Murphy's law...
Dear Sir,
My life has recently taken a turn for the worse and I wondered what advice you might give. Previous to a few months ago I was a pilot for survey ship, enjoyable and sometimes exciting work. Then I learned of the unfortunate death of my uncle and found myself the owner and captain of an entire starship. How could this not be a good thing.
On our maiden voyage hijackers attempted to take over the ship and later it was damaged in a battle against pirates. Soon after repairs had been carried out the Plague struck Thursday and we were obliged, along with many other ships, to offer assistance. However it was my crew that became deeply involved in the search for a cure and it was my ship that was ambushed while on blockade duty. Citizens' fear about plague and the even-handedness of offworld help was causing riots and an armed column marched on the starport. It was my ship that destroyed that column using a low-level hypersonic pass. This also caused the deaths of ten thousand innocent civilians. I was the pilot.
Now, if you will excuse me, I can no longer stand the clamouring voices in my head and must drink myself into a stupor.
Yours sincerly,
Captain Murphy
Mad Elf replies...
I'd say you've had a pretty awful string of luck there, all the more so considering that you've tried to "do the right thing" in the various crises you got involved in. It's a real shame that such a public-spirited citizen as yourself has, through no fault of your own, been the victim of so many mishaps, and the unintending cause of so many deaths.
You are probably considering retiring from space and perhaps even throwing in the towel altogether; however, you must not give up hope! Such a run of bad luck has to run out soon, and you'll be able to resume your career in the illustrious manner it should have begun. You may have to change your name (and perhaps your face) and alter your ship's identity codes, as the average superstitious spaceman would probably think you a jinx. Customers might be hard to find as well, so a change of identity is probably for the best.
I would suggest seeking counselling, rather than a bottle, if your conscience is troubling you. However, if you do decide on the liquid option, I recommend avoiding Scout Brew. With your current luck, you would probably wake up to find you'd wiped out a solar system or two.
<< Previous problem                Next problem >>