Book of Space Lore - SLZT Log 23


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This is a Chain story passed between @zakludick and @therneau. Each writer authors a post based on the events of previous episodes and carries on the story.

There is very little collusion between the writers as it is challenging to discover and develop a story by attuning the writing to the partner's plot, style, and presentation.

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Last Time on Space Lore ZT

Read the previous chapter if you missed it. If you are brand new the entire series can be found at the bottom of this post!

The fused vessels need to navigate through a debris field that surrounded the planet X1406 so they can land.

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Space Lore Log SLZT #23

Thorne stood on the Bridge of the Pathfinder XVIII.

He had seen video recordings of these places, but he had never actually been on such a large bridge.

The amount of people needed to move, navigate and operate all the instrumentation of such a large vessel was way beyond his abilities.

"Yeah, this is what I am talking about." Thorne said.

"What is it?" The Auk'ilit Captain asked. "Is there something wrong?"

"Like I told you before. I am a miner, not a Captain." He waved at the room while the crew of various races turned and stared at him. Only the human cyborg seemed disinterested and was looking at a screen, working away at the controls. "I do not know how to 'Captain' a ship."

"You do not need to." Freyai replied. She pointed at a seat at the very front of the bridge, before the viewport. "You will be taking that console there. For the pilot. That is what we need you to do."

"Right." Thorne replied and sighed. He walked over to the chair she had indicated to him and sat down and began runnning through the controls. Most of them were East Galactic Standard, which was the same configuration for most vessels in the area. "What's this?" He indicated to some controls.

The Captain had not been hovering over him, which he appreciated and stepped in to have a look. "That's just the communication console. I suppose there are a few adjustments on our controls over standard vessels."

"Yeah, the main controls are the same." Thorne ran his hands over the controls. He gripped a throttle here and touched a switch there.

He looked over to the Cyborg that was still focussed on the controls before him. "You and J5 have been running diagnostics on the debris field?" He called to the Cybrg.

Aujuk turned slightly. "With what instruments we can. We cannot use all of them yet due to the jump and we also do not want to use all of them, we will be traced. You have to do this manually. Even though J5 and I have superior logical skills, you have a natural ability of piloting that raises our chances of survival by more than 15%."

"Right. 15% more on top of what?" Thorne asked. That bloody robot.

"Well..." The human cyborg hesitated.

"Spit it out!" Captain Freyai hissed.

"Our estimation was 34% for survival if we tried to do this ourselves." Aujuk said. There was a collective gasp.

"Right." Thorne drawled. "49% Great."

"Those are unacceptable odds Specialist!" The Captain berated the cyborg. "How can this be the best solution?"

The cyborg seemed unfazed. "It is still the better chance of success. If we are caught again we will not survive another set of jumps and we cannot hope to win in a fight or flight situation."

Thorne pressed the buttons on the comms panel, using an old code pattern. These damn machines. They'll know.

"We have to find a better way." The Captain continued. Neither of her brains could make sense of it.

The Cyborg began walking towards Thorne and came to stand between him and the Captain.

"Captain. I believe that this is a moment that will require trust... and faith." The cyborg seemed to mouth the word uncomfortably.

"Faith?!" The Captain shouted.

Thorne gunned the controls of the engines. The vessel responded, lifting off from the rock where they had landed.

"What are you doing?" The Captain yelled.

"The only thing we can!" Thorne replied. "We have no options so we go forward!" He shoved the combined might of the two vessels into a lunge at the large asteroid that was moving towards them.

Meanwhile the Captain tried to get to him and the cyborg blocked the way.

"Engineering! Cut off engines!"

"I can't Captain!" Chief Ingth replied. "I have been locked out!"

"If we stop now Captain, we will only meet with failure." The cyborg said calmly.

Meanwhile Thorne ignored all the warning sirens and signs, gunning for the asteroid. At the last second he turned the ship sharply and engaged the ship's horizontal landing thrusters simultaneously. They skirted across the surface of the big asteroid keeping level with it.

"What are you doing?!" The Captain demanded. She turned to the cyborg. "What's the chances of our survival now?"

"I... cannot compute."

It was like flying over the horizon now, even though so much of the instrumentation was malfunctioning, all Thorne had to do was keep the horizon steady.

Here and there other rocks collided with the massive asteroid. Thorne changed position on the rock to avoid the shrapnel and the blasts. He looked upwards and around them on the proximity scanners.

At least he only needed to look for other asteroids on on side of the ship now. The planet was cresting over the horizon of the asteroid now.

Thorne kept going for it.

"It does not matter." Thorne said through gritted teeth, his hands white-knuckled on the controls. "We just have to try... Incoming!"

An asteroid inbound struck the stone before the ship, Thorne moved to the left and the ship's hull was spattered with hundreds of stones the size of fists. Yet they cruised onwards, without permanent damage "Sorry about your paint job!" Thorne yelled.

The planet was now above them, like a bat dropping from the ceiling of a cave they lifted up towards the planet and then barrel rolled to make the planet take position beneath them.

"Miraculous." The cyborg said. "I could not have calculated the odds of these movements. J5 was indeed correct about this human. We now have 78% of success... 79% The odds are increasing."

Freyai sighed and threw up her hands. She stalked off to her command chair. This situation was impossible and improbable... but the human's actions were admirable.d

"We now need a place to land." Thorne called from his post.

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Log SLZT #23 completed!

Right @therneau, you made me fly through the asteroid field, now you control the rest of the way!

The keyboard is passed on to @therneau to add in SLZT Log #24 of the story!

by @zakludickby @therneau
SLZT #15SLZT #16
SLZT #17SLZT #18
SLZT #19SLZT #20
SLZT #21SLZT #22

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