Lordmcfuzz planned a 'flat' century along Boston's wormholes. There were still some g-wells.
At 0900 hours, eight pilots were lined up outside Fort Tyler and getting ready to fly a zero g-well century. They had water molecules, anti-radiation cream, and even a bunch of bananas creatively secured to Compliance's cockpit. The pilots were just about to take flight – when suddenly – Gritty, in an effort to secure two emergency plasma casings for the flight, took a fall with Ooh La La. As they say, bad luck comes in threes, and little did we know that this was just the beginning of a short series of mishaps.
After launch, Syntax Error blasted some excellent life support as we made our way to the first wormhole of what was to be a *very* long day of flying. Less than five lightyears in, while flying Wormhole de Community Path, Syntax Error suffered a mechanical when its propulsion transfer conduit was ripped apart due to a cable end getting sucked into its drive train (translation: it experienced a "disconcerting chain break", to quote Ziqqurat, who immediately pulled out his chain power conduit to assist with repairs).
As the repairs were underway, Punchy kept the gang posi with an upbeat chant: "Skunk turn on the clutch, the clutch, the clutch" while doing the SCUL march. Within minutes, Syntax Error was back to full health. As we departed, H4ckw0rth, yt, and BBZ intercepted for the first leg of the mission out the Minuteman.
About two lightyears later, Syntax Error suffered the same fate again. LordmcFuzz immediately flew off in search of additional master links. While we waited for Fuzz's speedy return, Gritty remarked that perhaps her fall was the beginning of our bad luck. Punchy said it's like a dress rehearsal: when everything goes wrong, it's actually a good omen for a successful opening night. Dead Bride suggested this could be a dress rehearsal century – maybe the next one will be perfectly smooth? Lordmcfuzz returned with another chain, which cost a whopping 40 earth credits. While several pilots assisted with maintenance, chalk drawings were created and stickers exchanged (H4ckw0rth generously passed out "I Park in the Bike Lane" stickers for all). By the time the repair was complete, Syntax Error sported a chain containing four different master links! Syntax Error passed test flight inspection and we were ready to continue.
"It takes a village to fix a chain!" Ziqqurat optimistically exclaimed.
The next ten lightyears or so were smooth flying, although a few bananas were sacrificed to the wormholes after falling off of Compliance's cockpit. We took a company halt just after the Route 128 overpass to celebrate Skunk's 10,000th lightyear (!!!) chopped with SCUL. We waited for a friendly-looking civi to request a group photo, and civi/runner Heidi was more than happy to oblige. Skunk passed out grapes and sweet & spicy bags filled with nuts, dried pineapple (although Cosima swears she tasted ginger), and sesame crackers for a quick fuel break too.
After a bumpy journey through Wormhole de Reformatory riddled with treacherous mud pits, we made it to Concord for a fuel stop and dump. Purely by coincidence, we ran into Snarly and Slug at the Concord Market! The pilots chatted and fueled on wraps of tuna, bars of protein, and balls of falafel while Ziqqurat gave his lunch the ole' brisket hand treatment.
On our return flight down the Wormhole de Minuteman, Ziqqurat noticed a long civiship with dangerously low plasma due to the cargo comprised of young humans. He kindly offered to refill their plasma. The fleet moved slowly amongst the daytime crowds of the Minuteman, and with each passing hour, it looked like it would be a long day and night of flying indeed.
Next, we made it to the Esplanade – again it took longer than expected with civis in every direction. Shoutout to Fleet Admiral Skunk, Lordmcfuzz, Punchy, Wombat, and Ziqqurat, who expertly maneuvered the crowds and trees on their beloved HARVs – these exceptional pilots were all mercilessly whipped in the face by low-hanging flying salad along the Charles.
At lightyear 50, we made it to Moody Street in Waltham for a dinner break. Many burritos, French fries, falafel, and tacos were had. Red Squirrel intercepted and joined our ranks for the remainder of the mission, who also generously offered to take over as tailgunner from Cosima. The pilots continued onwards to Cambridge, racking up many points from civi wave-backs along the way in the setting sun. The entire fleet formed a strong wall on Memorial Drive; Lordmcfuzz and Ziqqurat performed a HARV coupling so that Punchy, Cosima, and Skunk could daringly fly underneath their arms.
*Mission Reporter Cosima begs forgiveness for the remainder of this report as her memory got foggy with each passing lightyear.
While flying near Northeastern and on Boylston, we picked up a rather loud Klingon who flew with us for about two lightyears, but he veered off from the battalion in Downtown Crossing. Dead Bride expertly navigated us through the crowds, cars, and bustle of Boston, until we pulled into 7-11 in Charlestown for a successful intercept by local mission Voulez Vous Rendezvous, who joined our ranks for the next several lightyears up northward. Before departure, anti-pain pills were widely shared – thank you Ziqqurat for the medi-envelope. Knees were sore and butts were numb – and probably still are today.
A fuel dump was secured at the start of the Northern Strand, and bug repellent molecules were generously applied. Gritty remarked that space bugs especially enjoy her blood, and that was the reason other pilots were not being bitten. Thank you, Gritty, for your sacrifice.
While the Northern Strand started off smoothly, we soon discovered that it was still excavated to hell at pretty much every street crossing in the Malden System, forcing us to temporarily divert the route to side roads. Many unpleasant space walks were had.
We enjoyed a surprise rendezvous with Pipsqueak at the end of the Saugus segment of the Strand, who kindly offered us snacks and a morale boost. At this point most of the intercept crew turned back at an odiferous tardis, while only Threespeed and Leotard stuck with us till the bitter end. We now knew to avoid certain sections of the Strand, instead taking to the streets. On our return flight, Skunk's fifteen-hour life support playlist ended, and we endured a brief moment of silence as he switched to hand picking tracks. While we grooved at an especially long stop light, Skunk busted the funk a little too hard and Syntax Error took a loud fall. "Was the paint ok?" we fretted. We wouldn't know until getting back to base.
Finally, after a little over 100 lightyears, we returned to Fort Tyler. We successfully completed the mission in just under 17 hours, shortly before 0200. Syntax Error's paint is posi! Pilots deposited their ships to their spaces, and then took their own civiships back home with little energy to chat or reminisce. Sleep was beckoning.
Though exhausted, we achieved our mission!
Many questions and exclamations were overheard as we flew by civis. Here are some honorable (and dishonorable) mentions:
"Those seem expensive."
"I thought I was at Burning Man for a second."
"It's a circus!"
"I hope you fall!"
"Do you think those are bikes you can rent?"
"Wouldn't it hurt a lot more if they fell?"
"You're the caboose!" (This comment was told to Cosima, while tailgunning)
"Those are probably the engineering students." (This comment was muttered as we flew by Harvard.)
Side note, non-civi related: Can we please always remember ye ole' brisket hand treatment?
Please note that the music in this video was not added, but rather the music playing from USB Syntax Error.