Strings Attached

Pilot’s Log [Skotadi]

Getting by. That’s what it’s come to. I’m just getting by. I woke up to the sound of simulated rain. A gift from Nancy, the sound makes me feel like I’m home again. I don’t remember turning it on. Then again, I don’t remember much about last night.

I could listen to the rain for hours. Nancy, she always did care. God how I screwed up. No sense in getting emotional. I think it’s time to get up, stagger to the sun room, and get drunk again. Something feels off… walking into the hab… something feels different.

Feels like someone’s been here. I can’t put my finger on it, it’s just off.

This place stinks from waste and rotten food. Too tired to clean up, too broke to pay someone. God I need some money, but I don’t even have a ship. Things are going down hill fast. If Nancy knew how far things have gotten, it’d kill her.

[Chirp notification from Mobi device] *New message*

Skotadi, when you wake up, clean yourself up and collect your gift. We have something for you, like we talked about. We think you’ll like it, it’s waiting for you in the hangar. – LoTLHP

Hangar? A ship? A new ship, for me? Has to be a scam. What’s this “like we talked about,” business? Staring at my ugly face in the mirror isn’t going to help jog any memories of last night. One things for sure, no one gives out free ships. Probably a con. Or maybe some set up to talk to a counselor about my drinking. Yeah. Nancy probably set that up. I’ll probably go to the hangar and get held down and shipped out.

Still, what if it’s a ship? Look at this stinking pig pen. Do I really live like this? I guess it’s not so bad, as the mind adjusts to a limited state of existence, the surroundings acclimate.

Alright. A gift in the hangar…. maybe a con… maybe the real deal. Too tired to consider an alternative, so I’m in…. let’s go find this “gift” in the hangar.

I skipped the sun room. Funny thing they give us worthless retches, a screen to simulate the warmth of the sun. I almost seems appetizing, until I realize I’d have to sit and talk to other bums worse off than me. Walking into the hangar, punching in my ID….. there it was…. a ship, in my name.

It makes no sense. Why would anyone give me a ship? What happened last night? Why do I feel so tense?

I remember … I remember skipping food and going straight for a hit of something painful in a dirty glass. I think I got drunk… at least that’s what normally happens. Then that guy…. a guy came up to me and started talking about the spirit wars. He kept buying drinks so I pretended to listen.

Stupid. I should have listened. Did I make a deal with him?

Pulling my hair won’t help. Calm down. CALM DOWN. Maybe it’s a gift. Maybe he felt pity on me. Right? Maybe there’s no strings attached. Yeah. It’s a gift. Let’s collect it.

[Your ship is in Dock 02]

Heart’s pounding. Adrenaline racing. Almost sober. Almost.

No one’s around. Dock 02 is empty, except for MY ship. It’s an Aurora…. definately not top of the line… and certainly not new. He said it was new… but look at the blaster burns.

The ship checks out. Engines online. Only thing concerning me is the bed in the back. There’s blood on the back wall. But hey, it’s a ship… No. It’s MY ship. This is my ticket out of here. I can run some jobs, make some UEC’s.

[End of Pilot’s Log]

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