Rush Delivery

“What, inside of a damn black hole, is that?”  Saries yells, as a dust cloud billows out from around the approaching ship.  Pulling the brim of her hat tight down near her eyes she muscles her way through the miniature sandstorm and makes to greet the pilot.  Said pilot does not emerge for a good twenty seconds after the far-louder-than-appropriate humming of the ship’s engines die down, giving her plenty of time to continue cursing at the vessel.

“Where in the damn blackest of damn holes did you find this?!” she continues as the pilot vaults the descending staircase and plants his feet on firm ground once more, a not-quite-middle-aged man who’s dyed red hair and dyed blue beard clashed completely with the array of greasy brown and grey work clothes he’s garbed with.  Saries is similarly-garbed herself, though her expression certainly does match said clothes, and said expression continues to be pointed at the new arrival.

“Good to hear she’s getting an emotional response; I like that,” he responds, nonplussed.

“Joash, for the love of something, please tell me what this piece of aluminum is supposed to be.”

“This piece of aluminum,” Joash answers, spreading his left arm wide to display it, “is going to be the largest freelance courier vessel that is capable of Slipspace Travel.”

Saries’ eyes magnetize themselves to Joash’s ridiculous beard, finding herself wholly unable to look at the idiot square in the face.  She then flicks them over to the hull of the ship, a trapezoidal-shaped vessel the size of a large house whose green and rust-red paint job was surprisingly still near mint, much to the chagrin of anyone with a pair of functioning corneas.

She lazily points a finger at the vehicle, her other arm gravitating towards her hip.  “No, that is a Rozotor Bullseye Series 2, also known as the Rozotor “Dartboard”, also known as the reason Rozotor went out of business, also how much did you spend on it?”

Joash shrugs, turning around and flipping the exit stairs back up.  “Cheap, Sarry, I spent cheap on it.  Nobody even in their wrong mind would sell a Bullseye 2 for more.”

“Uh huh…  And how much did you spend on the Slipspace drive I can only assume you’re planning on Frankensteining into it?”

“Llllllless, than cheap.  But it was from an old Alcor, so, y’know, not as much as expensive.”

Saries continues to not be convinced.  “Yes, and Alcors are black holes too.  Tell me again why this is a good plan?”

Mr. Blue-Beard tosses his casual tone aside as he moves in closer to Saries, placing his hands against her shoulders apologetically.  The gesture had quite a bit of history in it:  they’d dated, he thought it wasn’t working out, dumped her, she didn’t want to accept it, and just as she was about to stop chasing after him he lost his job and has to come crawling back to her, her gainfully-employed body, and her un-gainfully unemployed heart.  Ever since he’d never really been “allowed” to be the man in the relationship despite his many attempts to do so, and even a simple act like reassuringly gripping her shoulders was less of “I’m going to hold onto you and stop you from falling” and more of “I need someone to hold onto so I don’t fall over.”

“Okay, look, Saries, look…  Yes, Bulleyes are garbage.  Cheap engine, no acceleration whatsoever, horribly-designed internals and even worse externals.  But what they do have is space, lots and lots of space.  If I gut that thing, and I mean flat-out gut every single room, frame, and component it doesn’t need to fly, that thing’s going to be a warehouse inside.  And yes, it will also handle floatier than a balloon on ice skates, which is precisely the optimal conditions for Slipspace!  I’m telling you, this is going to work, and when it does there won’t be a Trojan Hawk in existence that’ll be faster than us.”

The woman turns her head slowly, eyeing the ship from behind her so-called “boyfriend”, perhaps even sizing the one up against the other.  A Slipspace drive on a large ship rather than a small one…

“Build it for me; I want to see it.  I want to see it hard.


{Sometimes I make new things.}


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