IE11 is no longer supported
We do not support Internet Explorer 11 and below. Please use a different web browser.
Roberts Space Industries ®






August 5th 2015

Far From Home
The Kindness of Strangers

One man's look at flying solo

Hello to all you fellow deep-space drifters. Thanks for spending a few minutes with me Far From Home. I know there’s a lot of noise out there. An entire Spectrum vying for your time. How so many of you found me … well, hell if I know.

Guess it don’t matter much. What does is that I have enough unanswered comms to fill a Hull-C. Gotta admit, it’s a little humbling and a whole lot of overwhelming sorting through them all. That might just be me, though. No one ever mistook me for a social butterfly.

So if your comm goes unanswered, don’t red out. It’s not personal or nothing. Some of your questions, I don’t have an answer for … like “What’s the safest route through the Glaciem Ring?” Hell if I know. That’s pirate territory. Not a good place to be caught drifting by your lonesome.

Other questions got more of a philosophical bent to them. Like … “How can space be considered both a place and a giant void?” Honestly, I enjoy questions like that. Ones that keep me company while I drift. Still that doesn’t mean you’ll get a response. Questions like that aren’t meant to be answered … only contemplated.

If you’re looking to squeeze some truth out of me, I’ll answer personal questions if I feel like it. Some days I do and some I don’t. Well … today I do. Gloria left me a really nice message then asked, “What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever done in space?”

Seriously, Gloria, it’s hard for me to narrow down the list to one. I’ve done a lot of questionable things over the years, and tried to learn from each and every one, but doing something dumb isn’t always bad. It’s life. It’s when you do that dumb thing a second time that you run into problems.

With that said, the first thing that popped into my head was something I’m sure a lot of you are guilty of – drinking and flying. Now I’m not talking about cracking some cold ones, setting the autopilot and sitting back to stare at the stars. No, one night about ten years ago, I decided to celebrate Traveler’s Day by punching random coordinates into my nav, spinning up the QD and opening a bottle of White Lightning distilled by a buddy.

Turns out this batch was strong enough to knock a Tev on his keister. Something I only realized when I was halfway through it. ’Course that didn’t stop me from killing the bottle, dropping into the pilot’s chair and turning off the autopilot to spin Shana through the black by myself.

Now, maybe it was the drink, maybe the G-forces, but next thing I know I wake up to Shana yelling about an impending impact. I fumbled for the flight stick and sent her main right thruster smack-dab into an asteroid. The damage wasn’t catastrophic, but it was too much for my repair bot to handle.

So there I was in some dark corner of the Corel System and can’t QD with the damaged thruster. There’s nothing nearby worth heading towards. And, oh yeah, it’s bloody Traveler’s Day. The one time of the year that most spacefaring folk find themselves planetside.

Of course, I should’ve commed for help immediately, but I was dedicated to dumbness that day. It being a holiday and all, I was sure repair companies would charge a premium for their services. So stubborn ol’ me decided to hold tight and drift for a day so I could save a few creds.

First thing I did was power down Shana to conserve energy and lower my sig. It was about this time that the inside of my head felt like a bunch of Banu at a Sataball game. I had planned to sit in the pilot’s seat to keep an eye out for scavengers or pirates but all I could do was lie down. When I couldn’t handle it no more, I stumbled to the provisions locker to discover I was out of the things I needed most: supplies to make my homebrewed hangover cure.

That’s all it took. A hangover cure was more important than saving creds on a tow to Lo, so I put out a call for help and, to my surprise, got a response from a Reclaimer crew who also believed that Traveler’s Day was best celebrated traveling.

So they swung on by and had everything to repair my thruster. Even did the fixes without charging me a cred. All they asked was that I celebrate Traveler’s Day with them by sharing a few stories from the previous year and, most importantly, teaching them how to make my hangover cure. For them, that was more than enough payment too.

I’ve strived my entire life to be my own man, but I’ve learned it’s a hopeless dream. Everyone has faults and everyone needs help. Even if asking scares you, sometimes it’s the right thing to do. You can’t survive in space alone, and, not only that, you gotta be good when you can. Those versed in the ways of the void, like that Reclaimer crew, understand that too. So, thanks to the crew of Evo Horizon, I now think about my dumbest day in recent memory with a smile on my face.

Anyways, when I told my buddy about what happened, he laughed himself silly then sent me another bottle of White Lightning. This one had a warning label on it listing proper dosage. It’s been nearly ten years and I haven’t had the heart to crack it – just the thought of drinking it turns my stomach.

So there you go, Gloria. Drinking and flying without autopilot is dumb. Hurting Shana in the process even dumber, but doing it without all the supplies necessary for my hangover cure was the dumbest thing I’ve done in space. Moral of the story: check every last supply before pushing out. Never know when something might become the most vital supply on the ship.

Well, that’s about all the time I have today. Got to run a few diagnostics on Shana to make sure she’s shipshape. As always, appreciate you tuning in. Until next time …

Jegger out.

End Transmission

Part of

News Update

More in this series



Loading Additional Feedback