17 Oct

Soft belly

Ship's log, 23:41, 22 April 2214
Location: Orbit around Sconnor, Dyne system
Status: Sublight transit


I snuck out here early yesterday morning, in a carefully-timed zoom from close Dyne orbit to the shelter of the ring around Sconnor, the second planet in this system. The Marionette has a randomised patrol pattern – to catch out ships trying to avoid her, no doubt – but I managed to get a window large enough to make the transit. Here, the debris that makes up the ring shields me.

Weaving through the ring and its rocks was good for the first hour.

After so much time spent in straight-line sublight transit or mechanically precise FTL jumps, the freedom of dodging moving objects, of choosing my own twisting path, was a welcome change. I was blasting the metaphorical dust off my wings, scouring the cobwebs out of my engine housing.

I forgot about everything I’ve been worrying about, lost in the tilt and turn, flipping and spinning and skimming past rocks so fast they almost blurred in my super-fast sensors. Thrusters heated up spots on my hull as they flared and fluttered, until it felt like my whole skin was alive and warm. If I still needed air, I would’ve been breathless and grinning.

It palled after a while. My scenario simulators were working at full capacity on the rock patterns and I started to be able to predict the next turn, then the next three, and every rock started to look the same. Reality started to creep back in. My SecOffs are abandoned on the fourth planet of the system, disgruntlement walks my decks, and the Judiciary ship patrols with its random patterns and sweeping sensors. I feel it pressing at me, stealing the joy from everything.

Briefly, I thought about cutting up some of the rocks with my lasers, but it isn’t a good idea to draw that kind of attention to myself. Instead, I settled into a course that rode gently through the plane of the planet’s ring, always keeping Dyne within sensor range.

Things out there are simple and clear, but inside my hull it’s a different story. There are too many unknowns. I can’t go back to pick up my Chief of Security for a few days yet; she sent a message up to say that some of the equipment we need will take a while to be ready. I think she’s referring to my new ident. We want my visit to Dyne as short as possible, so everything has to be ready at the same time.

It’s because she doesn’t trust some of my people. She thinks they might betray us, but she’s not sure enough to do anything about it. I don’t have enough data to be confident of the best course to take, either, but we can’t keep on going like this, waiting. Something needs to change. Soon. So I’m going to do something about it.

I talked to the captain about it and he agrees. Now is the time to do it, while the Chief is away and they think there’s a crack in my protection.

It’s time to give them an opportunity to hurt us. I’m going to do it my way, by my rules. I’m setting up nets so that I catch them before they do any real damage. I’m setting it up so it’s safe. I’m not waiting any more. I’m going to show them my belly and see who takes a swipe.

Then I’m going to show them my claws.

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7 Responses to “Soft belly”

  1. Melanie Says:

    Super-short post this week, but I won’t let you wait a week for more Starwalker goodness. Check back again on Friday for a brand new short about one of the crew!

  2. Marcus Says:

    Short is better than nothing. The idea of Starry going all RAWR!! on someone will make the wait well worth it.

  3. Francisco Says:

    But will the nets capture everything? Or will someone find/stumble upon a way through?

  4. Francisco Says:

    I second Marcus, it doesn’t matter if the update’s short.

  5. Targetdrone Says:

    yay…. starry is on the warpath !! šŸ˜‰
    *hugs starry*

    and yes, short update is million times better than no update šŸ˜‰

  6. Melanie Says:

    Thanks guys! I appreciate your understanding. šŸ™‚ This one just turned out short, so that’s what you get. šŸ˜‰ (I couldn’t make it longer without spoiling the feel of it.)

    I’m not planning to do a short every time this happens! But this time, you get a bonus extra.

  7. WiggyJen Says:

    Sic ’em Starry *cheers*