Serial Fiction | Bug Out: A NuSpace Misfits Adventure by Ollie Rossman – Episode 7

They’ve finally landed, time to plan their next move.

BUG OUT

A NuSpace Misfits Adventure

by Ollie Rossman

Episode 7

If this is your first time reading, click here for Episode 1. Click here for all the Episodes.

For a moment there was there was silence. Then Jet started laughing.

“Well that was a ride,” he said.

“Yeah man, you nailed it man,” said Herb, stirring from his slumber.

“Is everyone OK?” asked Victoria.

There was a chorus of acknowledgements around the room. Their couches had absorbed most of the impact. Apart from a few cuts and bruises no one was seriously hurt. Victoria didn’t know how they’d survived considering Jet hadn’t spent more than a few minutes in the flight sim in the last year, but they had.

“Mum, open a channel to Courage Town. Let them know we’ve… landed,” said Edwina. Victoria was relieved, Edwina was back to giving orders, and her eyes had lost that maniacal gleam. That had to mean something.

The crew started to unbuckle. Doc was a little shaky getting out of his couch so Father helped him.

Mother’s voice echoed through the bridge.“I’m sorry darling, Courage Town is not responding.”

“That’s weird,” said Jules. Victoria thought she sounded a bit spacey, but then the combination of that landing and Herb’s spores was enough to leave anyone dazed.

“We’ll have to go to them. The storm must be blocking the signal,” said Edwina. Victoria and Daemon traded a look, both knowing a storm wouldn’t block high wave transmissions. “Process the landing however you need to and be in the lounge in five for a meeting.”

Daemon lingered in the bridge while the others filtered out. Panels hung from the ceiling, lights were out in the navbanks by the bridge controls. He tried to virtualise into the servercores but they didn’t respond, which meant he was basically powerless. Like the others, he had been confined to this ship his whole life. Sometimes it felt like a prison, but it had also been his home. Now there was more space than he could imagine. He sat back down on his couch and looked around again. Suddenly the ship looked run down, threadbare. It seemed smaller than ever. The prospect of leaving it to explore this new planet didn’t seem so bad.

Walking into the lounge he found Victoria and Edwina in a heated discussion.

“What’s up?” he asked.

“I told Edwina that the storm couldn’t affect the comms. It has to be something else,” said Victoria. She looked worried.

On the other hand Edwina didn’t look particularly concerned. “We’re about eight kilometres away, that’s not even fifteen minutes in the Cruiser. So I guess we’ll find out soon enough.”

“Hey, what’s the worst that could have happened?” mused Daemon.

“Since when are you so damn positive?” asked Victoria.

“Maybe it’s the prospect of fresh air for the first time in my life,” shrugged Daemon.

Father came over from the kitchenette. “Hot chocolate, Daemon?” he asked.

“Sure, Dad.”

The door opened and Jules and Doc walked in. Doc looked sprightly; Jules seemed out of it.

“I can make you a tonic, it’ll clear your system right out,” Doc said to Jules. “Otherwise it could be a while before the spores wear off completely.” Doc gesturing animatedly with his six fingers.

Jules rubbed her head. “I don’t want any of your so called tonics. I might wake up with an extra arm tomorrow, or horns, or whatever other crazy side effects.”

“Morning Doc, Morning Jules,” said Father. “Hot chocolate?”

“Sure Dad,” said Doc.

“Coffee, please,” said Jules. ‘How’s the ship, Mum?”

“Minor hull damage in several places. Estimated time for nanobot repair, three days.”

“Anything else?”

“Oh, the landing gear was destroyed on impact and all that dust has choked up thrusters two and six. Don’t make that face darling, it’s nothing a bit of mother daughter time can’t fix.”

“I hate it when she calls me Darling,” Jules said to Victoria, who nodded in agreement. Jules yawned. “Guess I better get started, then. Dad, coffee. Hello? Coffee, Dad?”.

“It’s coming darling.”

“Not so fast Jules. Sit,” said Ed.

Jet came into the lounge, followed closely by Herb and Spike.

“Now that we’re all here,” said Edwina. “I think it’s time we talked about a plan.”

Everyone mumbled in agreement, except for Spike, who went over to the kitchenette and began piling food onto a plate. Eggs, bacon, hash browns, sausages, french toast and pancakes. Even in a crisis, Father knew how to put on a good spread.

“You guys start without me,” she mumbled through a full mouthful of food.

“What?” asked Ed.

“She said we can start,” said Herb, who was used to listening to Spike.

“Fine,” said Edwina, patting her short hair. “Let’s start with status reports. Jules?”

“You heard Mother, ship’s wrecked. Going to be a while before we can get her running again.”

“We might be better off getting the colonists to bring some vehicles out and transport the goods that way.”

Daemon looked up from his touchpad. “Either way, we’re going to have to go out there and make contact.”

“Doc,” said Edwina. “Are we cleared, medically speaking.”

Doc tapped his chin with one six fingered hand. “Yes of course. Although if anyone want’s a pre-disembarkment check up I’d be happy to oblige.”

The room remained silent. Eventually Ed said, “Ok. So last night we landed approximately eight kilometres from Courage Town. So far we’ve had no word from the colony so today we’re going to go out there and introduce ourselves. We’ll take the Cruiser, assuming it’s in working order, Jules?”

“Good to go,” said the ship’s mechanic.

Spike, with a mouthful of eggs, mumbled something in the direction of the group.

“Spike, honey, don’t talk with your mouth full,” said Father.

Herb suppressed a yawn. “Spike wants to know if you she should bring weapons.”

“Yes,” said Edwina. “Yes, of course.”

Victoria thought she saw Spike straighten at that. Finally, their Security Officer had something to do.

“Uh Ed I think someone should stay with the ship,” said Jet. “You know, in case anyone comes. You know what they say about pilots and staying with the ship and all that. Am I right?”

“We all know why you want to stay, Jet. How exactly   are you going to help from inside the VR pod?” asked Victoria.

“Shut up, Vicky. You guys will be back in a few hours. I’ll just be watching the fort.”

 

Next week on Bugout

Enough planning, time for the crew to leave the NuHolland and do all sorts of exciting things like looking at sky and touching dirt and breathing air that hasn’t been recycled a billion times.

Tune in next Wednesday for the next episode.

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