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Freefall 1231 - 1240
Freefall 1231

Tail chasing and fish catching

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Hold on. It costs a fortune to send a person across one star system and you were being sent across three?
Starship drives work by manipulating space/time density. I don't perceive time the same way humans do.
They hoped by having a different point of view, I might see possibilities in design that they missed.
I know what you mean. Until I came along, humans had no idea so much of their computer technology could be used as a hammer.
Freefall 1232

Tail chasing and fish catching

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This talk about starships reminds me, I have nothing from you to send to my owner. It is the last day for e-mails.
Would you please say a few words to him?
Uhm… Can't. Driving. Have to keep my eyes on the water.
You're not driving yet. The motor's not even on.
No distractions. It's only by my steady hand that our random drifting is kept on course.
Freefall 1233

Tail chasing and fish catching

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Change seats, Sam. I'll drive while you record a message to my owner.
This could be tricky. I don't know if Florence's owner will play this message before he finds out I hijacked her, or after.
Oh, well. Just have to keep things light, upbeat, and never forget anything I say can and will be used against me.
Freefall 1234

Tail chasing and fish catching

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Okay. Starships carrying messages are the fastest form of interstellar communication humans have.
Three months from now, flags go up when Florence doesn't arrive at her destination. A year from now, her owner gets these messages. Fourteen months, the Asimov returns here.
Fourteen months. A lot can happen in fourteen months. Even the worst case gives me more time to run away than I usually get.

Что-то тут с цифрами неладно… (Robot Spike)
Это означает что Фло находится с Сэмом уже 9 месяцев. Ведь один бросок корабля длится год. (БТРкО)
Не совсем так. Три месяца – бросок корабля до станции, где должна была выйти Флоренс. Год до его возвращения в точку, откуда она вылетела. Год и два месяца – корабль делает полный круг. Выходит, что в анабиозе она пролежала два месяца. А хронологию событий комикса можно посмотреть в доп. материалах. Винстон говорил, что летел на досветовой 17 лет, а прилетел он одним из первых колонистов. Следовательно, гипердрайв изобретен не позднее двух десятков лет назад (возраст здешних роботов) и “Азимов” – из первого поколения кораблей. (KALDYH)

Freefall 1235

Tail chasing and fish catching

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Record message: Greetings, Florence's owner.
His name is Scott.
Greetings, Scott. I am Sam Starfall, mighty ambassador to the puny human empire. It is upon my flagship that Florence serves as engineer and liaison for your race.
Sam…
What do you want? The truth, or a good first impression?
Freefall 1236

Tail chasing and fish catching

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The truth will suffice.
By your command. New message. Record.
Greetings, Scott. I am Sam Starfall, captain of the ship Florence is stationed on. Unfortunately, this means Florence didn't arrive where she was supposed to. She was thawed out two stops early and I'm sorry about that.
On the bright side. With me, she'll have experiences and gain education I doubt she would have gotten anyplace else.
Freefall 1237

Tail chasing and fish catching

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The message for your owner has been sent to the starship.
Thank you. Are you an ambassador?
No. I tried, but had to give it up. Ran into a problem with the local merchants.
Once I started to abuse diplomatic immunity, it only took them five minutes to figure out they could hire another ambassador to beat me up.
Freefall 1238

Tail chasing and fish catching

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Sam, how did you get here? Human scout ship, obviously. But they don't take passengers from the locals.
I was… unexpected. The landing craft they used was pitiful as far as security goes. I went on board to see if there was anything… interesting.
What got me is that you guys have a low oxygen atmosphere. I started feeling sleepy and found a place to rest. Next thing I know, I wake up here with a bunch of scientists staring at me.
That must have been quite a shock.
It was, but they tell me with therapy, the humans involved are expected to make a full recovery.
Freefall 1239

Tail chasing and fish catching

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Occasionally, my people need to lie low for a few years. If we intentionally drown ourselves in a bog or mud, sometimes we encyst. It's risky, but good if your chances for survival are already less than fifty/fifty.
We think it's an old adaptation for surviving dry periods, like the lungfish you guys have on earth. Either way, it's how I was able to survive the trip here without cold sleep.
How did they wake you up? Water? More oxygen?
It was a more modern survival adaptation. I woke up the moment I felt someone pulling on my wallet.
Freefall 1240

Tail chasing and fish catching

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Have you thought about going back home?
It's been suggested to me. A lot. But I can't. Believe it or not, I know too much.
I know about uranium and isotopes and critical mass. Scientists say my race won't be ready for nuclear power for another five hundred years.
Five hundred years?
Yeah. It used to be a hundred. Then they got to know me and the number started going up.
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