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Friday, August 31, 2012

F3 Soaring

     "Ann Szalick?" the voice buzzed when transmitted through the charged bars.
      Ann sat up in her cell, careful not to slam her head against the bunk above. He squinted at the guy on the other side. Tall and not at all pretty, he stood with the precision of military.
      "Who wants to know?" Ann asked.
      "Name's Flynn. I hear you're a decent pilot."
      Ann squinted at Flynn. "Flynn? I heard of a Flynn. Heard you were a decent bonehead. Great job on Tashi Station."

      Flynn gave no reaction. "Yes or no. You fly?"
      "Fly? Insects fly. They buzz around going from place to place. Me, I soar. You ever watch hawks and falcons? That's what I do. They know the wind, they know how to move and make everything look effortless. They've got grace and style."
      "And you've always had to be up there. Northrim Aerospace didn't take you to making off with their test ship. And hovercars were never meant for high altitude aerobatics."
      Ann shrugged. The guy had her sheet. "So? What do you want?"
      "How would you like to get back in the sky?"
      "How? I'm permanently grounded. They stuck a null chip in me. Consoles go dead soon as I grab the controls."
      "I still have a few favors coming to me. Magistrate's made an offer. They'll change out your chip from null to exile. You can't come back, but you can fly."
      Ann jumped out of the bed, getting as close to the bars as she dared. "What's the catch?"
      "You join up with me until we get to the outer worlds. When we get there you can stay on with me or you can go your own."
      "That's it?"
      Flynn shrugged. "I'm on the clock to get out of here. The Alliance is deporting its problems instead of rehabilitating us."
      "I can deal with that."
      "You in?"
      "What's your ship?"
      "Don't have one yet. Thought you might have some thoughts on that."
      "I've got a few," Ann smiled. "I'm in."
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