7/9/20234 min read

Three months. That's how long it had been since Fitt and I began traveling together. A lot had changed in that short time. I started to shave my head and grow out my beard shortly after we left. VenomJaw was the most intimidating man I had ever seen, but the choices I made were something I wanted a reminder of each day. I had brutally taken a man's life, not in self-defense but because I felt like I needed too. The reasons didn't matter because everyone has reasons, all different. But it needed to be done and I now knew I had the fortitude to do it. It was a tantalizing truth I had to confront, something I wanted to remember, to keep me grounded. I had changed, adapted, grown older, and I wasn't quite sure whether it was for the better or worse. But the journey to find out who I was or what I could become was something that intrigued me.

After parting ways with Ravager, I decided to take a hiatus from space mining. With a substantial sum of credits saved up, it seemed like the perfect time to take a break, especially since Fitt was about to retire from his position on the Constellation. We had both agreed that a vacation was long overdue.

Fitt and I had hit it off quite well, our personalities contrasting yet complementary. I was the stoic, hardened space miner with a riveting past, and he was the charismatic, boisterous pilot who'd spent his life following orders and was on the brink of tasting true freedom. It almost felt like I had stepped into Ravager's shoes, and Fitt into mine. Our roles had evolved, and it was a change I welcomed. For both of us, it felt like a newfound freedom we'd never experienced before.

As I piloted the ship, Fitt came running into the cockpit, a broad grin plastered across his face. "Guess what, Moe! I'm a free man! Just got my papers finalized!" he declared, making himself comfortable in the co-pilot's seat.

He quickly punched in coordinates for a place I didn't recognize. When I queried him about it, he responded with a mischievous glint in his eyes.

"Well, there's this bar, Moe," he began, in a tone reminiscent of a secret shared in hushed whispers. "It's so secluded, you'd have to know people, who know people, who know people to even know about it. Ya know?" His enthusiasm was infectious, and I couldn't help but chuckle at his sly way with words.

"But that's not all, Moe," he continued. "This place doesn't just serve the regular brews. They've got stuff that'll open up your mind! I want to know what my inner people think," he added, half-jokingly. Then, he turned to me, his gaze turning serious, "And you, Moe. You need something that'll take that edge off. You're wound up tighter than a Naxian spring coil."

I hesitated for a moment, but finally gave in. After all, how bad could it be compared to everything I had already been through?

As we touched down on the planet, I was struck by the tranquility of the place. It was a hidden oasis in the midst of the cosmos, far removed from the chaos of the known universe.

We made our way into the bar, a quaint establishment that looked like it belonged in a storybook rather than on a distant planet. The smell of various intoxicating beverages filled the air, a rich tapestry of scents that hinted at the vast array of options available.

Behind the bar was a burly man with a bushy beard that reached his chest, tattoos snaking up his arms, disappearing under the rolled sleeves of his shirt. His eyes held a warmth and humor that belied his imposing appearance. He looked up from polishing a glass and greeted us with a hearty nod.

"What's the best thing on the menu?" Fitt asked, his tone full of excited curiosity.

A sly smile played on the bartender's lips as he produced a holographic menu from underneath the counter. Fitt and I skimmed the extensive list of beverages, ranging from simple brews to more exotic fare.

"We have brews, uppers, downers, and hallucinogens," he said, his voice carrying the seasoned timbre of someone well-versed in their craft. Then, he reached under the bar and pulled out a bottle with a gleaming golden cap. "But this one, gentlemen," he paused for effect, "does it all."

Our eyes met in a silent moment of agreement, then we turned back to the bartender, indicating our choice with a nod. We were in for the ride.

What ensued was a night unlike any other. Shot after shot of the golden-capped brew was downed, each one an electrifying mix of euphoria, laughter, and uninhibited revelry. Fitt made an attempt at a local dart game, with results so disastrous it had the entire bar roaring with laughter. I ended up arm wrestling a muscled miner who had a decade and a half on me. To the surprise of everyone, including myself, I managed to win.

The laughter and camaraderie of the night echoed into the early hours of the morning. The tales of our space adventures flowed freely, each one more outrageous than the last, sparking roars of laughter and applause from the other patrons. At some point though, it all went black.

When we awoke the next morning, we found ourselves outside the bar, the planet's sun just peeking over the horizon. Fitt squinted against the dawn light, took in our surroundings, then turned to me with a disbelieving look on his face.

"Dude... where's our ship?"