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Outer Space Conversation

"Report on the asteroid conditions?"

"Those scans we took from the surface don't tell everything."

"Meaning what?"

"We're trapped. We can't go back to the surface. We can't proceed beyond orbit."

"How long before the rocks grind this ship to dust?"

"Depends on power supply. The question is, will power last longer pouring it into the shield or into the automatic laser canons? Currently I'm putting it to the canons. They keep the asteroids farther from the ship than the shield."

"Can we hyperspace out of it?"

"You know that takes an unobstructed path. The swarm of asteroids fluctuates but it's very dense--"

"Yeah yeah. But can the computers detect a window in them and shoot us through while it's open?"

"I asked. The computers say the asteroid field is too dense and vast for a naturally occurring window of sufficient size to be likely, at least for the next few years."

"You really have been a fool, you know."

"You followed me into this."

"No, I commanded you to scan for asteroids then fly us into orbit."

"Same thing."

"Get me some coffee."

"Sorry. That won't be the last thing I do."

"Then what good are you?"

"I'm keeping you alive. At least for now."

"What if we blast open a window through the field?"

"I asked that, too. It wouldn't stay open long enough. The fact that this ship is enormous isn't helping."

"We could blast open a space, move into it, blast open another space, until we're out."

"We're doing that now."

"So we're not trapped then? We just keep it up until we're free?"

"As I said, I'm betting on the canons. The computers estimate total power loss before we...

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