Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Twenty Five; Test Eagle

Tex examined the contents of the pan he'd been stirring then tossed the pan and whatever he'd been burning away from himself in disgust.

"Let's piss off then shall we?" he said in a cavalier manner captain Kirk would have been proud of.

Tex and Kira disappeared inside the ship. I watched Kira go and hoped she usually got around in a bikini but somehow doubted it. The rest of the crew moved about familiar tasks, and I found myself standing idly, wanting to help, but not wanting to get in the way.

Wrench approached me and held out a hand. "She's looker ain't she?"

"Oh yeah," I said and wondered if I'd ever get to spend the night in bed with Kira again, though hopefully without the bear suit.

I turned to Wrench and saw him gazing lovingly at the ship. "Yes sir, there ain't many like this."

"Hmm," I answered this time. Try as I might I have never been one of those blokes to get excited about cars, bikes, or trucks and though I often find myself in social situations with people who I barely know referring to their mode of transport as though it were the love of their life, I've never fingered out how to respond to their vague and ambiguous comments.

"She sure is a beauty," works well in a limited capacity, but as soon as they start talking about cylinders and fuel injections and turbos and whatever else it is car people talk about my eyes glaze over. They usually fail to notice, mesmerized by the love of their life and leave me with the impression the talk is nothing more than erection fuel.

I try not to let them know how incredibly boring they are, but it seems my body is less concerned about placing me in socially awkward situations than it is in listening to rev heads describe crank shafts, mufflers and interiors.

"Test Eagle," said Wrench and for a moment I wondered what he was talking about.

I looked up and saw the words stylised in English lettering on the side of the ship.

"Come on, I'll show you around."

I stood staring at the words, Test Eagle.

"Come on," repeated Wrench.

"It's written in English," I said.

"You understand that do you?" Wrench asked.

"Yes, but, how?"

"Beats me," said Wrench and when I listened to him I realised I was no longer hearing the overlay of a translation. The words were Wrench's own, as he'd spoken them. With the leprechauns I had always heard them and a translation over the top of them. I had always experienced the same problem with Bocco too.

Tex appeared at the door and interrupted my thoughts, "Come on. We're going."

I followed Wrench up the stairs and clambered inside Test Eagle. The steps led into the back of the cockpit. Bubbles was sat at the controls; a wide bank of buttons and levers and knobs and displays. Wrench saw me gaping at the controls and said, "Beautiful stereo systems ain't it?" he grinned happily and announced, "I installed it myself."

When I looked back at Bubbles and the controls I could see the controls she was concerned with took up much less room than the audio equipment.

"Hold on boys," Bubbles laughed and hit a button. I felt the ship move under me. Bubbles gripped a joy stick with both hands and span the craft manoeuvring it through the opening and out into the bright sunlight.

Following everybody else's lead I strapped myself into a harness, and then lent over to look through a window. We were moving at a good speed away from a range of mountain peaks.

I watched silently as we flew away from the only chance I had of getting home.


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