Oof. Another bump, another crack of teeth against teeth, and another game attempt by my spine to smash its way out of my lower back.
That last ridge was a doozy. And this has been a whole planet covered in some really impressive ridges, peppered with some evil hidden dips that seem practised at hiding where even the shadows from the low evening sun don’t betray them.
How’s the hull? Hmm. The indicator’s giving me a cheery 43% structural integrity rating, which doesn’t give me a good feeling. I consider just turning around. But… There’s the money to think about. I can’t feed myself with a rover sitting in the hangar and not going anywhere.
I mean, I suppose I could slow down… But time is the essence of at least part of the contract. If I don’t pick the material up soon, someone else will, and that’ll create all sorts of political problems for the ruling faction: a breakdown of negotiations, a resumption of cold conflict, possibly leading to strategic blockades, bringing food scarcity, public disorder, a security crackdown, increasing authoritarianism and eventual formation of a totalitarian dictatorship in the system.
Worse still, I won’t get paid.
A light on the dash is shining brightly. It’s not a good light. It’s telling me…
…that my hull’s now stable and reliable to the tune of 36% of its original manufacture.
Well, nothing if not reckless. 36% is over a third. So I’m fine. I’m fine.