Sign Up | Log In
BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - HUMOR
Wash finally sees what the hell everyone is talking about.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1481 RATING: 8 SERIES: FIREFLY
"Planet I'm from, couldn't see a one of 'em, pollution's so thick. Sometimes I think I entered flight school just to see what the hell everyone was talking about." - WASH
Wash pushed aside the glass of the mirror and withdrew his shaving foam, kicking his roommate's cot with the heel of one boot. "Come on! I ain't gettin' docked my time just because I'm bunked with a lazy fay-fay duh pee-yen."
The other man rolled over, covering his head with his pillow. Wash sighed and applied the foam to his cheeks, deftly cutting away the whiskers that had grown in the night. He grinned brightly at himself, the mustache still hanging hairily on his upper lip. "Dashing, dashing, if I do say so myself."
He fitted the oxygen mask over the lower half of his face, pulling on his goggles and striding out of his bunk. Better to arrive without his roommate than to arrive late. The smog was terrible in the morning, usually thinning out around noon and thickening once more for nightfall.
Wash straightened his flight school tunic and did his best to look presentable. He could clown with the best of them; often did. But there was a time and a place for that. Examinations, lectures, those were prime for cutting up. But an actual test flight? Now that was special. That deserved respect.
He approached the launch pad confidently, head held high, smiling behind his mask. The instructor was standing in front of the group, tapping his clipboard against his thigh. As Wash approached, the instructor looked at his watch and said, "Hoban Washburn. You are very nearly late."
"Sorry, sir. I'll try harder next time. I know 'very nearly' does not count in this course."
'Well,' Wash thought. 'So much for respect.'
One by one, the cadets began climbing into the pilot seat of the small, rickety spacecraft. They had been working towards this for months... it was hard to believe the moment was finally here. They flew a grand total of a hundred feet up, circled the testing grounds and came back to land safely on the platform.
The instructor stayed in contact with the students the entire time, telling the rest of his assembled class what to watch out for, what to do in case of certain emergencies, et cetera. Wash tried to contain his patience, but he kept tapping his boots against the wooden platform where they were waiting. He swung his hands back and forth, cracked his knuckles and continually muttering for the other students to 'hurry, hurry' as they were climbing out of the cockpit.
More than once, the instructor called for Wash to remain still. He couldn't help it; if they ran out of time today, the rest of them would take their turns tomorrow. He couldn't wait another fourteen hours until it was daylight again. He just couldn't.
He craned his neck each time the ship passed over him, moved back and forth without leaving his place in line and nudged the person in front of him each time they had to move up. In between jerky, hand-wringing moments of barely-contained energy, he took the opportunity to watch the maneuvers of other pilots, took note of everything the instructor said, made a flight plan all his own.
After what seemed like ages, with what seemed like mere seconds before it was time to end class, the instructor motioned him forward. Wash took a deep breath of processed air through his mask and finally stepped forward to take his place behind the steering column.
He sank into the beaten leather bucket, smoothing his hands against the cracked material and letting it get used to his weight. The stuffing was poking through in places, but that was all right. The canopy was replaced and Wash started the ignition. He heard the instructor's voice in his earpiece, but that was unnecessary. He had been studying this ship for months.
At the signal, he took off. He followed the same course, up at a forty-five degree angle, then cantered back towards the launch pad. At the last moment, he altered his trajectory and aimed higher. "Washburn, what the hell?" he heard in his earpiece.
The smog cascaded over and past him like vapor, as if the nose of his ship - and it was his ship - was dissolving it as he passed. It cleared his way, carrying him out to the fresh air of... what? The mythical stars? Outer space? What, oh, what could await him out here?
When the final tendrils of the smog drifted away, he found himself surrounded by utter darkness... or so it seemed. After a moment, he realized that the vast space around him was filled with tiny, shimmering spots of light. 'Stars,' Wash thought, pulling off his oxygen mask and relying on the tiny ships ancient life support systems to keep him breathing. 'They do exist.'
He circled back and forth, trying to see if the stars ever stopped. Not so far as he could see. They carried on forever, in pristine emptiness, beautiful in their solitude.
Only when his instruments indicated the oxygen stores were dropping below safe levels. He reattached his oxygen mask and turned the ship, aiming back down at the brown ball of pollution he called home. This time, the smog seemed to smother him. It enclosed him on all sides, claiming him, drawing him back down to the ground.
He landed and the instructor rushed forward, yanking Wash out of the seat before the canopy was even completely retracted. He dropped his student to the platform, sending him sprawling. "Bun tyen-shung duh ee-dway-ro! What were you thinking, you sha gua?!"
Wash got to his feet. "Sorry, teach. Gotta admit, I was a little carried away."
The instructor pushed Wash backwards, almost knocking him off his feet again. "Listen to me, you ching-wah tsao duh liou mahng... when you get your recommendations from this course, you won't even be able to get assigned to a garbage scow patrolling in the ass-crack of the universe, dong ma?! You will be fortunate to find work as a junk-hauler! What do you think of that?"
Wash simply smiled behind his mask. "Long as I'm in the sky, sir. Don't make much difference what I'm tuggin' behind me."
As the instructor stormed off, Wash turned his face to the sky again. All he could think about was how long it would be before he could go back there.
Saturday, August 06, 2005 2:22 PM
Monday, August 08, 2005 8:51 AM
Tuesday, August 09, 2005 11:58 AM
You must log in to post comments.
OTHER FANFICS BY AUTHOR
All FIREFLY graphics and photos on this page are copyright 2002-2012 Mutant Enemy, Inc., Universal Pictures, and 20th Century Fox.
All other graphics and texts are copyright of the contributors to this website.
This website IS NOT affiliated with the Official Firefly Site, Mutant Enemy, Inc., or 20th Century Fox.