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06.23.2012 , 09:12 PM |
Ayang falls in love for the first time...with flying starships.
I stumbled back onto the
, holding onto the wall as I boarded the ship. I'd taken a bad wound in my left leg, but I was still a lot better off than some of the other crew members. One of my crewmates, Kelisa, grabbed my arm to help me onto the ship. "Captain!" she cried.
Captain Blackthorn followed her up onto the ship and bolted the door behind him. I sank to the floor, pressing my jacket to my bloody leg. I was our ship's medic; I was just a beginner when it came to combat, and I didn't think I'd exactly proven myself today. Looked like I was going to be stuck in the medbay for the extent of my career as a gangster.
"Barton's dead," said Kelisa. Our pilot. We had no way off the planet without him - and our rival syndicate was on their way. They'd ambushed us at a drop-off point and were making it their mission to wipe out the
Blackthorn swore. "We don't have anyone else who can fly."
A haze settled around my head. I was losing blood.
"Ayang, patch yourself up," he told me. "I'll see if I can find someone to help us out."
I knew it was a lost cause. Who was going to drop everything and fly a small-time smuggling gang off Corellia? I focused on mopping up blood from my wound. The blood was beginning to clot, but I still felt light-headed.
"Ayang," Kelisa grabbed my arm and gripped it so tightly I thought she might break it. She'd knelt down next to me and was talking to me in a whisper. "I know you've been learning how to fly."
"Just from books," I said. "I've never touched the actual controls."
"Don't tell me you haven't been up there poking around," Kelisa hissed. "Look, you're the only hope we've got, so at least you've got to try."
Truthfully, I'd been up there - using trysts with the captain (and sometimes the pilot) as a way to get a closer look at the ship's controls. But I had never been able to try them out. I'd never even done a simulation. I wasn't anywhere close to being a pilot.
Before I could protest any more, Kelisa pulled me up and hauled me toward the bridge. I tried to ignore the pain in my leg as she dragged me down the hall. Kelisa meant well, but when she had her mind set on something she didn't always take the easiest path to get it. "Ayang can fly," she announced, clearly proud of herself for coming up with a solution to our problems.
"You can?" the captain asked me. His eyes were locked on mine, assessing me. "I never knew that."
"I-I've just been reading," I stammered. "But I think I can do it."
I wasn't sure if I was being honest. Did I really think I could fly this thing, take us off-planet, get us somewhere safe? I ran over textbooks in my mind, text I'd read so many times I'd practically memorized them. The diagrams were imprinted on my brain. I knew what to do. I might actually be able to pull this off.
Kelisa nodded. The captain looked back at me.
"Take us out, Ayang."
I hobbled over to the pilot's chair. For a moment, I panicked - the ship's instruments were different from the ones in my book's diagrams. I'd never seen controls like this before. I took a deep breath and cast my eyes over the instruments, taking each one in. Once I remembered what I needed to look for, I could figure out what I had here.
Hesitantly, I picked up the radio and called the control tower. "This is
, requesting urgent takeoff clearance."
I heard some static, and then a male voice said, "You are clear to depart, ma'am."
I'd never been called ma'am before. I shivered. This was fun.
I swallowed and put my hands on the console. This was it, either I was going to kill all of my crewmates or save their lives. I felt the engines come to life, and started to guide the ship out of the hangar. I expected to feel us crash to the ground, but instead we glided out into the air. I heard myself giggle like an idiot. I was doing it!
I pulled on the throttle and guided the ship into the air. If I could get us out of the atmosphere, then I knew we'd be fine. From there, flying was easy. I felt the ship rock violently; I couldn't get a good handle on it. I panicked and adjusted the controls.
Cardani ancestors, I know I haven't been worshipping like I should, but please let me do this!
I prayed, feeling the ship pitch upward and accelerate - faster than I felt like it should.
I promise I will never forget again! Please don't let me die!
And then everything outside was darkness and stars.
I had done it. I'd broken atmosphere. I pressed a few buttons and the ship slowed down, cruising lazily. I had gotten us off Corellia.
I had flown.
I jumped when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned to see the captain, smiling at me. I returned it, feeling giddy and high. "I guess we don't need to look for a new pilot, huh?" he said.
And at that moment, I knew what I wanted to be. I knew who I was
to be. I'd thought that healing had been my calling, but what was really calling me was flight. I wanted to fly, forever. Whatever else I was in the future, I would always be a pilot.
My first love would always be the sky.
This is how I felt when I took my first plane ride...I want to be a pilot SO BAD!
Latula // Elaeys // Raima // Jaea // Macara // Meulin // Damarra // Kanaaya
"We will snatch purpose from the jaws of futility...are you ready to wreak some havoc?"