by Owsley Beck

We punched through the ether with a pop. The decelerator was scratch, we had to do a cold stop with full shields too the hull of the ship. The Rømer buffers groaned as we slid her on her side to bounce of the rings of planetary entity Gobi 8. The virtual lag of the trailing ether lit up with a noxious green flare and everything smelt like scorched atmosphere. We had to strap ourselves in with Metal rubber running tubes from the core of the ship, metal rubber is an indestructible polymer that was invented in the early 21st century. It was those tubes that saved our lives, held us in when nothing else would, when space-time started to layer and form rips in the fabric. That and a shit load of “Whip-It Good” whipped cream substitute smeared over our entire bodies. It was that whipped cream substitute that stopped us from melting, stopped our flesh being flayed from our very bones. The heat of doing a cold stop out of light speed is never good and that little Whip-It trick had saved my life and the lives of my crew on more than one occasion.

So there we were drifting on the dark side of Gobi 8 a dead planet in a twisted system.  The whole place was off kilter causing the outlaying planets to start a slow spiraling drunken stagger out of the dying suns pull. The ether was heavy here which is why we choose this place to come out of light speed. The ether along with the punch drunk spin of the planets causes a slowdown of any object moving within thier directional arc. It was a dangerous procedure to be sure but it was doable. The problem actually didn’t lay within doing a cold stop but with getting back out of the system and it’s swaggering sloth like effect that it had on anything that had the misfortune of ending up inside. The whip creamed substitute would help with that. It would help us move at a more reasonable pace so that we could be about repairing any damage to the ship and it’s navagational computers. What we had to worry about was making sure that the ship didn’t tear up when we sparked the Omega Drive. The wave that the drive omitted wouldn’t be slowed down by the ether and pull, as nothing can stop light but the ship itself may well be deboned like chicken due to the lag leaving a neatly skinned skeleton of a ship floating forever through the blackness as little cream covered human-cicles bobbed through eternity or until eventually they drifted into a new system and fell into the gaping furnace of some alien sun or rouge planet’s atmosphere, but as any spacefaring man knew the possibility of something as small as your won puny sack of skin hitting anything out here was like winning a Katherian sea camel race; possible but not likely. Space is a cruel bitch mistress.

The only chance we had of getting out of here was to harness enough ether with our tractor beam then funnel it into the Rutherford Disks, from their we could theoretically reverse the threads turning our Omega Drive into Alfa Drive thus creating a temporary wormhole that we could escape through. This is of course is all theoretical but we have little choice at this point. Fuck it. I give the order and the crew jumps into action. Reports start coming in from around the ship, the damage isn’t as bad as it could be, judging from what is being said we should be ready to attempt forming a wormhole within the next two hours. I inform the crew to lather themselves up in as much Whip-It Good as they can so that they can work at top speed. The sooner we are out of this god forsaken system the better. The hell if I’m going to be stuck here in the armpit of outer fucking space for a millinium.

The crew is tip top, they manage to get the ship in working order in record time. I give word to the helmsman to search our vacinaty for tears in space-time. She finds one just off starboard. I give the go-ahead to start the tractor-beam to start pulling in the ether. The engenieers had managed to rig up a funneling system using some outdated firing capsules and some duct tape. Those box heads can be handy in a pinch.