a moment and then shakes his head. "Nope."

Boris shrugs and continues, "Was meant to follow you, to join you. Was going fine. Did stupid pirate job in 21991 for blyat laugh - Empire pissed off but say to continue. Empire monitors Garay and sees your python and type 9 docked and not move. FDS won't be problem, says Empire. Fucking dicks. Empire wrong. Again." He shrugs and shakes his head, "You check FDS logs. I tell them nothing about you and bar. I tell them drunk gopnik bullshit. You check Boris logs."

"There's no going back, motherfucker," replies Ithallius as something on the console beeps 6 minutes. "As far as The Empire knows, we all died here today. For some of us, that might even be true. How did they know?"

"One survivor. Holo capture."

"We were careful. Anonymous."

"Wasn't on ship. Was researcher working alone. Quiet. Capture whole thing."

What is this? What the fuck is this?! My mind reels but the ship's status panel beeps, jolting my mind back to more immediate - instantly vaporising - issues: time is running out.

"Ithallius," I interrupt. "We gotta go." It's one thing to not be on a ship when it explodes, but it's all together another to not be in the blast zone of a faulty FSD.

Ithallius nods, eyes Boris again, then cuts his bonds and tosses the last skin suit at him. "Quickly."

Another minute passes, and we are now strapping ourselves into an eject-bench that fires from the side of the Vulture. Boris is between Ithallius and I, as soon as he is seated, I am activating the void screen and setting a 5 second countdown. We lean back into the seat, letting it do what it can to shape and mold the chair's foam around us, cushioning each of us as best as it can in the brief time that remains before we are blasted fast, fast, fast into the void.

All three of us moan involuntarily: the eject-bench is a rough way to go - much harder ride than the eject seats on the flight deck. But we need to be a single target for Nari to collect, and we need to be thrown clear of the impending blast very, very quickly. After a few seconds of heavy, multiple-G acceleration, the pressure in our heads, chests and spines relents and we are slowly able to breathe again. My eyes rest upon the vulture - suddenly there is a pang in my chest; it hadn't occurred to me until now that this would be the death of That's Not My Finger; her absolute moment of finality.

Fuck.

2 minutes.

We are still moving backwards, away from the vulture at a fine old clip, and I am watching her shrink into a single glorious, pink dot. Tears bloom in my eyes and I can do nothing about them. But I don't want to - I let the moment take hold of me; let the memories bound up in that bird - Tor, Dawg, Lori, fucking Mira (and, of course fucking Mira), Not-Dave, my sense of freedom, of redemption - fill my mind.

Ithallius flips a switch on his visor which will protect his eyes from the explosion that is about to take place before us; Boris and I follow suit. Seconds later and she is gone; that same fire flower that I flew through in her so many times before now extends from within her own hull. Her FSD coils erupt, the drive starts to spin up, igniting her fuel load and...

We sit in silence while I quietly weep; I am shocked at my sense of loss. I do not look at either of my companions; I stare at that fading fire flower until I can see it no more.

"She was fine ship," says a Russian accent.

"Fuck you, Boris," I spit in quiet reply.

"You get another one," says Boris.

"I'm gonna cut your tiny Russian testicles off at screw them into your eye sockets if you say another fucking word to me right now."

"Socks," says Ithallius quietly. His tone is gentle but his implicit message clear: Get your shit together now - get your head back in the game.

"So what now?" asks Boris.

"Now," replies Ithallius as the lights of his Nari-navigated 'Conda bloom into view. We do not activate our beacon, after all, we just faked our own deaths. Instead Ithallius tight-beams the 'conda from his suit coms panel as he finishes speaking. "Now you spy for us."

"But Boris-"

"You spy for us or," says Ithallius in a hardened tone, "I let Socks do whatever the fuck she wants to you."

Boris pauses and weighs up his options as the 'conda begins to utterly fill out view. "Very good. Is blin! I spy for you!"

I realise that I have been promoted to the role of Outfit Heavy as the 'conda ejects two collection limpets to retrieve us. Moments later we are in the 'conda's cargo bay. Nari is holding me; I am numb; Ithallius is securing Boris to a cargo rack. Nari throws me a questioning look; I shrug and nod: truth is, I suddenly feel like I have lost Mira all over again, and I feel guilty as shit about how much that hurts because Nari - fucking Nari - is standing right in front of me, desperate to offer comfort and all I can do is shrug her off and withdraw.

I break out of her embrace with a shake of my head and stride along after Ithallius: work to be done and I don't have time to get all moon-eyed right now.

That's just not what Heavys do, eh?
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Re: 3055: A Space Odyssey

Postby SockFiddler » Sun Dec 29, 2019 2:52 pm

Ray Gateway: Diaguandri

https://youtu.be/WGNiBC9Z8rk

It has been three weeks since Ithallius and I faked our deaths. After Nari collected us (and Boris) from our drift in the Black, we have lain low and quiet. We have accessed neither our ships nor our funds. We have used no communicators, we have let ourselves fall from existence.

Nari is now the official owner of The Wet Spot, our bar in Deciat, as well as the inheritor of the 'conda she hacked to come save us. As far as anyone is able to tell, she flew out to our crash site to see what happened after our wing beacon suddenly died, and found only Boris floating in the gloom. Now she is unbelievably rich (having inherited both bank accounts) and alone.

Ithallius was clear: Ray Gateway and nowhere else. We are not here by accident. Nari hopped over here under the pretence of buying that Mamba she's "always" wanted, to assuage her deepening grief with a ludicrously engineered, over-gunned speed machine. And to pay a lot of money to scrub a lot of data logs from the 'conda before paying a lot of money to someone else to fake new ones. Now, the 'conda never belonged to Ithallius and its registry has been changed to "W-SPOT". Meanwhile, Boris leaned on some connections to forge some wildly expensive but astonishingly comprehensive new IDs for Ithallius and I.

I keep forgetting my name.

"You should try harder to remember it. Needs to be natural, baby."

"As long as you don't forget it, Bitch." I look up at Nari from between her thighs. She is lightly coated in sweat - it makes her look almost ethereal in the dim light of the room. I am about to spear her again with my tongue, but pause to look at her, to commit her utterly to memory. She reaches her hand out towards me and tangles her fingers in my hair.

"Love you, Pussy Cat," she whispers before tugging my face back towards her honey pot. But I resist, still looking at her in the half-light. I never let myself just breathe her (or Mira) in before; never thought to savour moments like this. She looks confused at my hesitation; her expression makes me almost laugh. I am shocked to realise I am tearing up; a wave of emotion surges in my chest and I think I might try to ride it except her legs are closing around my ears even as she reaches for and lights a smoke with her free hand.

"Again," she whispers. "More," and then she blows a perfect, delicate smoke ring that hovers over her tits, intact and unmoving for a long moment.

I obey.

When she climaxes, she calls me by both names: my old one and my new. She is my bridge between my identities and even as I savour her, I cannot fathom how I will live without her when she leaves. As her gasping subsides, our coms beep - a polite discretion Ithallius has agreed to in order for us to maintain constantly-open coms, and his voice quietly speaks.

"Ladies, it's time."

I say nothing, instead I meet Nari's still-glassy eyes and shake my head. She sits up and pulls me up the bed into her arms. She kisses herself off my lips and holds me while I silently weep for a moment.

"I don't want this," I whisper into her ear.

"You have to do this," she whispers back, "For me. For us." She pauses and then adds, "For him."

I wince and am furious that she is, of course, right. We kiss again and then dress ourselves in silence. Neither of us showers: we each want to keep the other's scent on us for as long as we can. Nari combs first her hair and then mine through with her fingers and then I click into my flight boots.

"Fuck you, Ithallius," I murmur as I survey the room for anything we might have left behind.

"Roger that," he replies in my earpiece: he does not sound smug; his tone is muted and oddly respectful. Nari smiles sadly and rubs the top of my arm before assembling her game face and opening the door to our (very expensive) suite. Then we are out, back under the assumed pretence of our new relationship: she the immensely rich widow and me her hired tech who will test her new Mamba; a racing jock with nothing to lose as I throw her new machine around in the Black.

We walk in silence to the large pad where "her" 'conda is docked. She touches a panel on the outside of the enormous bird and the door smoothly opens to allow a set of steps to quietly extend out toward her. She turns to me before she boards, mutters some bossy-boss stuff I cannot absorb about her Mamba and hands me a data chip which I numbly accept. I do not follow her aboard; I do not embrace her; we do not kiss again.

Instead she nods, lightly climbs the stairs and closes the door behind her. Two minutes later, the docking pad lights are flashing to indicate that launch permission has been requested and the pad should be cleared. With heavy legs, I leave the docking bay; I have to pause, lean against the wall, catch my breath as the pad drops, spins and rises again. I hear the clamps release and those enormous engines whirr up, burn and engage.

And then she is gone. Again.

Ithallius is in front of me suddenly, silent and immutable as ever. But he isn't immune to my state and his presence before me at all signifies his recognition of both my sacrifice and its impact upon me. I look up at his face and blow out my cheeks. He nods but says nothing.

"Well oof, motherfucker," I say quietly, trying to gather myself.

"Yeah," he replies.

"See what I do for you?" I ask. I'm trying to be cheeky but, actually, it just comes out kind of sad.

"I do," he says. And then the asshole salutes me. You'd think it would look trite and a little ridiculous: it doesn't, and I am moved by the gesture. But what Ithallius giveth, Ithallius taketh away, and even before I have fully process his gesture, he is back into Boss Mode and giving me orders, turning on his heels and stalking away into the belly of Ray Gateway.

I close my eyes for a moment, gather myself up, steel myself and follow after him.

Time to get to work.
"Drink fast, die young"
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Re: 3055: A Space Odyssey

Postby SockFiddler » Tue Dec 31, 2019 6:07 am

It takes one person to fly a Mamba. It takes two to race it.

I'd say that I'm flying stick and Ithallius is in the cope seat because I'm the better pilot and he's a bossy asshole who gets his kicks pointing out obvious shit. He'd disagree with me, but as this is my fucking echolog, let's say I'm correct and move along.

We have been flying hard, clocking well over 10 hours a day for over three weeks now, rock hopping in the various bodies in this and nearby systems. This is all new to me: I did some dumb shit with the A-Team, but hugging uneven terrain while boosting forward in the fastest ship in production is, perhaps, the dumbest shit I've undertaken.

Plus I'm doing it fucking sober.

The reason it takes two of us to fly like this is simple: flying a Mamba that fast in gravity is a feat of concentration that I genuinely didn't think I was capable of. Your whole body has to connect with the ship; every twitch, every rock, every lurch requires immediate response otherwise, quite simply, you'll crash so fast you'll not even have time to know you're dying. I have no room in my mind for anything other than feet, hands and looking ahead: I am strapped into my seat so tightly I can feel the Mamba's tiniest movements in my lower back and ass.

It's exhilarating.

https://youtu.be/gASYU2OpNeY

So while I'm utterly focused on what's immediately ahead of me, I need someone else to have a slightly wider perspective: what's nearby; big changes in terrain ahead; systems performance; how the fuck I'm doing - you don't recognise that you're about to succumb to G-blackout until someone else tells you you're slurring, and much of my torture is about getting my body used to those kinds of stresses. Ithallius is my live telemetry feed and, I have to admit, I admire his balls.

So we practise for hours and hours and hours, giving me time to get a feel for the ship; so I get used to listening to his voice as well as paying constant attention to the ship; so I learn to feel the gravity, down force, physics of what I'm doing. It's a completely different game to flying in space, and I find it at once frustrating and invigorating. I slowly find my intuition and instinct reaching out toward and then connecting with the vessel, then I find I am starting to read the landscape and anticipate how she will respond. But with each step forward, I feel my progress as a pilot slides backwards; as we increase the speed we're flying at, more challenges present themselves and my reactions times must get ever quicker if we are not to suffer catastrophe.

Two people. We get inside each other's minds quickly, and camp there for three weeks while we log almost 300 flight hours in this fucking ludicrous ship.

Of course, in Li Yong-Rui space, in Sirius space, there is a "sirius" racing scene (GEDDIT?!), and there are local favourite hotspots where the best routes and their best times have been well-documented. Toward the end of the second week, we start measuring our performance against some of these local markers... and are outrageously disappointed. On some strips, we are a full minute off the pace - a fact that grates at both of us, but for different reasons.

So we work and fly and tinker and work and fly some more. We pull long hours and heavy, heavy G's, working my skill and the machine's capabilities until, finally, we are somewhat in the mix with the top 10 times posted for some of the most-heavily used planet racing routes. I never had a fraction of the instinctive understanding with the vulture that I already have with the mamba, and there is a visceral sense of connection, to the point that, some nights, I sleep under her smooth belly because it bothers me too much to be away from her.

"Good job, Socks," says Ithallius, on the 24th day of torture. We have just docked back in Ray and I am exhausted, sweaty and my pulse has yet to settle back into normal human range. I think he is being an asshole about some dumb mistake I made so I turn to scowl at him.

"Hey, fuck you, Man, I don't see you working the fucking stick-"

"No, really. Good job." His tone is even - perhaps there might be a tinge of pride in there, too?

"Oh," I'm surprised and don't quite know how to wind my irritation back. "Well, thanks, I guess."

"I think we're ready."

"To..?" I tug off my helmet and scrape my fingers through my shitty hair.

"To find a race."

"Fuck. I mean, okay. Sure."

"She needs a name, though."

"What you wanna call her?" I ask him, expecting some gay Fed shit. Maybe the name of some goddamned general or a famous vessel or whatever tomfuckery Ithallius is thinking about right now.

Instead he shrugs and nods to me. "You choose. She's more yours than mine."

I look at this man, this difficult, clever man who I have come to trust and even adore a little bit (FINE. FUCK YOU. A LOT) and wonder how I can pay tribute to him without coming off sticky and weird. "I can choose the paint job, too?"

"Sure," he says, in that tone he uses when he anticipates shenanigans. "Nothing too-" He pauses, knowing my gift for turning almost anything he says into a challenge, and then says, "Do what you want."

"Oh, I will," I reply with a nod and a wink.

He shakes his head and leaves the hangar, pausing in the doorway to call over his shoulder, "Get a shower - you stink."

Fine, Fucko... I whisper as I run my hand over the mamba's smooth exterior. I love this ship, and possible names run through my mind as I finally tug myself away from her to find a shower, a meal and a bed.

I'm about to get into said bed when my coms beep in my ear again.

"Socks, get in here, will you?"

"Where is 'here', CMDR Ithallius?" I ask, somewhat annoyed. I look longingly at the bed for a moment - a proper thing with bedding and pillows that isn't a flip-down bunk chained to a cabin wall - and start to dress myself.

"it's a bar, 'The Racing Line' on level 9."

"I don't wanna get drunk," I murmur.

"As impressive as that is, that's not your mission."

"Then what is?" I pull on my jump suit and boots and start for the door.

"I found us a race."

Oh. Well. Okay.

Ten minutes later and I am walking into The Racing Line and glancing about for Ithallius. The bar is an atrocity in neon - all fucking colour-changing LEDs and words written in bright pink and cyan light tubes. I hate it instantly and consciously engage my Get The Fuck Away From Me expression as I spot Ithallius and make my way toward him. The place is packed with people, all of them with stupid tattoos, garishly coloured jumpsuits and fucking dumb hair cuts and not one of them looks older than about 14.

"And here's my pilot," says Ithallius as I approach. He is sitting at a table with 2 pre-teens. They are dressed identically, even down to the same dumb, cool hair style and guy-liner.

"Her?" laughs one, nudging the other with his elbow. I assume they're in that kind of bromance state where they're in some sort of dickless love thing. In the light, their teeth glow the same kind of white as an afterburner when the mix is too potent. It amuses me.

"She even awake, Bossman?" says the other one to Ithallius. I take a seat and eye him questioningly.

"She'll take you on, boys, don't worry about that."

"Aaaw, I don't like making girls cry," says the first one. Now I am closer I can see that one is white and the other is of some vaguely Asian descent. I also realise that they're trying to goad me, as if I am also a pre-teen.

"You on top of this?" I say to Ithallius, "You really need me here?"

"Patience, Socks," he replies. "I got this."

"Socks?" laughs Twin 1, "Your call-sign is Socks?"

I sigh.

"Yeah, what's your ship called? Bra?" snickers Twin 2. "Panties?" I feel this line of "humour" could go on a while, so I interrupt it quickly.

"TL; DR," I reply, dropping a data pad with her race spec on the table. The twins flick it around and slide it to between then on the table.

"TL; DR?" says Ithallius in my ear.

It suddenly blooms in my mind that it is, indeed, the perfect name for a ship I must fly with him, and so smile, nod and say, "Yeah! Like it?"

"Not as awful as I was expecting," he replies, "Though I've not seen her paint job yet."

I'm about to slap him with an oh-so pithy rejoinder when The Twins peep up again.

"Aight. You got a ship. You got any game?"

"What the-" I say with a sigh, "I don't even understand what they're talking about."

"She's got it," says Ithallius, his hand on my forearm to gently interrupt me. "She'll take you on, give you a run for your money."

"Well, cool. Time and place, Star Bitches," says Twin 2, "Name it. Winner gets scrap."

Ithallius is prepared for the challenge and uploads some data to the Twins' coms. They beep, glance down, scan the info and nod at the same time. I am amused.

"Aight... It's a date. By the way, better know my name so you know who's gonna take your pretty ship, right?" Twin 2 rises to his feet and extends his closed fist. "I'm Qua-"

"I just don't care," i say, shaking my head. And then to Ithallius, "Can I go now?"

"Sure," he replies with a nod. I'm on my feet and walking away when he beeps in my ear again, "That was perfect. Good job."

So he wanted me tired, grouchy and unsociable. Fucker. I shake my head and stalk back to my quarters where I undress and climb immediately into bed.

I have a race in 9 hours.
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Re: 3055: A Space Odyssey

Postby Dudley » Fri Mar 13, 2020 8:29 pm

Hey..

You look a little like someone I used to know - was many years ago now.. can't quite remember.. anyhoo.. I've got a flute.. wanna hear me play..?

You couldn't spare a few creds..? Not really sure where I parked my ship..

o7
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Re: 3055: A Space Odyssey

Postby SockFiddler » Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:00 pm

The slightly transparent bright pink Mamba zooms overhead in an impossibly showy fly-by. As soon as it seems to clear our noses, it flips onto its side and flicks its nose up just enough to skim a huge rock cliff. It then rights itself, flips nose-to-tail and makes another flyby. The noise is tremendous - of both the other audience members and the ship they are watching from within one of Nari's holobubbles - but the hubbub has rendered me anonymous.

A few more minutes of cool-looking, flyby antics and the holosphere fades; the iridescent pink of my mamba's hull shimmering into the walls of the large conference room around us. I clear my throat, but the 12 or so people keep talking in great excitement. I glance over at Ithallius, annoyed and tired of this nonsense already but he shrugs and tilts his head back to the people who hum excitedly. I roll my eyes and stand up.

"Hey..." I say. I am ignored.

"HEY!" I shout more loudly. There is a brief pause as the room of pilots glance at me, make a quick assessment of my significance based upon my appearance (tatty mauve and blue flight suit covered in grease, pink, almost-cut-into-a-'hawk hair, a tired scowl upon my oil-stained face), decide I must be janitorial staff, and resume their muttering. I activate the holobubble and write the following missive in bright pink letters in the VR-sphere:

"THIS IS CMDR SOCKFIDDLER.

If you wanna fly like me in ships like mine? Be back here in 2 days.

And next time, shut the fuck up, dicks."


I shoot a shrug of indifference at Ithallius, grab my Galacta-pressed, fresh ground, Lyran vanilla-and-whatever, Homo Erectus, Fuck-I-Miss-Booze Vente coffee and stalk out to the landing bays where my communicator beeps.

"You're not done," growls Ithallius.

"I fly spaceships. Get Nari to wrangle your kindergarteners."

"Not how it works."

"Oh yeah?"

"They have questions."

"Tell them to write them down in their bestest handwriting. Remind them to use capital letters and full stops."

"Socks..."

"Ithy..." I have learned that, of all the things I have ever called Dickbag, Scrote-Sucker, Galaxy-Fuck-Hole, Face-Sitter Ithallius, "Ithy" (said really slowly "Iiiiiiiittttttthhhhhhhhhhyyyyyy") annoys him by far the most. I save it for special and use this super-power carefully.

"I'll take this job seriously when, one, everyone else in the room is as sobre as you insist I have to be. And, two, you explain to me what the fuck you did to my thrusters."

"I've told you bef-"

"And three... I just don't fucking care, okay. I just... don't care." And with that, I break Rulo Numero Uno and turns my coms off. And then I lock the hangar door, and then I barricade it just in case. Because: Me Time.

I don't understand my life currently and I don't like it. I'm not sad, I'm just not... happy. I'm not unwell or ailing or struggle in any way, I just... I have this absolute inability to engage with the current events of my life on any level.

This job, for example. We race, we read data, we practise, we race. On and on. But I don't get why. Why do we need this reputation? And how do we keep winning? Like, we don't win every race but I've steadily built a reputation for being the Sol-Born maverick who came outa nowhere to threaten domination of the racing scene here in Sirius and, well, it makes no fucking sense to me.

In combat, though I flew primarily with my instinct, I still understood what was happening: I could read the other pilots' moves, understand how their ships were set up. But in this racing scene? I still cannot explain how I keep winning. And when I raise it to "Iiiiittttthhhhhhyyyyy" I get "You're better and faster than they are" which is bullshit: I've seen their spec and I'm far less experienced.

So I can only think I'm being palmed off. But why?

The ship - my Mamba - is good, lovingly maintained, attentively balanced and treated. And, it turns out, while sober I'm a fairly fucking good jock. But we're up against people who have been building and outfitting these types of ships for years and years and who have been flying them for as long, and there's no way - even given natural talent and obscene luck - that I should be finishing in the top 3 with the regularity that I am.

Yet I have checked and rechecked the data: I have watched all the footage: each victory or placed finished looks clean and honest, from the fuel analysis and deep telemetry readings to the post-race interviews with the other competitors. No-one suspects anything, which makes me suspect everything.

Now Ithallius is touting me to all and sundry, using Nari's holobubble tech to give spectators an up-close-and-personal view of my recent performances (most of those stunts I pulled were flukes, truth be told. I should have died many times over. That I haven't yet also makes me suspicious) and to get them to sign up and sponsor the team.

That's right, we're an official racing team now: "Cynosure".

We don't need the money. I don't like the attention. And yet, every week now, Ithallius manages to get dozens of people signing up to what he's calling "The first genuinely people-sponsored Sirius racing team in 15 decades." Pithy, eh? And then I get wheeled out as the star attraction to glad-hand and talk with fake excitement about some upcoming tour or who did my paint job (I'm no longer allowed to do this myself) or...

I don't hate this life. I just don't understand it. And I'm not made for fame. I don't want to sign autographs and have people scream "SOCKS!" across a busy concourse (though that WAS fun for a while, I admit). I saw what Mira went through with her modest level of celebrity and it was more than enough for me.

My silenced communicator flashes the code for Nari. She's pissed: I know she's pissed. But I just wanna sit here, under my mamba, fiddling about with the throttle for an hour or two, shower and then slee-

"PAGING CMDR SOCKFIDDLER: SockFiddler: You're blowing this, turn your coms back on." announces the automated coriolis voice. The robotoic tones boom throughout the station; in every room, every hallway, every space.

For fuck's sake.

I suddenly miss Mira. That first time we met, me hunched under a DBX staring at a datapad. She was so dynamic and joyful. She was also a fucking bitch, don't get me wrong - difficult and contrary - but she'd never have done, well... a station-wide critical page. I roll my eyes and sigh.

"Signal," I murmur at a nearby panel. A light flashes to indicate that the internal Coriolis AI is listening. "Notify last page sender that SockFiddler rogers and will status "On" all comms." The panel flashes one single time more.

I don't understand any of this. I don't know how to be excited about it. What I am certain of is that this is exactly the life Nari had hoped for for me: the glamorous lot of a sober, functional racing pilot, beloved by all, capable, responsible and, best of all, completely answerable to her

Truth is, though, this is Nari's dream, not mine. I miss fun. I miss booze. I miss the thrill of a close-up dogfight against a much bigger vessel.




I miss the A-Team.
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Re: 3055: A Space Odyssey

Postby SockFiddler » Wed Jun 10, 2020 4:25 pm

Lucifer, throughout the history of mankind, has been a name associated with a certain kind of danger; temptation; a thrill but, ultimately, deadly.

It has been used to describe the planet Venus in the Sol system, a rocky body that long-eluded man's early attempts to explore and reveal the Earth's closest neighbours in our original home system; a body whose very nature caused at once exceptionally beautiful vistas while remeaining utterly toxic to life.

It was also used by a religious sect to describe one of their god's most beloved children who was cast out of Eden after rebelling against his father, and who then devoted himself to wreaking chaos, destruction and temptation upon his father's other creations - according to this philosophy - mankind, by making a naked woman eat an apple and turning into a.... snake?

I dunno: the details are kinda fuzzy.

Anyway. "Lucifer" means "Light Bringer" in some ancient tongue, but also demon, bringer of temptation and fallen seraphim (a kind of angel, itself a kind of god with feathery wings coming out of his back? Again, I dunno - I got this out of some fucking book of Nari's). In any case, it's a powerful name for anything, particularly a metal-rich rocky planet in the Sirius system which is the beating (throbbing?) heart of the Mamba Racing Scene.

Lucifer, the planet located in the Sirius system, is largely untouched in terms of development, but has many dozens of well-established tracks for training, testing, vehicle development, repair and, of course, racing. The courses are designated and graded according to use and difficulty, with some of them even requiring specific permits earned through race victories upon other courses. The racing scene here is vibrant, aggressive and a season can break or ruin a person, bring you riches beyond imagination or destroy you utterly.

In terms of a fallen god; a bringer of temptation; a thrilling danger; a deadly beauty, Lucifer has been perfectly named.

https://youtu.be/HvrEFpmxZVM

I am not in my mamba currently, but, instead, flying my fancy new Krait Mk 2, a ship I have fallen deeply in love with, refuse to share with anyone (not even Nari), have engineered and tinkered with entirely by myself and am entirely and completely trusting of. She is called "Slippery When Wet" (Imagine the eye-rolling!) and is a throbbing, labial pink colour. I am the only person who has ever been aboard her and she is mine, mine, mine.

Today me and "Slippers" (Because I'm called Socks, geddit? Har har har) are hovering just above a medium-length, low-challenge track on Lucifer's surface. It is a relatively regular shape with 2 steady banks, one steep turn and one long, slow roll as well as some interesting - but not dangerous - inclines.

On the ground beneath me are three ships: a cobra, a viper and a vulture. The viper I have already discounted, but I can't be bothered to tell the dude to piss off and, besides, it'll be interesting to see how the other two handle a moving obstacle.

"Again," I say into the coms. "Positions... go."

The three ships beneath me lurch forward and start moving along the track, then the cobra stops. The vulture streaks ahead, but breaks too hard at the turn and is quickly caught by the viper. The two vie for position until the track straightens out again, then the vulture reclaims its lead. Meanwhile, the cobra is still no more than 200m off the starting line.

I open coms to the pilot.

"Systems failure?"

"Er... hang on... bear with me. Just a- no! WAIT, um, hang on..." The cobra shoots forward, then rocks from side to side, then flashes its lights.

"You need a minute buddy?"

"It's just... no, I think I've got it... yep, I just need to-"

Burners fire in the back of the little cobra and the machine streaks forward. Once in motion, the ship is handled deftly: the straight lines are smooth with speed handled well and with ease, while the approach to the corners takes a naturally good line, altitude and pitch all good, the engines firing at the right time without any over-braking.

I have to admit: this guy's kind of a wreck until he gets on the throttle (sound familiar?), but then... well, that little cobra is gaining on the vulture and the viper. 2 more laps and he'll have a solid lead.

"Viper, move aside," I murmur.

"Negative! I can win..."

"Viper, power down. You're done here. Move aside."

"No fucking way, I can win this thing."

"There's nothing to win. This isn't a race. Power down or I shoot out your engines." I deploy hardpoints on the krait and target his engines to show I'm not messing around. The viper doesn't say another word - he just noses up, boosts into orbit and then flashes away into supercruise.

"Vulture, Cobra. Return to One. Let's go again."

"Roger," says Vulture.

"Er, yep... just a... where was that again?" says Cobra.

"Follow Vulture - he'll show you." I'm being patient. Honest, I am.

"Ah, yes. I'm on my way. Will just be a sec- oh! Wait... there's a light. Hang on..."

This guy: what a clusterfuck. But, shit on my shoes, he can fucking fly.

Some hours later and I've seen all I want to see: I've pushed, cajoled and done my best to bore, annoy and exhaust these two, and they're stood up to everything I've asked of them. Following my oh-so-inspirational recruitment drive the other day, 6 pilots showed up. 2 were 'conda pilots, there to prove... whatever the fuck 'conda pilots need to prove to everyone. One was an ex-racer thinking we needed some kind of tactical engineering (read: smart-assery) input, and the other three were the ones I took down to Lucifer to try to burn them out.

Begrudgingly impressed, I invite them to meet me at my favourite haunt on Patterson Enterprise: a rather fabulously outfitted library with acrylic-paged books, holotapes and musical entries as well as the most comprehensive section on anthropology and female sexuality outside of Sol ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS RIGHT NOW?! OF COURSE IT'S A BAR.

I meet them in a bar. It is called "The Morning Star" (*Another name for Venus. Clever.)

"Vulture" is, at first glance, more than 6-and-a-half feet tall, incredibly handsome with dark brown hair, steely-grey eyes and cheekbones you could chisel stone with. His actual call sign is "Tagslack" and I am reading his brief bio as he enters - saunters, really - in. He reaches the bar, without looking around for me, orders, throws what is delivered back, orders another and it is only when this second glass is in his hand that he turns to look for me.

I can respect a post-flight drinker, not gonna lie.

Tagslack is just approaching - sauntering over to - my table when I see the fellow who, I am guessing, is "Klausy" the cobra pilot enter the bar. He peers through the doorway, all beard and glasses on a pleasant, jolly face, before stepping deliberately over the threshold. He almost instantly trips over nothing, and, until he reaches the bar, is in a state of both vocal and physical discombobulation, constantly tripping over his feet while uttering a string of sounds: "Oh, whoops! Ha, sorry! No... bugger... excuse me- whoops, I'll buy you an- no? Very goo- Oh! Sod it."

I find I like this fellow "Klausy" very much indeed.

Some moments later and the three of us are settled at a table, all doing the jock thing where we size each other up, mentally sorting ourselves out into some tacit hierarchy. And then the weirdest thing happens: Tagslack's face flickers.

"Did you see that?!" exclaims Klausy, taking off his glasses and peering through them in the way people do when they think there's some dirt on them. Why he hasn't had remedial surgery and wears glasses...

"Hmm?" says Tag.

"You flickered," I say.

"No I didn't."

"Yeah, you did... you're doing it again," says Klausy. "Right now... look, you're flickering!"

Sure enough, like when your power priorities aren't quite right and your HUD flickers just before it loses power, Tagslack's entire appearance is now flickering and shimmering.

"Bollocks," replies Tags defiantly.

I lean forward and peer at him more closely. There's a strange quality to his appearance, almost as if... I reach out to touch his hair. He jumps away from me with a start.

"I don't like being touched," he says defensively.

"Just your hair..." I say.

"Look... I can see through you now!" says Klausy with a surprise laugh.

Both Klausy and I lean forward to peer again at Tags. Sure enough, the brightly flashing lights of the jukebox behind him are just about visible through his left temple. And as we stare, suddenly we can see the barman through Tags' right shoulder.

"What the actual fuck?" muses Klausy.

Tags crosses his arms and stands there, looking defiant. And increasingly transparent.

"Are you wearing..." I start, but I'm smiling and trying my very hardest not to giggle at my new recruit.

"No," says Tags, in a proper sulk now.

"No, seriously, dude... are you wearing a holo-"

"I'm just being me. It's a Thargoid thing," snarks Tags.

"Nah, you're wearing a holobelt, right?"

Tags says nothing.

"And the batteries are running out," adds Klausy.

"I am not," says Tags haughtily.

"Yeah, dude, you totally are!" and now I'm laughing and slapping my hand on the table because, even as we talk, Tagslack's holobelt's battery is dying and revealing his actual appearance: maybe 5' 2" of paunchy, stubbly, balding, swarthy, now annoyed-looking man. His hair is greying and cut short, his eyes are a mottled green colour. And while he's not a bad looking fellow, it's certainly a brutal transition from the off-world stud-hammer that entered the bar. He looks at the door: I think he might actually leave.

"For fucks' sake," laughs Klausy. "Amazing."

Tags actually growls a this, but I cut him off. "Oh, sit down, have another fucking drink. It's far from the dumbest thing I've seen from someone I've flown with. Lemme tell you sometime about this FAS with a fucking large rail gun sticking out the canopy. Come on..."

"Fine," says Tagslack, "But don't tell anyone."

Klausy and I exchange glances and roll our eyes before ordering more drinks.

"So, Stud," I say, winking at Tags and smiling at Klausy, "You wanna get hired?"

Klausy is beaming too broadly to be able to speak, and Tagslack appears to be lost in thought at my job offer, so I leave them for a moment to eye up some kind of commotion at the door. A sandy-haired man dressed in a bright red boiler suit is pushing a huge trolley laden with several boxes and metal cases. I recognise at least one of the boxes: it is a blast from the past and I am uncertain how I feel about it.

I cannot move as the fellow spies me and wheels his laden trolley to me. Judging by the reactions of my two companions, I am not looking like I am okay with this: Klausy asks after me while Tagslack unholsters his gun (HE HAS A FUCKING GUN?! I file that away for later).

"Uh, delivery for..." says the man in the jumpsuit. He is slight and pokey, like someone forgot to smooth his edges after they made his face. His sandy hair flops over his eyes and I find I am wondering - with surprising intensity - whether that's the outline of a beard I see upon his chin, or just the shadow cast by overhead lighting. "... Socks? Is that right? Uh..."

And then I'm aware that all three of them are waiting for me. So I nod, unable to speak, and swallow dryly: I know what's in those boxes. I know who they're from. I know why they're being delivered to me.

It's my dead girlfriend's shit.

It's Mira's inheritance.
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Re: 3055: A Space Odyssey

Postby Klausy » Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:42 pm

Well this is annoyingly accurate...

:lol:

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Re: 3055: A Space Odyssey

Postby SockFiddler » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:07 am

Poor Tags...
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Re: 3055: A Space Odyssey

Postby SockFiddler » Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:09 am

"Not here," I growl to the delivery guy in the bar, who stares blankly at me - at once annoyed and exhausted. "My ship's in bay 25. Let's do this there."

"Shall we..?" starts Tags, half-rising from his chair. I throw him a look that makes his offer die in his throat.

"Sit the fuck down. I'll find you both tomorrow," I bite at the two new hires. Tags nods; Klausy, to his credit, looks concerned. I don't have time for it right now and nod to the delivery guy: "Follow, fucker." Then I realise that neither my tone nor my words are really that conducive to a positive resolution of this most uneasy situation so I throw a shrug at the jumpsuit guy and murmur, "Sorry."

The Jumpsuit Guy tips his head, acknowledging the apology but absolutely not giving a flying fuck about it and indicates with his head that I should lead the way.

Fucking Mira. Literally.

As we make our way to the hangar where my Krait is stored, I message Nari, Ithallius and the Coriolis system to verify the delivery guy's credentials. I don't talk to him at all: I have nothing against the guy, but I'm edgy and unhappy and angry and I feel like a fucking idiot for not having expected this - Mira's last fucking laugh - before it landed on me.

We reach my Krait, I open up her cargo door and nod the guy inside. He parks the trolley of crates and boxes, settles himself to one side of the bay and glances at me before whispering into his coms. When I throw him a questioning look he tiredly replies, "There's more."

"Seriously?"

"Another load like this. And a large box, too."

"How large?"

"Human size," he says - there's not even the hint of a smirk when he makes his reply.

"Human-" Oh fuuuuuck.

I scrape my hands over my eyes and then scrub my scalp with my fingertips. I eye this guy - early 40's, tidy enough if a little scraggly and pointy - there's something sharp about his attention, even through his exhaustion. And it's clear he's exhausted and jangly and really doesn't want to be here. I sigh, shake my head, fumble about in a locker for two beers, pass him one and settle on a ledge.

"You know what's in them?" I ask, indicating the trolley with the neck of my bottle before taking a long draught.

"Yeah," he replies. I nod.

"Can't believe you didn't just shove it all in some storage thing somewhere," I say.

"Not allowed. Direct delivery. Was tricky, mind," he says, drinking from his own bottle. The booze brings him no relief.

"Oh yeah?"

"You're officially dead."

"Oh fuck, yeah. I'd forgotten about that. How'd you find me?"

"Nari at The Wet Spot. You bought the bar, she manages it and is listed as your inheritor. She directed me here to make delivery personally."

"Oh yeah? She saw what's inside?" I have to admit, the thought amuses me: Nari literally rifling through all of Mira's... stuff.

"She was... uh... She understood the situation," he says. I smile. He smirks, lifts his bottle and looks away while he drinks.

"So you found me. And there's more. Why didn't you just dump them? Mira's dead - it's not..." I trail off: at the mention of Mira's demise, this fellows face visibly falls. In fact, he looks grief-stricken for a moment. I find I'm moved by his expression. He's the first person I've met who loved her besides me.

"It's okay, buddy," I say, softly, "I'm sorry."

He sighs, nods and finishes his beer. I stand to pass him another one and when he takes it, I move to stand next to the trolley of crates. I reach out and open the top one, the one she always brought with her in my now-defunct vulture. I click open the release clips and look inside.

Gleaming and pristine as new, there they are: seven of Mira's favourite dildos, all wrapped in silk and carefully packaged in foam. I have powerful memories of every single one of these, and I stare mutely at them for a while, clearing my throat carefully and daring myself to keep my shit together.

The courier, to be fair, stands, brushes his hand over my shoulder in support, and then crosses to the other side of the hangar to give me some privacy. I am only able to look into two more cases before I feel my resolve crumble. There's the huge thargoid tentacle that will restrain and penetrate according to its owner's voice commands. There's the "Fuck the Feds" clenched fist that we made good use of during a trip to The Dweller (not WITH the Dweller, pervs). There must be nine boxes and crates of carefully packed, very expensive, specialist sex toys here. And the courier said there was another stack just like it.

And Mira has bequeathed them all to me.

"Fucking hell," I murmur, turning to the courier with a tired sense of sadness. "Just... shit."

He nods. "The second lot are more specialist. Rare items that will require particular care and attention."

"Oh?"

"You'll see," he says, "It'll all make sense when they arrive."

"You seem to know a lot about them," I murmur, fetching us two more beers. I reckon, when receiving an enormous and specialised collection of fuck toys from a man I've never met who also mourns the dead girlfriend who has gifted them to me, it's probably best to be drinking at the same time. He seems to agree, readily accepting the beer and drinking deeply before replying to me.

"I'm the collection's curator."

I spit my beer across the room. "The whaa?"

"I curate the collection."

"Wait... the... hang on." This cannot be happening. Mira had so many sex toys that they needed someone to actively manage them? Really?!

Fuck the beer: I march over to the courier / curator, snatch his beer off him, toss it away then open a hidden panel behind which is stashed a crate of good, fine, rare booze. I grab blindly, tear the cork out with my teeth, spit it across the hangar and drink deeply: sobriety might be my New Big Thing, but I feel I gotta hang out with an old friend called Drunken Oblivion tonight. Once I've had my swig, I pass the bottle to the courier / curator.

"Tell me everything," I tell the guy, reaching into the stash for another bottle. The fucking thing has been in there so long, the conduit it's been next to has slightly marked the label.

And with that, the courier / curator starts to talk. For brevity's sake, I'll sum his shit up now:

Stanton Whatever-the-Fuck was given to Mira as a bodyguard (Empire slave, see? Huzaah!), fuck toy, dogs body, personal courier, spy for her family when she was... however the fuck old. He'd been with her for years and years and had long since decided that the good times he enjoyed being part of Mira's retinue far outweighed the extra money he was paid by Mira's family to report back on whatever bullshittery she was up to from one moment to the next.

Part of his new loyalty binge was to detail to Mira exactly what he'd reported back to the Fam Back Home and when, noting they had been especially interested in romantic entanglements, of which there had been plenty. Mira, always moved by a good confession, had "punished" Stanton's previous betrayal by making him the official curator of her expansive and highly specialised sex toy collection. And thus he had a window into all the most personal and intimate details of her life while she finally had a confidante.

The sex tape was a scheme the pair of them had cooked up together when her family, having discovered that Stanton was no longer their man, had threatened Mira with an arranged marriage to some fucking dreadful just-retired Federation asshole. In fact, Stanton was holding the camera while Mira fucked Amy on Aisling's dining table in the Jade Palace.

Kinky fucker.

Post sex-tape, Mira had left Stanton behind to manage her shit, trusting him to look after her affairs when she came to find, fly with and fuck me. And he had harboured hopes that, perhaps, Mira had found someone to settle and be happy with. At this revelation I snort in derision and then weep for a moment.

Upon learning of Mira's death, he had carried out her final wishes: delivering her stuff to the people she had intended it to go to after her demise. Lots of hilarious ("hilarious"?) deliveries later and Stanton was down to his last drop: Mira's sex toy collection which Stanton had spent the last 8 years curating and caring for and to which he'd become most attached.

"So you see," he says sadly, "You take delivery and that's that."

"Don't they..." I start to say, but I feel like an asshole, "Don't they still need to be, you know... Need caring for?"

He eyes me sadly and shrugs. "I dunno. She wasn't specific. I don't want to be separated from them, really, but I don't know..."

"You don't think you need to come with the collection?" We glance at each other and wait for one of us to finish the joke hanging in the air between us. Eventually I give an awkward wink and smile as I say, "Like Mira did?"

He looks at me, slightly confused but manages a half-smile as he blows out his cheeks. "Some of the pieces are very special. But... It wasn't the only thing I did for her," he says. "I mean, it's not, you know... that big." And then, like a true champion, he gives me an awkward wink of his own.

"No, well, of course not," I reply, stifling a laugh: I need to hire this guy. I need him in my life. "I mean, how many could she even get through in a single day, right?" A pause: we both know the answer to that question, let's be honest. I try to steer to a safe flight plan. "What else did you do?"

"I flew. I mean, I fly."

"Oh yeah?" I perk up a little at this. "How's that?"

"I'm the personal courier to one of the members of The First Family. You think I don't know how to handle myself?"

Heh... Interesting.

"Combat?"

"Whatever's needed," he dryly replies. Interesting.

"So what about joining my personal crew, on this ship. And staying with the collection at the same time?"

Stanton looks at me, searching my face for a long moment. "Go on..." he eventually says.

"Look, normal pay rates, but you'll have your own cabin and-"

"Excuse me," he says, holding up his hand, "I don't care about any of that stuff."

"No? What do you care about then?"

"There's... in the collection. There's something I've grown very attached to. I'd like unlimited..." he shuffles in mild discomfort. I smirk and let him continue. "I'd like unlimited access and-"

"And use?" I helpfully interject. He winces at the word.

"And permission for this one piece."

Oh Stanton, you nasty boy. How fucking perfect: I inherited a perv from my dead girlfriend. As Klausy would say: "For fuck's sake. Amazing."

"What is it? The thargoid tentacle? The Neutron Jump Boost?"

"It's..."

"Oh come on, Stanton, you might as well tell me. You're going to be living here with it anyway."

"With her."

"Excuse me?"

"I'll be joining your crew and living with Her."

"Who is "her"?" I ask carefully. The answer, when it comes, does not disappoint.

"A special piece. A... She's a..." He stares at his feet but his hands model a female form in the air in front of him. Oh. My. Fucking. Fuck.

"She a boner-doll, isn't she, Stanton?"

Stanton is about to reply when a short siren announces a new arrival in the bay. Exactly on cue arrives the next load of toys and the human-sized crate. Well, let's be honest, who among us wasn't half-expecting fucking Mira to be in the human sized fucking box?! Stanton starts forward and gets that coffin-crate open in a jiffy. And there, in perpetual stasis, is a blue-haired, big-breasted, wide-mouthed whore toy that looks, to all extents and purposes, exactly like Aisling Duval.

Image

"Oh, Stanton," I breathe as I stroke the doll's hair, "She's pretty. What's her name? WAIT, can I guess?"

"No, please stop." I giggle and trace a finger over her perfectly-cast mouth.

"Is it... Mercedes? Porsche? What other old vehicle manufacturers were there... Volvo?"

"Please, stop." Something in Stanton's voice is sharp and hurting and it catches my attention, bringing my teasing to an immediate end. No matter what else is going on in this man's life - his very real pain for losing Mira, for example - he is irrefutably in love with this automaton. I nod and withdraw my hand, muttering an apology: we all have our weird shit and Stanton's is his fuck doll.

"Please meet Beaujolais," he says, a note of pride catching in his throat.

I nod. I can't help myself. "Because she comes just once a year?" Har har har.

His official expression is a disapproving scowl. But there is a twinkle in his eyes that belies his gentle amusement. I squeeze his arm and nod.

"So, uh, this ship is kinda of, you know, a big deal for me," I say, trying to get professional for a moment, "Maybe you wanna, I dunno, cope with me? Or I can get a bay installed and you can fly a gooey or-"

I glance over to Stanton. He's giving Beaujolais a loving kiss on the cheek and the following after me as I ascend from the cargo bay deeper into the Krait. "A fighter would be fine," he replies, "I'd prefer a Taipan."

I glance at him questioningly.

"I was a Fed pilot and was taken as chattel after a Empire-space incursion that we finished on the wrong side of."

"Seriously..?" He nods. Christ. I can't wait to get drunk with this dick and hear what the fuck other stories he's hiding away. "Well, Taipan and fighter bay. I'll look at getting them installed, you know... soon."

"I can take care of that, Ma'am," says Stanton.

"OH OKAY," I say, stopping and turning to him. "Look, you loved Mira, I loved Mira. I fucked Mira and you cleaned up after me. There's no fucking "Ma'am" bullshit here. You fly your thing when told to, help out when you can and do what you like with Fake Aisling over there the rest of the time. None of this formality bullshit, okay?"

He nods. I relent, pleased that that's taken care of.

"Use this bay here for the fighter installation, I guess. You can quarter beneath - there's enough room there for, you know... all your, uh... yeah." I glance back at the doll. I lack the vocabulary, the politeness to be all cool and shit; I guess it's going to just take some time.

Time.

Time to move along. Time to do my shit again. Time to be part of something I own. Time to wake up.

I direct Stanton to find some space for the toys and get that all sorted and thumb the coms to get Klausy and Tags' attention.

Time to fly, motherfuckers.

https://youtu.be/vGThECQmSpI
Last edited by SockFiddler on Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:38 am, edited 3 times in total.
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CMDR: Dudley_Dawg
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Re: 3055: A Space Odyssey

Postby Dudley » Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:12 pm

Nothing unusual here.. move along now.

Are you going to finish that beer..?
As a tribute to Tor, my CMDR has small feet too! o7 Dawg


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