I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.
Flag-draped ovoid poo spires off the coast of Winthrop System. Battleships dropping out of warp in radioactive turbulence. Glittering Iridium reflected off I-beams by the Chelsea gates.
All these things will be lost, like Tyrian in rain...
Twelve pilots, three maggots, and one babymaggot whose name nobody could pronounce lined up on the launchpad.
Forecasts are wrong all the time. Especially on Saturnights. Aren't they?
A printed list of photo-scavenger hunt items was distributed amongst the battalion. We set our sights to a far-off destination. The ships started fast on course to navigate the Sullivan black hole and slingshot straight north and out through the dystopian produce-and-refrigeration districts of Everett and Chelsea.
The terrain grew turbulent. Emerging into Chelsea System, we took shore leave at Luna 7-11.
The radiation began.
Then the radiation intensified.
Did I mention the terrain was rough on choppers?
Trinity dropped out of warp.
El Guapo dropped out of warp.
dropped out of warp.
But I digress...
A missed turn led to a brief navi-coordinational shore leave. Loading docks make fine disco hangars. Threespeed took the navi helm for our next leg towards the tattoo dock.
Hard ferro-turbulence on the bridge from Chelsea deep into East Boston System had every pilot praying for their thrusters.
The skies stretched on forever. Space grew colder.
"I was quit when I came in here. I'm twice as quit now."
And so we lost Tyrian on the long shore of Winthrop System.
The smell of low tide gave way to the smell of our destination, and then the glow of that distant station: Deer Island.
As it turns out, in an outpost full of poo, things can only get better. Close to the security gates, a malevolent tree attacked Wombat, knocking his glasses down before a line of choppers – but they were miraculously spared. The radiation abated, and the unnerving warmth of the scented breeze was welcomed. Stripping, friction, calisthenics, space blankets, and tea ensued. Beneath the glowing eggs, Ganoderma was knighted.
We rolled out in good spirits for about a hundred feet, when Reflex lost a booster nut to the darkness.
Then, the radiation returned.
The chopper lays on its side, thrusters battered in the cold mud, beating its boosters trying to turn over but it can't. Not without your help. But you're not helping.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN, I'M NOT HELPING?
I mean, you're not helping! This mission is a test, designed to provoke an emotional response. Shall we continue?
XXIII bravely strapped himself in to the remaining booster, Deadblow took over on tail, and a harsh flight home ensued through many g-wells under merciless radiation. Nobody's sure how he did it, but XXIII made it multiple light years on that one lone booster, earning both a Medal of Strength and a Medal of Valor.
As they say, he's more human than human
Yet even a Replicant can find salvation by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. In East Boston System, a Medal of Ingenuity-worthy plan was hatched to swap in one of Trinity's redundant boosters.
Dawn broke over the soaked pilots on the landing pad.
And we have burned so very, very brightly.