The Goal of a Journey Begins.....

I looked out onto the starless night, and saw what I believed to be an open refridgerator in the distance. I stumbled closer over the rocks and burned out crts, switched to night vision, and put on my hat; it was then that I saw what it really was. I grabbed my binoculars and adjusted for distance, I couldn't believe it, after searching through dozens of abandoned technology fields, I had found it. I grabbed my 15 mile walkie and radioed to Dmitry my position, I could hear him coughing and swearing as he had probably just taken a swig of rum and vodka expecting another failed recon night. Dmitry re-attemped to communicate an order to me, "идти на славу", I obeyed.

The light grew no brighter with or without the night vision, so I switched it off and re mag-latched it back onto my hat. I crossed the abandoned tech field with great care, as it seemed impossible for us to be the lone finders of the light. The silence of the night made us cautious and slow, but a second chance is never had if a trap is all we win. The radio barked back "это волшебный световой проектор?" I blundered closer to the target nearly tripping over an old NEC VX15, I righted myself and slowed to a jog. I saw nothing that looked like it could be a trap, no radiation trip lines, no shards of plastic duct taped to angled flat panel remains, or ghostly moving lightning bug pairs. At last I reached it, there on the ground, in front of my worn out shins, glowing inconsistantly from its dying, ice-fusion, power supply, was the functional remains of one of the ancient, perpetually renewable, infini-lite engines.

I dusted it off and picked it up, it was heavier than expected, but, it didn't have much fuel remaining to keep it un-weighted, so I searched for its model number among the scratches and stains. I radioed back to Dmitry, "You owe me 5 dollars and my other shoe." I listened for his shocked and gruff reply, but heard nothing. I re-checked my comm channel and waited. I thought to myself, 'he couldn't of finished both bottles, and I hid mine from him pretty well this time'. The infini-lite engine began to grow dim, and heavy, so I started carefully back across the tech field to close the distance of our radios in case I had wandered too far. The radio crackled briefly, but still nothing sounded like Dmitry. I made it back to the old Delorean we had salvaged to use as transport for the mission and stuffed the infini-lite engine in the armrest inbetween the seats. It glowed and flickered briefly, like a sighing firefly, until it finally had run out of power and gone dark. It now weighed about as much as an old wheel rim, but in the size of a loaf of bread. The radio suddenly woke up and I could unmistakenly hear Dmitry's favorite song "Rockstroh - Tanzen" playing in the gentle static. "Приходи за своей туфлей, и я думаю, ром на 5 долларов стоит, ты, счастливый ублюдок." I heard Dmitry say. I laughed, since I don't win his bets very often, or his rum.

I reached under the steering wheel to pinch the hot wires together to start the old crystallic fusion reactor behind me, the dash lit up, and my normal rainbow of status lights lit up. As I waited patiently for the Grav-hubs to finish charging so I could get going to get my rum, and more importantly, my other shoe, I noticed the "NaCl" dash light was flashing. Then it dawned on me, Dmitry said he was going to load the "remaining" salt into the car, but I failed to notice he was drinking Tequila as he walked by. "That !@#$%^&, he drank my fuel with his 'fuel', and he has my shoe!" Oof, I felt the car suddenly lift unexpectedly and it snapped me back to reality. "Gotta go fast", I thought. I gripped the stearing wheel and gently pulled toward me, the car responded by angling slightly upward, I then pushed lightly on the old gas pedal, the car's Grav-hubs whirred alive like an old vacuum cleaner and the car began to raise several feet from the ground. I could feel the infini-lite engine's weight confusing the car's front Grav-hubs stabilizer, I turned her slightly to the West to give the stabilizer something else to worry about. I looked at the old map that happily lived taped to the ceiling, and oddly stained with mustard, and turned slightly to the South. "Yep, that looks where my shoe is." I groaned under my breath as there was a storm brewing in the same direction I needed to go. "Salt, you needed SALT?!" I said out loud; angry that I was unable to change course around the storm.

It was fine though, a functional infini-lite engine was worth any pain, something that converted slow moving, sparsed, atomic molecules into either heat and light or unweighted, gravitally-centered 'drift' was the next piece we needed to finish the ship's repairs. I reached for the pair of old Boeing 737 throttle controls in front of the armrest that looked like a long loaf of french bread, with 2 strips of duct tape holding it together. I pushed them slightly forward and waited for the crackle of the 8 industrial old torpedo heaters mounted on the hood behind me to ignite and self level to an idling output. The car moved slightly forward as the last heater ramped up from ignition and settled. I took one last look at the map, wondered why Dmitry used so much mustard, checked the rear-view mirror for the lil neon green SW, and shoved the throttle all the way forward and yelled "FRENCH BREAD!" as 8 torpedo heaters woke up and propelled a frictionless, hovering, Delorean across a near endless stretch of fields into an angry looking storm. With the mission almost complete, I just wanted to return to the dock and claim my rum and shoe; as long as I don't get struck by lightening, I should be fine........

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