July 23rd, 2552 – Long Range Expedition
Scout Pilot/travel agent/Chef Kat “S-Kat” James Reporting
With the discovery of the well, and the ability to jump long range doesn’t have quite the sense of distance it used to have. It’s more a case of One jump or two— or seven as the case may be.
For the other pilots it’s a case of three jumps, get readings on the planets in the solar system where they end up, see the sights, tuck in somewhere relatively safe for the night, come home.
Since the Gumbo and I are not quite standard, my assignment profile is designed to match. I have a secondary pilot flying with me so we can, in theory, turn our three jumps into seven, keep flying the mission, and cover more ground.
We were given a system that was both larger and further away than the others. They figure that having company would make things better, but when you have a non-traditionally trained convict pilot and a formally, military-trained pilot working as each other’s backup, well—
Someone has to determine who’s chief, who’s in charge, and who’s better suited for what. If it had been Dancer, I’d have been fine, we know each other— I got G-man and he liked things neat and orderly and since he outranked me he obviously was running the show and I was his backup pilot and— yeah, you get the idea.
He tried laying down the ground rules. He actually told me that ‘on this mission, I am god, and you are along for the ride,’ I believe my job as he saw it was to do the menial work and tell him how wonderful he was. I was going to fight him, but I let the ship and the well do my fighting for me. He barely made it out of our third jump and as it was I had to dodge a squadron of Ani and two missiles before we could make it back in and get away from them.
Five jumps later we were back on track and he decided that I might have a clue about what I was talking about. The extra jumps meant a bit of extra rest, and that dinner was a little on the well-done side, but I don’t think G-man is going to complain at least until we get home.