Stone Temple/Ekoo’s Stop
I had stopped at Corridor for a bite to eat and was shocked to see a veritable throng of young Quants milling around. Apparently the TRI network problem has resulted in the shutdown of the “alteration process” that all pilots must succumb-to before being able to traverse a jumpgate (alive). So the numbers of prospective recruits shuttling up from the planets and getting stranded on stations (they buy one-way tickets) was growing at an alarming rate.
A few of the recruits saw my ship come up the lift to the hangar floor and jogged over for a closer look. I gave them a quick tour but stopped short of letting any of them into the cockpit.
After the tour and a barrage of questions, a few of the rookies asked me to join them in a sporting contest — one which had been “discovered” from one of the tens of thousands of DSS that had been recently recovered. This one, alternately called “b-ball” and “hoops” was becoming popular with the young Quantar. To make a long story short, the game involved quite a bit of running, jumping and shoving people around (I excelled at the latter and had some most impressive statistics on something called “fouls”). It quickly became clear that I have spent far too much time in the cockpit and not nearly enough time keeping in shape. But I rather enjoyed the game and have been invited to come back and join the young initiates for a weekly contest.
After a brief recovery from the “hoops” and a quick shower at Stone Temple, I prepared to head out for a brief cruise. Again, this night, there were no Brothers in flight, so I checked one beacon status and found that, again, there was quite a bit of maintenance necessary. I wondering loudly to myself (since no one else could fit in the cockpit of a ranger anyway) what happened to the good old days when rookie pilots handled this duty.
The beac duty was completely uneventful and I tuned in to a new subspace broadcast band that is starting to transmit music and TRI news (and, of course, commercials). It helped fill the void a bit with the squad comms (as well as other public channels) being deadly silent this night.