We climbed over the pressure seals and re-entered the Skydiver. The translucent docking tube collapsed back toward the ship, the seals kicked back in, and we were ready to move again.
"I'll take the helm," I told Nessus. "These parts of space aren't friendly to your kind."
He just cackled and grabbed for the kit-bag with its illicit pharmacoepia.
I looked at the ship's chronometer. Deadline for registration at the Mint Hotel on the dwarf planet was in 75 minutes. It was just barely possible--or not possible at all.
"Bad deal," I barked, as I moved the fusion engines to maximum. "The kid was a deranged, unsafe lunatic and the stop was a hopeless waste of time. We'll never get to the Mint in time now. We're gonna have to pay for our room! It's a plot to unman and defraud me, you yellowbellied goat! You're working for Ausfaller! Admit it, you backstabbing cockroach! Or I'll bring them your body on an antigrav gurney! In six different pieces!"
Nessus did the wise thing and ignored me, and instead used his left tendril to crack an amyl nitrate under his right. The right eye sagged noticeably before the tendril disappeared back into the kit-bag. When it emerged, it was sandwiched around a sheet of blotter acid.
"Break this into six pieces, you cheapjack hominid."
I grabbed the sheet out of its mouth instantly, before the situation could deteriorate. Puppeteers on acid were notoriously volatile. Better that these drugs were in my own stable and experienced hands.
I did indeed split the sheet into sixths, and quickly gobbled one of the sections.
Nessus cackled again. "As your attorney, I advise you to--chase that LSD with a shot of tequila."
I haven't gotten as far as I have in this universe by ignoring the considered opinions of the professionals around me. Hell, I did two shots.
Then I sagged back into the acceleration couch and watched Tweedle-Dee our dwarf planet destination grow larger and larger in front of us, the neon lights of the Mint and the Thunderbird and the Stage Tree slowly becoming visible and then dancing spastically for me.
The hyperwave console lit up, and I grabbed the handset. "Skydiver clear to park," it said. "Registration ends in three minutes. Would you like us to sign in for you?"
I looked over at Nessus, who was resolutely refusing not to melt into shiny slag the shape of an amphibious reptile.
"We're here," I said.