It’ll be easy they said…fast cash, they said…no problems they said…then there were flames.
Woke up in some flea bag motel in crash seat mode. Needed a quick fix otherwise it was going to be a bad day. Shit, what do I still have for credits? It’s been a rough month. Better hit up Jeribey for some low grade juice instead of Isobel for that high fluting pharma grade cocktail she always seems to “find”.
Okay…food, caff, and a ½ hit of juice later and I’m feeling leveled out again. Hands are steady, eyes clear…time to see what’s on tap at the ole’ barn.
Terik is chillin’ in the bullpen. He usually wires me in to the sweet gigs (that pay well). Says he’s been holding a job for me. Some hoity toity Lord’s Third Procurement Officer Blowhard spent a quarter of a chrono making sure the bill of lading was properly received and that the appropriate crates were transferred to the cargo ship. [Fuckin’ silver spooned boot lickers. Always busting a working man’s hump.] I look over the flight manifest and see the “Very Im-fucking-portant Merch” tags on the form. Even the merchant house’s stamp irritates the fuck out of me. House Leinya. Fuck You! you rich pricks.
Oh, don’t get me wrong…I have NO problem taking their money. It’s that sense of bullshit entitlement that rubs me raw. These uppity ups don’t have to do any real work, they have boot lickers for all that. One gods damned good day of hard labor would break most of them in half. So it goes.
All the cargo is strapped in. Doing a pre-flight with Carter, my co-pilot (more like my comms guy, he’s got a really silky smooth voice on the squawker ). We’re also taking on a couple of regulars (who crew as a sideline thing), two of ‘em are deadheading with a connection and the Doc uses any excuse to get off world and tinker in the lab.
I get the okay from Zone Control to lift, and I push up on the controls. Settling into the seat, Griffon and I have a little chat…it’s kind of like a first date when you first take a ship off world. It’s a little awkward figuring our where you should put your hands, how she likes to be touched, whether she’s primed to purr or about ready to throw a drink in your face. All these things are important when you fly. I tried to teach this to Carter, he’s happier just praying during lift and re-entry. I stand by a firm hand on the tiller and listening to the noises the ship makes. Keeps a man alive a lot longer.
We break atmo and start pushing up to 1G, I can hear one of those land lovers yacking his brains out. I will never understand folks who lose themselves once off the gravity dick they grew up on.
Everything’s mellow. I can feel the engines purring through my boots. I’ve got three hands on the controls and chillin’ with some freshly brewed Yeximerly worm beam caff when I feel like I’ve been kicked in the sack.
Flying is like a first date, and this one went sideways fast. You know that moment when you’re slipping your arms around a girl for the first time and your both are pretending that it’s not to cop a feel…that was where I was at with Griffon, when all of a balled hand smashing my mom’s only hope for grand-babies.
Griffon bucked like a girl possessed (and not in a good way). Next thing I know, she’s hollerin and in pain. Some motherfucker had broken her sweet ass. She was trying desperately not bleed all over her shiney new dress.
It was all I could do to calm her down. Them tag-a-longs figured out that some of the cargo had come alive and was doing its level best to crash my sweet loving with their lewd gunfire. Somehow someway I was able to get Griffon to listen to me and coaxed her into a glide path that didn’t result in instant death. Carter’s wailing away on the squawker trying to get us clearance or something and I’m just trying to lay my baby down all gentle like on a smooth piece of ground.
It was a few minutes before I could get up. Hot sand blasted up on to the view screen. We weren’t dead, but we weren’t good either. Griffon lay broken on the dune of some shithole planet and some rickety bitchassed bots did it. To make things worse, now we’re basically sitting on house arrest while some blow hard bureaucrat tries to figure out who broke my ship.
I should have rolled over and gone back to sleep this morning. FML