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Author Topic: "Off, into the wild blue yonder", a science fictional thing I wrote.  (Read 357 times)

Amperzand

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{This is just a little vignette I wrote in the course of about half an hour after class a month or so ago, but I wanted to share it}


The pilot checks his goggles. By their color, the lenses should take at least a day before beginning to fail. He flicks a row of gauges, letting the needles resettle; Two hours of oxygen, eight of fuel, almost half a megawatt-hour left on the battery. Two little green lights tell him that both of his sounding rockets, in their tubes between cockpit and tailplane, are functional.
 
A glance in the rearview mirror shows the same as it has for the past fifteen minutes; The distant, unpleasantly bright spark and long contrail of an interceptorís engine, far above and away, but getting closer. Somebody doesnít like the idea of his cargo getting to its destination, and heís already burnt too much fuel to reach his destination by conventional methods, trying to get under and out of that interceptorís coverage. Another ten hours to the landing barge, and (Another flick to the gauges) only eight of fuel.
 
The two motors set into the bases of his wings rumble happily. They were just retuned, and should run well.
 
The bright spark of the interceptor has been joined by another, far off to port. Shit.
 
The roentgen-counter warns of a safe limit already being pushed beyond good sense.
 
The pilotís thick rubber smock, with its stiff filling of silver mesh, lead plates, and paraffin gel, has served him well before.
 
The goggles are very clean and only a little scratched, they will outlast his oxygen supply. The oxygen mask functions well, and its seal to his face has been ensured by a swab of the same paraffin gel.
 
A blinking alarm informs the pilot that the interceptors have finally gotten a RadDFaR fix on him, the streamlined little arrays extended as their landing gear retract filling the sky with radiowaves to seek him out.
 
Before long the fix-warning will become a sign of incoming attack.
 
The pilot closes his eyes beneath the goggles.
 
The cover comes off a little switch, protruding itself from a small mechanical program-box. The switch slips crisply into the active position. One of the little green rocket-lights goes yellow and the rocket leaps away into the sky, trailing a fine silver cable. The reelís ticker goes past fifty meters, one hundred, one hundred fifty, two hundred, and the rocket bursts into a parachute, holding the cylinder at the end of the silver cable aloft above and behind the aircraft. The program-box clicks again, and the pilotís teeth begin to buzz as his battery sends an icebreaker-charge along the line.
 
The cool turquoise light of the fracture washes out from the end of the cable, more beautiful than the sky, and lightning out of the wild blue yonder roars back along the line, flashing it into plasma and setting the aircraft ablaze with terrible glory.
 
The pilot opens his eyes to see the strangeness of his gogglesí polarization overlaid onto the world. The wild blue yonder stares back at him, tranquil and chaotic both, simultaneously, and his motorsí smooth rumble has become labored and high.
 
Aircraft bring no cannon or missiles here, by treaty. With any luck, the interceptors do not carry cherenkovgewehr or heavy icebreaker-batteries and will not follow him.
 
He will stay here as long as his oxygen holds out, then the second sounding rocket, still showing green, will tow him back to familiar skies, ideally rather closer to his destination than conventional geometry would suggest.
Logged
Muh FG--OOC Thread
Quote from: smirk
Quote from: Shadowlord
Is there a word that combines comedy with tragedy and farce?
Heiterverzweiflung. Not a legit German word so much as something a friend and I made up in German class once. "Carefree despair". When life is so fucked that you can't stop laughing.
http://www.collinsdictionary.com