G-Well That Ends Well: Century 2019
Who put all these dang g-wells in our way? We rode a 100 light-year circuit to eat some delicious fireside comfort food at DadClaw's forest abode.
It was 900 hours early on a Saturnday and the fort was alight with activity. Pilots were zipping between destroyers, stuffing as much food as possible into their cargo bay and/or making last minute adjustments to their rather shiny, EXTRA sturdy-looking metal steeds. Some other pilots had contemplated a swath of tasty circular pastries at the front -- Name: Undecided, but bought purely because they resembled the day’s mission path closely and was thus too relevant to ignore.
(“I’m going to die,” TuffnTiny says, as she arrives.
“It’ll be fine,” Ziggurat says and hands over a small bag of pity-salami.
Off in the distance, someone suspiciously like Dead Bride whispers "Fresh blood," and possibly cackles.)
The first few light years were spent pleasantly sailing through the familiar Dr. Paul Dudley White Wormhole along the Charles Asteroid Belt. Morning space was chilly and higher levels of radiation than predicted but calmed as the day progressed. Dead Bride called a company halt as the caravan approached the local sun around the 7 light year so that pilots could shed their insulating space suits.
Pastry Queen whips out Still Cam for some sneaky SCUL shots and is immediately distracted by the fluffiest space dog barreling by for a scritch. The space dog’s irresistible charm was powerful, but she eventually broke free long enough for the battalion to continue forward into the Waltham System.
(“This is not too bad,” one naive sod said, as they started taking off. “This century will be a piece of cake if the rest of it is like this.”)
As the battalion approached the Cedarwood sub-system, Dead Bride realized there were some heavy space station construction blocking the path guarded by a squad of bright yellow storm troopers. Trial and error revealed that no, you can’t sneak by these storm troopers; they do notice. Dead Bride stepped in and negotiated the battalion’s safe passage using some clever words and mesmerizing hand gestures.
In hindsight, the storm troopers may have been an omen; almost like subtle “I tried to warn you but nooo, you just had to go.” The path they were guarding was the start of a series of G-Wells so unrelenting, it squeezed extra regret out of missing your leg days.
The hushed promise of a wormhole carried morale forward with each passing negi-well. This wormhole was so secret, so brand new that its entrance was hidden in a secret alternate reality. It involved navigating to a dead end, searching for a tear in space time, crossing a deserted bridge, and squeezing through an opening in another tear in space time. The result is the feeling of sailing through a fresh, almost untouched wormhole lightyears long with a brilliant view of the stars.
Comfort is fleeting. G-wells are life. There were more G-wells to be had. This time in the middle of climbing g-wells, the battalion stopped to take a snack break. (Ironically, the break was at a space stop called “Halfway Cafe,” which was technically only halfway of the halfway point of the trip.)
The 15 lightyears that follow were no less lenient. More g-wells are swell. TuffnTiny’s soul slowly leaves her body on the 15th+ g-well and Pastry Queen tries to coax it back with the promise of Apple Cider Round Pastries. It works for another 5 lightyears.
----- ----- -----
The rest of the trip is a bit hazier, and I say this because I, TuffnTiny, am mission reporter and I think my soul did leave my body somewhere after eating these cider pastries. The world warped and Mad Rabbit starts glowing a funny white color. I recall laughter echoing and I having a moment of realization that this, here, may be why no one is silly enough to Century on a ship called “Mad” Rabbit.
(Insert G-WELL OF DEATH to DadClaw’s place here. No pain no gain.)
The next thing I recall is waking up to DadClaw’s deep space abode in the Harvard System with the battalion gathered around an enormous campfire. We exchanged stories and ate copious amounts of beef and barley stew. It was warm and cozy and we briefly forgot how cranky and tired we were.
And then night fell.
Accompanying a mission as a departed soul is unusual because the only thing you perceive is vague feelings of what is happening. I will try to report as accurately as possible.
As night fell, Wombat morphed into the Sun and acted as Prime Light Source. This frightened transports out of their rudeness and the group was given a wide berth thereafter.
(Insert 27 G-Wells here)
At around 2000, Dead Bride navigates into the ...Ayer System? Yeah, that sounds right. As the ships pass through the barren roads, a tinny call hails them:
(“It’s been three long years,” says the single resident of the area, probably more accurately described as a lost traveler. “Three long years since I’ve seen your fleet, SCUL. I still have your sticker from then. Surely you can rescue me from this pla-”
“Sorry, we’re on a time crunch,” Dr. Claw probably said. “But here’s another sticker!”)
(Insert 42 G-Wells here)
At 2200, DISASTER STRUCK as Ziggurat hit a space pothole large enough to cause a time warp on JUST ONE of his primary thrusters. It knocked his plasma tanks back several years to when it was limp and deflated. He swerved just in time to miss hitting another ill pothole but the harm was done. Snack break until Ziggy can change to new tanks.
At some point, Pastry Queen tried to summon Skunk in a fit of delirium and instead summoned a skunk, causing a brief and polite company halt. The second attempt, to Rocket, was more successful.
(“Why three pounds of specifically french fries?” Rocket probably thought as he led his own fleet through the most befuddled drive through window at 2300 at night.)
The rendezvous was the stuff of legends. Some say the force of joy at seeing those french fries caused the sun to rise for a couple of minutes, despite it being past midnight. The company returned home with the vigor that only fatty junk food could offer.
In the end, someone remembered the tasty circular pastry of the morn + journey and in a moment of brilliance thought of a perfect name: “Donot”
As in, “Do not attempt this, are you insane.” Alas, as the mission reporter went to record the occasion, she typo’d her second “o” into a haphazard “u” to spell out a more pleasant sounding “Donut.” The original warning is lost to time and, instead, leaves the mission with a warm inspired feeling.
( "...TNT, they're called grenades." )
Honorable Quote Mentions:
"You can write the mission report ... It would be interesting to hear what a newbie would say about riding a century!” -- LordMcFuzz (probably also cackling)/ Dead Bride
“It will be rough” -- Dr Claw (He tried.)
“It’ll be fine!” -- MULTIPLE pilots
"Where we're going, we do need roads" Ziqqurat, as the fleet squeezes through a tear in space/time
“You’re doing great!” -- Also multiple pilots :)