Discussion in 'News' started by Eckles, Oct 7, 2018.
The Criminal Lab Between the Stars
Reporter: Karoline Fisk
10th October 2562
Mind expanding. Family destroying. Pleasure beyond, an addiction like no other.
Stardust has been flowing through human territories for some time, but we still know so very little about this wonder of chemistry, and what we do know has bitterly divided opinions. With the Solar Assembly meeting to vote on its future soon, renown reporter Karoline Fisk headed deep into the heart of the operation.
Using connections made through a decade of delving into the seedy galactic criminal underbelly, I was granted a tour of one of the many labs creating Stardust. It's patched, worn and dirty. A perfect representation of this ancient ship. Liberated from the ship breaking yard at Phobos, the old Flare chugs happily along far from the authority of an interstellar government, perfect for its illicit trade. My arrival was heralded by most of the old ship's inhabitants. I was greeted by a grizzled old man stood, his face more grey hair then flesh, a battered old Fleet uniform clinging to his gangly limbs. The uniform is patched, worn and dirty like this old ship and everything on it.
My guide is quick to make themselves known. A young woman with black streaks of paint smeared across her face in tribal patterns, and hair dyed vivid pink and blue. She pulls me away from the others, and whispering in my ear. She promises retribution should I clue in the authorities to their route or location, making threats laced with too much detail.
The tour is short. A baked hydroponics lab sits under glass, too thin to pass any sensible safety regulations. The whole lab seems to have been built from scrap, welded onto the outside of the hull, an old airlock giving way to the area. A man sits, naked but for a stained pair of once white underwear, a gas mask and some insulated gloves. He seems to be dancing as he tends the plants. The music? Gustav Holst's Mars played so loud the very floor is vibrating. The empty glass sockets of the mask stare at me as I contemplate his dance, and I can only guess what lies behind them. He doesn't even attempt to tell me.
A packing room next. A dismantled robot hangs from chains on the ceiling, packing the powder into small, sealed pouches. It hangs at an angle, it's glowing eyes focussing on me, not even the work. The rumours of bluespace entanglement networks and elaborate interstellar delivery seems almost a joke in this junker of a transport, but still, I wonder where small spider-like drones are carrying the sealed pouches.
Finally, the closest you can get to a habitation block in this rundown old junker. I ask one of the lounge's droop eyed inhabitants about why they choose to work here. "Stardust makes the cosmos spin". If she's talking about the personal effects or the rumours of an interstellar syndicate, I can't tell, but the effect of the drug lingering in her eyes is clear and for a moment I swear I can see swirling lights, a galaxy trapped in her glazed, bloodshot eyes.
The world of Stardust has so far proved bizarre, this ship a haven for miscreants and weirdos. Perhaps that isn't such a bad thing?
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