Short Story- Stumble

Flying into the launch bay with controlled thruster bursts, a white machine suddenly stumbles in mid air, but stabilises and lands to a group of technicians confusedly making sure it lands safely, and two guards not sure if it’s a threat or not.

It powers down, most notably from a glow on the head dissipating. A hatch opens on the chest, and an Alliance officer jumps out, grabbing and pushing on the handles to skip out to the ground. He lands and walks past the crowd to Col. Toulouse.

G: “Lieutenant, what is this?”

M: “Gerard, this machine is amazing. The response time, the power, it has incredible performance. It could use a tune up, but this thing is amazing.”

G: “Markov you didn’t- did you take the Urdswan?”

M: “I don’t know what it’s called but I love it. Can we keep it? I promise to take good care of her.”

G: “You stole this, we can’t just take units without proper requisitioning. It’s very old as well, I don’t think it’s safe for you to pilot, especially not on the field.”

M: “Come on Gerard, you saw me out there didn’t you? You’re right it’s probably not safe, but have the engineers take a look at it and get it fixed up. Worst case I can eject and it crashes and burns.”

G: “You honestly want us to take this unit and maintain it? Milo there are procedures, we would have to run a lot of tests on it-”

M: “You get all the paperwork done and tell me when I can jump back in. Gerard this is a great asset for us, plus it’s great fun to pilot. You should give it a go, while you’re still young enough to take the G’s.”

G: “Markov…”

M: “I’m going to eat, that was a pretty good work out. See you there? Unless you have papers to scribble on.”

G: “Hold on, even if the unit is cleared for use, which I’m not sure it will be, it’s probably still not a good idea to use. It’s very old Milo, it might have powerful components but who knows how long they’ll last. They could fail in battle. There might be issues with the computer systems, we don’t even have any replacement parts for any of it. It would need a complete overhaul.”

Both walking down the hall.

M: “Oh no, don’t you go putting any cheap parts in that thing. Have you ever driven a classic car Gerard? You don’t mess with the parts.”

G: “You know I haven’t.”

M: “Then it’s settled, do what you can buddy. Don’t worry.”

G: “No promises.”

Gerard stops, Markov turns to face him while walking backwards.

M: “I told you this would be fun!”

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