I have a sidewinder! My own sidewinder! This is so fucking exciting! OK it’s a bit old and beaten – the gimbal servo on the number 2 hard point is a bit creaky, and the heat management on the FSD leaves a lot to be desired, but it’s mine. I’ve called her “Lucky Break”.


The best thing is, this wasn’t a hand out from the shrew. Getting the access codes wasn’t accompanied by a “What do you say?” or a “Be careful, it was expensive”. After I finished tuning the race SRV’s at Johan’s Outfitters he asked me how I wanted to be paid. The sidewinder had been sitting in the corner gathering mothballs for the last few weeks, ready to be scrapped. When I told him that I wanted it as payment he actually laughed. He didn’t know that the only thing stopping it going was a melted flow regulator on the power plant intake valve, or that without that the safety software won’t even allow a soft boot. He never was very bright. A “borrowed” intake valve from a docked Orca luxury liner, and a couple of hours work and I was good to go.

My Mother is going to be pissed when she finds out. Ha!

That first take off was a bit hair raising. The simulators can only convey so much and there’s no room for error when you’re only a few meters above the ground. God it was fun. I took a few low passes to get the feel of it, traffic control shouting at me about “unsafe speeds” then slowly climbed out of the planets gravity well. It’s been years since I’ve been in zero-G and time has not improved the experience. Only the fear of throwing up with no gravity kept my lunch down. I’m going to have to get used to it though, I’m going to be spending a great deal of time up here.

It’s also absolutely worth it. The feeling when you engage the FSD is even more intense when you’re in the cockpit. The countdown in your ear, the feeling of being simultaneously pushed back into your seat and pulled towards the canopy – blue lights streaking past the ship and then…BAM! The eerie beauty of witch space, shapes which almost look familiar and yet are utterly alien. And then just as you’re getting used to it all…

SUN! Pull up, pull up! You feel like you’re going to crash straight into it. You’re not of course, it’s not as close as it looks, but fuck me it does look bloody close.

Docking in a Coriolis for real was cool. The simulator had prepared me for this much better, but it can’t get across the sense of scale when you go through the letter box for the first time. Wow! I managed to land with only a small crunch – which I will blame on the landing strut suspension on the Lucky Break.


So, sitting here in the hanger the question is this. What next?

I know I’m going to need to get some serious upgrades for Lucky before I can even think about looking for Fathers friend. That’s going to take cash. And possibly a bigger ship. And some luck – though that’s not normally a problem. I’m probably going to need a bit of respect around here before anyone will even think about helping me – fluttering the eyelashes is only going to get me so far. Gonna have to think about stocking up on some food and other supplies too. Where do I even go for that?


I may have bitten off a touch more than I can chew here.



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