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Peter Parsec

The last few stories I wrote were a little downcast. Here’s a quick space comic-opera to restore balance. At least the Portal 2 space-core should love this one…

Peter “Parsec” Johnson – Space Adventurer! That was his title on his business card, on his website, on his door (in the synthesized image he made to promote himself) and on his mind. If you need adventuring in space, he’d be the first one to offer you his services. He had a high end, though consumer-grade, spaceship with the word “SPACE SHIP” written on it in big bold letters. Starship was the trending term ever since faster-than-light drives passed 4kc (four thousand times the speed of light, enough to get you to Alpha Centauri in under an hour), but Peter was old-school. He prided himself on retro touches, like websites and doors, no matter how fake.

It worked well for him so far. Clients came asking him to check out specific coordinates in space, and business was good enough to keep the ship stocked. Today’s was just like the others, a contract came to him from a cryptic old man saying “I’m sure there’s something at these coordinates, check it out and report back BUT DON’T TELL ANYONE IN CASE IT’S GOLD”. Ah, the nostalgia of caps lock.

He first checked the coordinates against a detailed map of the universe. There was no station or planetoid or anything on record for that location. Which meant it was accepted as a job for Peter “Parsec” Johnson – Space Adventurer! He fed the coordinates to the autopilot, played his theme song a couple of times, and then settled down for a nap.

The next day he arrived at the designated coordinates. He scanned the area, to find a derelict battle cruiser. Non-human life signs registered deep within the forgotten hulk, a relic of so long ago that it shouldn’t even be out this far… With a practiced ease, Peter pulled up the report template on his console:

Peter “Parsec” Johnson – Space Adventurer!’s SPACE ADVENTURE SUMMARY (Form S4)
LOCATION: 46756.2346, 345.3434, -14534.2342
TIME: 3015-22-09 14:55.798
REPORT: Area of space contained an ancient derelict with hints of an unknown alien life-form.
RECOMMENDATION: Find yourself a derelict adventurer. I only deal with space.

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