The smuggler’s ship bounced through the asteroid field. The system shields were barely holding on, and they were one direct hit away from becoming permanent residents of the debris cloud. The skeleton crew on the bridge, four people in total, focussed intently on their screens as the sudden bursts of acceleration buffeted them to and fro in their harnesses.
“What are you looking for, father?”
“A supply ship. They had to, umm, make an emergency course adjustment. We need to be ready, assuming they make it.”
Red lights flashed, and warning sirens erupted within the cabin.
“Shut that noise off, Williams!”
Moments later the flashing lights shifted to a static red glow. The sirens were replaced with the sounds of groaning metal, hissing pipes, and concerning thuds.
“I think we’re almost to the edge. But we have a new problem.”
“What is it?”
“We lost acceleration control. Once we get out of this mess of rocks, we’ll have to plot a course for a friendly planet that we can hit by burning out our fuel.”
“Damn! We’ll have to skip drop the supplies?”
“Okay, get a course plotted, and prepare the cargo.”
A bright short red streak burned across the sky. A boom that was more felt than heard followed. Dozens of tiny flashing lights appeared in the dark, drifting towards the surface.
“Is that them?”
“Yep. Another skip drop. We’re gonna have a long night collecting all of it, but if we’re lucky, there will be some coffee.”