written by Fyren
My travels take me many places. Today, I find myself in the Atlas system dropping off several medical professional whose services I assume are need here. The station is barren of entertainment for someone like me. This station is very spartan and industrial. Function over form here. Still, every place has people looking to get away, even just for a little while. Browsing through the would be passenger manifest, the standard fare is all here; sightseeing to a few nearby systems, transport or prisoners, and one not so standard affair. A man wants to go visit a black hole. I’ve only ever seen a black hole from a long distance. A few button presses gets me in contact with the man.
“Hello, I hear you want to go visit the Maia Black Hole.” I tell him. The video call is a little glitchy. “Hello? Yes, I think…” the connection is unstable and static plays through my cockpit “…be fascinating”. Too much interference from the machinery in this station. “Alright, dock 45, we’ll leave as soon as you are ready.” The man arrives within 10 minutes. Impressive. He must really be anxious to get going. I give him a quick scan to make sure that he isn’t trying to escape the authorities. That has got me into trouble far too often in the past. All clear.
The trip consists of just one jump, and a pretty long but easy cruise. Cruising along at great speeds, the console beeps. A message from my lone passenger. The man’s face appears on the screen looking rather nervous. “Oh great, what now?” I wonder aloud seeing the man’s face as he pauses a great while trying to find the words. “I have just received a communication… from… uh…. A friend of mine, that I… uh… have a bounty on my head.” Great. We’ve got several hours of open space in front of us, and now it is like to be swarming with bounty hunters.
Lucky for me that space was filled with only one eager bounty hunter. The hunter even sends me a message before engaging, informing me of his intent. I would be surprised if this so called bounty hunter had actually ever successfully claimed a bounty. The expected frame-shift interdiction begins shortly. The warp bubble collapses around my taxi in a very predictable pattern. I take the time to send a communication to my would be attacker. “Not today son, this isn’t my first interdiction ya know.” A few turns and we are back on our way cruising towards the black hole, leaving the amateur behind us. I like to imagine that he was cursing me while watching the trail left by my engines fade into the distance. “Don’t worry buddy, you’ll catch one some day” I say while laughing aloud to myself, the sound reverberating around my cockpit.
The black hole is truly a sight to behold. The way that space and debris seems to bend around it is fascinating. The majesty of some things is just beyond words.
Needless to say, my fare was overjoyed at such sights, even going so far as pay me extra for how great seeing a black hole so close was, though it didn’t hurt that we evaded some danger as well. I leave the station behind me, moving on, sparing a quick thought for how many bounty hunters might find him on such a sparsely populated port.
continued in Smuggler’s Run