The Great Unknown

Even Amsterdam didn't push the captains temper any further after that. Farstolf took the controls of the ship and silently piloted it towards one of the more brightly glowing stars in the faint distance.

The speed of the Pretty Boy was unmatched by other ships of its class. Even with it's damaged hull it hurtled through open space at a blinding pace. The captain had to fight to keep control however, as the ship was unbalanced with the damage and constantly fought to veer to the left. Eventually the captain pulled the brake as the vessel drew into orbit above the nearest planet.

"Septimus!" He called to the back of the deck.

"Captain?" Came a shrill voice in reply.

"I need a reading."

In reply came the clanging of metal upon metal until finally Septimus came into view in the cockpit. He was little more than a green fleshy blob, with a group of six eyes attached to the ends of slimy tendrils and two thin skinny arms, one clutching a book entitled 'Sammy the Magical Unicorn." He liked to read, especially comedies. His fat body was set upon a group of four metal, spider like legs attached to a central platform that was controlled by gear levers on the right hand side. His race was known as the 'Vobus'. Renowned for being totally, incomparibly useless in every way save for one. They could read and process streams of data as fast as they appeared on any info screen. One glance of a datapad showing nothing but a stream of numbers and he could tell you, word for word, what the encoded message inside was.

It was because of Septimus that Farstolf hadn't bothered updating his planet gauging equipment. Newer versions of the planet scanner software told its user everything necessary about a planet in one neat, convenient list. Population, oxygen level, Resources, Density and everything else you can think of. The technology, while spectacularly reliable, was very expensive. Not to mention obsolete with a Vobus onboard.

"You ready?" Farstolf said, it wasn't a question as much as a statement that he had better be ready.

"Yes captain." Came the reply in the Vobus' trademark ridiculously high voice. The captain flicked the archane scanner on and sure enough thousands of numbers streamed down the screen with lightening pace. Septimus observed it closely, clearly not even tested by it.

"Ash Planet, mostly devoid of vegetation. Carbon levels high. Uninhabitable."

"Damn" The captain muttered, they were running low on fuel and supplies, it was doubtful that they had enough to reach another planet. Even if they did know which one would be a good bet to retrieve more.

"Wait a moment." Septimus added with a hint of excitement. "Yes, there is a small colony. Built within an artificial Oxygen generating construct. Numerous lifesigns, population density per square mile is very high. Most likely a slum of some sorts."

"Right we will land there." Farstolf said firmly. "Brutus!"

"Y-yes sir." Came the squeak from the usually fearless and battle thirsty imp. However nothing instilled fear in him quite like the captain on one of his 'off' days.

"Best get your spanner out. Your staying with the ship when we land and I want it in tip-top shape by the time we return. If it isn't fully repaired I will take the remaining damage out of your face as well as your wages." Farstolf allowed himself a slight grin, he loved to be over the top with his threats. He never actually went through with many of them, only using violence in the heat of the moment. The crew hadn't noticed that he worked this way apparently. He doubted they would test the matter even if they had.

"Set course for the colony." Farstolf told the onboard computer. He, and indeed most of the crew, breathed a sigh of relief. Some luck at last.

The End

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