Fear And Loathing in Lost Vega

A Savage Journey to the Heart of the Imperial Dream 

by Hunter S. Thorshu

Null (fiction inspired by /u/T3ller's image above)

Excerpt, Chapter 8:

Strange memories on this nervous night on the planet of Aramis in the Vega System. Cowering in the shelters, waiting for a Vanduul raid to pass. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least since the Messer Era—the kind of peak that never comes again. Terra in the late thirties and early forties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run… but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant…

History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of "history" it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time—and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened.

My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty nights—or very early mornings—when I left Prime half-crazy and, instead of going home, aimed the big prototype F8 Lightning (don’t ask how I had that thing, don’t really remember -- but it was fully life-time insured!) across the Prime Landing Zone at .2C wearing banned cargo pants and a Rytiff sheepherder's jacket… booming through the orbital escape path to the Jump Points of Goss and Kilian and Nexus, not quite sure which wormhole to take when I got to the other end (always drifting at the egress point, too twisted to find the space brake while I fumbled for the next coordinates)... but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were just as high and wild as I was: No doubt at all about that…

There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across to Gen, then up the Olympus Pool or down the Perry Line to Rihlah or Oya.… You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning.…

And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn't need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave.…

So now, less than five years later, you can go up on an orbital platform in the Vega system and look Galactic East, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.

But we can’t stop here… this is Vanduul country!


 

(No apologies to Hunter S. Thompson for his "Wave Speech" used as inspiration. He wouldn't want any. Hunter, we stuck on this silly planet, miss you ... you crazy bastard. -Ed.)