Operation
Double Trouble
[ Editors Note: This message was found without any information regarding its provenance. I post it here, in part, for your information but with the caveat that nothing in here has been vetted. There are fantastic claims made herein and I leave to to the reader to separate fact from fiction. I apologize for the brevity, the original was much longer and in need of trimming. I have burned the original. ]

Our mission seems simple enough - a secret rendezvous with some civilian cargo ships and a recon of the star systems. This promises to be a easy night out exploring the stellar neighborhood and I am riding a gorgeous old monster of a ship: Catastrophe. I expect wonderful things out of her as she passes all preflight checks with flying colors and it is with great pride that I choose what I am informed is the former flagship.

There can be no grander launch to be had than ours while still doing a silent running - using airlocks normally reserved for incoming dignitaries. This is an auspicious start to our mission! I marvel at the audacity of my mission leader, there would be few who would dare attempt such a maneuver alone, never mind under the watchful eye of the Fleet Admiral.

We take roll call at the [ REDACTED ], in the rear lot away from prying eyes. There are only the two of us and it seems perfunctory, but discipline must be maintained! There are no christenings or maggots to haze and we begin our mission comforted by the knowledge that years of ceremony have been kept alive for another evening. I only wish others could witness our steadfast adherence and share in the joy of belonging to such a rich and storied culture. Perhaps another day we will see such flights passed down to us in lore only: 30-40 ships, flying abreast - a force of goodness to be marveled at and revered. Tonight though it is just us, our sonic thrusters and our dreams.

Fleet Admirals orders have just been relayed to me - we are to head out immediately to the rendezvous point, for we are already late. As we are traveling there, I am wondering about the mission leader - his speed is inhuman and he signals in an ancient fashion. I resolve to inquire about these items when first we stop, but for the moment I must focus on keeping my ship upright and at speed, it seems this ship requires more of her pilot than I first expected. I hope Catastrophe is not a harbinger of this evening's events.

We arrive! There are a dazzling array of aliens and transports for such a secret meeting, but we are instantly recognized and welcomed with cheers and claps. We hide our ships behind the massive cargo transports, their bulk providing ideal shelter for all long range sensors. Galactic Patrol is to be feared in this quadrant as the civilian traders we are meeting are not strictly licensed. I marvel at these traders, they have constructed the most wonderful pieces of art imaginable - turning whole ships into galleries for the viewing! I am almost giddy with excitement but, curiously, my stalwart companion instead chooses to engage in banter with a local. How can he be immune to the illicit delights offered by these rogues? There is a recreation of Alice in Wonderland and even an alien dating pod - just to name a few! Wondrous sights for any pilot, but he is remarkably unaffected. This bears closer scrutiny as I am beginning to suspect my assumptions about him are wrong. Is he a robot? An alien species that has evolved in tandem with humans? I will keep my suspicions to myself for the moment and instead resolve to not inquire directly. I might be afraid of the answer.

With much fanfare we are departing the gathering but curiously we circle back twice for what I can only assume is to throw off any pursuers. It appears to be successful and once again I forget my questions about my mission leader in favor of keeping my ship running and upright. We crush cups! We hi-five! But all through this the speed he maintains is unnatural and the timing of the lights seems to be a subtle attempt to keep me unbalanced so as to not notice anything else that would make me question his humanity; but question I do, and frequently. I am even more convinced he is a super human.

Somehow, through a dizzying blur of thruster compensators and civilian transports (I have no idea how we arrive), we are passing through the north point park system and I think 'finally, a reprieve!' - but it is not to be for with a single utterance, my guide summons forth from the ether a dazzling Star Bridge gilded in solar prominences! With awe I follow him as we ascend the ribbon of light before us. Though it defies inspection itself, I realize that there are tremendous forces being held at bay, forces so powerful that, were they to be unleashed, every atom of my being would be instantly rendered to the base components and I would cease to exist. I also conceive the thought that I would not just disappear in space, but (and I shudder at this thought) in Time as well - never to be born! Who is this being before me, capable of harnessing the fundamental forces of the universe, as if it were merely a foal hand raised from birth? I can see the worlds both above and below me, it is almost as if I am bisecting this plane of existence - witnessing life happening all around me through a veil. I wonder what we must look like to the creatures on the other side, two travelers on a rift of light arching through the night sky - or can they even see us at all? Perhaps their consciousness, when faced with such an impossibility before it, retreats to the safety of the known, the more mundane? Sadly, I am forced to give up all conjectures along this line - my attention is drawn to my thrusters straining at the new forces dancing across the ships bow. I start to grow slightly concerned with the name of my chosen ship - is this the reason the black pit of doom has been growing in my stomach? No! We have cheated death! We hit a gravity well and suddenly find ourselves in another world entirely! This is science as I have not experienced before - science or magic, I cannot differentiate. The wonder is beginning to wear off and I grow concerned about how we will get back to the star system - I am not convinced I have the fuel necessary to traverse the distances between.

It is a fleeting thought though for, almost as if he could read my mind he summons the chariot of time and space yet again! Is he toying with my sanity - how can one possibly witness this twice!? And surely it strains credulity that I could survive TWO trips through a vortex of such colossal energies? As we again enter the unholy arch my biggest fear is realized and my thrusters immediately start to stall. I am forced to put the engines on impulse power and I am barely able to maintain forward thrust - drifting port and starboard as if a drunkard were at the helm. I am trailing further behind - will I be forgotten, left to my own fate? I imagine the bridge eventually collapsing upon me in a violent unleashing of the pent up forces as, my aegis gone, I will have to suffer their vengeful wrath for the unnatural state they had been forced into. Was this the plan all along? Was a sacrifice required to appease the Gods? How else could such an untrussed structure cleave through space and time if not with their expressed consent? And, having given their reluctant consent, would the expectation of a simple toll be that fantastic? I take solace that the assured death awaiting me will be as clean and as simple as any that might be wished for; Pelletie himself couldn't ask for a better sentence. It is not to be though! My protector is hovering ahead - beckoning, the fires of the energy eddies suffusing him with a radiance that is almost too brilliant to behold, and I am suddenly filled with renewed vigor for the task at hand. With my whole body I concentrate on eking out enough power to make it to the gravity well that I know is there waiting for me and, when it comes, it is with welcome relief as I am back in familiar space! The miracle we experienced disappears behind me as silently as it appeared and we are again on our way - the Gods will have to wait another day for their ghastly toll.

I have barely any fuel left, the bridge took the last of it from me and I must ask the god-entity I am tailing for a quick stop. We pull up to an oasis in the Kendall system for a refueling and I try to test the boundaries of this herculean deity masquerading as a mortal. I offer him some fruit snacks, he will not have them. Not only will not have them, he inspects them as if he has not seen them before! A clue! I offer some homemade granola and he is about to defer but I think he realizes he made a blunder and instead takes the bag and has a handful. I see no issue with his consumption, it looks human enough - he is good. I can spare no more on inspection though and instantly devour my the fuel I brought with me, keeping an ever watchful eye on him. He comments on the lack of radiation this evening, I nod appreciatively while silently convinced it is because he desired it. Is there nothing beyond the will of this creature?

We start up again, but it is a subdued atmosphere. It is late, the cold of space seems to seep into every crack and even the sonic disruptors seem affected. I can feel the fuel, but it doesn't appear to be making it to my thrusters like it should - fear of being unable to navigate the tight shipping lanes with sufficient dexterity forces me to signal the unflappable leader/God Emeritus to wind us down and bring us back to the Fort, cups having been crushed as well as dreams.

We do the closing ceremony with sufficient deference, but lacking the alacrity we started with. We are parking our ships and I can only hope that next time we ride together I am of stauncher mettle. I am about to say my goodbyes and I am accosted with a hug! A hug! How could I have forgotten about hugs!? Instantly I am revived! Mission Report? Yes, I will do that! It will be the most complete and wonderful mission report ever!
Pilot Ship Points Promotion
DrClaw Yer Mom 950.608   Rear Admiral, Upper Half
Instigator Catastrophe 466.356   Petty Officer 1st Class
Mission Task Pilot
Airlock DrClaw
Deck Officer DrClaw
Flat Bag Instigator
Mission Leader DrClaw
Mission Reporter Instigator
Navigator DrClaw
RadioBox A DrClaw
Still Cam DrClaw
Tailgunner Instigator
Tool Bag DrClaw
Division: MAD
Date: 05/25/2013
Status: Success 
Origin: Fort Tyler
Destination: Alien Caravan in The Icy Depths
Light Years: 11.2969
G-Well Activity: 2.216
Technical Rating: 1.018