2946-06-06 - Sponsor Message: Chandler Rose | Trust Nothing Less
Our sponsor, Kosseler Shipbuilding, wanted to provide its own story for the new series. This story is well documented in local newsfeeds, and will be featured in a Kosseler datasphere marketing campaign - but our readers get to see it first. Our audience has always rewarded Cosmic Background's sponsors with their business, and I hope that, if you are in the market for a new ship, you'll consider what Kosseler products have to offer.
The station crew crowded the viewpanels to gawk at the ship which drunkenly maneuvered toward the outstretched docking collar. The little yacht's hull was mangled almost beyond recognition, and it was a wonder to the steadily increasing audience within the station that the vessel had not only survived its ordeal, but had made a successful star drive jump in its condition. The name of the ship, Eustace Shelby, was all but invisible, the painted markings scoured off those remaining plates of hull still attached to the vessel's bent frame.
Shelby missed the docking collar once, then again, its few remaining maneuvering thrusters sputtering dangerously. Over the radio, station control suggested that the lone occupant of the limping ship take manual control and attempt to complete docking himself.
"Hell no, boss. Shelby's got this." The pilot replied. His bravado, piped to the nervous onlookers, inspiring a scattered, tense cheer from the small crowd within. The ship's plight had been known aboard the station from the moment Shelby had completed its jump into the system eleven days prior, but until the ship was finally close enough for docking, they hadn't been able to see the damage with their own eyes. Some hadn't believed the pilot's story, when he'd first established contact. Now, it was easy to believe.
Chander Rose, pilot and owner of Eustace Shelby, is something of an adventurer, who takes his little yacht into dangerous territory in search of lost treasures, derelict ships, and other mysteries. He has had more than his share of run-ins with criminals and claims to have had at least one encounter with a Rattanai raid-ship, but it was not fire from hostile weapons which had shattered his ship, but an accident so incredibly rare that no previously recorded incidents exist. Chandler's ship had survived a blind, head-on collision with a comet.
Chandler took Eustace Shelby out of Sebastiaan Station on the twenty-seventh of April, intending merely to go and see The Gorgons, three spectacular gas giants in a nearby system, for himself, as do many tourists and explorers passing through Herakles. His jump completed normally, but Chandler couldn't see the Gorgons' stellar primary, which should have been dead ahead. A collision alarm had sounded, but too late – the icy lump and Shelby were moving too fast relative to each other for there to be any hope of avoiding impact.
Still, the autopilot corkscrewed wildly before its pilot could react. The screaming alarm had not yet ceased before Chandler, strapped into his crash-padded station chair, heard a roaring crash and the tearing of metal, the stars outside his viewpanel spinning too quickly to follow, dancing to a discordant tune played by dozens of shrieking alarms. The gravitics stuttered for only a few seconds, but it was long enough that the force of the ship's tumbling knocked its lone pilot unconscious. Chandler's last thought as his vision went black was that nobody would ever know what had become of him.
When Chandler Rose regained consciousness, he was surprised to find that not only was he still alive, but so was his ship. Eustace Shelby, a Kosseler Pegasus, was in bad shape, with most of its external fittings torn off and its outer hull almost half-gone, but the cabin life support was still working. Any atmosphere breaches had been quickly and automatically sealed. Shelby still had main power and its Himura unit was intact.
After a day's worth of EVA repairs, mostly to jury-rig new radio fittings, and to restore a small percentage of his original primary thrust, Chandler powered up the Himura and calculated a jump back to Herakles, every moment expecting something to fail. Yet, despite its bent frame creaking, the battered Shelby carried Chandler Rose to safety.
On the third try, Shelby's autopilot found the docking collar, and a cheer rose from the crowd gathered inside the station. Chandler, uninjured but haggard, stepped through, and the cheer grew into a roar. Chandler Rose had survived his improbable accident.
When asked later by a local newsfeed correspondent what he credited with his survival, Chandler did not hesitate. "My ship saved my life." He told her. "I'm alive today because of the engineers at Kosseler."
If you're in the market for a new vessel, consider Kosseler Shipbuilding products, built to only the highest standard of quality, safety, and comfort. Whether you travel for business or pleasure, can you afford anything less?
In honor of Chandler Rose's amazing story, the buyer of any new Kosseler Pegasus who mentions Chandler Rose will receive a 5% discount on their final purchase price. The first one hundred buyers who mention Cosmic Background will receive an additional 5% discount.
(These offers apply only to purchases of new vessels and are cumulative with other outstanding offers from Kosseler Shipbuilding only up to a 20% total discount. Void where Kosseler representatives and/or products have been banned by law. Claimant need not be physically present to purchase. A delivery fee may apply to orders placed from outside the Core Worlds. See Kosseler's datasphere hub for more details, and to see the features of the Kosseler Pegasus product line.)