No One’s Luck Could Be This Bad

space

Image: JPL NASA

From the Flight Log of Freighter Pilot Camdon Rod

I used to think I was the luckiest freighter pilot this side of hyperspace, but obviously my luck’s running out.

Oh, I’m Camdon Rod, owner and operator of the jump freighter Ginger’s Regret. My partner in this operation is the real Ginger, the woman the ship is named after. There’s just one catch: Ginger’s a ghost.

I didn’t used to think she was, not really. I always figured she was some sort of one-in-a-million aberration of hyperspace physics and the quantum wonkiness of how jump drives work. After all, Ginger was “killed” over fifty years ago when she was EVA while the Regret’s jump drive activated due to an accidental power surge.

But we found out recently that hyperspace is where souls go when sentient beings die, at least I think that’s what we found out.

Ginger and I don’t talk about it. What’s there to say? She’s a soul or spirit or something that can’t get into hyperspace with the rest of them. So I guess that makes her a ghost.

That’s not what I’ve been complaining about though. You know, about my luck running out?

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Tuning In

flash of lightFrom the Flight Log of Freighter Pilot Camdon Rod

Just completed the jump into the Brinelli system and my head’s ringing like the Cathedral bells at the Lovibian convent on New Mederine. This is the fifth jump where I’ve heard ringing and come away with a splitting headache, and it gets worse with each jump.

Yeah, you know me. My name’s Camdon Rod and I’m the owner/operator of the jump freighter Ginger’s Regret. Right now, I’m regretting taking the job to haul replacement Calidantian micro-spanners to Brinelli for their underwater mining operations. Sure, the price is right since they can’t run the hydro-drills without these parts, but what the heck is happening to my head after each hyperjump?

This has never happened to me before. As you know, any ship equipped with a jump drive plots a virtual point-to-point connection between origin and destination points through hyperspace. The trip is instantaneous from a lifeform’s point of view and it’s impossible to perceive anything about the jump whatsoever, or at least it’s supposed to be.

No time to get careless. A distracted pilot is a dead pilot.

“Brinelli central control to Ginger’s Regret. Acknowledge completed jump.”

There’s Brinelli’s standard acknowledge call. “This is Ginger’s Regret acknowledging jump. Cutting in space norm engines. Estimate landing Ispanzu Port 1450 hours local time.”

“Confirming Regret’s estimated arrival at Ispanzu at 1450 hours local. Welcome to Brinelli. Enjoy your stay.”

“Acknowledge and thanks. Regret out.”

I’m just about gritting my teeth against the pain in my skull but I think it’s starting to ease off some. And so it goes.

“Need some pain killers, lover?”

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Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy

pluto x-rays

Image: NASA

From the Flight Log of Freighter Pilot Camdon Rod

I wouldn’t have known there were X-rays being emitted by Conlon’s Object if Cepravez hadn’t moved its jump point to the outer system. Technically Conlon’s is a dwarf planet, but when it was discovered centuries ago using a standard, ground-based optical telescope, the hunk of rock wasn’t deemed worthy of even that status, at least by Manx Conlon, the astronomer who first located it.

Oh, by the way, my name is Camdon Rod and I’m the owner/operator of the jump freighter the Ginger’s Regret. The Regret and I have been through a lot together, particularly since I discovered she was haunted, and by the real Ginger no less.

Of course, that’s practically nothing compared to some of our adventures like being hijacked in interplanetary space and me falling in love with a ghost.

But the part about falling in love can wait. It’s waited for a while now. It can wait a little longer.

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