Galactic Frontier: One-Way Century 2017
Chapter 1: Off to a yawning start
5 sleepy pilots launched from Ft Tyler at 0945 in order to catch the Commuter Bail out to Fitchburg. After one false start waiting for Dr. Claw to turn around to retrieve a forgotten shield, we spotted Beezwax rolling along and enlisted her to ride along with us, as she was headed to North Station as well. Upon arrival, pilots scurried to procure coffee molecules and endured the usual gawking of passers-by. When the train platform was announced, we hustled to squeeze the ships onboard with the gracious assistance and patience of the train conductors.
Chapter 2: In which we have difficulties before we even launch
As we settled in, what can only be described as a recently escaped plague patient plopped himself down in a nearby seat and proceeded to fill the carriage with the moist sounds of impending death rattle. As he wheezed and hacked and sprayed particulates in our general direction, pilots one by one removed themselves to the lower decks. Just as we were reorienting ourselves, an announcement came over the PA system instructing us to change trains for an unspecified “mechanical issue.” Pilots scurried to undo all the careful chopper tetris we’d engineered in order to relocate to a new car, which was mercifully larger and allowed for all 5 ships to be packed together in a carriage rather than a vestibule. The conductor cheerfully informed us that we were the cause of the issue, and though we snuck furtive glances at our fellow passengers, none seemed bothered or even surprised by the delayed departure.
Chapter 3: Mad dash for burritos
After a lengthy fuel dump and a brief opening ceremony during which Wombat chugged the traditional ceremonial First Beer, the pilots made their way through the Fitchburg system towards Ayer under the hazy heat of the daystar. Navigator Dead Bride charged up and down gwells and set a brisk pace, and at around LY 7 we stopped for what turned out to be the only mechanical, an ominous plasma bulge on Burning Chrome, which was remedied a few light years later after a stop at a local bike shop for a new thruster casing. As we approached Ayer it became clear that the brisk pace was driven by a need to consume food molecules, and the fleet halted at the entrance to the Nashua River wormhole for a rest. Giant burritos were procured from a nearby burrito purveyor, and the pause gave Threespeed enough time to swap out his wonky plasma casing with a shiny new one while chatting with the local civilians.
Chapter 4: Chop free or die
There ensued a pleasant stretch of about 10 LY along the wormhole, where pilots leef-peeped and engaged our sonic disruptors for the adoring populace. Presently we came to the Nashua System where we hopped onto a stretch of deep-space wormhole, which Dr.Claw and Wombat remembered from a previous century. Thankfully, this time we were navigating by the light of the daystar, so it was considerably less hazardous and more scenic. As darkness fell, we scooted across the Merrimack Asteroid Belt and engaged our laser arrays in preparation for the next stretch of territory, which included a bonus proto-wormhole that ran parallel to the main route. Soon it was apparent that an imminent dinner stop was necessary, so at the very first sign of civilization, the fleet pulled over into a parking lot which turned out to be a diner full of a wide array of fried nutrients. We settled in for a prolonged shore leave, where both zoobs and pilots were recharged. At about 2130, we embarked again on the Granite State wormhole, where we were the only evidence of life for many light years, save for a group of teenage boys grouped suspiciously alongside the trail.
Chapter 5: Deep space shuffle
Presently, the smoothly paved wormhole came to an end at a starsystem border, perhaps a casualty of sluggish bureaucracy or ineffective politics. However, a path forward continued in a gravelly manner and the fleet carefully picked their way forward, bumping along in the quiet night with lasers at full blast until they reached the Methuen system, where they rejoined the lights of civilian outposts and crossed the Merrimack for a second time.
Chapter 6: An ominous fog appears
Somewhere around the Andover system, pilots began to notice a suspicious moisture in the air, clinging to their spacesuits and clouding the vision of those wearing corrective ocular shields. Soon, it became difficult to see the route ahead, and Dead Bride needed to clear her vision every 90 seconds in order to maintain course. G-well activity increased in this region, and pilots stopped for a brief fuel dump and shore leave after one particularly steep section. Despite the creeping mist, the fleet pushed onwards through Reading system, where Threespeed’s attempt to find dumpster grenades ended in disappointment. As we were nearly to Woburn, several protruding manhole covers appeared suddenly out of the fog, and pilots screeched and hollered in warning as they narrowly averted these oncoming missiles. Soon, we entered the familiar territory of the Winchester system and the curtains of mist began to dissipate.
Chapter 7: Mission success
Emerging into Somerville territory, the fleet orbited the black hole by Powderhouse, purely by navigational accident, and floated through the sleeping starsystem past the Davis constellation and back to base, crash landing at 0412 on M+1. The weary centurions dispersed to their home forts to sleep off their adventure, and dream of the next chopper century.
Total flight time was approximately 15:15.