One look at the ship and Shiva’s anxiety shifted into high gear.
“You mean this thing can fly?”.
This reaction was comically normal when one considers the fact that the ship looked like a hippopotamus and an elephant had a baby which was forcefed tubs of lard as soon as it started breathing. It was a rectangular shaped box mainly constructed out of a hypercomposite tremalite™. It looked like it had wrestled with a kraken and was sorely outclassed. Bird excrement covered most of its exterior and bits of it were patched back together with scotch-o-tape.
“It’s the best I could do given the time. Now come on let’s get going”
If you’ve ever stared down from a great height and got a sudden urge to jump, then you will fail to know exactly how Shiva felt. This was one jump he was not looking forward to making. With loads of trepidation he stepped into the ship. With the exception of the control panel nearly everything else looked like it had been given major overhaul. There was exposed wiring everywhere and the anti-acceleration seats looked like they were about to fall off with the tiniest push. Also everything was painted in a shade of blue that just nearly failed to comfort the mind.
Herg turned to Shiva.
“Get your COMM ready to interface with the ship’s on-board computer.”
The COMM, one of the marvels of computational technology allowed even the most inexperienced of dilettantes to pilot a ship. From navigation to take-off and landing, everything was handled subconsciously. Near planetary objects the fusion drive remained the prime mover. The Alcubierre drive took over when no gravity wells were in near proximity
With the destination set for Omicron 14 the tremalite™ slab took off. The take-off while not smooth was uneventful except for a minor bruise on Shiva’s shin caused by an exposed jig.
“Dammit”, exclaimed Shiva “I’m homesick already. This seems like a really bad idea”
“Relax, it’ll be fine. Now here’s the plan. We land at the Omicron 14 spaceport and head for Mose, their administrative hub. We’ll rendezvous with our local contact there. He’s a smuggler who goes by the name Starlord. He has already made the arrangements necessary for you and me to infiltrate the mayor’s office. We dig around for a while and leave with no one the wiser. Easy as stealing candy from a Wokerian larva.” (The Wokerians do not have the senses of sight and sound in the larval stage but are very fond of oral stimulation. An average Wokerian larva will have a truckload of candy with him at all times. Trucking is one of the more profitable ventures on Wokeria along with candy shops.)
The fusion drives propelled the ship past the outer solar system fairly quickly. The COMM then began preparations for engagement of the Alcubierre drive. These newer drives had come a long way from the drives of past, which would sometimes spontaneously turn the ship and its occupants into energy blobs of the colour pink. The exact reason why this happened was studied extensively by Dr. Gromtih Darkly. Dr. Darkly has since retired from academics and runs a successful psychedelic entertainment ride on the planet Disneyland.
“Ok Shiva, set the coordinates for the Omicron system. Engage warp drives on my mark. Three, two, one, mark.”
It is a scientific fact that in space no one can hear you scream. Thank the universe for small mercies. For those of you fortunate enough not to have gone through a warp drive it resembles the feeling of having taken a thousand drops of acid. Becoming one with the void beneath the universe is like staring outside an airship window and seeing a naked unicorn prance about. Except that the unicorn is actually a collection of naked singularities, the airship window is your dilated-as-fuck pupil and the tremalite™ is still that annoying shade of blue.
The ship is now cruising on its fusion drives on the outer reaches of the Omicron system. The COMM on Shiva’s wrist is guiding it to the spaceport on Omicron 14. Omicron 14 is a non-descript world in the multitude of inhabited planets scattered around the galaxy. While not particularly famous for anything it has made a name for itself by being the highest populated planet in the history of civilisation. The problem is that the Omicronians reproduce asexually every 10 standard years. There has been extensive research in the field of birth control but most of it has resulted in the creation of hideous mutants. Because of their unusual nature and rapid rate of reproduction they are unwelcome on many planets and thus the saying “Go fuck yourself” gets thrown around a lot while dealing with them. A slow resentment has been building amongst Omicronians with regard to the rest of the galaxy which has led to radical groups coming into power.
The ship approaches the spaceport and after being given docking clearance interfaces with the airlock. Shiva and Herg disembark at the spaceport and catch an airship headed for Mose. As they are sitting in the airship lounge a stranger approaches them. He is clearly an Omicronian, about 5ft tall completely black in colour and dressed in what appears to be transparent clothing.
“Hey are you outsiders? We don’t like your kind around these parts.”
Shiva sensing trouble was just about to say something to pacify the Omicroninan when Herg pulls out a blaster and shoots the omicronian square in the chest.
“WHAT THE FUCK” exclaims Shiva.
“Relax, murder is legal aboard airships in Omicron 14.”
“You mean we could get murdered and nobody would do anything about it. Sounds like something you should have mentioned sooner.”
“Don’t worry nothing bad’s gonna happen to us. I’m well prepared and an excellent shot even if I do say so myself.”
The rest of the journey passes without incident expect the occasional grumble from the cleaning crew. They finally reach Mose and disembark.
“All right. What next”