Freefall 3451 - 3460 (D)
Freefall 3451

Station approach

What do you need?
Regulations state that the captain must be on the bridge during docking maneuvers.
If anything goes wrong, I won't be much help.
You are untrained. You will not be tempted to take the controls. No human can match machine speed and precision.
Our situation is optimal. Having a skilled pilot on the bridge is a recipe for disaster.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 3452

Station approach

Hello, 1071 CCN. Do you have any good stuff for us?
Hello, P/N junction. We've got some new plants and my own home made hot sauce.
Save me a few bottles. I'll get them when I'm off watch. So, what brings you to this decaying outpost?
I hear you need maintenance workers and will pay well.
True. We tried advertising dangerous jobs in the middle of nowhere for minimum wage, but for some reason, nobody showed up.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 3453

Station approach

Real captain on the bridge.
As if.
Sam, you might show up on one of the station screens.
They want our cargo intact more than they want me dead. Haven't you ever had to make that calculation?
I've never had anyone want me dead before.
Then stick with me. You'll learn about these things.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 3454

Station approach

I'm not going to stick around with you. You're always causing trouble.
Not always. Sometimes other people cause it and I join in.
Back home they would say “Always go looking for trouble. That way, when you find it, you've got your eyes open.”
This is your chance to learn the wisdom of the sqid race.
I believe my life will be more tranquil if I remain ignorant.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 3455

Station approach

Let me know if you hear anything interesting. I'm going to find out why this station is so expensive to operate.
I'm still surprised the chief asked YOU to look into it.
As well as being the most charismatic cephalopod to ever fly in human space, I am also a famous thief and scoundrel.
If I'm caught where I'm not supposed to be, it won't be suspicious.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 3456

Station approach

We are on final approach to the station. Cutting thrust. All hands prepare for micro gravity.
Separating from external mass tank. Braking thrust in five seconds.
Hard to believe we're finally here.
And now I believe.
A docking fee has been charged to your account.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 3457

Station approach

Are we going to lose that tank?
Nope. It gets scooped one rotation before we do.
We're on a tangent course moving just a bit slower than the station. We go in a straight line, the station moves in behind us and scoops us up.
A skilled pilot such as myself should handle this.
If I may venture an opinion. Splat.
Don't touch the controls, Sam.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 3458

Station approach

All hands. In twenty seconds, we will enter the scoop of the Pournelle/Niven transfer station.
We will experience a downward acceleration of eight meters per second squared. Please prepare for the new direction of acceleration.
What's that noise?
I was prepared for the new direction of acceleration. My room? Not so much.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 3459


We are magnetically coupled to the station ramp. Moving to the docking area. You are free to move about the ship.
After all that time in .05 gravity, it feels good to have near-normal gravity again.
Yep. Good old near-normal gravity.
You can't get up either, can you?

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 3460


Standing up shouldn't be so hard! It's only been three weeks!
I did my exercises every day. Well, almost every day.
I may have skipped a session or twelve.
Shows how quickly the body can adapt to new circumstances.
I just wish it adapted to “Get fit” as fast as it does to “Get lazy”.

Color by George Peterson

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