Science Fiction HTML version

Even though he could ill afford the fuel he needed to stabilise the ship before movin g on to the
next problem. It took him some time, and some valuable fuel, but he eventually managed to
stabilise the erratic spin. His cadet pilot training helped immensely, he doubted he'd have had
the skills otherwise. A pity he hadn't completed the training, he thought once again, ruefully,
he wouldn't be stuck out here grafting his life away for Mining Corp.
"No point in dwelling over my mistakes", he thought, "I should have made better choices at the
Now that he had some degree of control he took stock of his options. He was still heading
out-system faster than he wanted, so he had no choice but to use valuable fuel to turn the ship
around, to re-orient it back towards the Belgar system. The problem was, his fuel was getting
lower and he would be struggling, now, to make it back anywhere near to the system. Also, the
longer he waited, the worse it got!
"One more step, my lad", he muttered.
His skills on nav-com were all down to his aborted cadet trai ning as well, so he took stock of his
reduced mass and balance and plotted a course for nav -com to loop around over the next few
thousand klicks and locate the gas giant he'd been expelled from. He checked external
monitors and found no obvious problems with the ship, then transferred his calculations to
op-com, instructing the computer to carry out the tasks, lock on to Oberon, then wait for further
instructions. He was going to sleep, he was totally bushed. The med -kit had pain killers for
his throbbing head and something to help him sleep, so he struggled of to bed and collapsed
gratefully on to it.
He awoke to the pre-set op-com alarm. He'd managed 4 hours sleep and felt well. He felt
even better when he'd showered, the sonic wash massaging his skin and relaxing him. He was
alive, at least, and it wasn't in his nature to be downbeat for long.
"Let's see where I am now", he said to his usual audience, himself. He made his way, hot drink
in hand, to the op-com chair. Even though the scoop-ships were designed for more than 1 crew
the pilots for Mining Corps were expected to manage single -handed, cutting down on
'unnecessary costs'. They were all 'in the same boat', literally, with debts or favours to pay off,
or wanting the solitary life, but at least they earned half-decent money. Even so, working an
average of 4 days on, straight through, and 2 days off meant there was little time for recreation.