Ride, Relax, Enjoy (Skunk's Orbital Jam-bo-ree)
- Wear something to make you feel super comfy, with the weather forecast in mind.
- Enjoy bonbons or other fancy treats.
- Engage in two or more spa-type activities, such as cucumber slices on the eyes, manicures, pedicures, or mud masks.
- Follow whatever guidelines given for Hot Radiation Therapy by our gracious hosts.
- Skunk delivers his brief and off-the-cuff state of the gang speech.
- Leave WalTor and Diva's fort in better shape than if we hadn't visited.
- Blast off at about 2200 and fly back to Fort Antwerp.
Mission SummaryNine brave pilots gathered early under the still-burning glow of the daystar to embark on a now yearly pilgrimage in honor of our fleet admiral's successful completion of another orbit. Our destination: the legendary rejuvenative vortex of the Maynard System, which mysteriously and conveniently spawned behind Waltor and Diva's fort one year ago today.
Spirits were flying high behind the impeccable navigation of Lordmcfuzz as the fleet wended its way along the Charles Asteroid Belt through the perfect early fall atmospheric conditions. Newly minted HARV pilot Cosima impressed all with her deft skill from atop DPW Crowley, exuding a bold confidence that typically develops only with years of experience. Along the wormhole in the Watertown System, we encountered Bane Thunderwolf perched atop a bike rack on Bieber Fever, who integrated into our ranks so seamlessly, tailgunner Red Squirrel was later taken by surprise several light-years down the line when she realized he had been assimilated. This was the first of several intercepts of varying modality that would occur over the course of the mission.
Past the slow rolling g-wells of the Waltham System, we turned onto the turbulent entrance of the Mass Central Wormhole. After a brief pause for a woodland fuel dump, the fleet crossed the ancient railway trestle and continued on the remarkably smooth paved portion of the path for many light-years, as civilian onlookers marveled slack-jawed at our grandeur. Gritty partook of her traditional Mai Tai quaffs and regaled us with tales of the Chicago System, while Diva laid bare the finer details of dropping fuel in open range while female. At the end of the wormhole, Bane Thunderwolf peeled off and bade us farewell.
After passing through the Wayland and Sudbury systems, we took brief shore leave at the Lincoln Sudbury Regional High School, where pilots shared snacks and Diva pointed out the dinosaur tracks her class had fabricated. Just a few light-years more, we finally made it to the Maynard System, where the temperature plummeted while pilots procured additional rations for the evening from Luna Market Basket and endured excessively long checkout lines. Skunk made many friends while waiting, including a very interested older lady wearing some sweet shades.
Upon arriving at our destination, we found Waltor lounging in a hammock. Pilots immediately began unpacking and indulging in all the finer things. Lordmcfuzz munched sushi, while Skunk distributed shots of very fine tequila, and Cosima shared a bottle of wine from a vineyard she used to work at, stressing the importance of not judging a wine until making it past the first "false sip". Wombat tore into an entire hot rotisserie chicken, and attempted to drink a hard nitro pumpkin coldbrew obtained from one of Lordmcfuzz's failed experiments. Red Squirrel soaked her feet in lavender epsom salts, as pilots delighted in bowls of her vegan mac n' cheeze and Waltor's vegan chili. Grillmaster DrClaw cooked up the meats, and provided entire massive bowls of tatertots (mmmm, tatertots).
Diva took turns introducing pilots to the newest members of the fort, Xander and Amadeus -- two kittens, only one of whom was actually seen in the flesh. Waltor provided wood for the fire pit, which Red Squirrel and 2 Lucky kindled into a raging bonfire and pilots immediately began roasting marshmallows, string cheese, hotdogs or whatever could handle being on a skewer. And then, the reason for the season: pilots shed layers of spacesuits and descended into the whirling vortex of time, where Skunk liberally distributed amazing foot massages to anyone who so desired.
Over the course of the night, a parade of additional pilots began materializing from the ether! First there was Everest, then Acehole, via transport. Then Leotard with Hippogriff via the commuter rail. Then Deadblow and Grog on civiships, fresh off a parachuting adventure earlier in the day! The love was palpable, and more massages were dispensed among the new arrivals.
As our time at the spa drew to a close, we had one final piece of business to attend to: 2 Lucky's writhing, overgrown maggot form could no longer contain itself, so with a wave of the magic pool cleaning scepter, Cosima knighted him, and his wings immediately burst forth from the molted husk of his former self, revealing his true and final form. It was a messy sight to behold, but we hugged him anyway.
Pilots bundled up for the return journey home in the frigid air, save for Wombat, who engaged in some paradoxical undressing and rode the entire way home in his undersuit. Lordmcfuzz made the return route interesting, and we briefly picked up some klingons while passing back through the Watertown System, who managed to get themselves very lost. A near miss with a transport collision got the blood flowing again, but we made it safely back to the landing pad around 0300, where Skunk declared it a resounding mission success. Happy orbital, admiral!