197-Valkyrie’s View: A Year Among the Stars

July 15th, 2552 – Exploratory Mission
Scout Pilot/travel agent/Chef Kat James Reporting

One of the skills the Jump pilots have learned is how to prepare meals in your ship. The difference between me and the other pilots is the fact that the Rummage Sale Gumbo is designed to do a lot of different things – She can haul sensor equipment, personnel, supplies, or any combination thereof. She’s designed to do pretty much anything you can think of – which meant she was perfect for charting and exploring the belt.

The job in and of itself meant a multi-day assignment with more than one person running the equipment since our metallurgy team has a better idea of what ores and minerals could prove useful,
This meant I took the team to the belt, ran the scans, collected samples, and generally worked my butt off while they treated me like an overpaid taxi driver. Its really strange that we have gotten so used to jumping that going through the well is now considered a simple task— nothing to get excited about.

I still get excited, I hope I never lose that— but the one thing a jump pilot can’t afford is to take the well for granted. It’s always different and its always treacherous— just waiting for you to slip up, trying to lure you into a mistake.

The scientists wanted me to get samples, but be careful. They warned me that some of the materials they were looking for were radioactive and or volatile and then while I was focusing on getting said items with a remote, one of them yelled “BAM!” right in my ear.

They thought it was so funny – until I pointed out that if anything happened to me, they were stuck here because all the fleet had was where we were heading and they had had me scanning and moving around the belt for hours. They were still jovial about it until someone brought up my record.

They decided that there was more volatile material piloting the Gumbo than there was outside the ship, and for once— I did nothing to set them straight.

The did warm up to me a little come dinner time when they pulled out their field rations and I pulled out the engine-roasted chicken with baked potatoes.

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