Cartographer

Avatar Author: HSAR Master of the Armory and Chief Nibmaker of Our Strange and Wonderful House. It's a pleasure to meet you. Like many others in this community, I have no qualifications for writing except a head full of ideas and a passio... Read Bio

Our little ship coasted on the rough turbulence around Yvonne’s Delight. We were five days out from the Hydras, running a shipload of tetrahydride to Phis Minor. The pilots up front yelled incomprehensible vectors at each other, every now and then passing me a new set of data. I was too busy to notice, fingers tapping away in a frenzy at the holographic keyboard.

“We’re going to need the routing code quick, Carto!”
“Carto, estimate time is four-half seconds!”
“No way, four-half secs? The fastest record is four-two!”
“No choice, four-five is the best we can do. Leave it.”
“Coming up! Lock and load!”

I looked up calmly, fingers still flying over the surface in front of me.

“Code ready. Move into position Five-Five-Nine-Delta-Five.”
“Roger that, Carto. T-minus five seconds!”
“Routing code ready. Extend vector array.”
“Array’s up, hurry! "
“Code base logic written.”
“Come on!”

The instability changed to smooth running.

“My god. That…”
“Was three-nine. Our carto’s broken the record!”

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Comments (8 so far!)

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  1. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    Cool moment. I wish I would have seen your sci-fi bit before writing my own just now. I mean, it just seems so redundant and derivative now. Ah well, I liked the theme of personal triumph and excellence in the midst of crap flying this way and that. Nicely done to get the story across without a lot of exposition.

  2. Avatar HSAR

    Ah, don’t think that way. I’m pretty sure it’s just the way you’re looking at it. It seems pretty good to me – and the derivative link escapes me.

  3. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    Only link was the sci-fi in space theme, which wouldn’t be bad if the two weren’t right next to each other.

    In any case, thanks for the comment on mine. However, being peculiar, I don’t like to sequel my own stuff. So I sequelled yours.

  4. Avatar Luke Nicolaou

    This is awesome! You are one of my favourite sci-fi authors Sam :D

  5. Avatar HSAR

    Ah, it’s Shu Sam. But… let me just say that I am like a cook who is pursuing awesome sauce. Every time you say something like that, it’s like someone tastes it and says “Yes, this is proper awesome sauce. This is how it’s done.”

    Thanks!

  6. Avatar Abstract

    Shu Sam Chen…how have I missed your entries in the stream of fiction on this site? I am only now becoming aware of your mastery of the genre.

  7. Avatar Scott

    I really enjoy your stuff. I’m impressed with your balancing act of getting enough exposition/detail for a story to come together while at the same time keeping things understandable. I keep trying to come up with something sci-fi to write, as it’s one of my favorite genres, but I have trouble coming up with something I can fit in this format.

  8. Avatar Browncoatben

    Nice piece. This reminded me of the Hunt for Red October scene where they’re cruising through the ravine. I thought the tech babble was well placed and meaningful without being overpowering. Nice work.