Digby had brought it in through the cat-flap and then lost it. More often than not the ones that got away were field mice, but this one was sort of silvery and a bit slippery. It may have gone under the dresser. Digby clawed about for a bit, rediscovered a long lost toy and then went into the kitchen for a snack.
It had not been a great trip from the start, but they ran into real trouble as they were approaching the outer moons of a large, pastel banded gas planet. YFnyrdh of the Kwmbry, as the first spawned offspring in her pod, had been expected to take up an apprenticeship under her biological parent, but instead had run away to space. She was diligent and intelligent and, just short of three standard years after signing on board the first rocket ship that would take her, she occupied the post of Leading Spaceperson on the Sunburst Supernova a Galaxy Class VLBC cargo transporter, the size of a small city and with a carrying capacity of just over a billion Short (Qrwm) tonnes. Not three temporal divisions ago they had seemed indomitable, space surfers, masters of the galaxy, but size really is not everything and nothing is too big to fail. YFnyrdh suddenly found herself in temporary command, more than a little stressed and yet highly motivated by the multiple alarms sounding around her. An intense solar storm had taken out anything on board with a processor in it and fried Kilometres of micro wiring. Quantum Uncertainty Computers can be finicky at the best of times, their awesome power deriving from the myriad multiple states possible compared to the on-or-off ones and zeros of binary computer systems. But, like tetchy teenagers, they would not work if they were being watched, and pulse after pulse of solar radiation had definitely given the impression of something that was watching, and probing, and fiddling about.
Whilst the small crew had been absorbed with restoring control and kick starting the supposedly fully automatic repair system the mega-vessel had ventured too far into the gravitational field of the gas giant. Swift action had avoided capture, but a sling shot effect had accelerated them towards the fiery yellow main sequence star at the centre of the planetary system. Then they had collided with the asteroid.
Sunburst Supernova’s spine snapped instantly and she began slowly to fold. There was a moment of silence and calm and then, with a succession of shudders and groans the great craft broke up spewing grit clouds of ore, vaporised fuel and some of the less fortunate crew out into space. The entire officer class was wiped out as the navigation deck was destroyed and much of the accommodation experienced explosive depressurisation. As girders fell about her and distant explosions rocked the hull YFnyrdh assisted her surviving companions into a life-craft and watched as it departed. Then she attended to her own survival. The incessant, cacophonous klaxon alarms and strobing red companionway lights kept her mindful of the impending danger, but were in no way helping her to think clearly or stay calm. She located what was probably the last undamaged life-craft, battled into one of its personal environment suits, rushed through the standard checks, blew the bolts and blasted away from the doomed carrier. Onboard-automated systems with some restored functionality turned both life-craft towards a distant blue planet.