Rough Drift

"Small" writing challenges for my small writing talent. Hotel note pads are the only space allowed. Let's see if I can strip it down and tighten it up to learn something. Improving my skill of weird fiction.

25.) So many buttons!


Buttons pressed, knobs turned, parameters input as directed, followed by a completely blown station approach. I teach everything he needs to know to fly the ship using automation. Input what you want it to do-what you’re going to do, so it can help you do it right and not wind up dead. Materializing inside an asteroid or blasting into a sun or smashing through airlocks, like the one right in front of us, are all attributed to ignoring what you told the computer to do.

What use is having the gear if this ham-fisted flight officer, assigned to me, fights the output? This ship wants a specific point, at a specific speed-where he told it to go. Forcing the controls to do things opposite will make it ten times harder to control when he lets go of them. It was. He let go, thinking the autonav would continue where he steered it. Nope. The thrust boosts to a seat cushion deforming override, returning to a set speed. The vectors shift orientation to his pre-set course. He sits staring at a looming station as we accelerate, then he randomly punches buttons in a panic, attempting to fix the issue.

I take over and re-program. His glares at me are personal, as if he really knew what he was doing, but I sternly keep him busy with a checklist until we can talk, safely docked. The other option, had I let him continue, would be crushing this airlock and de-orbiting the station. Thank god we weren’t letting him navigate the inter-systems. He can barely navigate around a simple training station. He’s new. They’re all new and lately, terrible. But the pay to train them is the only thing that pays my loans. The same loans they’re taking out for my instruction. To someday be that guy who takes us to the resorts on Neptune or beyond. Gotta have a dream.

(Author’s notes) October 11th, 2015: Cincinnati, OH. (300 words)

They say to write what you know. Well, I know stuff. I do! Things too. Once in a while we all have to work with someone who is unwilling to learn the finer points that make things easier, or came from a background that pushes ideas opposite to what works. Apply to space. New scenario is now interesting.

photo: Mine


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This entry was posted on October 12, 2015 by in future, sci-fi, space and tagged , , , , , , , .
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