written by Fyren
After my stint of adventure and nearest brush with death yet, I wanted a long and relaxing ride with little danger and high pay. I head back home to the Firen system and find the residents of Kronecker Dock are still just as happy to see me. I get my taxi pulled out of storage and spend a few days getting reacquainted. Re-familiarizing myself with every nook and cranny, buffing out the scratches and dents and falling in love all over again with the ship that had brought me through so much.
Once the Forgerunner Taxi is squeaky clean and ready to get back to work, I find my next fare. A laid back group of scientists that need a ride out towards the center of the galaxy. Not the farthest, but it is long enough and most importantly it pays well. My personal coffers are running low from the funds I spent outfitting the gun ship. “It is nice to be back in my comfort zone” I think to myself as I pull out of dock and settle in for the 12 thousands light years worth of travel ahead.
The first leg of the journey passes exactly how I wanted, quietly and uneventful. Though, I had not remembered of the dangerous travel zone around the bubble. It is a belt of brown dwarf stars with no stations and very few opportunities to refuel. Navigating this belt, which I have come to call Brown Dwarf Country is tricky. Several times I nearly run out of fuel, but with careful navigation and a course that adds a bit of time to the trip it can be done. I have yet to require a rescue from the Fuel Rats in my career and I don’t intend to break that streak now. Even though the Fuel Rats are angels to people like me, I don’t want to end up as one of their stories, least of all while I’m carrying passengers.
I spend nearly an hour poring over my star charts, carefully plotting a course through brown dwarf country. “Measure twice, cut once” I say when one of the scientists contact me, curious as to why we haven’t made much progress yet. Once the course is set though, I need to re-evaluate it after every few jumps. While brown dwarf country isn’t incredibly large, it is large enough to require several fuel tanks to get through and only the largest ships can carry that much fuel. With my careful approach, we manage to make it through and the rest of the galaxy lay in front of us.
The fare is ticking but, the deadline for arrival is still a long way out. I settle in to the groove of mixing in sightseeing and exploration while still making good time towards the destination. We stop to check out a few planets, mostly lifeless rocks drifting through space with no regard for anything. The galaxy is vast, and mostly untamed and uncivilized. I notice some scan data that reveals a planet with several ice geysers. Being scientists, I reach out to my passengers “Want to stop and get some samples of this?”. I send the scan data to their cabin. “Absolutely!” comes the enthusiastic reply. I bring us in and land as close to the field of geysers as I can. My passengers are thrilled. “We got some good data from these, but we didn’t bring the equipment for this specific task. I would love to come back later for more detailed research.” one of them informs me. Well, at least they got something. Seeing a happy customer warms my heart and I start to remember why I got into this line of work in the first place. We load back on to the ship and continue on our way, seeing what the galaxy has in store along the way.