Space to breath. Part 1.0

A violent shudder ran through the ship with every turn, something irreparable was very definitely broken in an important way. Who am I trying to kid, most of this ship has been irreparably broken pretty much since before I stole it. So what now, oh yes, keep going, what other option is there.
I coax the controls gently trying to glide into every turn, keep things smooth, using momentum instead of fighting it like a swordsmen does, but even gentle shifts of tilt or angle make nasty little grinding sounds somewhere in the hull and the occasional musical change in the various siren tones.
But I’m alive, and so is the ship, just. That’s a better situation than I thought I’d be in about 48 hours ago, and at least there is no sign of pursuit. Hopefully that’s a good thing, I can’t help thinking that maybe they just assume I’m a dead man anyway and pursuit would be a waste of resources. But survival has become a habit, a habit I’m good at, I just hope it’s a habit I can transfer to this rust bucket.
There is no way I’ll risk a move outside of the atmosphere, I’m pretty certain the change in pressures would not be healthy, so I’m stuck to staying on this rock and keeping low and slow to stay out of sight and keep my signature low. There is plenty of ground to hide in, and a ship, even a badly abused one like this, has significant advantages over being on foot, that is assuming I can get it on the ground without it turning into my tomb.
For the hundredth time I ran over my options.
I could surrender and give myself up to the tender mercies of the prison system, I could live a few more weeks or months while they punish me for the escape, put me through a trial and with some astounding luck I could get away with only being executed. This would at least be reasonably comfortable, I’d likely have a bed and food and a clean death. But survival is a habit I think I’ll hold onto.
I could set down out here in the more valueless lands with little or no settlers and habitation. I could use the remaining functional scanners on the ship to locate water and any reasonable wildlife, use the ship itself for shelter and power while the reactor holds out, and assuming no one is looking for me, quite possibly live out a reasonable life like a hobo. So what I’d have no off world comms, no data net, no comforts, I’d be alive, I’d probably be healthier than a large proportion of the general populous, and maybe even after a dozen or so years I could re-surface and things could have blown over. Ok, maybe after 25 years. Ok, maybe never, but what the heck, I’d be alive.
I could set down out here and repair the ship, then head into orbit and find my own ship, make the transfer and get the heck out of town. That is assuming my ship is still out there, that this ship is repairable and that I have the skills, tools and materials on board. That also assumes the repairs hold and don’t vent my spleen into the void, and that’s assuming the external comms array will let me recover my ship. That’s a lot of assumptions and I’m sure my mind is actually shying away from many more important assumptions I don’t want to think about, like the chances of getting the ship to ground and off again in one piece, or of exposing myself as I head for orbit. On a risk reward scale, high risk, high reward. Or should that be stupidly high risk, some reward. Lets keep that one in reserve I think.
I could head for a major conurbation, avoid the detection grid, Biometric scanners, random patrols, and the other joys of a technologically advanced hub, jump a ship, maybe even hijack something, get myself into space, trade up to my ship and get the heck out of town. Like that’s going to work. If I had the right counter tech, I could easily disappear in the crowd, avoid, confuse or overpower the lowjack systems which are everywhere and probably make it happen with little or no problems, but without them, my chances are slim to nothing.
Sharon could help.
Support Holographic Artificial Reasoning Orthotic Nanogram, a part program, part nanonetwork engram, part nanny and thinking brain dog I kept wired through out my body and shut down most of the time because her constant “help” can be annoying as it was intrusive, but also so no external scans would pick her up and rip her out of me. I’d lived so long with her, I’m pretty sure if she was removed I go through the full stages of grief, probably even worse than when my mum died.
‘Sharon, time to wake up, activation code Delphinium Milkshake’ Like I’m ever going to use that in conversation.
A tingle ran down my spine as the various nodes trigger, connected and powered up, my fingertips buzzed and my eyesight blurred slightly before a phantom blonde dressed in a blue summery dress appeared floating before my eyes half in and half out of the console.
‘Hay suger, just adjusting my time stamp, I see I’ve been out of the loop for a while, as I’m not detecting the comms net of your ship, I assume you don’t want me actively transmitting at this time, so what trouble you got yourself into you need me to get you’ll out of?’

Her old drawling accent, and dry humour, lightened my mood as ever.
‘Trawl my memory dump will you, it will take too long to explain, I need an exit strategy, and analysis of the potential of bypassing conurbation security to get off planet’
‘Working, my you have been busy, ok, so you got a little time on your hands by the look of things, but your needing a way out without too many more tangles in your hair. That’s not going to be easy, without external access I’m not entirely sure of the local conurbations, but assuming standards, I’d say you got just about a snowballs chance in hell, or roughly 2.3% of you want a solid figure. It’s possible I can make some inroads into the systems to insert a Biometric profile which will let you slide, but getting in and out clean is risky, and besides, it’s possible your ugly mug is already slapped over the net and I can’t really do anything about that despite my repeated suggestions “that some body morphic upgrades would come in useful one day” having been entirely ignored’
‘And as I’ve said many times no one is cutting my face off just so I can fit to the latest tech fashion’
‘Oh sugar, but right now, that fashion would let me smooth out your weather beaten leather and make you harder to ID, but that times passed and best not to dwell on past mistakes’


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