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Copyright: Fred Robel, and Fritz365 2010-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Fred Robel and Fritz365 with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Safety? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Safety! (A Tale of Earth 52.5)

~Safeties Require Calibration~

~Safeties Require Calibration~

~Safeties Require Calibration~

"Shut up!"
I yelled into the faceplate of my helmet
"Shut up! Shut up!
I heard you the first hundred times, Betty!"

Bitchin' Betty was what everyone called her
A generic name for the female voiced audible advisory system
With history reaching back more than a hundred years
To the late Twentieth Century civil and military aircraft of the time
And the name just stuck

The more modern AI based systems were much more useful
And their users almost always chose a name for them at some point
With rumors of a few systems that had expressed a preference for a name themselves

And if this was one of those newer systems
I wouldn't be hunting for the power relay right now with my fingers
Because I could use all the brains I could get at the moment
Artificial or not
As my meat  brain was just about on the rev limiter for cycles and multitasking

And just like that
My fingertips found what they were looking for
The distinctive hexagon shapeed plug on panel J-5
Which had to be the most user un-friendly design I ever had the pleasure of working with
But whose layout and shapes were burned into my brain
Along with a lot of other details that I'd rather forget

I pulled gently
Popping the six prongs from their seats
Betty went silent
Her Bitching done for the moment

"I'll turn you back on after I figure things out a bit
I promise"
Reassurances for dumb circuitry spilling from my lips
(Unfit for duty!)

Shaking my head lightly
To clear the excess noise left over from Betty and a certain long dead C.O.
I picked my list back up from the seat and hopped down from the step winglet to the museum floor
The two foot drop causing my leg stump to throb
Which I ignored with a silent curse
And promptly stepped half on a ratchet handle
Almost sending me sprawling across the rest of the tools that I had spread across the left side of the roped off display area

I whispered angrily to myself
I wouldn't do myself or anyone........
And I stopped my thought at that
Because I still wasn't certain who exactly I was helping out by doing any of this shit

Dragging my ass all the way down here to The Hangar
Reactivating the jump drive in this old piece of Mk I junk
All to go where?
And why?

My lips craved the feel of a cigarette
Reminding of a bit of the why at least

No usable atmosphere equals no fire equals no fucking cigarettes for old Hank
And that just wouldn't do
No sir!

So with that slim bit of motivation moving me along
I walked past history
One awkward step at a time
Five all-feeling toes attached to an all-American foot held firmly in a combat survival suit boot leading the way
Followed numbly by a titanium claw teetering  inside the match to the first boot
Sending the almost feel of being on the ground along rods and swivel joints to thick leather cup and straps
Where the angry scarred flesh angrily worked to keep up with the mission
However weak an objective it may be

A rocket engine taller than a two story building
An unmanned solar glider
A space shuttle
A small case holding some charred remains that were once a space ship
Then a gift shop near the entrance with seventeen bodies laid out neatly
All with navy blue souvenir t-shirts squarely over their faces
Hands crossed upon chests
Just more history for the museum to mark at this point
Though without a curator to make an informational plaque
There wasn't any context anyways

Now that was a thought
And I hammered my gauntleted hand into the emergency exit door
Careful to step over the pet rock I'd placed to prop it open for me
And on to the still open back of my much too faded red for only being a year old vehicle to retrieve the last two items I needed

A twin pack of replacement oxygen generators for my suit
And the small yellow shoulder bag that I'd grabbed almost on instinct as I'd bugged out of the house
Grunting slightly as the forty pounds of O2 packs loaded up my left arm
And silence as my right grasped the two odd pounds of yellow bag

Greeted my gaze for the last time as I turned again to the building's South side
An only appropriate placard for an exit stage right
An ill planned tally ho into the nether from within

In search of a place more hospitable to cigarettes
And context for this dream of devastation

Through that door I strode for the last time
Under a sickly looking sun that peered all too hard at what I was doing