Insanity on the Drift


They say that spending too many days adrift drives you crazy. I didn't believe it at first, but the more times I boarded a ship to help a shadowy agency, the more memories I had of things that just didn't make sense.

I was contracted to rescue some poor sap off a Sovereign ship. I don't recall his name. The Sovereign geniuses crewing this ship must have been some super dark operations, because the vast majority of them were rigged to blow if they got killed. That doesn't explain why their turret tech was so sloppy, however. Or why I'm still alive.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

So, I'd apparently gotten halfway through the ship, slain a couple of grunts with my sword, and was looking over my intel to figure out how to get a Level 3 card pass. Peeking through a door, I spotted a Pilot. The nice thing about Pilots is that they are so incredibly concentrated on keeping their ship facing the right direction that you can walk right past them and they won't care. This pilot, like half the crew on this ship, was rigged to explode.

What I missed for a tenth of a second was the turret that had just armed right behind the pilot. On the second tenth of that second I began to pull back from my peeking position.

The thing you have to understand about Sovereign turrets is that they aren't very picky about what they shoot. Once they acquire armor that isn't coded for the current flight, they attack in that general direction with extreme efficacy.

The pilot died almost instantly in the third tenth of the second. The force of the shot threw the pilot towards the door that I'd been peeking through. Not even two feet out of the pilot's seat, the charge on his chest exploded, rendering the ship's controls into gas, but somehow not the flying corpse.

At the forth tenth of a second, halfway through pulling back, I watched the pilot's body sail through the corridor. Two more tenths of a second, and the pilot collided with the inner hull of the ship, 15 feet behind me, with a sickening crunch.

Why do I now think that days adrift drive you crazy? Because, other than the acid account transfer and the messages on the job board, those six tenths of a second are the only thing I remember from that job.

Written by yumaiaks, inspired by Jezzared