We launched safely after dusk, 11 ships and 12 pilots strong. (Where is our ghost 13th?) Our squad was 1/3 HARV, 1/6 bomber, and 1/12 whatever ReFLEX is.
A show of hands identified vampires and werewolves, and derision followed: you're gonna turn to dust at sunrise! Yeah? when that moon sets you're gonna change back into Bane Thunderbro.
Outbound we flew through unaccustomed systems such as Malden, Saugus -- is that even a place? -- and Salem. Snacks were secured, including surprise cookie molecules emitted from a graduation party. There were a lot of bunnies but we did not eat any. People in Lynn honk like crazy, whole blocks in chorus, and people in Salem definitely need more excitement in their lives.
There was one major mechanical in which Truxy's primary thruster failed. Sewer showed great forethought in bringing not only an extra plasma casing but also a spare thruster, and after a rapid replacement our spectral convoy rolled on.
We traversed the Northern Strand wormhole under ever-more-gothic clouds and moons, keeping pace although long stretches of it are unpaved and turbulent. We cruised the Dock Tattoos with interest, though without finding any restrooms.
Fueled by Deadblow's deliciously morbid playlist, we continued over rolling space terrain to Singing Beach at System "Manchester-by-the-Sea". There we ate snacks and disobeyed as many regulations as possible, and 2 1/2 pilots heard the call of the ocean deeps. (Wombat being the half. The lower half.) Also at this site Bane Thunderwolf predicted, then discovered Luna Porta-Potty, whereupon Civitron rejoiced and realized all his dreams. (Threespeed gave it 5 out of 5: would poop again.)
In most frightening event of this mission, while leaving the beach we rode beside a walled verge for some distance, and there was a bunny trapped between the fleet and the wall. It ran to the left, it ran to the right, but there was no cover and no escape. The terrified lepine gave up on all it held dear, turned back to the street as the fleet thundered by, sat up with paws and ears akimbo, bared its fangs and prepared to meet its fate. We don't eat rabbits (they could be space weevil) but I'd like to give it a medal of Valour because how would it know that.
We returned toward base, holding a strong pace over much of the same terrain. But we were not bored because everything looks different from the other side, and we were able to skip some of the worst g-wells. Some pilots became sketchy as the night wore on: Leotard feared flaming out, then ran into a branch coated with deadly venom. Civitron, weakened by Venusian radiation and the approach of dawn, was attacked by a vicious mud puddle on Somerville Ave. We approached the fort short a few metric lightyears, so diverted to Porter Constellation to patrol Luna Star and finish out the century; so it was done.
We reached the landing pad at 5:38, and with sunrise at 6:07 were able to declare mission success. This was a great mission!
Footnotes: Dr.Claw and Leotard field tested a new transmitter, with much wookieeing and fair success. Bane was all but undone by an Epic Wedgie, and Wombat declared intent to walk sideways for one or more days. We all got home safely except Dead Bride who turned to ash on the way, and then we got buckets of points.
Valor to Deadblow for planning, route, playlist, unflagging badassery.
MacGyver to Sewer for carrying a backup tube, tire and wheel for Truxy.
Naked to Wombat, Cortana, and Bane.
<- this is a link even though you can't see it.