After excessively preflighting the fork out of our ships, which involved several last minute modifications, we sortied to the launch pad having barely had time to digest our morning meals. Admiral Fleet Ready h4ckw0r+h then proceeded to digress into an impromptu Vogon poetry reading which was well recieved, even if 'creation' and 'plantations' doesn't quite rhyme but instead sounds similar when mumbled. The fleet groggily took off to the resounding chords of Eric Johnson, after which the funk busting began in earnest with a few warmup laps around Constellation Davis. The food was surprised to see us outside our native timeframe, but no less enthusiastic.
We wound our way through Cambridge with a brief layover at Fort Issimo to pick up spare inner plasma casings for ARP Synesthesia's newly built and unusually sized navigational thruster. We had a brief stop on the wormhole by the Charles Asteroid Belt to rehydrate and re-secure Lieutenant Raven's cargo, which had shaken loose.
We then continued through the Boston System collecting high fives, a Klingon who confused us for the Critical Mass Fleet and positudinal funktitude and took the Southwest Corridor Wormhole into the Jamaica Plain System. After we circled the Jamaica Heavy Nebulae, we stopped to refill our rapidly diminishing supply of water molecules and decided to sortie to Luna Purple Cactus Burrito & Wrap Bar for food and also get some ice cream molecules at Luna JP Licks. After collecting food molecules and distributing stickers to the local denizens, one of whom was very small and riding a tiny ship made entirely of wood, we continued onwards and up our first significant g-well at the Arnold Arboretum. Little did we know how insignificant this g-well would be in comparison to the rest.
We stalled for lunch on a hillside at the Arboretum in order to fuel up for the long and arduous light years of travel before us. As we were launching, NBT rusty verus experienced the first mechanical -- a blown inner plasma casing. This was repaired in short order. We continued out of the Arboretum and down a super ultra mega posi g-well with the aroma of LDS Frek's smoking retros in the air.
We continued through the Jamaica Plain System and spacewalked up a major negi g-well. A pleasant transit through Stony Brook State Reservation brought our spirits up and core temperatures down. We shifted from Adm FR h4ckw0r+h's playlist to Admiral Buckminster's intersteller groove in preparation to start logging as many light years as possible.
We continued through the West Roxbury System and into the Dedham System, where the tree cover of solar radiation subsided and Adm. FR Treekiller's zubes started to fail and he made the call for transport support. After a rest stop where Lieutenant Commander L-Train discovered that some local food had a cousin by the name of Irish Mike in Black Label New York, we cruised briefly into the Westwood System to the next available parking lot at Luna Westwood Nails and Spa. There we refilled our cargo holds with more water molecules, which were being consumed at an alarming rate. We did not get mani-pedis. As SAW chlorophyll carried only other radiobox on this mission, we removed Dummy Load from ARP Synesthesia and left it for the transport to pick up. After confirming that Adm. FR Treekiller had recovered and that transport support would arrive shortly, and that backup transport support options were in place, we continued on our way.
We continued funking out to Adm. Bucky's groove into the Medfield System and into the Millis-Clicquot System. Our navigator Adm. FR y.t. pulled over near the Prospect Hill Cemetery to discuss the possibility of circumnavigating it, and we watched Captain Road Rash execute a perfect rolling stop where he was the one rolling, was ejected from the cockpit of NBS nohup, and acquired the second injury of the mission -- a fitting and mild case of road rash. We elected not to transit the cemetery and navigated on to the Medway System, Adm. Bucky's mix cranking out "Chariots of Fire" and pilots pantomiming running motions. Beautiful rural settings put smiles on the pilots faces... and the very occasional Hi-5 helped, too.
Shortly after entering the Medway System, USB Skylab's navigation thruster began emitting ominous crunching noises. We halted to investigate at a parking lot across from the Medway Mart -- a "VERY CONVENIENT" convenience store (which was home to beer and ice cream) -- and disassembled the front axle to discover deep grooves in the races, several severely worn bearings and an overall lack of lubrication. After debating the likelihood of finding a nearby open bicycle store for replacement bearings, Adm. FR Pywaket recollected that NBT rusty verus was pulling a trailer that had old hubs as decorative elements. We discovered that the bearings from one of the two decorative hubs matched perfectly and executed field repairs, using Commander Zombie's lemon lip balm to lubricate the hub.
By this time the day star was receding and we fired up our lasers. We switched over to Lt. Cdr. L-Train's high energy g-well busting playlist, which had just been made WHILE PILOTING BVD YerMom, and continued on into the extremely large Bellingham System. We stopped for more food molecules at Luna Bellingham Palace Pizza just before our transit into Galaxy Rhode Island.
After consuming food molecules and changing into more robust space suits we continued into Galaxy Rhode Island. We stopped for a brief photograph at the galactic border, and then piloted through the Woonsocket System collecting a handful of high fives from surprised and mostly drunken residents at about 0030. A damaged bridge off 122 caused a brief delay as we recalculated our route. We hit a major g-well at St. Paul Street and thus began a long series of posi and negi g-wells, each one successively more challenging. Going up g-wells in the dark is good because you can't see the entire g-well ahead of you!
We continued logging light years through g-well after g-well and stopped at Luna Mr. Doughboy to dump fuel, rehydrate, and switch to Vice Admiral Plasmonster's 140 bpm British electro mix. We continued on and interacted with some STs from the Burrillville System who warned us to be careful of the local transports and was otherwise supportive of our efforts.
We slogged on up enormous g-wells which we could not see the end of and into the Chepachet System. After transiting most of the Chepachet System, Adm. FR Pywaket suffered significant damage to his right foot and called for transport support. We called in h4cksis who cheerfully arrived approximately 30 minutes later and loaded USB Skylab and our injured pilot into the transport. While waiting for transport support a Glocester ST stopped to investigate. We peppered the ST with stickers and buttons and his response was "That's neat. I do some pretty odd things in my free time, too."
Right on, gangsta.
We finished the last few hours of our journey riding through many posi and negi g-wells, every one of which Adm. FR h4ckw0r+h -- lying through his teeth -- proclaimed would be the last and subsequently recieving a "F**k You, h4ckw0r+h" from more than a few pilots. Our lasers illuminated light fog and tree-canopied roads, pilots bombed down posi g-wells, and the warp cores on ARP Synesthesia slowly creaked out high-energy electro music. Upon the final approach to Farmworth, two hippies hanging out of transports handed stolen yard flowers to Plas and L-Train. One of them told her trippily "Have a wonderful journey", and then they pulled their transport up near yt and told her to "Keep up the great work!"
We arrived victorious at Farmworth around 0400 exhausted and happy. Sisw0r+h cheerfully welcomed us to her recently acquired home with beer molecules, which we consumed quickly. Then we pitched tents and fell rapidly asleep.
The next morning SCUL awoke to h4ckw0r+h's family (sisw0r+h with only 2 hours of sleep, h4ckw0r+h with 3) preparing a ginormous feast of scrambled farm eggs, ham, bacon, freshly baked bread, homemade yogurt and more. SadieBlake, Bucky, Road Rash and LD50 sous chef'd it up, operating sharp instruments after 4-ish hours of sleep and built two beautiful displays of cut fruit (fig. 20)
Coffee molecules were consumed. We sat down to a delicious breakfast on the lawn outside, regaled ourselves and h4ckw0r+h's family with stories of the mission thus far, and were visited by several hummingbirds.
After breakfast we broke into two sorties to clean up the breakfast dishes, pack up the tents and consolidate the ships at Farmworth proper. Niecew0r+h tracked LD50 around, learning about bicycles and briefly riding her own unchopped civi ship, which LD50 adjusted using toolbag.
After SCUL had packed up the big mess we made, we went on a farm tour! Highlights were AUDIBLE PURR BARN KITTIES! ^__^ AND BABY BUNNIES!!! Sheep, chickens of many flavors, cats, quilts and locally made blankets were also seen and ooo'd at.
After the farm tour we prepared for launch and ceremonially awarded medals of Valour to Momw0r+h, sisw0r+h and brow0r+h. Several pilots availed themselves of the transport option back to the Providence System at this point, and the main body of SCUL launched at approximately 1330 for the final leg to the Providence System.
A scant two miles in, several mechanicals tested our mettle and our metal. NBS nohup's head tube started seizing up; we loosened the headset and resolved this issue. While idly gazing at the navi thruster on ARP Synesthesia, h4ckw0r+h noticed that the front drum brake arm had shifted off of the bracket. This was re-secured. Finally, BVD Yermom's booster stanchions were slightly slipping; we temporarily patched these with zip ties, electing not to engage in a major repair. We also realized that we'd forgotten medibag and again called on transport support from sisw0r+h and brow0r+h. Lack of sleep plus long miles doesn't make for clear thought.
Bad-ass goat in a barn watched us go by. Stuck his head around the barn door to continue watching.
We continued towards Providence system listening to bluegrass. This was quickly traded for LD50's mix, which was busted until ARP Synesthesia's warp cores failed around mile 88. LDS Frek's primary thruster rigging failed causing a brief mechanical; we offloaded some weight into rusty verus's cargo hold and it held up for the remainder of the mission. We still busted the funk, collected hi-fives, and freaked out some young food -- jumping-up-and-down-screaming-arm-waving freaking out.
Our navi took us on an excellent newly built wormhole along the Woonasquatucket River and into the Providence System. This was absolutely gorgeous. We arrived at the providence system around 1700 and purchased tickets for the 1900 MBTA heavy transport.
We ate food molecules in a park near the State House and knighted SadieBlake, who we all agreed had shown great strength in this mission, hauling cargo for SCUL and had done more than enough to prove himself an able pilot. Three cheers for SadieBlake!
The transport ride was mercifully brief and without incident. We travelled a short distance through the Boston and Cambridge systems, where some food across the street in a taxi spotted us and was overheard to say to her friend, nonplussed, "Oh. It's SCUL.". It was good to be home.
* * *
The mission was hard, every pilot rose to the occasion, there were concerns along the way (on the fly navimagation changes, many many many G-wells), they were voiced, handled and dispatched. The funk prevailed (even when the musical-funk zoobs were depleted @mile 88). Lt. Cdr. ltrain rode YerMom as hard as ever and harderer still, we estimate she chopped ~25% more LY than the rest of the fleet in her patrols.
Some statistics and interesting notes:
• We had 100% cranial coverage (everyone wore a helmet).
• Every bag that was brought on the mission was used.
• Everything in tool bag was used except for the toilet paper and the derby ribbon.
• The best estimate we have of negi-gravity well activity is 3700' ascent = .7 LY. This is comparable to climbing Mt Washington and we believe it establishes a record of G-well exploration far outstripping prior fleet records for an official SCUL mission. Specifically we ascended what seemed to be countless 6- 10% grades, many of these sustained for a lightyear or more.