Into Space

The outer corridor of the Sun Tower is crowded with hover carts and scooters racing towards the docking bay. Every cart is overloaded with passengers. Doc's hover cart is over it's weight limit, but still moving along with the flow of traffic.

The man in black is still unconscious. Thunderhorse is sitting on him. Mark is keeping an eye on him. The two other passengerskeep asking about the condition of their "friend." Mark keeps shutting them up with "He's fine."

"I've got some water here, do you want to splash some water on his face? That might wake him up," suggests the goggled swimmer sitting on the back of the cart.

"No thanks. We'll take care of him," Doc shouts back.

"What about-"

"He's fine. Shut up."

As they pass into the marked safe zone, high enough to be clear of the rising water, the traffic lightens up. Some carts drop off their passengers and head back down to gather more. Doc stops the cart and their two extra passengers get off. Doc continues towards the docking bay.

Doc pulls out his I-Browse. "Steve? Are you there? Veronica? Anyone? Can you hear me?"

Steve finally replies. "I'm here. I thought I said keep off the air."

"We've captured one of the men in black. We're on our way to the docking bay. Where are you?"

"I'm already there. Have you seen Mark or Thunderhorse?"

"They're with me. Have you heard from Veronica?"

"No. I can't find any sign of her or the Younger Brother Pear."

"Well, we've got another problem," Doc says. "The campus detective knows who I am and knows that we've broken the time travel treaty. He's called the CIA, and they're on their way now."

"You're kidding me. Do they know about me?"

"He didn't mention you."

"Okay. Get up here fast. I'll arrange some transportation."

Doc pockets the I-Browse and floors the hover cart. Within a few moments, they're in the docking bay. Doc circles around the now empty water tower until he sees Dr. Ritenrong. He stops the cart and Dr. Ritenrong gets on. He immediately begins rifling through the man in black's pockets. He pulls out the pain gun, some ID cards, and a datapad. He puts on his sun glasses.

"Aha. Doc, go to section E-Green-17. Look for a sporty black ship."

Doc finds it easily. He saw it landing earlier. It's a sporty black thing, triangular and aerodynamic with two large engines at the back. It's passenger compartment is about the size of an SUV. Steve jumps out of the hover cart, wearing the glasses and wielding one of the ID cards. He waves it at the side of the ship. Nothing happens.

"Thunderhorse! Bring him over here!" Steve shouts.

Thundherhorse dismounts the cart, hauling the MiB's body to Steve. Steve puts the glasses on him. He puts the MiB's hand on a plate on the side of the ship with one hand and peels one of his eyelids open with the other. The cockpit window slides back, and the sides of the ship fold down into stairs.

"Okay," says Steve. "Everyone on board!" The party leaves the cart behind and get on the ship.

There's some shouting behind them as Mark helps Thunderhorse haul the MiB on board. The other MiB is running towards them.

"Steve, it's the other one!" Doc shouts, readying his pain gun. Mark and Thunderhorse throw their prisoner into the back seat.

"Don't worry about him, just get in your seats!" Steve shouts. He's in the pilots seat pushing buttons furously. The sides of the ship fold back up and the cockpit window slides shut. The engines fire up. The MiB is still running through the parking lot, shouting and waving his fists. They can't hear him.

The ship lifts off. Dr. Ritenrong shouts into an intercom. "This is ND-121 'Python' requesting clearance for emergency departure."

"You and the rest of the station," replies a rather snarky and overworked flight controller. "Request denied. Set down. Repeat, set down! Submit your passenger manifest and get in line. There's 107 in front of you."

Steve tries harder. "This is a medical emergency. ND-121 requests clearance for immediate departure!"

"Bullshit. You've got one unconscious with a minor head injury. Now put her back down and wait your turn," replies the flight controller.

"Fuck this shit," mumbles Steve. He takes a deep breath and throws the throttle forward. Steve barely misses a half dozen ships currently lifting off. He very nearly scrapes the top of the ship on the airlock portal while flying over a departing ship. The flight controller is screaming at him.

"Orbital patrol is on its way to intercept you! Your license is going to be revoked! You are in so much-" Steve shuts off the com link.

The Python blasts past a line of ships heading into a landing approach. Steve flies the ship into a higher orbit, lighting up the heads up display with navigational information.

He turns to Doc in the copilot's seat. "Doc," he says, "take the controls. I've got to check out a few things. "

"Uh, I've never..."

Steve points out the controls. "Up, down, bank right, bank left. Throttle, brakes. Don't worry about anything else right now. Just keep the nose in the box," he explains, referring to the tunnel-like series of boxes on the heads up display.

Steve turns his chair to a computer to his left and starts pounding away at the keys as fast as he can. Doc keeps the ship steady through the artificial tunnel. The computer tells him to slow down to enter a steady orbit. He does so. It's surprisingly easy.

An alarm sounds. The heads up display points out two ships approaching from behind. A message starts blinking. "Emergency com override."

"This is Earth Orbital Patrol. Remain on course and prepare to be boarded."

"Shit!" shouts Steve. "They're here fast! Floor it!"


ERR said...

Steve uses Dex Focus, -1 Chi, +3 Dex. Bonus
Steve Pilot Check 17 (14+3) vs. DC 15, Success XP+15

Doc said...


"This thing better have better pick-up than the Jeep or this is going to get ugly quick! Steve, whatever you are doing, do it faster! I hope all these flashing lights are just the turn signals!"

Punch it! Whatever this thing will do! Look for a booster button. Hell, get out and push if it will help. The last thing we need is to run into the "fuzz" agian. I'm getting pretty tired of having to deal with "the man". Call Veronica. Maybe she can autopilot this thing by remote control and get us the fuck out of here.

Action: Can Steve get a dex bonus and get us out of here?


Doc said...

Wait! The MiB had government badges. Can we bullshit them into thinking we aren't the droids they are looking for?


Doc said...

Have Mark look through the cargo and see what we have while Thunderhorse keeps laughing boy entertained.