What can happen to you in Solar Trader?

Jesse is currently finishing up the NPC ship coding, and I’m just playtesting (another way of saying ‘screwing around playing a fun game’). Oh, I’m logging bugs (and the Beta version will have its share) but its largely playable.

So last night, I’m on the pad on Uranus. Distance-wise, it’s a ways out from Earth, very far. But I’ve made it running a special FedUp haul. Now I’ve got a cargo pod fulla fish (don’t you know we discovered aquatic life on Uranus? Don’t you know it’s delicious?). But I’m depressed, really depressed by what I’ve been through lately. I’m not looking forward to that long sunward lug to Earth and now Uranus Control (a sphincter, one might joke) is denying me liftoff, saying I’ll have to wait a day.

Hell with that. I’ve got drugs in my possession.

Yes, so here I am, playing the role of a respectable pilot, shooting up in the control seat, bringing my morale back all rosy, happy, and blinky-eyed. Hoo boy.

“Look, man, if there’s one thing I know, it’s how to drive while I’m stoned. It’s like you know your perspective’s fucked so you just let your hands work the controls as if you were straight.” (points to those who get the reference)

So there’s the green light – lights on! Hardburn  on! Final clearance check! Go! My ship lofts high into the inky Uranus sky, drives akimble. And then the onboard computer crashes. All systems go down.

Frantically I try to get the thrusters (the minimum I need) online but fail. Now the ship is falling and at the very last second, the drives (not hardburn) come on. Uranus doesn’t have much atmosphere so airbraking won’t work. I go for the minimal approach under limited burn and pull it off.

And now I’m sitting somewhere on the pad, my ship steaming, everything still offline except my basic burners.

And I get a fine for not calling space traffic control and clearing in (my radio was down, too).

Rebooting a ship is a time consuming effort. It took a day to get the hardburn running. It took another to get radio. And every day, I got another fine. Go ahead and penalize away – I’m never coming back to Uranus – I’ve got my load and I’m ready to go. For some reason, I call for clearance – I must have owed them four or five cash cards for my various violations. But being a tidy little captain (the drugs have long since worn off) I call, I clear, and I lift.

I would go on to die trying to get into Earth orbit, a combination of a ship’s fire, a bad solar flare and some sloppy navigation. Oh well. Still, that was an adventure the spacers across the various shipping lanes still talk about.

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