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Roberts Space Industries ®






April 1st 2015

Far From Home

One man's look at flying solo

Hey, folks. Welcome back to “Far from home.” Appreciate all of you tuning in. Hopefully there’ll be a little less static this time around as I managed to find a new broadcast board for my comm array. Had to snap it in half and rewire it back to front to make the damn thing fit the ol’ lady, but luckily Shana’s always been pretty accommodating when it comes to me fiddling about underneath her skirt. Got to appreciate that about the ‘32 Lancer. Sure they break, but it is one fun ship to fix. Hell, if the co-pilot seat hadn’t fallen out would I have ever thought to put in the mini-cooler?

For those of you keeping track, I’m floating above Hyperion right now. Man, it is a sight. Down below the dust storms are a nuisance at best, and a killer at worst, but up here they make for one magnificent sunrise. Swung by Fora for a stop ’n’ fill and some of those meat stick things they have at Purgatory. I don’t eat a lot of meat these days, but when I do, for whatever reason, I sure as certain want that flesh served to me on a stick. Something primal about it maybe. Being up here on your own you get to know yourself a little better than most, but that’s the cerebral part. The deep part. The other part, the physical part, well you get disconnected from your caveman DNA that says fire good and meat stick better. Give me a horizon and sky above, and I completely regress to a primitive. I hate to imagine what people think of me when I do go planetside. Jack knows me well enough by now that when he sees me coming he just sets out the extra napkins and waits till I’m done eating before even attempting civilized conversation.

It was Jack who pointed me in the way of the Aurora that I reclaimed the broadcast board from. The poor thing had crash landed a few days prior. From nearest they can tell the pilot had laid in a course for Hyperion when it happened. Died right at the stick. Just sort of gently slumped forward and that was that. Lucky enough, his aim was true and the ship crashed smacked dab into the planet. A little to the left or right and who knows how long till someone would have found him. Though I guess if he had crashed into the sun instead he would have saved everyone a little trouble when it came time to see to the funeral, but then again, I got my board out of it. Never understand those people who shake their head at salvage, like there’s something distasteful about picking clean the bones. That’s how nature sees fit to do it. Imagine if there weren’t those hyenas, and skallons, and bugs and what not making use of the dead? Why we’d be drowning in corpses, or to complete the analogy, wading neck deep through shipwrecks. Reclaim and reuse, I say. Anyway, thanks to that Aurora pilot. I hope he found his way in the end.

Now, some of you have taken to sending me comms with questions on flying solo or asking for advice on surviving out in the black, so I figured I could do another pass at answering some of those inquiries for you today.

Got one here from Calton out of Corel who asks, “Any tricks for avoiding boarders while you’re sleeping?” Calton here is suffering from an affliction that I find hits most people when they first start going solo. I call it ‘Sleep Madness.’ People lie down in their berths with nothing but the hum of the filters to fill their thoughts, and their minds begin to wander. What if my ship drifts into the sun? What if an asteroid crashes into me? What if my berth gets stuck and I can’t open it and I die screaming for help? What if outlaws find me? My initial answer to all of these is the same. It might happen. Kind of what makes life so awesome in some regards. But to be honest, in my 20 plus years of floating out here, I ain’t seen it yet. I take precautions, though. Main one being powering down every system except for life support before I go to bed. Makes your ship all kinds of hard to spot and severely limits the chances of something going wrong. Of course the downside to all that is when trouble does hit, it may take a while to spin everything back up. Not always such a bad thing though.

Never had outlaws hit me while I was sleeping, but two years in I did have a ’Duul-Navy fight break out right off stern not a kilometer away. My first instinct was to run and I’m fairly certain if I had that would have been the end of me. Instead, since everything was shut down, I had no choice but to sit there and bite my fingers raw. Saved my life. I was flying in a Starfarer back then. Rebuilt her thrusters myself.

Hopefully that helps you sleep a little better, Calton.

Let’s see, what else can I answer. Got one from Trin right here in Fora. Asks, “Got any good book recommendations?” Well now that is a great question. The answer of course is anything in the Burning Skies series. People say it’s for the younger set, but tell that to my racing heart after I get through one of those epic battle scenes. They really got it all. Action, comedy, even a little romance. Just enough to preserve the mystery if you know what I mean. I say start at the beginning, but if you’re just going to read one, you could do a lot worse than “One Last Dawn.” I won’t give anything away, but comm me your opinion of that bit where they’re all singing after you’ve read it.

Well crap. I was going to answer a bunch more, but time got the better of me. Still have some work to do before the solar flares hit. Keep sending me questions, and until next time, remember that even though you’re flying alone, you’re never alone.

Old Jegger signing off.

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