Escape from the Cape
Buy the ticket, take the ride... but you’d better get there early for Century 2018. Very, very early. Four pilots assembled at the fort and then followed Dr. Claw on a suspiciously circuitous route to Long Wharf, where we met Wombat who had beaten us there in time to go on a fruitless search for a plasma casing. Each pilot had their customary century accoutrements: Lord McFuzz had a box of Union Sq Donuts, Wombat had several beers and a clutch of hard boiled eggs, Threespeed had his blast shields already down despite the overcast skies. Dead Bride had CAFFEINE MOLECULES THAT’S THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS, and of course Mission Leader Dr. Claw brought two large bunches of bananas. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious century habit, the tendency is to push it as far as you can...
The ferry crew were friendly and accommodating, and we earned many oohs and ahhs (and of course, plenty of indifference) as we rolled our ships up the gangplank. Once aboard, we headed for the uppermost deck where the prevailing winds scared away enough passengers to free up some seats. Dr. Claw put on his banana-seller disguise, a floppy hat. Wombat took advantage of the ferry’s bar to put away a few preliminary beers. On arrival, we rendezvoused with Civitron on the pier and had a brief opening ceremony.
Passing through the Truro system, Dr. Claw entertained us with stories from his past as a child-shaped humanoid, when his handlers used to travel to this particular starsystem for "family vacations". The route was beachy and scenic. We observed many groups of spandex clad civilians piloting their civilian fred-sleds in the opposite direction, and exchanged sonic disruption signals. The next section of the route was more technical, with moderate but incessant g-well activity but, blissfully, scarcely a transport in sight. At around LY20, we popped out onto the clifftops of the Atlantic Nebula, and made a u-turn to catch a photo op with a pink short bus decorated in leopard print, aptly dubbed "the funk bus". This was also a convenient and atmospheric stop for a fuel dump.
Presently, we came to the start of a very long wormhole, and we had just hopped on it when we heard the friendly beeps of a nearby transport. It was Civitron’s family, crossing our path! A split second later, he looked at his droid and found two texts from Mad Owl: "Where are you?" and "Nevermind." We enjoyed continuous cruising until we were jolted out of our reverie by OH NO A LOW TUNNEL. With some ducking, dodging light fixtures, and a lot of yelling, both HARVs made it through. As we continued on, we noticed some oddly dressed civilians in little groups clustered by the side of the path. Orange was a persistent theme. It seemed to be some sort of charity walk, but became more like checkpoint cheer squads, and we basked in the admiring comments for many light years. Civitron noticed their garb and exclaimed, "They’re wearing capes! I love capes!" to which Dead Bride responded "good, because you’re *on* one!"
At this point, hunger was getting the best of us so it was a mad scramble to find an eating establishment that was equipped with the right kind of food molecules for everyone. Luckily we used droid technology to triangulate a cafe which provided excellent fare, and managed to scramble the fleet to arrive 15 minutes prior to closing. While eating, Threespeed made friends with two admiring solo-transport pilots who were eagerly poking at our ships and speculating on their construction and design. The three of them stood around yakking until it was time to leave so that Dr. Claw could buy a replacement housing for his warp selector. We began to make preparations to leave, but were stymied for a minute as Wombat and Threespeed scurried around frantically looking for a tiny ferrule which as it turns out, was redundant anyway.
Once back on the wormhole, we continued until we came to newly constructed, uncharted territory. We overcame one set of barriers, and then carried onwards towards the promise of a brand-new hyperspace byway. It was here that we pulled up short: as the byway came into view, we caught a glimpse of movement and realized that someone else was already there. PEOPLE. This was supposed to be a closed, off-limits area. "They’re… they’re wearing white suits!" someone whispered.. Surely this must be some sort of official engineering delegation, here to examine the structure, or..? Unwilling to move ahead and risk exposing our mission, we reluctantly started to turn back.
"Wait, wait, one of them has a dog!" Civitron noticed. Phew, just a bunch of ordinary trespassers. We plowed on ahead and began the challenge of hucking all 6 heavy ships over a set of concrete barriers. Once across, we planted a barnacle and stopped for a photo op. Soon we were off the wormhole and back onto Cape Cod’s scenic transport routes, where we passed such historically significant landmarks as Edward Gorey’s house, and Kurt Vonnegut’s Saab dealership. (Yup).
When the light was fading and it was clear we’d need food molecules again soon, we turned to our droids to triangulate a source. Luckily, we identified a nearby prospect that had extensive offerings, including many varieties of beer molecule. However, though we stopped only briefly, a horrifying cloud of mosquitoes descended and wasted no time in supping on our poor exposed limbs. No sooner had we relaunched in search of beer, but Dead Bride felt her propulsion transfer conduit give way on a minor g-well. "WE CAN’T STOP HERE, IT’S MOSQUITO COUNTRY!" she shrieked, but the mechanical was swiftly repaired and onwards we pressed, squeezing every last bit of light from the sky.
We settled in for a satisfying dinner, heavy on the fried molecules, and continued on our way towards the Sagamore Hyperspace Byway, a terrifying hulk that required spacewalking to avoid certain misfortune. Afterwards we cruised down to the canal wormhole and passed a startling number of civilian fisher-folk. Presently, we came by a gleaming pavilion which provided a rest and refueling stop. We were getting closer and closer to Starchaser territory, and the next part of our route covered many roads familiar to those who had attended "Styles Man-Dish Space Camp" parts I or II. What else happened here? I dunno, roads were dark and hypnotic and the light years were getting all scrambled at this point. There was space madness in every direction but FORWARD. Soon we were on another wormhole that took us into the heart of the Fairhaven System and dumped us near the asteroid belt; we finally crossed into New Bedford. Success!
Upon arrival, we were greeted by TurboHoney who had generously offered her fort as an outpost to the five weary Metro Alpha pilots. We admired the vast and beautiful manse, and were treated to some spooky groove from an antique gramophone. Sometime in the early hours of dawn, Lord McFuzz was slobbered awake by TurboCorgi, which then turned its attentions on Dr. Claw. This commotion barely registered for the other pilots, and everyone went back to their previous state of non-functional. Many hours later we roused ourselves to meet Civitron (who had been up since 0830), and devour plates full of breakfast molecules and bloody marys. We loaded the ships into DadClaw’s sketch-mobile to Dr. Claw’s exacting instructions, and motored away back to the Somerville System. Threespeed also points out that his beautiful, priceless '71 VW bus was used as a support vehicle too. He promises to take excellent care of it for future missions, and never sell it. See, wasn’t that so much better than the commuter bail?