July 12th, 2552 – Sidestep
Decoy Pilot/Pest control Specialist/sometimes suspect Kat James Reporting
Today, I almost got myself blown up. Twice.
Someone decided that there were a lot of raw resources on the planet of exploding insects and they needed more people collecting more samples – which meant they needed a bigger target for the fireflies to follow.
And someone thought it was worth it to put me in one of the darts and have me run around drawing the explody things towards me. I know the reasoning was I was the one who could slipstream from almost anywhere and I had the most experience sidestepping into the well— what they, and by they I mean I, didn’t think of was the fact that maybe— just maybe the psychotic little beasties could sidestep as well.
I was doing a good job keeping them busy— I thought I’d gotten their range and speed until a group tried to head me off. I was too late in seeing them and the only thing I could do was a hard climb and roll into a well, but when I popped up on the far side of a nearby moon – they were still there.
Fortunately, while they could follow me – the environment was not conducive to exploding, or… you know breathing. Their exoskeletons kept them looking like bugs for about five seconds and then they didn’t so much explode as just… splat. But they made a very toxic cloud of acid that almost took me out before I sidestepped a second time back to my point of atmospheric entry.
The brass was very understanding – they sent me back in to do it again, and again.
That night we watched the fireflies from orbit while the lab went through the samples. It’s a shame we’re a fleet and we all get supplied our basic needs— I should have been getting triple pay.