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Journal mcgrew's Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Twelve

The damned alarm woke me up. Damn them whores... but it wasn't whores, it was a meteor shower. Fuck. I went to the pilot room.

The meteors were tiny but when you're going fast, well, when a meteor shower is coming you want to slow down.

Or speed up. Usually it was slow down but not this time. I spoke into the fone. "Attention, passengers and cargo. Prepare for higher gravity in ten seconds." Ten seconds later I gradually added thrust. We were almost at Earth-normal now, and man it was not the least bit comfortable. I felt like I weighed a ton.

After these long interplanetary trips it was customary to spend a month or more in a gradually faster centrifuge until 1.3 normal. After a few days of this, Earth felt pretty good.

Right now it wasn't too comfortable, but we had to outrun those rocks. We'd be at .85G for the next hour. It looked like I was going to be up early today, I had inspection in two hours. I was glad we'd gone to bed early instead of drinking, this would have been hell with a hangover. I went to my quarters and made coffee, wishing again that robots could make decent coffee.

I flipped on the video and saw the last quarter of the zero-G football semifinals. That's one hell of a sport. Too bad Memphis lost.

I was wishing we were back to half gravity again, just sitting here was tiring. When the game was over I headed back to the pilot room.

I couldn't get in, over fifty angry whores were blocking the hallway. "You're all going to be confined if you don't let me through."

One of them laughed. "You and whose army? You think you can take us all on?"

I pulled out my taser. Most of them laughed. "Go inspect your boat, Joe." I don't know why the whores call me that, they know my name. The woman continued. "This full gravity is great, Joe, and we ain't givin' it up!"

"Look," I said, "this acceleration is going to need a course correction. I have to get in that pilot room!"

"Fuck off, Joe." Scattered giggling from the whores. I turned around and slunk off to the cargo area. I sure wasn't looking forward to this.

Damn but the cargo area was a lot longer off than at half G. I finally got there, suited up, and went through the airlock.

My God but I was scared. With the boat's acceleration it was like hanging from the side of a skyscraper. With weights on you. In a space suit with clumsy gloves.

I hooked the A tether to the highest rung I could reach and climbed. When the tether was below me I hooked the B tether above and unhooked the A tether.

I don't know how long it took me to get to the houseboat. I had to stop and rest a few times. I was sweating so hard I was afraid I'd drown in my suit.

I finally got there, went inside, and pressurized it. I took off the suit and went through the dock into the pilot room, pulling the suit in behind me. I was soaked in sweat, I wouldn't have been wetter if I'd been caught in a thunderstorm on Earth.

All my muscles ached, on fire. Them whores was going to be floating in a minute, I was really pissed off. I strapped into the pilot chair and killed the thrusters. The asteroid threat had long since passed and we'd been at high G way too long. Damn, our trajectory was way off.

Well, I'd fix that later. Right now I had a bunch of whores to lock up, and I wasn't about to be gentle. I was hurting like hell from the climb, I stunk, I was really pissed off at those damned whores and almost hoped they'd give me an excuse to tase them.

I was also looking forward to a shower. I was nasty.

I checked the monitor - they were all still outside the pilot room, floating, guarding it from me, ignorant of how the houseboat was docked to the ship. I wonder what went through their heads when we started floating?

I pulled out my taser and went outside. "All of you worthless bitches, hands behind your backs or God damn it I'm going to tase the shit out of you!"

This time they complied. It took half an hour to get them all cuffed and another half hour to get them to their rooms. I stopped by my quarters to make sure Destiny was OK.

She wasn't there. I knocked on Tammy's door. She opened it and said "You're probably looking for Destiny."

"Yeah, you seen her?"

"She was worried about you. She was heading toward the cargo bay right before we lost gravity."

Holy hell, I hoped she hadn't gone outside the boat to find me. If she did, she was probably dead, or would be soon.

I kicked off as hard as I could towards the cargo hold, flying as fast as I could.

Continues, probably tomorrow. I want to thank rk again for pointing out an embarrassing typo in the last chapter. I'm not going to edit the online drafts, but it's been fixed in the manuscript.

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Mars, Ho! Chapter Twelve

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