Tonight’s piece is a tale of drunkeness, carelessness and failure. I hope my anguish will act as a lesson to Commanders both experienced and new … here we go:
It’s that instant human reaction when something goes wrong. Blame someone else. In my case I blamed Cecil. I did for a few seconds once I’d got my ship back to normal temperature at least.
After all, it was that drunken old sod that lost the bizarre drinking game involving a funnel, Hober’s boot and 26 beer mats on my last night in the bubble. It was he that, for once, didn’t wriggle out of his bet with me and bought me my height in cases of beer. It must have been his fault because I wasn’t even going to take alcohol out into the black.
Yet, three weeks into my first exploration mission and heading out to Sagitarrius A*, Cecil didn’t sit by me and force six beers down my throat, did he? Well not in person anyway. The old devil was probably egging me on in spirit. It wasn’t Cecil who jumped up and walked away from the cockpit, desperate for a pee, was it? It wasn’t Cecil who knocked my sunglasses off the dashboard cover straight on to the SILENT RUNNING button. And it wasn’t Cecil who happily lurched off to the toilet without noticing that my precious Keelback – my beautiful Pallypongo – was just about to fry whilst I was offloading the processed beer.
Yes. It was me who walked away from the cockpit, totally unaware that I’d knocked the SILENT RUNNING button. When I returned, there was beeping and red lights going off everywhere. Sparks had even started flying off my control panel.
When I should have just shut the ship down temporarily whilst I was away, I left it running. Modules fried. And, after I had got the ship back under control, I slumped in my seat and uttered the words ‘Cecil. You total b*****d’.
My Auto Field Maintenance Unit did its job for the most part before it ran out of juice. There was nothing else for it … no AFMU … no mission. I aborted and turned the Pallypongo back towards the bubble. And it was on that long, miserable journey back that it dawned on me that I was responsible for my own downfall. Not Cecil. I had walked away from the controls of my own ship.
I had to hope that I could get back to the bubble, get repaired and kitted up again and head back out … to the Wregoe systems this time … before any of the other Truckers spotted me. I’d never live it down. I imagined, more than once, the reaction I’d get from Toad and Dogg.
My first exploration trip lasted about three weeks before my negligence ended it prematurely. I’ve been back out for a week and all is good. A couple of minor bumps but 97% hull still and everything else in tact.
But, there is a lesson to be learned here, Commander. Never walk away from your cockpit for any period of time without shutting the ship down. You just never know.
Now, time to go and get another beer …
Stay safe out there Commanders o7 #ForTheMug