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Galaxy on a Budget
Pin Dropped//TiptreeStarport6//WestWingCafeteria//Standard 22:10:06:73
BeqsBudgetTravelBlog:ViaLactea//#travel #budget #intersystem #godhelpme
I promised you that I would do a tech inventory check in this blog post to let you know what devices and nano-clothing have malfunctioned and worn thin. I am sorry, I simply do not have the time.
Slept on the floor of a Pentskull cargo ship.
Flash accommodation review: Sweaty, composting, but cheap… well, free. Avoid if you can afford the intersystem; bring a solar fan and a bloody good attitude if you can’t. 5/10.
P-skulls are great. Not a toxic fiber in them. But their vessel hygiene is appalling. Felt like the cargo bay was alive, growing moss, sprouting fungi and seeping spores into the dank air. God only knows what the reptiles were hosting in there… Feels good even to breath the recycled gas of this back-alley space station — even with the damaged nitrogen filter.
But please, my avid readers — you’re still there aren’t you? — don’t be deterred by this clammy experience of mine. As you interpret from my previous posts (and hopefully future as well) it is remarkably easier than expected to travel our galaxy with a degree of class. Don’t believe these cruise-ship sissies: not every I.S. cargo crew is trying to mug you, and not every lifeform is trying to consume you. If such uncivilities were acutely present, the Core would crack down on them faster than a Leptore would pocket your discarded cent credits.
Last opportunity to touch base with you was just before touchdown at the geosynchronous checkpoint hovering over Leptar’s moon, Red Luna (an oxidizing twin to our species’ second successful colonized world). I remind you that I simply took the southern hemisphere space elevator to the quick circuit shuttle to get there — free, thank you to the genius who designed the elevators photonic mast.
Some real ruffians at that checkpoint, I dare say. Mostly augur workers from Leptar looking to make a quick stash before the mass breeding off-world…
(My readers, I value your appetites, and mine; and will thus not divulge further upon the sociology, and utter repulsiveness, of Leptorian reproduction. In saying that, I will provide a link at the bottom of the page for the xenobiologists and sexual deviants among you.)
Among the ruffians, I also had the luck to scrutinize well enough an individual from the most generic extraterrestrial race that our species has yet encountered. I am of course referring to the “Grey” we had all portrayed similar among various forms of media: wiry torso, bulging cranium brimming with ever-folding brain, black and calculating eyes, four probing digits pronging from the ends of twiggy arms.
It seems you, my beloved reader, are also on the verge of experiencing the same breed of luck to but a lesser magnitude — I had managed to sketch the chap! (You have probably realized that the cover image of this post is that very doodle. Certainly improving, am I not? Please excuse the rough scan and my inability to cope with the permanency of a pen or dexterity of a pad touchscreen.)
Wish I could comprehend the fierce aptitude of the Grey. Why was a mind such as that among the dregs and freeloaders? Likely I was the only being in the checkpoint station that filled the latter role.
Now, “How did I gain clearance to leave the Red Luna checkpoint after losing my C2 system pass?”, you may ask. That’s where the P-skulls came in. You may also ask how I managed to lose the most valuable possession I carried with me aside from my liver. For that answer see my previous post where I discuss the consequences of mixing Terran ferments with Leptorian Sprout.
I mentioned previously the good nature of the Pentskulls. As demonic and merciless as they appear — with their bulbous, ribbed craniums and formidable frames — they are by far the kindest, mellowest aliens I have traveled with in the quadrant. You want to know how I managed to stow myself away upon their cargo vessel? I simply asked them. I think that bioluminescent strip padding their jawline lights up when they are smiling; the vibration of their abnormally shaped skulls can only be laughter. A number of them actually subscribed to this blog!
So, that brings me to this fancy cafeteria that serves nothing but the finest home cooked meals derived from authentic Terran floral and faunal produce. (Can you detect sarcasm through text?) But in all seriousness, the harsh reality of the budget traveler is compacted sustenance — stuff that pretty much any carbon-based lifeform can process without being hooked to an artificial digestive system. Although, it would seem again, that luck has found me, for I have one remaining sachet of MSG! Mmm. The gelatinous nutrient slab went down mildly better than a tin of Spam. (Would you believe that that is a delicacy in some systems?)
My plan is now to bribe a security guard so I can board the planet shuttle.
Oh, how I have longed for an “Earth-like”. No more re-breathers or retaining suits. And I have heard only ecstatic review of Child Tropic. A whole planet terraformed for cocktails in the sand whilst transparent, drinkable, water crashes on your feet. Child Tropic has a synthetic atmosphere too — built to filter out harmful doses of UV and wax the world in everlasting sunset. I have heard they even have hostels.
This is the best thing about budget travelling, the reward for stinginess and risk taking: to finally stumble upon a paradise where I just might find a human partner to lug around with me and help carry the little belongings I have.
Let’s just hope the shuttle guard is a P–skull.
Before I forget:
My most loyal follower, Molly P., of the satellite-chain colony of Earth, you were wondering my age. Biological age, I am assuming? Because not a single soul could accurately attain my relative age. Well, this pinprick-probe pad attachment should tell me.
Here it goes! Let’s hope its sterile!
Thirty-one, how about that?
Sketch Credit: Oliver Ragen