Brown Coats

Black Velvet

Zack walked… rolled? around the Luna Eternal. The couple years of disuse had had their toll, it had been thrown around by the tumult of its carrier ships taking damage. Captain… no Admiral Kennedy had been kind enough to, on Zacks request, order a squad of techies to repair any outstanding damage and prep it for flight. A touch of sadness overcame Zack, as he looked upon the ship, his inheritance. It wasn’t that long ago, as he remembered time, that he had polished its rusted hull to shine, and covered it in new paint. Now it was again scratched on scorched, welded plates standing out in their silver newness. Something switched, and suddenly he saw it as a testament to the ships durability, a veteran of one galactic war, and a combatant in another.

He rolled up the access hatch, and for the first time since… … For the first time in a long while, entered into the familiar hallways of his ship. Sensors maxed out, he could feel it, at the very edge of his consciousness, life hummed within the shell, even powered down, the great reactor hummed along at bare minimum. Conduits dark, switches open, the ship slept, like a great mighty beast, waiting for the touch, the single word from its master, that would cause the great reactor in its belly to roar to life, its power conduits to flood again with power.

Slowly, carefully, as he had done a million times before, Zack inspected his ship. It felt so familiar, and yet, so strange. His new enhanced senses told him so much more about it, then he had ever known. He could feel it breath, tensed, waiting. Like a loyal dog waiting for its master to come home.

His inspection done, he made his way to the cockpit. Everything was as it should be. In the cockpit, he took stock of its new layout. Here, some changes had been done, the chairs had been removed, a data port stuck out from the floor in front of the command console. It took Zack a moment, as he remembered exactly what “muscle” to flex, and hatch in his side opened up, the data probe sliding out and clicking into the port before him. Instantly, his threads locked and magnetized to the floor. The world jumped.

His consciousness spread across the ship, its hull his skin, its pistons his muscles, its conduits his blood. It was a disturbing sensation, his body suddenly so much bigger, its functions so different to what he had grown used to. He took time, familiarizing himself with the new sensations. A whisper to the flight deck control systems, the hangar bays slid open. Slow, careful, mindful of the hangar bay roof over his head, Zack lifted himself of the ground. Too fast still, he felt the shudder as his back touched the solid surface. Down a little, he nearly overcompensated and just barely avoided hitting the floor beneath him. A gentle nudge of the rear thrusters, and Zack floated out of the hangar doors.

The cold black of space welcomed him. He exhaled at the pleasure of once again being out here, free among the stars… The ship lurched violently, and a thin white mist dissipated from around him. Sensors detected trace levels of oxygen, quickly diminishing. Internal sensors reported the ships hallways and rooms where now devoid of air. “Oops” Zack thought to himself. “Good thing there’s no-one on board.”

Thruster firing, he looped around the ship that had born the Luna Eternal all this time, taking in the view of the emerald globe that lay beneath it. For a long while, he simply floated there, watching the planet bellow turning on its axis, a gem in black velvet, twinkling with the light of a myriad distant stars.

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Eldridge

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