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Roberts Space Industries ®






October 30th 2019

Far From Home: Solid Ground

Solid Ground

Hey y’all, it’s Old Jegger back at it again. Thanks for stopping by to hear my ramblings. Appreciate all of you sticking with me even though my transmissions have been few and far between lately. Shana and I have had an interesting time of late, to say the least, and we’ve spent way more time planetside than normal. But that’s behind us now, and it feels good to be back on the drift.

Sure some of you are wondering how we got stuck on solid ground, so let me fill you in. Now, I’ll admit it involves me making some embarrassing mistakes, but hell, that’s part of life. If you’re not messing up, even at my age, then you’re not living life to its fullest.

Anyway, it’s no secret that I’ll try anything to make Shana run as efficiently as possible. Well, after finishing a haul, I had some time to kill before my next scheduled run, so I scrolled through the spectrum and found a tweak claiming to make Tyler power plants pull even less power. Since Shana currently runs a ‘41 Eclipse, and our next route traces a path straight across Nexus, I thought I’d give it a shot. But, in my infinite wisdom, I never confirmed that the tweak worked with the ‘41s.

Well, it didn’t. Instead, it sent a power surge through Shana, knocking out all systems. I rebooted in emergency mode and ran a diagnostic. Didn’t even need to read the report to know that the gravity generator was messed up. Having my ankles hovering above my ears was enough of a giveaway. Thankfully, none of the other systems were affected and I wasn’t too far from solid ground, so I immediately changed course and set down on some dusty savanna.

I know, I know. I’ve preached about not trying sketchy fixes while in space, but still went ahead. Told you I righteously messed up here and kinda proved my own point. Thankfully, Shana’s entire electrical system didn’t get fried. Might not be speaking with y’all if it did.

Now, a busted grav-gen might not be a problem for some. Hell, there are folks that intentionally disable it to conserve power. And hell, I like having Shana run quiet, but that’s a bit much for me. There was no way I was gonna make my next haul unless that gravity gen got fixed, so I tried to undo the “tweak” that caused the problem. Knew it was a longshot and, of course, it failed. As they say, the damage was already done. Proud ol’ bugger that I am, I spent a few days researching and attempting fixes. None of ‘em worked. It started becoming obvious that I’d again messed up royally and should’ve taken Shana to a repair shop right away. All that lost time forced me to cancel my next haul and lose out on a nice payday.

Afterward, I began wondering why I had so stubbornly insisted on fixing it myself, even though I know that my electrical work isn’t the best. Was it because I was raised in a repair shop and know the tricks of the trade that I’m so opposed to taking Shana to one? Or was it some weird badge of honor to broadcast to y’all that I can do any repair myself? Questions like that and negative thoughts flooded my head and kinda took hold.

I didn’t get outta bed the morning my job had been scheduled to start. Just laid their spinning further and further down the shame spiral. Been a while since I’d felt like that. Kinda hoped those days were behind me, but I guess some of us are wired a certain way. Normally, I’d take Shana for a spin someplace scenic to remind myself of how I’m just one small part of something greater, which tends to put my relatively insignificant issues into perspective. But, since Shana wasn’t working and the main source of my frustration, that wasn’t an option. Instead, I went for a walk.

I’d landed Shana near a grove of trees that provided some shade and cover. There were a few hills nearby, so I picked one and walked to the top. The view took my breath away. A vast red-hued plain stretched out before me. Patches of trees and shrubs provided these beautiful pops of color. In the distance was a cliff overlooking a vast coastline. For the first time in days, my mind wasn’t focused on my mistakes or how to fix Shana, so I kept walking.

While crossing the savanna, I noticed a plant with a red pod hanging on it. The thing kinda looked like a large mushroom cap. My meals are mostly MREs or instant noodles, but these things looked strangely familiar. I did a quick spectrum search and discovered that they’re a fruit called pitambu. That’s when I remembered why they looked familiar. A few years back I hauled an entire cargo hold of ‘em to this high-end restaurant atop some tower in Terra. Landed right on the roof where the chef met me. Remember him opening a crate, peeling one, and then taking a bite. He closed his eyes and smiled as juice dripped his face. Don’t recall the last time a customer seemed so satisfied with one of my deliveries.

I’d never eaten a pitambu before, so I picked one, peeled away the waxy leaves, and took a bite. It was damn delicious. Now, my palate isn’t exactly refined, so describing it’s a bit hard, but it had this mildly nutty taste that was strangely refreshing and filling. I ate the entire thing and was feeling pretty good when I reached the cliff overlooking the coastline. I found a shaded spot and just took in the view. Not quite as beautiful as Rhetor V’s multi-colored storms, but still a memorable sight.

I ended up taking a little cat nap and woke up refreshed and hungry. On my way back to Shana I grabbed a few more pitambu and thought about how much ‘Big Rig’ Diaz would love this. She’s an old friend and the most adventurous eater I’ve ever met. Thinking about her reminded me that she was a whiz with electrical systems. I got back to Shana and sent her a comm about my situation and promising a crate of pitambu in exchange for any guidance. She replied faster than I ever expected. After taking her advice, I had Shana up and running the next day.

Now I’m on my way to visit Big Rig with a special crate of fruit just for her and a few extra to boot. Figured if that fancy chef in Terra wanted ‘em, they have to be worth something, right? Don’t think the haul will make up for that lost run but, hey, it’s something. Plus, I found a certain peace while picking them.

Y’all know I don’t spend much time on solid ground, but getting away from Shana really cleared my head. Sometimes all you need is a change of perspective. Maybe spending more time planetside might not be such a bad idea. I did save the coordinates from where I landed. Hopefully, I’ll have the time to go back next time I’m in that neck of the woods.

Looks like I’m about to enter atmo, so I best be going. Thanks for listening. Until next time, fly safe. This is Old Jegger signing off.

End Transmission

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