Luna Libros IV: Satellites of Love
SCUL prime came down to NBS. The end.
Ha, just kidding. It went way more eventful than that. The mission began as all do; a bit of preflight, a mad dash to build a ship, awaiting last minute pilots, last minute baby maggots, and a bit of a delay.
We got the fleet to Buttonwood constellation and libro for take off and we were a crowd favorite immediately. NBS has never seen such majesty. Once the navi figured out how to operate the starmap we sped off into the ether.
And then Fleet Admiral Skunk went on an impromptu space walk, having met some home grown turbulence. Cloudbuster caught a bit of air too. We picked him up, space dusted him off, and away we continued.
Down the interstellar route 6 and up through formerly United front. On a quick shore leave at the mason hall we discovered a hull breach on Trez Bonz. Wompsauce for everyone. Thankfully Angry Candy was along and Mad Owl took aft position as we hobbled Trez Bonz back to the fort. Here the Owly one said adieu and we pressed on. Back on the route we had just left we almost passed a Quick Pic. Almost.
An explosion mid fleet! Artemis lost a thruster and woke the neighborhood. It sounded like a bottle rocket went off.
Undaunted(maybe a bit daunted) we set out again and reached the next mini libro. Down Linden and into the Fishlands we swung through dNB and past the S3 till we hit the main libro. As we set for another shore leave, a club promoter CBU approached us to make a wild request. Would SCUL fly in the Luna Hibernia? You know damn right! Starchasers turned to barchasers bringing the funk to the Irish pub. As pilots entered the dark and pulsing luna, they were surprised to see that the population of it was only three visiting female civilians in search of steering dampener and the FUNK. There seemed to be a great lack of the Funk in the luna when we arrived. Pilots gladly provided the civilians with the Funk and they seemed very glad to receive it. All pilots commenced to ride ships through the luna's dance floor and to show off their best moves. At some point, pilots found themselves in the strange club luna tradition of making a ring formation around a single pilot or civilian while he or she proceeded to Get Down.
Eventually the time came when SCUL had to leave the luna. The civilians were very sad to see us go and gladly would have kept us all night to keep them company. One of the civilians must have had malfunctioning nasal passages as she seemed to be picking up strong pheromones from Cloudbuster. Skunk snatched Cloudbuster away just as the civilian tried (unsuccessfully) to mate with it. The pilots finally escaped from Luna Hibernia but Dr. Claw had picked up a thumbtack in his thruster as a parting gift. But we flew on nonetheless down county to libro 4, howlin' green.
After some good boogie it was up to Monkey's Island. And then the skybridge overlooking the void. Past the hurricane barriers we were floating smooth... Until another incident. Cloudbuster had enough and went fully airborne. The front fork fell and poor Skunk went end over end.
We rallied and cleared the road. Dreadflint and Shadowman made an emergency dash back to Fort Jonathan and grabbed transport. We snagged the pieces of Cloudbusted and returned it safely as the fleet carried on.
Shadowman made camp as Dreadflint readied transport for the long ride back to Somerville.
A little fire and a lot of happy juice later and the sol replaced our luna. Everyone survived except Trez Bonz and poor Cloudbuster.
RIP Trez Bonz.
We transported a lot of ships to New Bedford System using Dreadflint's Dreadnought, and also some pilots in Threespeed's archaic transport Further and the Fuzzmobile. We got food molecules, and enjoyed the hospitality of Fort Jonathan and its many human and other inhabitants. From there a bewildering sequence of libraries and disasters unfolded. It's a little hazy in retrospect.
We went to a couple of libraries, slowly adjusting our expectations as everything began to go pear-shaped. (We must make sacrifice to the Pear.) The first harbinger of impending doom was a giant crater which appeared in Cloudbuster's path, causing extreme turbulence and ejecting Skunk from the cockpit as he went in for a high five from a man standing next to his red '62 hardtop Impala. We picked up the ship and straightened everything out with the help of some friendly civilians (one of whom may have captured visual evidence of the exact moment of impact).
Trez Bonz suffered a massive tubal hull breach, after which we returned to the fort where Sprocket was forced to take up Hook. (previously HookAndSplatter) as penance. Dreadflint was already on the newly (and barely) repaired ship Infectious Groove, and for Mad Owl to burn up. Civitron got one enormous flat due to God knows what, (KA BOOM!). We were described as "dirt bikes and fireworks" due to the sonic disruption caused by this flat. While stopped at the main NB library, we were invited into a club luna which was almost devoid of native population. We did not get free drink molecules but there were quality fuel dumps for all, and we felt appreciated. Dr. Claw got two flats due to a Nightclub Thumbtack.
Then we sailed the space winds down to the great Eastern Void, and as we cruised by its border taking in the radiation-tanged breezes, Skunk flew Cloudbuster off a curb and everything exploded. Cloudbuster's ram snapped clean on impact, destroying the navigational rigging, and the entire ship cartwheeled forward, flinging the Admiral over the helm then falling sideways like a majestic tree. In Hell.
We have a nimble admiral, and he landed on his space elbows without nearly so much damage as might have been expected. His teeth are fine, thank Ghu. The mission was declared to be over. We did what we do at the end of all things, which is pick up the wreckage, have tea on the beach, share adult beverages and vapours, dump fuel and chill to the funk.
Meanwhile, Dreadflint and Shadowman set off to bring the Dreadnought. On their return we loaded up Cloudbuster, shuffled some ships, and appointed Civitron as the new navigator. With a divided groove field and a certain level of hysteria, we set off on a circuitous route back to the fort. The night was lovely, swift and rife with cups, and almost free of transport traffic.
On the landing pad we hazed maggot Truthseeker, then we returned to Fort Jonathan, where Shadowman had created a delightful fire molecule and broken out the moonshine. After a brief pause and a deal of shuttling and strapping, the ships were loaded up again. Pilots distributed among transports and we started the haul back to Fort Tyler. Keeping in contact by radio about such crucial issues as napkins and French fries, we made it back. The daystar rose over a misty planet.
Lastly another shuffle got ships back into the fort, the fragments of Cloudbuster into its berth, Dr. Moreau shoehorned into Further, and all pilots headed off to showers, green slime, and bed according to their kind.
This mission is officially an extreme failure, with objectives not achieved and massive damage to the fleet. But we secretly had fun, except maybe for Skunk while actually hitting the ground.
Amazingly, no pilots were harmed (any more than the usual scrapes and bruises) in the making of this production. I, Leotard, crushed 26 cups and a coconut.
Chic to Shadowman and Everest
Strength to Sprocket for bringing Mad Owl home on Angry Candy
Valour or possibly Patronage to Dreadflint for transport support
****** the Adventures of Team Radiobucket********
Dr Claw and Dead Bride decided to form a sub-mission, taking the commuter rail and flying the remaining ~20LY to Fort Jonathan, operating a reverse route the next day. They relayed their intentions via the logistics bulletin and waited for other pilots to eagerly join.
Perhaps fearing another episode of ‘Dr Claw: Bike Madman from SCUL Island,’ (see SCD mission stardate 151113), other pilots steered clear, and DB and DC failed to recruit anyone else for their endeavor. Nevertheless, they launched from Ft Tyler at 13:15 h, perhaps a few minutes late due to Dead Bride’s sudden need for food molecules disrupting her preflight process.
After a hyperwarp rail journey, the pilots set course for Fort Jonathan under the heat of the daystar. Transit through the Lakeville and Freetown systems was brisk and uneventful, and the two pilots were the first of the MAD to arrive. After the mission concluded they posted up in Fort Jonathan’s living quarters, joined by Everest who opted against returning to the Somerville System in the FuzzMobile.
Accommodations were luxurious, though the pilots were menaced by a roving menagerie of hostile alien life forms during the night. Once the groggy crew grudgingly came to terms with the ascent of the daystar, Civitron and Mad Owl escorted them to a purveyor of fuel and food molecules so that they could survive the return journey. DB and DC then relaunched after saying goodbye to their Starchaser companions. At about the halfway point, they stopped for ice cream, and shortly afterwards were flagged down by the CivicTron with USB Lust strapped to the poop deck, so that Everest could join for the remaining ~7 LY.
Here's a poem about books but I don't really know what this is doing here since we didn't see a lot of them. Maybe we can copy it into next year's much more successful Luna Libros mission.
(That's exactly why it's here. Civitron normally reads poems on Luna Libros, but we didn't get to that this year, so here is a poem. If you read it you will see that it's not actually about books at all, much like this mission.)
Ode to the Book
When I close a book
I open life.
slide down sand-pits
Among the islands
throbs with fish,
touches the feet, the thighs,
the chalk ribs
of my country.
The whole of night
clings to its shores, by dawn
it wakes up singing
as if it had excited a guitar.
The ocean's surge is calling.
and Rodriguez calls,
and Jose Antonio--
I got a telegram
from the "Mine" Union
and the one I love
(whose name I won't let out)
expects me in Bucalemu.
No book has been able
to wrap me in paper,
to fill me up
with heavenly imprints
or was ever able
to bind my eyes,
I come out of books to people orchards
with the hoarse family of my song,
to work the burning metals
or to eat smoked beef
by mountain firesides.
I love adventurous
books of forest or snow,
depth or sky
the spider book
in which thought
has laid poisonous wires
to trap the juvenile
and circling fly.
Book, let me go.
I won't go clothed
I don't come out
of collected works,
have not eaten poems--
feed on rough weather,
and dig their food
out of earth and men.
I'm on my way
with dust in my shoes
free of mythology:
send books back to their shelves,
I'm going down into the streets.
I learned about life
from life itself,
love I learned in a single kiss
and could teach no one anything
except that I have lived
with something in common among men,
when fighting with them,
when saying all their say in my song.
- by Pablo Neruda
translated by Nathaniel Tarn