Man, how the fuck you lose a meteor?

'Arbiter Iota'

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“Man, how the fuck you lose a meteor? It’s a big ole chunk of rock…”

The co-pilot glimpsed at his partner and scowled behind his visored helmet. “Mother fucker, does any of this place make sense? We go from one fucking loopy lala-land to the next, and you’re expecting what? Normalcy? You expecting that we were just gonna be back on the big E sipping mai tais and getting happy endings from massage parlors?”

With a groan, Pilot 2 set his eyes on the coordinate map that lay on the part of the console between his partner and him. “I just figured things would be different this time, you know?”

Pilot 1 scowled as he tapped something on the holo-map. “There… let’s try that one out. It looks like one of ours. We don’t need to keep the big man waiting.”

His partner nodded as he started to adjust the settings on their little shuttle. “I sure hope that the boss man is in a good mood when we do find him.”

“You and me both, but you know how damn moody he gets when shit gets weird.”

“Amen.”
 
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'Arbiter Iota'

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The twosome piloting the space cruiser pulled up alongside a free-floating piece of space debris. Even at this distance from Cevanti, they were still running into wreckage from the planet’s long-standing technophilia. Burnt husks of space stations and battle suits that morphed into all kinds of weird/dumb shit bobbed along the empty vastness of ‘the Beyond.’

“I think we’re almost into broadcast range with the Meteor, Biggs.”

The man’s co-pilot, Wedge Barbera, let out a groan as he reached an arm across the console and tapped at some of the switches. After a moment of nearly uncomfortable silence, a green light popped on with a heartwarming ping!

Wedge wheeled the chair to the left and leaned over the outdated microphone mounted onto the console. His thumb found the button that controlled it. “Anyone out there?”

Biggs Rioja chuckled from the other seat in the cockpit. “You’re supposed to say ‘over’.”

Che palle!” The man groaned as he glimpsed at his partner. “We’ve been lost for three weeks, you can shove that manual up your ass.”

“My ass doesn’t stretch as much as yours, pal.”

Wedge scowled and flipped his friend the bird as he turned back to the controls. He mashed the transmission button once again. “This is Biggs and Wedge on the Il Sale Esprimere Cinque. Does anyone here this… over.” The man let a few moments go by before he pressed the button again. “We’ve been operating on impulse drives for the last few weeks. We lost contact with the Meteor, and we’re just trying to get back home after finishing our missions in the Cevanti region… … over.”

Wedge let off the button and, after a few moments, sagged back into his chair.

From the other side of the cockpit, Biggs rapped his fingers across his console for a few moments. He was opening his mouth to speak when both men heard a lovely, crackling hiss screech from the old speaker panel.

“Hello, this is Central, Biggs and Wedge. Do you copy, over?”

The communications operator clapped his hands and leaned heavily onto the button with his entire, slightly husky frame. “You bet your ass we do, Central! Is that Jacobs, I hear?”

The voice on the other end of the line chuckled. “How’d you two get lost? The Boss Man was about to figure you for the dead.”

It was Biggs who spoke the response across the cockpit. “Engine issues. We tried to fix it, but we didn’t catch a flaw in our power that knocked out navs.”

“Yea, we’re having a hard time getting a lock on you.”

After shuffling around under his station, Wedge produced a folded up document. “We’re a few days out from Cevanti. We have a space atlas… if you just point us in the right direction.”

“… yea, sure.” Jacobs shuffled around on the other end of the line for a few minutes until he came up with a response. “We’re floating along an old trade route between Mesa and Inverxe. Crosses just passed the milquetoast nebula, can you find that one?”

“Which side of the nebula are you one?”

“The Mesa side.”

“We’ll set course and get there as soon as we can.”

“I’ll let the Boss know.”
 
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