Anchored to the second moon of Turin, the outposts served as the main communication buoy for their quadrant of the galaxy. Nestled between two black holes, electromagnetic disturbance wreaked havoc on their communication and visibility. The solution, hastily built outposts that connected communication between planets through a crude hardwired system and a complex arrangement of satellites and transponders. The system needed to be updated, especially now that the business and political centers of their galaxy required more energy, but justifying the cost was hard to explain when no one wanted to admit to limitations or deficits. There was a system in place, and that seemed to appease most - no matter how outdated or broken that system was. For the cost of one explorer, and a bare bone cruiser, the façade continued.
One more hour and she would be there.
Beyond her feet, she saw the outposts emerge out of the darkness. Large metal beams stacked atop each other, narrowing in toward the top, making a ladder or a temple depending on the angle. The lights flashed along the edge of the beams, with a hypnotic pull, while underneath the metal a tangled web of wires hid.
She remembered her first trip here and the terror when she had climbed that metal monstrosity for the first time. A mangled mess of wires crossed and twisted around each beam, and habitually frayed, requiring routine maintenance and welding. Working with the archaic tools, she’d managed to burn through the outer shell of her suit with the soldering iron, and barely held onto the melted wires that ran throughout the beam. If it weren’t for some quick thinking, and a reserve of brass nerves, the entire communication system would have faltered. It was amazing her heart hadn’t jumped out of her chest; it hammered more than she had on the wires.
That victory drink had never tasted so good.
The thing about victory drinks though, after the first one, the rest pale in comparison, leaving a hollow pang of longing. She knew that feeling too well. Another sip of Amiliba vodka coated her throat, burning a slow path.
- Boone's Journey, Kirstin Pulioff 2014