After crashlanding on a desert planet, the ship’s crew split up to find rescuers. The second mate returned first, and found a tower of junk rising out of the wreck.
“What are you building?” she asked the captain, who’d stayed with the ship.
“A transit gate,” he replied. She didn’t mention that they were inside an atmosphere and the ship had minimal power.
Each time a crew member returned, the structure was a little bigger. The crew agreed to indulge the captain’s madness and let it go.
They were shocked when the gate opened and a rescue vessel came through.

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