Friday, April 30, 2010

Part 13, Chapter 7 - Tolneps on a Gas Drone

Since our hero decided to fly without a helmet (or a flight suit, which brings up the question of how Jonnie pulled off his maneuvers without passing out), the narrative goes back to our favorite Psychlo, the one and only Zzt.

He'd been "fluctuating between hope and suspicion" ever since seeing the new plane. Zzt's only friend was his shaftmate Char, who he reckons was killed by Terl (no mention of the logical process that led to this), so he can't imagine who would be rescuing him. Poor guy.

Worse, Nup's reasonable attempt to cling to the drone to avoid falling to his death put the bomber off-center, so Zzt's getting airsick. He's also cold, because even though the drone is 4,223 feet up, it's now entered the Arctic. Zzt can tell, because "ice felt a certain way in the atmosphere."

Guess what? The great circle route from Denver to Glasgow stays just south of Iceland and never goes far enough north to pass the Arctic Circle. So what the heck are they doing up there?

When Jonnie started shooting up the door, Zzt was disappointed he doesn't have a cutting tool to try sawing at the "laminated molecular plating" to help, even though it'd be largely a useless gesture. And then Jonnie's shots began hitting the drone's interior, and Zzt's optimism quickly faded. No miner would just blast off the door when they had a cable ladder and whatnot. Clearly, when traveling at 302 mph it is best to board another aircraft with a rope ladder.

I'd complain about Psychlos not grasping basic physics, but remember that Jonnie wanted to try this as his first option too.

Zzt was wondering if anyone could be trying to steal a gas canister, which of course would be impossible, since the inside of the drone is as miraculously-armored as its exterior, but then some idiot piloted a plane through the door. Managing not to get squashed, Zzt stumbles up to the plane that's landed with "a timing and precision Zzt had never seen before" (stop shilling your Marty Stu, Hubbard!) and looks inside the cockpit to see... a Tolnep!

So Zzt shrieks like a little girl and fires wildly at the armored, blast-proof viewport. Then the plane rolls again and he loses his balance and weapon, which falls out the drone's hatch.

Skidding and catching his breath in sobs, Zzt got behind a distant frame to protect himself. He believed he was one dead Psychlo!

...well, scratch Zzt off the list of likable characters. That leaves... the horses aren't too annoying, are they?

Next time, regrettably, Jonnie regains consciousness.


Back to Chapter Six

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