Diving rapidly through the shimmering, folded moonlight towards certain death, I braced for the inevitable crash. Absorbed by my panic, I missed the spectacular view of the planet beneath; a rugged brocade, stained with the ochre-blood of the land. Jagged rust-tipped outcroppings interspersed between the gently sculpted plains broke the monotony of the dusty scene, which merged seamlessly into the birth of a coppery sunrise.
My head jerked alarmingly as the freighter clipped house-sized boulders like a frog evading the cleaver of a French chef. The impact left chunks of the container ship, akin to a breadcrumb trail, strewn across the planetscape, its cargo of EVA suits scattered like the clothing of young lovers.
Grinding to a halt amidst clouds of choking red dust, the remains of the ship teetered on the brink of a precipice. A held breath (one I had feared would be my final gasp) escaped my lungs as I checked myself over for compound fractures, broken nails and tears in my dress. Apart from whiplash and a skinned knee I had survived virtually unscathed. Had I been a cat, I would have been down to my ninth life…. Not feeling particularly feline, I considered buying a lottery ticket but discarded the idea since I had already used up a triple-helping of good fortune.
My luck held out long enough for the entire crew to drag themselves from the wreckage moments before the crumpled shell lurched and tipped over the rim to slide down the cliff, finally exploding in a ball of flames. We peered over the edge, watching in awe a scene which rivalled the special effects of a Hollywood cinematic experience.
The restless world, alive with distant deep rumblings, dragged us back from our silent gaping. We fled the onslaught of dust storms and twisters, giving a wide berth to abandoned vessels and space junk in which the local wildlife (human-sized reptilian creatures and giant goggle-eyed slug beasts) had taken up residence.
Tripping over each other as we scurried across the uneven ground, my comrades and I distractedly tumbled into a valley which housed a remote weather station. The commotion drew the attention of a sanitation droid who was busy washing clothes. For a nominal fee the robot cleaned my discoloured dress and gave us directions to the major mining outpost on the planet.
The droid also offered us fresh vegetables from his crop, but cautioned us against using the station’s vending machine which had not been restocked in the last decade. In true vandal style, my team set to tilting and rocking the machine until it yielded up an assortment of comestibles including a sludge-filled foam cup (smelling vaguely of coffee) and two suspiciously pulsating burritos which were instantly devoured by the ravenous horde.
I opted to sample some fresh hydroponically grown produce from the greenhouse as much to escape the burrito-induced methane expulsions of my lackeys as from any desire to dine.
We continued walking, the crunching of pebbles underfoot covering the sound (if not the disturbing odour) of my fellows as we marched towards the harsh afternoon sun. As the sun sank into bronzed twilight, drawing with it our depleted spirits, the fractious band of stranded pirates began throwing rocks. A challenge to pitch the farthest distance ensued, with boasts far exceeding the skill of the participants.
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Privateer Space: a Galactic Mistake… by Aribella Lafleur
For a select few, the thirst for adventure can never be slaked; whilst others are the unwilling victims of circumstance - dragged through Interesting Times with their designer sunglasses blinkering their eyes and iTunes filling their ears. Some choose to seize the day with gold-tipped tweezers or attempt to hurriedly capture it under a glass, lest it escape and bite them. Caught with both tweezers and glass in hand, I….
…Stirred to the disquieting awareness that I was trapped in the frigid confines of a space vessel, glazed eyes staring out through fogged breath and frosted portals into the swirling abyss. Wiping a trace of drool from my chin, I tried to comprehend how I could have been transported to the far reaches of the cosmos. Seeds of remembrance awakened slowly within the swirling miasma inside my skull. Replaying the scene in my mind, it became yet another tardy reminder about the hazards of drinking with a crowd of pirates in a seedy tavern.
It has been said that in the depths of the void no one can hear your scream. My crew heard. Far-reaching galaxies will hear, in millennia to come, that primal scream and the angry tirade that ensued…to no avail. I was caught like a hamster in a wheel, with nowhere to run. As asteroids whizzed past faster than I could say “Where’s the brake?” I closed my gaping mouth and reached for a seatbelt, assuming the increasingly familiar crash position.
Our route meandered through the treacherous asteroid field towards a giant hunk of rock which appeared to contain a drab and dreary refueling station. The promise of a chocolate bar was enough to add a mote of excitement, but the turbulent landing dampened my growing enthusiasm.
We carefully entered a dimly-lit teleport chamber, the walls slick from years of grease deposits. Abruptly and haphazardly transported in a jumbled huddle, we landed in a rather unexceptional galactic truck stop convenience store. Passing the reeking rest rooms (which were, of course, out of order; a mandatory feature of truck stops throughout the known universe and possibly beyond) my space-pirate crew followed their assaulted olfactory organs to the source of the fried, fatty cooking smells – the diner.
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I ended up back at Privateer Space again and ended up finding a lot more stuff I didn’t see on the first visit. I think I had the most fun at the Mini Racing track, I thought I had more pictures of the racing than this, must have been having too much fun.
Here is the race track.
And here I am bouncing it off the ceiling. Here’s a slurl in case you can’t find it, it’s behind a hidden door in the tunnels.
Forgot the name to this ship, but it looks like it’s from Battlestar Galactica.
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The sim Privateer Space is definitely one you will want to check out, if only to get the free space ship, and especially if you are a Star Wars fan.
I noticed a post on New World Notes about it, he mentioned a post by Gwyneth Llewelyn in which she creates her own story around the sim, much like Aribella’s stories on this blog, it is worth a read. So, I’m going to leave the storytelling to them and just show some pics and some info. Here is a quote from Gwyn’s post:
“Gwyneth,” Commander Au said to me, twirling his moustache behind the floating desk at HQ. “We have, uh… an issue.”
I dropped the pad on my lap and looked up to him. His mischievous smile was getting on my nerves. Sighing, I scratched my head, and mumbled: “What issue?” Source: To Boldly Go To Where No Avatar Has Gone Before
They have a challenge called The Kessel Run, which is supposed to be the longest straightaway distance in Second Life, from the notecard:
This is not a race, there is no start time and no prizes, it is a challenge
The object of this challenge is to deliver some imaginary important cargo from the southern most point of the main two linked SL continents to the northernmost point.
Seems simple right? TRY THE SL KESSEL AND SEE FOR YOURSELF!!!
(1) must use a flying physics vehicle (any will do)
(2) must use the SAME vehicle with no mods to get to the finish point. you can re use as many copies as necessary, just not a different vehicle.
(3) must copy your crash locations (the notices you get in text when you kabloowy) to notepad, a notecard etc, then restart in the Sim listed. if there are no rez areas in the sim ?
you may go to the EAST or WEST nearest sims to try, NOT A NORTHERN SIM! North is the direction your goal is.
Note: if you fly between altitudes 800m and 900m you will both avoid builds and be low enough to prevent ejection from full parcel crossings
*The Kessel Run was an 18-parsec route used by smugglers to move glitterstim spice from Kessel to an area south of the Si’Klaata Cluster without getting caught by the Imperial ships that were guarding the movement of spice from Kessel’s mines. Worlds along the Kessel Run included Fwillsving, Randa, Rion, and possibly Zerm.
It took travelers in real space around The Maw leading them to an uninhabitable—but far easier to navigate—area of space called The Pit, which was an asteroid cluster encased in a nebula arm making sensors as well as pilots go virtually blind. Thus there was a high chance that pilots, weary from the long flight through real space, would crash into an asteroid.
Han Solo claimed that his Millennium Falcon “made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.” The parsec is a unit of distance, not time. Solo was not referring directly to his ship’s speed when he made this claim. Instead, he was referring to the shorter route he was able to travel by skirting the nearby Maw black hole cluster, thus making the run in under the standard distance. However, parsec relates to time in that a shorter distance equals a shorter time at the same speed. By moving closer to the black holes, Solo managed to cut the distance down to about 11.5 parsecs. The smuggler, BoShek, actually beat Solo’s record in his ship, Infinity, but without cargo to weigh him down.
A few months later, Han Solo beat both his own and BoShek’s records in a run he made with Luke Skywalker.
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