Author : Pyai (Megan Hoffman)

Anton set the hypernav coords to just beyond the rim of debris.

“Aren’t we cutting it a bit close, Captain?” a thick gravelly voice came from behind him. Silverlo, whose face was a mess of scars, wrinkles and facial hair, frowned at him.

“That’s the point. The closer to the wreckage the better we are hidden. I want us in and out with minimal detection.”

“They’ll detect us hitting the hull of one of the derelicts…” his co-pilot muttered beside him. But Siverlo would do as Anton said. That was why he was still his co-pilot after 15 years, one war, two divorces and an alcohol shortage.

The hypernav kicked in and Anton closed his eyes. Watching the view window made him nauseous. Space sickness, they called it. He should be used to it by now. Towards the end the small ship made the usual rumblings it did as it was slowing, and with a loud POP in his ears they dropped into normal space again.

Anton opened his eyes in time to see a large scrap derelict hurtling at them. Or more appropriate, they were hurtling at. Silverlo let lose a string curses as he jammed hard on the control panel. One moment they were rushing towards the debris growing larger in the view window, and the next they were out of its path. Anton forced his muscles to relax. Yeah, that was another reason why Silverlo was still his co-pilot.

He could feel Silverlo’s glare on his back, but ignored him. His gaze was fixed on the small tugship coming out to them.

“T6703 to Unidentified Spacecraft. Identify yourself,” crackled the communication over the wire.

Anton smiled. “Negative. Not until you come through our lower hatch.”

There was silence. The hull resounded when the tugship latched onto the lower hatch door. Anton was there when they opened the hatch in the floor, and when Sergeant Ames stepped up.

And then Anton smiled, extended his hand. “Sarge, you made it.”

The other man shook his head. “Risky move, Anton. I couldn’t believe you hypernavved to inside the rim.” There was respect in his voice.

“No other way. Did you bring the supplies?”

Sarge nodded. “How is Mother doing?”

“Fine. Sarah’s kids are always over at her place. Jyn and I visit when we can, but it’s always a mad house.”

While he had been talking, Anton lowered a cable down the hatch and someone below in the other ship attached a large crate to it and tugged on the rope. One came up, and attached below it were three others.

Anton’s eyes opened wider in question. Sarge shrugged. “News that the rebellion still exists has filtered in. Somehow we ended up with more donations this month than ever before. Our biggest donor this time was the United Newfoundland Orchestra.”

Anton chuckled. “Since when did we stop being pirates and start being rebels again?”

The other man just smiled.

Two minutes later the tugship was firing “warning shots” across their hull, as they hypernavved away.

What no one had told them was that it was refueling day on Citrix, and the cargo lanes were longer than ever. So the coords that they usually hypernavved to were currently occupied by the hydrogen tanker UBX771. Anton still had his eyes closed as they hit the hull of the tanker. The ship exploded into metal bits, and the crates burst open. A halo of violas, bows and flutes floated outward, and they say it rained cellos on Citrix for a week.

The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows