Tumbler: Part 1

You cannot travel faster than the speed of light. That’s why I’m riding a nuclear reactor across the solar system at what feels like a crawl, trying to get to my processor before I miss my drop-off date. Space travel is dangerous, its slow, its freaking expensive, but it’s a good way to make a buck. At least that’s what they tell me. I have yet to actually make any money.

Ever see a rock tumbler? I did once. A rock tumbler is a little can that spins with some rocks and dirt in it until all the little rocks get really shiny and pretty from rubbing together in the grit. Its something that kids with enough money to be bored play with. I wasn’t one of those kids, but I knew a few.

I live in kind of a reverse rock tumbler. It’s a big can stuck in a giant frame, strapped to an enormous chunk of rock or a shipping container or something else large that needs moving to the other side of the solar system, with some big freaking engines on the far side. My little rock tumbler spins just about fast enough to keep me feeling a semblance of gravity. No semblance of normalcy, of course, just gravity. What’s normal about living in a soup can spinning on the end of a rock boosting through space?

It’s normal to me. I’m the pilot of the Tumbler and we move stuff from place to place. Why? First, because these space rocks are full of heavy metals. The stuff that Earth and the other planets need but don’t have much of. So we come out here to get them. Second, because other people don’t want to do it and will pay us to so they don’t have to. Third, because I don’t have to be around people much. I hate people.

At least that’s what I say when I’m around them. Out here, sometimes, they don’t seem so bad…

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