Pilot Light Express
Rated: PG-15, mild violence and cursing
G’day! Thankyou for choosing Pilot Light Delivery Service! I’ll be your pilot, Chanticleer and your package will be delivered in safe hands and good time! We won’t rest until your package has reached its destination, through rain, snow and gloom of night… and… uh…. Look! My insurance does not cover sky pirates, legendary Pokemon attacks or meteor strikes. Will you look at the rips in this! Do you have any idea how expensive my uniform is? I better get compensation! And will I be payed overtime for this little favour? No? Then you’re on your own mate!
This was it. This was the final proof that he had been an axe murderer in his past life. He had stood before Almaya, Lord thy God, the omnipotent and omniscient, the kind, the compassionate, the forgiving... and he had been found wanting. He had been sentenced to an incarnation of hardship.
Massaging his scalp he spun on his swivel chair to hold the ID picture into light. It only brought everything into further clarity. The focus had been caught in midsneeze. Well, post-sneeze to be more accurate. In all its ballistic glory.
Not even homicidal maniacs could reap such karmic rewards. Perhaps he had been a corporate lawyer.
The office was a little over six months old but still gleamed. The desk was a lot like its owner, immaculately kept with little character to speak of. Steel and streamlined, the desk not the owner although again the similarity was close, sparse of anything except a green felt place mat, two boxes marked In and Out which were both empty. Lastly there was an expensive laptop for business use only. He didn’t even use it to play solitaire.
As he sat at his desk he could hear the pinball game down stairs clicking and pinging away madly and two male voices shouting. A third, the one playing was swearing over the multiball level.
All because his employers thought personality would endear them to their customers. Personality, in his inexperienced opinion, was highly overrated. From what he could gather from the other six, personality was a combination of obnoxiousness and inadequate bathing, although Bonny used enough water to give an octillary water wrinkles.
“Close the door please,” he told woman who leaned against it watching him review the papers.
“She zeh newbie?” she inquired with bemusement through a thick accent.
Ray Rosconovitch rubbed the bridge of his nose, pushing back his reading glasses and spoke back in their native Sibran. “Grammar, I didn’t spend a fortune on private schools so those lounge lizards could rub off on you after only six months. And posture.”
She drew herself up without arguing and closed the door gently. For Rosconovitch posture wasn’t just manners, it was a lifestyle choice. You could have used his spine as a builder’s level. In answer he pushed a photograph across the table. “She is no different then the other slobs on the payroll.”
“And Head of Office chose her,” she stated neutrally upon crossing the floor. She held the photograph between thumb and forefinger glancing between it and her boss who likewise thumbed through the contents of a manila folder. Selecting two pages stapled together he put it down firmly in front of her, the only hint of his annoyance.
“Everything iz delivered on time, even hours spared. Days,” she added with a faint frown, wondering what he was tiptoeing around. She hated it, the way he always led her by the nose to an answer and then make her feel stupid when it was the wrong one.
Rosconovitch shuffled the strata of paperwork again and offered another. It was not a run of the mill delivery report.
Several gift wrapped chocolate boxes, glassware, a family heirloom and some byway post. Her course was plotted from the west coast to Awroite on the east coast, bisecting the region straight through its red desert heart. According parameters set out by the Department of Regional Delivery, pilots were to avoid the desert unless explicitly instructed and take the distal coast route instead.
“She cut straight through, as zeh crow flies.”
“No, as the wind blows. She knows the regional wind currents and rode them like a bus route. She shaved two days from her flight plan rather than fight them. Note the contents of her bag when she takes off.”
“Vun and a half litres of vater! How did she make it out alive!” She glanced at the photo again to make sure they weren’t dealing with supernatural being, but she was sure supernatural beings had better hygiene. “Still, two days earlier means profit.”
“Ah,” Rosconovitch said acidly stabbing his finger at the photo. “Is that it? End justifies the means? She blatantly went against the rules and wasn’t reprimanded. She may have succeeded last time, but what about next time, or the time after? She could have stranded herself and got herself killed. What would the owners of that priceless ruby ring have thought? We’re sorry our pilot died through her own arrogance and stupidity. I’m sure great Aunt Roschelle must have other family heirlooms. No water in the Bugaral? Suicidal. We don’t need that, we need dependable, well balanced and responsible individuals-”
A hearty bang on the door made him look up from his monologue a nanosecond before it swung open narrowly missing his co-worker.
“Instead they send us these.”
“Hey hey!” said the focus, a twenty-six year old indigenous of the Orange Archipelago with skin as dark as coffee. He sauntered in with his shirt tied around his waist. “No gobblty-gook while I’m in the room. Speak Kantan. Hey Vezza! Bonny’s lookin' for you.”
“Iz Verity!” she snapped, jabbing a finger at his bare chest. “Call me it again and you spend your days delivering to Sibran, Farouk. Vill zat muscle-bound chest of yours save you from blinding snow and razor vinds?”
“So nice of you to notice Vez, I have been spending extra time on my upper body. Talk to ya later, gotta see a man about a pinball machine. S'up chief!”
Rosconovitch did not bristle or snap but levelled him with a gaze the equivalent of cyanide.
“Chief nothing. Read this. You are acquainted.”
A coy grin beset Farouk’s features. He flipped his palm indicating this was not unlikely but took the pages anyway. “Well what do you know, I do! She’s bro’s little friend. Moite, if you wanna be pedantic.”
“You are outdoing yourself, Fruk,” Verity sneered, deliberately pronouncing his name as a single syllable but it was clear excavation equipment would be needed to get under his skin. “Polysyllabic words. Good boy!”
“Quiet Verity. She is the new recruit, your thoughts.”
“So so. On the short side for me. Flat as a wall and too thick in the calves-” he trailed off, knowing all along what Rosconovitch wanted.
He paused thoughtfully even though the words psychopathic gnome had flashed into his mind the moment he recognised her. Upon meeting he knew straight away that any flirting would be like rain rolling off a window. While he was always up to a challenge the other beach babes had proved much more inviting and rewarding.
The only time he’d given her a second glance was when she was spitting like a drowned cat at the sorjourners on the dunes. Of course she’d shown them later when she and her pidgeot had plunged from the clouds whistling like a steam engine and carved the sand up like an ocean spray whilst they were having lunch.
Shrieking like a high pitched drill bit.
“A hell of a flyer. I once saw her come within a foot of the ground and never flinched an inch.” She could repay him for the good word later. “I’d put her on in a second.”
“I have no choice in the matter. My superiors have been waiting for her before Qwiksilver move in.” For the first time his lip curled in brutal distain. He snapped the manilla folder down, thrust himself up from his desk and without anything so crude as speaking, demanded the other pieces of the file back. Verity extended hers cautiously while easing herself from beneath the knotted scowl. “They can have her.”
G'day Everyone! Welcome to Pilot Light Express!
Many of you may know me as Topaz or Bushtuckapenguin, and you may know my old fic, Wings of Council which I began when I was twelve which followed the journey of Topaz 'Selfinsert' Soarhire and her funloving Quilava, Fury. I gave up with a heavy heart in my second year of university and during that time of indecision I played with this fic, Pilot Light Express. I wrote three chapters but squirrelled it away because even then I knew what it is.
This weekend I got a lovely email from Cho Hokkai telling me how much she enjoyed WoC and enquired if I had done any other writing. This time I thought, 'What the heck. If I don't post it now, I won't post it ever. Why waste the time and enjoyment I had making it. If it flops, Serebii will swallow it up in a matter of days.'
So this is for Cho, LadyUmbra, Ash Junior and all the others who have kept track of me through the years. I intend to post everything I've written on it, with reviews or without. I doubt this fic will work for Serebii, anyone who knows me knows I'm prone to long chapters so transitions will be awkward, it takes a while to get past intros, and frig, my writing style was pretty pompous.
But at least I've given it a burl. Ta mates, thanks for dropping in!
G3, CC and BR!
Which means, G3, I respect the golden trio of Paragraphing, Punctuation and Spelling so please pick me up on all mistakes.
CC, I love Constructive Crit, and I love opinion more than praise. Even if you can't put your finger on why you don't like something, tell me anyway! All qualms and queries just means you're actually thinking about my fic!
BR, Boomerang Reviews! If you review me, you'll get one back!