Traversal: Course Correction

Avatar Author: Jim Stitzel I dabble a little in a lot of things -- writing, webcomics, gaming, photography, web design, music, and more. I'm a full-time code-wrangler and a part-time farmer with 40 acres, a lot of animals, and far, far too much to do. Read Bio

Message delivered, the nodes detached from Harking’s vessel and drifted back into their former positions.

And thank the gods for that, thought Harking.

“Navigation, what’s the next closest jump point?” he demanded. There was a moment of silence as Nav plotted the course.

“Just over 40,000 lights, sir,” Nav replied. Someone cursed. Even at top speed, that distance would still take the better part of a year to cross, much too long for a ship like this that was only outfitted for short runs. Just traveling that far in real space, shedding emissions all the while (even their stealth tech couldn’t compensate for that much continuous power), was a significant risk. Marauding species were always on the hunt for others to prey upon. It’s why subspace travel was always preferred — and why Harking had chosen this particular traversal. It was one of the only “safe” routes in real space through this arm of the galaxy. To have it suddenly cut off was shocking and disheartening.

View this story's details

Comments (4 so far!)

Average Reader Rating

  1. Avatar HSAR

    A warning system. How curious – not what I expected at all!

  2. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    Yeah, I debated between that and a weapon and felt like the warning system had the best potential for interesting storytelling. :)

  3. Avatar Pyropunk 51 (PPP LoA)

    I was also thinking passive weapon, but i like your idea of a warning system a lot. no radio comms needed.

  4. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    And that is often one of my goals in storytelling — take the expected and turn it into something unexpected. I hate predictable stories. :)

Inspired by

The silence afterward was nearly as deafening as the onslaught before it. Harking gave his crew a ten-count to check their stations. He was a...

Traversal: Message in a Bottle by Jim Stitzel

This story's tags are