"Trope on a Rope"

By: Patrick Stahl

It isn't like lift-off. Lift-off pulls at your innards, locks your head against the seat. The sky tries to shove you back down, to keep you under its thumb or in its spacious arms.

The Jump is different. For half a moment, you aren't there. Your head blisters, but the pain isn't coming from anywhere, because you aren't anywhere. Then you're there again, but you're behind you; you're where you were before. But you can't be there, right?

Reality snaps its fingers, and you're where you're supposed to be, the same place you were before, relative to the ship, yet thousands of miles away. Your head aches. You're a bit woozy. But you've just won. You've raced light, and you've won.

Where are you going?

To vanquish an evil Overlord and his mechanical army

To quash an invasion of your birth planet of Reshtavij

To claim a legendary sword from the myth-wrapped moon of Jokta 3

To enjoy a pint of Guinness at the best Irish tavern in the universe