Teal Deer : Heavy Metal Queen
Your freighter is trashed - that last run in with that meteor shower taxed the engines to well beyond their operational safety limits, and your lateral sensor arrays were offline too long to detect that one last fragment of space debris. A small bit of flotsam no bigger than a paperclip punched a hole through your cargo hold large enough to fit your child Bobert through. Fortunately, nobody was in that compartment when it decompressed, but you've lost too much time doing your month-long hauls from the Kuiper belt to near-solar-orbit. They still need more raw materials at Solar Station One, and building that dyson swarm is a job that's going to pay dividends far more than any other in history. The pay's nothing to scoff at either.
Fortunately you were picked up before the rations ran out, and nobody was looking forward to eating Bobert. There's something not quite right with that boy.
The station personnel have been more than generous. Your ship's been repaired, though they haven't been able to pin down where that fuel leak is coming from, and you've been told that half the systems aren't up to code. Most freighters aren't - they're a collection of mostly incompatible parts held together with duct tape and prayers. They'll let you undock after getting a new permit, but it won't come cheap, and you'll have to sit through more tutorials.
Now you're finally on the road again. Though in space, there aren't really any roads to speak of. That fuel leak is starting to get worrisome, too. You're positive that if you just turn off the engines and coast to your destination, you'll have enough in reserve that when you refuel you'll still have money left over to turn a small profit. But coasting even in the inner solar system takes months, and you need to pay off your debts soon. You'll have to keep an eye on things, but watching those gauges creep down is becoming a hassle - you have to cut the power and bring up the ship's internal diagnostics each time. Manually counting's becoming a little nerve wracking, and you're not quite sure that you've got enough juice to make it to the next station. What you need is some sort of counter on your main heads-up display that estimates how much fuel you've got remaining.
You've made it to low solar orbit at least, sold off your first shipment, and picked up some extra reserve tanks. They're a stopgap measure for now, just in case the main reserves don't last. The technicians at the solar depot said that the nearby asteroid base could even outfit the ship with a laser drill. That would make things a bit easier - you could collect materials from small icy bodies and rocks yourself, instead of needing to buy and sell them where they're cheapest. It takes energy though - you're not sure how much, but it's another resource you're going to have to keep track of. The tech station way out in the deep belt could probably upgrade your ship's systems though, and the idea of having larger reserves is sounding pretty appealing.
That's a plan - you know you'll succeed if you stick to the plan, and that debt at the station will be paid off in no time. But after that, what's in store for the future? You've heard they need more ore for the mass driver at Titan, and the terraforming projects on Mars need Nitrogen in the trillions of tons. You'll need to improve the ship's defensive systems too - there's been a recent uptick in piracy far out in the Kuiper belt, and there's been some severe and unpredictable electromagnetic activity near Jupiter that's been stalling colonization efforts on its moons. You've even heard whispers of some unconfirmed reports of extraterrestial activity far out in the Oort cloud - but aliens don't exist, right?
Those things and more might still lie in the future. For now, that's beyond your reach. And you still haven't found that leak.
To friends long gone, and those I've yet to meet - thank you.