Just the Tip
Once more into the beach!
We had a plan. We had a goal in mind and we would not be swayed by man nor space god nor force of habit. This was our Basenite and we would use it as we saw fit; we would fly!
Life in the NB System is a bit different than you might expect. Our borders are tight, which can increase the tension of even the most minute details during a flight. When you fly here, preflight everything. EVERYTHING.
Our mission began as one normally does. Division Admiral Civitron readied Fort Jonathan for MRC as I sped into the airlock. Since it was Basenite, we took some time to better the fort. We judged the durability and usefulness of several bins of parts and pieces and made the necessary cuts. A clean fort is a happy fort. Civitron outlined his plan for galactic domination and future builds. Hearty toasts were had (huzzah and scumps!) by all, and then it was time to work.
I took a chance and chose Brutus, an old fashioned silver bullet hull.. Brutus had been shelved for a while, but little did we know she was strong and ready to chop some light years. With an odd timbre in his voice, the Iron Cog chose to saddle up his trusty Artemis. I feel like this is that special moment in the story where we should have paid more attention to the universe...
A bit past 20:00 we descend from the flight deck into the sky. Breezing through the Wood of Buttons, sneering at speed bumps. Roaring around the Intergalactic Rt. 6, and on to the dNB.. Bouncing between the former United Front, (now even closer than before despite the added distance) dancing to the tunes as we shoot downtown. We were flying hard and faster than we ever have as a duo, which brought us smack dab into the heart of NB System - the fish lands.
A quick break for digital evidence and fuel and we were onward through the stinky spirals. The plan was to reach Monkey's (Island) Outpost and ride the edge of the world, ending off at the Dead Tabor(former fort of ancient times). In NB, one does not fly too close to the sun. You fly too close to the abyss. We floated up the ramp and made quick camp beside Monkey's. During a precarious rocky fuel dump, I heard Civitron make a terrible sound "Uh...whoa!"
"Hey man, no peeking. It's not that kind of party."
"It's not that. We've got a problem."
Oh boy did we. Was it the space flies? Was it the royal navy patrols? Was it the possible body on the rocks? Worse.
Have you ever sat so hard that sitting was no longer an option?
The long running and ever faithful Artemis had a fissure in the fanny feeler, the muffin mitt. And it was the sort of gash that threatened to give dear Civitron a late night proctol party he did not RSVP for. We were too far from home to quit. Too close to the brink to press on. Upon further inspection it appeared a few zippies could hold it in place, but those too failed in mere yards. It would have to be a mad dash from the apex, back to the fort. There was no other way.
Literally flying by the seat of his pants, Civitron led the way, navigating out of the fish lands up into the South. Along the way I did my best to raise morale by pointing out personal landmarks. My first education facility... The Dedhaus, where I was raised from the dark... Washington Square, a good place to lose your rigidity...
The entire path home was an uphill battle. Us vs steep inclines, Civitron vs the widening slit. On starboard, we came upon a hospital and our fearless seater began to doubt his resolve. But we made a vow at 19:00 hours that would not be broken. We were flying tonight dammit and that's what we had to do! I urged him on like any good wingman would.
"Believe in yourself! You are Iron! You've made it through worse! Do the thing!!"
And rally back he did. We cut through a Ford of Bed and up a Hatha way. Over some Maple and down Palmer. Home base was in sight.
By now the seat was entirely sideways and nearly unusable, Civitron clutching forward over Artemis for leverage. A sidewinder loomed, compelling us to stop. But we said nay! "Run it!"
We shot across the Union and screeched into the flight deck. Seat hanging, abs burning, legs trembling, still smiling. Mission accomplished.
The NB System is a ravenous place. It takes, mercilessly. But we are Starchasers. We bring the funk. We are the stewards of the South. You can kick our asteroids, but you cannot conquer our courage.