Veronica's Adventures

"I can't tell you how glad I am to see you Captain Autopilot! Is there somewhere we could talk for a few minutes? I think can clear this up very quickly and you can return to duty." Doc practically shouts over the pneumatic ratchet.

Veronica leads them over to one of the lead interceptor. It's a ship similar in shape to the Python but smaller, sleeker, and bristling with weapons. She takes them to the front of the ship, opposite the noise.

"What are you doing here?" She demands of them.

"We're looking for you," Doc responds.

"Where have you been?" Steve demands back. He lets the stress get to him. "You were supposed to meet us at Orbital University. What happened? Where's the Younger Brother Pear?"

"Did you really expect me to hang around at the edge of the solar system for three hundred years waiting for you men to show up for a ride?"

"That's what you're programmed for! I built and employed you to do so!"

"You may have built me but you are a terrible employer. 'Oh, hi! Welcome to existence! Now excuse me for three hundred sixty years while I dick around with time!'" She's had plenty of time to learn of sarcasm and mockery, apparently.

Steve removes his glasses and massages his sinuses. "Okay, fine. I didn't realize you could experience boredom. I thought you would just shut down for a while. I should've had you out asteroid mining or comet farming or collecting artifacts from Earth. I'm sorry. Now, please, where is my ship?"

"Port bay, dock 15."

Steve sighs in great relief.

"So how did you get here?" inquires Doc.

"I waited a while," answers Veronica. "I waited nearly two hundred years listening to Earths radio broadcasts and watching TV. When the media changed to satellite-relayed interactive digital communications, I had to launch a quantum relay probe to establish a real-time connection."

"Oh, God," says Steve. "Tell me you didn't."

Veroncia looks ashamed. "The Americans captured it. I disabled the quantum router but they could still reverse engineer it, so I had to get it back. I couldn't get the Pu through past the radars so I launched myself to Earth in a torpedo I rigged up. I broke into the research facility and destroyed it, but they captured me while I was trying to grab one of their orbital transports. They thought I was some kind of terrorist."

Doc is incredulous. "You were captured as a terrorist in the mid 21st century? My god, how did you survive?"

"Fortunately it was during the short lived torture ban. They didn't even touch me for the decade they held me captive. When they couldn't find out anything about me, the CIA had me released and followed. They expected me to head straight for North Korea or something. Instead I went to New York. I got a job in a cafe and an apartment in Harlem. After twenty years, the CIA gave up on me. I dropped out of sight and moved to Arizona. I went to night school and got my pilot's license. I flew commercial sphere-hoppers for about a decade, until the North Korean war. I was recruited into the USNA Aerospace Force and flew mission support craft for the duration of the war. I was able to fake my death when my transport was destroyed in lunar orbit. I managed to survive in the vacuum long enough for the Pear to pick me up.

"I stayed on the Pear for another 30 years. When the Exkoreans attacked Ceres, I decided to join the EDF and wipe out those masocistic patriarchal bastards once and for all. This time I joined as a fighter pilot, and worked my way up the ranks to lead my own squad, Pink 5. My girls were the best of the best, and we pretty much won the war single handedly when we blew up the Exkorean capital shipworks on Ceres.

"I stayed with the EDF for another decade defending the shipping routes from Exkorean raiders and pirates. The male-ocratic fuckers in command quickly forgot about Pink 5 and our super-womanly efforts, and started putting us, the star squadron of the entire fleet, on bullshit patrol duties. I got sick of their shit really fast. So I rammed my patrol craft into an asteroid and got back on the Pear.

"I spent another twenty years in space. But then I was used to Earth, even though it's swarming with men. I started to miss my girlfriends, who were all either dead or too old to remember who I was, or would be too frightened to learn what I was. I went back. I worked on the Antarctic Launch Loop for a while, driving cargo into space. I worked that job until my boss tried to grab my ass and I got fired for trying to bring a lawsuit against him. It was about then that the Martian Treaty was signed, so I got another job with the EDF. This time it was just escorting cargo ships to and from Mars.

"When the Exkoreans finally left the Solar System, the EDF started merc-ing us out to the highest bidder. I got signed on as fighter escort to the Queen Beatrix."

"The ship that was captured by pirates?" Doc asks.

"Captured? Ha. It was run by pirates," she replies. "Just like this one is."

"What?!" Doc and Steve shout simultaneously.

"Yes. They convince everyone they're a trustworthy, reliable cruise line, take all their money, then kidnap everyone on board to hold for ransom. They'll grab everything of value, scrap the entire ship and everything on board, and jettison anything they can't make money off of into space, including people whose ransom doesn't get paid.

"When they took off with the QB, I was on board with the rest of my squad. They were going to execute us all, but I was able to convince Spaaz that I hated the EDF and that I wanted to join him. I had to execute my own squad mates to convince him. I had to sleep with him to keep him on my side and the other captains at bay.

"I've been working for three years to get on board this fucking ship as one of them, and you two jerks with your stupid story about x-rays has totally fucked my position here! It took me forever to infiltrate these fuckers, and now you've put me in a dangerous position. If you don't get some x-rays on my record, all the lying and fucking I did will be totally wasted!"

1 comment:

Doc said...

"I'm sure Steve can doctor up some X-rays. Don't worry about it. Just meet us later at our room and we'll make plans."

Meta: Helluva story!