It may look like the squishy, horrifying sex organ of a Groach, but the Lady Nervitor X3 Soft Touch™ is a lifesaver in the capable hands of our friend, Gibson. Well, “Gibson,” at any rate. He’s not really our friend. I mean, he’s fine and all that, but we don’t really like the same things and the yellow suit attracts all sorts of attention from apex predators and…We’re just different is all. Nothing personal, so please enjoy chapter 5 of MBOTA.
Gibson sat at the control cluster of the Chronoballer, lost in thought as he emptied the last of a can of franks and beans with his fingers. A few drops of gravy splattered onto the upholstered arms, adding to the centuries of stains that were probably holding the seat together. The cabin’s lighting was now dimmed, so the blue-heavy glow emanating from the cluster cast his face into angular divides of light and shadow, his offensively yellow skinsuit clashing with every nutty tone in the cabin.
Satisfied that he had transferred most of the organic matter from can to digits, he stuck those fingers in his mouth and glanced at the display that floated above the surface of the cluster. The canted-semicircle of the cluster was arrayed around the command G-chair, supported by a curving, vinyl-encased pillar. This arrangement faced the “front” of the ‘Baller’s circular interior. True to the cost-cutting aesthetic of the place, the outer bulkheads featured a bench/storage bin that hugged the curved perimeter of the ship, upon which were worn cushions that bore the dimpled impressions of centuries of napping shoulders, buttocks, and feet.
Gibson flipped the empty can away from him and searched the holographic display for data on elapsed subjective time. Typically, the display wasn’t necessary, as he had direct visual access to the ‘Baller’s data through his neural-ocular implants. But when Gibson craved a little retro perception, he often enjoyed the less volatile access that the extrinsic interface provided. As expected, all was clear. The Dark Sizzler couldn’t follow them into the Schwarzschild Tunnel. Continue reading