A New Space Iteration


    A Visit to the Pilot

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    A Visit to the Pilot

    Post  Admin on Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:04 pm

    Backstage at Throttlestar there are the usual clusters of paparazzi but, tonight, there is also a small, weaselly-looking man without a vidcam. He holds only a datapad, and shoulders his way to the front of the usual crowd toward Baxter.

    "Mr. Briggs! Mr. Briggs!" he calls. "Bartle Kasp, Manhattan Rag. I have a few questions for you!"

    Baxter

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    Re: A Visit to the Pilot

    Post  Baxter on Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:27 am

    Baxter looks at him, a little wary but still in "celebrity" mode. He smiles sardonically, keeping his persona in mind, trying to stay in character for the crowds.

    "Yea, I got a minute. Meet me in my dressing room. It's the one with the big star," he raises his voices and a fist in the air, addressing the crowd, "because I am the star of the tin ship circuit!"

    The assembled go crazy, cheering, and he wonders if they would have done the same no matter what he had said. Either way, he makes his way back to his dressing room, cargo pants shuffling, signing autographs as he goes.

    In the quiet of the tiny room, its paper star indeed taped to the door, Baxter breathes for a moment. He would be saying goodbye to this for a while, the crowds and the adoration, the speed that you can only really feel when there's nothing but an inch of metal between you and air, the women. The rapid, overwhelming life that would surely slow down when he had nothing to do but sit there, waiting to get wherever the next destination would be.

    But then there was Min...

    The sharp knocks at the door bring him out of his reverie.

    "Yea. Come in."
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    Re: A Visit to the Pilot

    Post  Admin on Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:13 pm

    Mr. Kasp, who seems to have a squirm to his walk, oddly, enters and closes the door behind him. He seems rather stunned at being granted a private audience, but not about to waste the opportunity.

    "Rumor has it you're leaving the tinships, Mr. Briggs. Can you comment?"

    Doesn't waste a second. He's probably used to scrambling beside a fleeing celebrity and shouting the questions while waving his vidcam about.

    Baxter

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    Re: A Visit to the Pilot

    Post  Baxter on Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:23 pm

    Baxter looked at the reporter for a moment, then took a seat in the tiny room.

    "You want an exclusive? Make your career exclusive? Alright, here it is: I'm going to go on an indefinite hiatus from the circuit."

    It took him by surprise to say it as much as anything else. Even that last lap didn't seem like a last lap for a while. But now it came down on him, crushing and final. He made an effort to keep up the show.

    "You know, it's a big, wide universe out there, and I want to see it while the seeing's good, you know? Besides, Cortly's gotta have a chance to win a race sometime or he might quit, amirite?" The dig at Rob Cortly, his rival, would really clinch it, a parting shot for the fans. Baxter would have to remember to tell him about it before the article came out so he'd have something appropriately macho ready to respond with.
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    Re: A Visit to the Pilot

    Post  Admin on Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:20 pm

    "Where are you going once you leave Throttlestar? Anything big lined up?" There is no doubt the question is loaded - Kasp knows exactly where Baxter is going, or at least he thinks he knows.

    Baxter

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    Re: A Visit to the Pilot

    Post  Baxter on Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:05 pm

    Baxter looks at the man critically, eyeing him for a moment.

    "I've got a couple of big offers, but I'm thinking of doing some transport work. See the galaxy, you know? If I do come back to the circuit, I might want to try some of the inter-colony races, maybe some of the Haight classic ship turns, and this would be a way to see where the best action is."
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    Re: A Visit to the Pilot

    Post  Admin on Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:23 pm

    "Any ship in particular catching your eye right now?" The man appears smug about leading Baxter, but he also seems very curious about Briggs not spilling the beans outright.

    Baxter

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    Re: A Visit to the Pilot

    Post  Baxter on Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:42 pm

    He nods, "There's one that I've got my eye on. Brand new startup company and they needed the best pilot they could find. Apparently they're looking to really push the limits of the ship, make up some time in transport to account for increased safety standards. I'm no expert, but I think the Embry-Riddle has the chance to be a major player in under two years, you know?"

    He smiles a little, raising his eyebrows as if to ask, "That what you were looking for?"
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    Re: A Visit to the Pilot

    Post  Admin on Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:54 pm

    "Know any of the crew?" Kasp leans in a little, bringing the vidcam a bit closer to Baxter's face.

    Baxter

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    Re: A Visit to the Pilot

    Post  Baxter on Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:57 pm

    He looks at the guy, his eyes narrowing. "I know Lilan Dia made the offer to me, but I don't know the final crew roster. I assume I'll meet the rest of the crew when I get there. If I decide to take that job."

    He drops his character for a moment, leaning forward. "Off the record, where are you going with this?"
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    Re: A Visit to the Pilot

    Post  Admin on Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:06 pm

    "Nowhere in particular," Kasp hedges. "I heard a rumor there was someone on board you knew." He fidgets a little. And it's now clear that the reporter doesn't really have a leg to stand on. Unless Baxter says outright who is on the crew roster for the Embry-Riddle, Kasp's got nothing. And if he mentions a name and Baxter outright denies it, there's no story that way, either.

    "You can't give me anything?" he asks, almost plaintively.

    Baxter

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    Re: A Visit to the Pilot

    Post  Baxter on Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:52 pm

    Baxter looks at the guy, hard. His face is unreadable for a moment, then he leans in. "Listen, I'll give you what you're looking for, but on two conditions. The first, no implications, no speculation. You report the facts, we clear? The second, I don't want her mobbed. This story may turn into nothing, but if some of your press buddies want a followup, cause of my dad or whatever, you tell them to come to me and leave her out of it. We have a deal?"
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    Re: A Visit to the Pilot

    Post  Admin on Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:06 am

    One nod.

    "Deal."

    Baxter

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    Re: A Visit to the Pilot

    Post  Baxter on Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:13 pm

    Baxter sighs, relaxing a little bit. "Ok. So, I'm taking the job on the Embry-Riddle because I was told that Min Pauvre, the last survivor of the Far-Gone, was signed up as the ship's doctor, and I haven't been able to find her since I was a teenager. And believe me, I looked."

    He sits back in his chair, falling back into character as he does, "That, and Lilan Dia was all, 'Baxter, we need a pilot like you to make this work,' and she's still pretty good looking, so I was all, 'Why not? Just for you, lady,' you know?"

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