Amsterdam's Trick

Looking out through the rear windows of the Pretty Boy, Yoko and Brutus bit their lips with anxiety. The Police IMT was catching up with them rapidly. They were lucky to have fought off the boarding party, but to outrun the main ship was likely impossible. Without a black hole.

Brutus shook his head and turned to look down the length of the ship, where he could see the light from the cockpit, and Amsterdam at the controls. As he broke into a jog through the ship, Yoko stayed put, mesmerised by the sight of the IPF ship.

As Brutus passed Yuk in his hammock, he smelt the unpleasant stench of alcohol, and forced himself to keep going towards the cockpit. As he walked through the entrance that most of the other crew had to duck under, he heard something he had not been expecting. Amsterdam was laughing hysterically.

"What could you possibly be laughing about at a time like this?!" Brutus demanded in his booming voice.

"Son, we're heading for a black hole to escape the IPF. This has got to be the stupidest escape route we've ever taken!" Amsterdam replied. He laughed loudly again.

Climbing up to the copilot's seat (from the days that the Pretty Boy had been a legitimate cargo vessel and had had a copilot) Brutus could see everything Amsterdam saw. The vast stretch of space all around them, and the imminent and intimidating collision with the black hole before them. Brutus shuddered at the thought of spending the rest of his life in the cold dark recesses of space with the idiots he called a crew. There was nothing he could do to fix the ship if everything went wrong - with no spaceports and little equipment, they were in trouble.

Brutus looked back to Amsterdam to suggest maybe they turn back and try to outrun the IPF like they normally did, but he was greeted with the sight of the pilot with his feet up on the controls and leaning back comfortably in his seat.

"What are you doing now?!" Brutus asked nervously.

A small smile crept onto Amsterdam's face as he explained, "The hole's got us now, Brutus. There ain't no going back now!"

"It's sucking us in?!"

"Yes, sir!" Amsterdam whooped excitedly, making Brutus even more nervous.

"The captain's not going to like this one bit, Amsterdam..."

Amsterdam looked over to where Brutus was sitting, bolt upright, shaking slightly.

"You should have told him we were being followed by the IPF!" Brutus yelled hysterically. "Not only is he going to kill you for not telling him, but he's going to kill you for heading into a black hole without consulting him! He's going to kill you for heading into a black hole, period!"

Amsterdam raised an eyebrow. "He's sure as hell not gonna kill me, son. Because I wasn't at the helm." In an instant, Amsterdam was on his feet and had Brutus by the arms, picking him up and dropping him firmly in the seat next to him, as if Brutus had been driving the whole time. Amsterdam didn't say anything, just laughed and skipped merrily off.

"Oh no, oh no!" Brutus didn't want to leave the cockpit for fear that something would go wrong. That Amsterdam, he was so arrogant, and it cut right to the core of Brutus. He started flicking at different switches and pulling and pushing levers in a desperate attempt to break the black hole's pull. He had never flown before, and he was sure Amsterdam would tell the captain that he had taken the controls and got them into this trouble.

Before anything could be done, Brutus felt blackness all around the ship, darkness surged through the vessel, and everything fell silent. Except for one last scream of delight from Amsterdam.

They were in the black hole.

The End

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