So now, we rejoin the drama already in progress:
Joe stared at the blank BDT for a few minutes before moving his eyes downward slowly to stare at his hands and the ship's controls. The ship was a cute little Platchud designed H-Class Skimmer with a few GSO illegal modifications (mostly the Phase Shifter TRX-150 computer from the Ouclon System1). However, GalactiPol was very lenient with Kayos employees, especially with their tendency to make police officers' own electrons feel like spontaneously being in separate parts of the Universe.
Joe activated the Plasma Shield Generator and watched as Hydromarange began filling the screen as the shield fizzled and bubbled into life. Joe activated the hyperspace engine and moved into hyperspace. His mind was dizzy and confused. There was only one place that he could think of to go… The Twilight Bar in the Twilek system, home of the desperate and lonely. A place where everyone knew each others name as "Urggh!", "Aargh!", "Shut up!", or various other drug-induced body noises.
Joe flummoxed onto a barstool and placed a Galacticred on the bar. The bartender responding to the smell of money waltzed over, "What's your poison?"
Joe smiled, "Give me whatever he's having," and Joe pointed at an insect evolved creature drinking what looked like a thick soup or stew.
The bartender chuckled, "Now come on, you don't really want to kill yourself with Plasma Coolant do you? Besides, I am only licensed to serve coolant to Hyperspace Flies like that guy, and from where I am standing you don't look like a Fly… I could card you though if you really wanted me to."
Joe shrugged, "Nah, I'll just have a plain one with an umbrella."
The Bartender handed him a drink and walked away. The guy next to Joe spoke up, "Want to make a toast?"
Joe looked at his already half-empty glass and hiccuped, "No. He who drinks his health is denying the obvious… He who drinks to others' health is just plain drunk. I'm neither," hiccup, "at the moment."
The guy behind Joe stood up; "Yeah, and you are some sort of expert on the subject are you?"
Joe smiled drunkenly, "Why, actually, my father was a Phalcoholic… I on the other hand am always sober," hiccup, "er… well, most of the time anyway."
The guy next to the guy behind Joe stood up in unison with the guy next to Joe and the Hyperspacial Fly. The guy behind Joe smiled, "Hey boys, I think this guy is insulting us."
The guy next to the guy behind Joe also smiled, "Yeah Horg, what should we do with the bum?"
Joe frowned and turned around, "You know, you wouldn't happen to have any Carp on you perchance? My son will be upset at missing Fish Day…"
The guy named Horg smiled, "No, I don't. However, when we get finished kicking the Carp out of you we'll mail what we kick out of you to your business address."
Joe frowned again, "I don't have a business anymore, I was fired today."
Horg smiled even more disconcertingly, "Oh, too bad."
All bars have dark alleyways adjoining them. Its part of the building code. The alleyway adjoining the Gooseneck bar in the Gool System was once three inches shorter and the thugs complained to city authorities. Of course, the alley adjoining the Twilight Bar was fairly big and Horg was very at home with it. He mentally thought of it as his office to tell the truth. But then, he thought of the bar itself as home because he spent most of his time there and because it was close to his "office". His ex-wife doesn't care as long as she gets her alimony payments.
Joe stared at the multi-colored plane in front of him until the colors slowly resolve into the universe he knew. Joe smiled. He was still mostly intact and in tact. He had felt much better and his head was a lot foggier than getting just drunk. His brain spun and his mind ached, and he loved it, to be only semi-conscious for a few moments of his life. He phased back to his ship. On his ship he let himself fall onto his cot and sleep while hyperspace floated around his ship and while hyperspacial dreams floated through his mind. His ship on autopilot, taking the slowest route home, avoiding the densities of objects unless the ship needed just a little of speed. When he awoke the ship was hovering in hyperspace right next to his home. He let the sharpness of consciousness dull away slowly before he began thinking again. Phalcohol does that to a mind, it dulls your mind for a night, but your brain comes back with a vengeance in the morning, making up for the time it was not working.
Joe did a density check. The density was normal for being this close to a planet (meaning there was nothing in the way) and he turned on the Ripper engine ripping through the fabric of Gravity. He stared at the planet before him. He could draw the continents blind folded. They were etched in his mind like stone. The large continent, Lathos Major, the smaller one below it, Lathos Minor, the one at the edge of the horizon, Lathos Central, plus the one below the horizon on the far side of the planet, Lathos Detentional Reserve. The planet Lathos had always been well organized and each of the continents had a role to play. Home. Joe smiled and then frowned.
He set his ship down in the northeastern portion of Lathos Major, Kae IV, the Lake Area. He docked at the Kae IV Docking Station and stepped out into the double sunshine. He took a large breath and walked down Central Street to the Kae IV Transportation Complex. He took a tube to the intersection of Meridian Three and Parallel Six. He turned down Meridian Three southeastward to House Nine. His son Joey was on the porch swing waiting for him.
Joe walked up to steps and Joey jumped off the swing to get closer to his father, "What did you bring me for Fish Day? Johnny at school got an Ultramauve Bass from his father!"
Joe frowned and got on his knees, "Son, I am sorry, but there won't be a Fish Day this year. Maybe next year."
"But Dad, you promised!"
Joe got up and headed towards the door when it bolted open and Jane was framed by the door, "Joe! Have you been drinking again? I prepared your favorite… oh, Joe, what happened?" she said after noticing his black eye and cuts, "It must have been really bad or you wouldn't have done what you did. What happened?"
Joe frowned, "I was fired. Old man Kayos fired me personally."
Jane smiled in that we she can, "You poor dear… I didn't know. I'll reheat last night's Trout and you can tell me all about it honey."
They walked inside. Joey, still pouting started kicking a rock around outside. Jane began reheating the trout in the Hyperwave. As it was heating she smiled again, "I'm going to go check on Joey, you stay here and watch your food."
She walked out and Joe began rehearsing his speech in his mind before his wife's screams filled his head, "Joey! Joey!"
Jane burst into the kitchen; "Joey has been kidnapped."
Joe jumped up. "By who?"
Jane burst into tears; "It was a Hyperspacial Cutter. I saw it appear into reality, a couple of hands grabbed Joey and pulled him inside… then all I heard was the pop as the Atmosphere filled the hole where the Cutter was."
Joe patted his wife, "There, there, but who was it?"
Jane stared at him, "You mean you don't know? Take one guess, and it started with an O!"
Joe turned pale, "Jack! You stupid… piece of carp! I hate you, it has gone too far, stak it!" and with that Joe kicked the nearest wall.
Jane frowned, "Destroying our house isn't going to help us get Joey back. Get down to the Docking Station and get going. You don't have to be a part of Kayos to bring down Order."
Joe smiled, "I invoke Murp's Law2!"
Joe dashed out of the house, northwest up Meridian Three to the Public Tube, and from the Transportation Complex down Central street to the Docking Station and his ship. Without waiting for the ready light he revved his Gravimetric Disruption Real Space Engine and blasted into the sky. Far enough up he signaled the Hyperspace Monitors that he was going to do a Zip Rip.
Zip Rips are dangerous and its considered bad taste to do one without proper notification. A Zip Rip entails that instead of slowly speeding through hyperspace the normal way, you pop into Hyperspace quickly and flare both your Gravimetric Disrupter and your Hyperspace Ripper at the same time causing rings of Gravity disruption like dropping a rock into a pond. Zip Rips don't effect the Gravity of objects in Real Space because the waves are localized in Hyperspace. Other ships if not prepared can get blown off course. The ship that does it then rides the generated Gravity waves out gaining speed quickly until the waves die down and the ship does not need more acceleration.
Joe counted to fifteen then turned on his ripper and hyperspacial engine breaking him into hyperspace and giving him a bit of acceleration. As the plasma shield crackled into life Joe forced the Gravimetric Disrupter into life and rocked the controls creating waves of gravimetric density. Joe followed the waves out and was halfway across the tri-galactic area in seconds compared to the minutes of a normal flight, even with passing through a galactic core or two.
Joe disengaged all of his engines and broke once more into Real Space. He stared at the Satellite headquarters of Order and knew that Destiny lived there. The more he thought of that the more he hated the place. He packed up all of the Chaotical thoughts and instincts and decided that if he was to face Destiny and Order, he wanted it on his home territory, on his ship. And so, he waited and kept silent guard of the place where Destiny slept so that when the Lion of Destiny awoke he would be ready for it.
To Be Continued…
1 The Scientists in the GSO decided that Phase Computers would be outlawed since Human technology couldn't build one yet and decided that they don't want to scientifically "cheat" and take the Ouclon's designs, even though the Ouclon's, a Human friendly race, had offered them in good will. Back