Probability

Probability is defined as the likelihood that something is going to happen. Well, actually it is the measure of the likelihood that something is going to happen but in all likelihood most people don’t split the difference. According to space probability theory, a theory devised by the gambling mathematician hogmonkeys of Qaeth, it isn’t possible to predict precisely the outcome of random things that happen in space. Unless you were the all-seeing monk of Bebit of course, who achieved probability awareness and now can see all potential outcomes simultaneously. But everyone knows that the all-seeing monk of Bebit lives in seclusion since that was the potential outcome he liked best. However, if a random thing that happens in space is influenced by other factors, such as the proximity of a blackhole or whether the pilot has an existential crisis, it will probably exhibit patterns that could be observed and predicted. Just not precisely because, as is common knowledge, probability is just plain weird in space.

 

“Improbable,” Zo stated, his mouth agape. “I don’t believe it,” he added, his mouth still agape. This wasn’t because he couldn’t believe what he was witnessing with his own eyes or that he thought it was a trick of some kind. He just disagreed with it vehemently. And Zo didn’t believe in things which he disagreed with vehemently. It went against his core belief, namely that things he disagreed with shouldn’t exist. It was a belief that was tested time and time again but Zo stood firm. He was a true believer in not believing in things he didn’t agree with. However, this was one of those times his faith was tested and it was being tested far more severely than ever before. Just a moment before, Kara had swished her finger across the steering app. She had turned the ship with a change of direction so abrupt it should have torn the ship asunder but it did not. She had flicked some switches and pulled some levers with purpose and clarity of intent that increased the Zeppulian’s speed considerably. She had hummed a jaunty tune as she did so - it sounded like the famous Kerrluian jingle, “I’ve Only Got One Limb But Here Goes Nothing’”. And she had just turned the ship to directly face the main body of the Neuzuan space pirate fleet, leaving the two Death-Stalkers which had been trying valiantly to trail them to trail in vain. Qin was laughing. He appreciated the ridiculousness of what was happening and was enjoying it quite immensely. He was also seated by the weapons panel but he wasn't aware of this fact. Kara however was.

“Hey Qin?”, she started innocently.

“Yes?” came Qin’s jovial reply.

“You know that panel to your right?”

“This one?”

“Yes, that’s the one,”

“Yes?”

“Well, I think that’s the weapons panel,”

“Really?”

“Yes, really. Wanna test it out and see what this ship is packing?”

“You know what? I do wanna test it out. Sounds like fun,”

Kara was about to reply “Great,” when the Zeppulian launched two momentary displacement torpedoes directly in the direction of the Neuzuan fleet. Momentary displacement torpedoes are space-time altering warheads. They displace their targets in time and space momentarily, allowing for strategic maneuvers to be made while your enemy is removed from the battlestar system. Essentially a cheat move. And Qin had cheated quite a bit. One of the momentary displacement torpedoes hit two Neuzuan ships Opaque 1 and Mahogany 7 while the other hit the remaining ship Marine 3. Where once there had been three Death-Stalkers directly in front of them and two trailing them, now there were none. Unless you counted Aqua 4 and Ember 2 but even Aqua 4 and Ember 2 didn’t count themselves at this point as they scrambled in vain to lock back on the Zeppulian. This prove rather difficult since they were still going in the direction, which until very recently, the Zeppulian had been going.

“I disagree with everything that’s just happened and still don’t believe it,” Zo repeated, remaining steadfast in his faith. “However, that shouldn’t stop you from continuing to do what you’re doing, just know I disagree,” he added so as not to discourage Kara. Even though he disagreed vehemently with the events which had just occurred, he wanted to escape the Neuzuan space pirates more.

“Noted, now let’s get out of here,” Kara noted. Her eyes narrowed as she determined her next course of action. “Hold on to something,” she advised. “Preferably something bolted down,” she recommended before she flicked a switch and steadied her finger on the steering app. Zo and Qin expected to feel their bones press against the back of their bodies, their bodies squish against the chairs they had hastily tried to secure themselves in, their insides resisting against the unbearable pressure exerted upon them from the sudden acceleration. However, this didn’t happen. In fact they barely noticed any change aside from the fact they were obviously and undeniably moving really fast. One thing they did notice was the chairs in the command bridge were remarkably comfortable. Like seriously, they were real comfy chairs. Just the comfiest. In their comfort, Zo and Qin watched as The Zeppulian shot forward past the empty section of space a fleet of Neuzuan Death-Stalkers had once occupied but momentarily were not.

 

Dar’leth opened his eyes. He wasn’t having the best day. Things generally didn’t turn out this way. Ships generally were easy to capture. Ships generally didn’t have sophisticated enough deflector shields to deflect all his ships’ disruptive blasts. Ships generally weren’t impossibly fast and able to pull off improbable maneuvers that laughed at the laws of physics and made them feel bad about themselves. Ships generally didn’t shoot momentary displacement torpedoes that displaced his ship in space and time. He recognised them as soon as they hit his ship, which generally is too late do anything. This was the only thing which turned out like it generally did. Unfortunately for Dar’leth and his crew it was also one of the more inconvenient things to have happened generally the way it usually did. Dar’leth was well aware of the inconvenience caused and wasn’t having any of it. Just none of it.
“Status report, Miss Pir. Where, and when, the hell are we?” he asked his gelatinous first mate.

“It looks like we are only a couple of lightyears to the right of our previous position,” Pir reverbed. “Six standard planetary rotations ago,” she added.

“So we have moved a step to the right and back to last week?” he asked seeking clarification.

“Yes sir, a step to the right and back to last week,” Pir clarified.

Dar’leth closed his eyes again. For the first time in his long and impressive career in space piracy he questioned his chosen profession. However, the question was simple multiple choice and he answered it quite quickly. He exhaled and opened his eyes.

“As soon as the momentary displacement wears off and we return to the correct space and time, we’ll regroup with the west wing and continue our pursuit,” he advised his crew. Before it had been fun space piracy. Now it was personal.