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Here I am, Commander Flynzilla, a “vet” (still not totally convinced that messing about in Hazardous Resource sites more times than comfortable counts as being a vet). However, I took to the skies in 3302, learned my lesson at the School of Hard Knocks, graduated from my trusty Sidey to the Maple Leaf (a Cobra Mk3 bedecked in the country of my family's birthplace on Earth), a bit of smuggling in my Diamondback Explorer, finally ended up in the Imperial Clipper, gave some big hits, took a lot bigger hits. Grinning inanely as targets “pancake” (a slow barrel roll in front of me that brings my guns into play) laughing as the bounty credits rolled in.
It was around this time I thought ...
Oxygen-depleted in 7:20
I have a fuel scoop but it isn’t the biggest; however, it has seen me through some particular situations on many occasions. I remember the advice what an old spacer in some backwater drinking hole once gave me, “scoop from KGBFOAM” and has been my mantra and kept me right for hundreds of jumps so what the hell happened?
Oxygen-depleted in 6:50
And here I am, stranded next to a brown dwarf and no fuel remaining. Yep I fell into the trap, “I’ll scoop from the next star” scenario. The on-board computer is doing its job and regularly advising me of the oxygen levels. I make a mental note "if I live, buy a better life support" (this thought is filed under the two categories of “general advice” and “bloody annoyed”).
Well, it’s been fun. No family to speak of technically, however 24 years’ service in an Armoured Planetary Defence Force, I have made bonds and brothers from complete strangers made some good friends that I would follow into a black hole without a question, lost good friends that I would call family. To nobody in particular, and at point of melancholy, “well guys, I’ll be seeing you soon, keep the Ole Janx Spirit cold”
Oxygen-depleted in 6:30
"Why? Are you so quick to give up?" That voice of my subconscious. It has saved my skin too many times to mention. That voice that tells you to grab a drink from the bottom of the turret as a mortar explodes outside. The voice that tells you to look right instead of left as you see the out of control car heading for you and your date. The voice that pulls forth a long-buried memory…
The cold light in the classroom is almost oppressive, 50 new flight recruits, sat at desks, immobile, statues, buttons polished uniforms starched within an inch of their lives, the only movement is the chronograph ticking the seconds away. In walks a man, to call him old would do him a disservice, if a person was to exude every good trait that a pilot should have, it was him. He was “IT”. A voice so deep, quiet, and sonorous instantly captivated and drew his audience in. He looks around the room, weighing, judging pondering fates of the young souls in front of him. “Pilots, good morning, lesson one, remember The Fuel Rats”. He continues, “It is a sad fact that 25% of you will forget this, nothing personal but you didn’t deserve to be pilots in the first place”
... read more in the next chapter, Blink 2.
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