Die Writing

The pamphlet

Posted in Neuropilot by erdaron on July 8, 2010


Cliff, if you’re reading, this a thing from that thing we talked about.

Take flight

The pamphlet feels rough on my hands, almost like sandpaper. Hypersensitivity from the combat cocktails must not have worn off yet… Its edges are starting to rip, and the glossy finish is no longer all that glossy. It’s in poor shape, but the words and the pictures are clear enough still. While the sensation is harsh, it’s pleasantly reassuring to feel something as simple and real as a piece of paper.

The picture on the front cover features a young fighter pilot standing in front of his craft – gray armor, hulking engines, glistening cockpit – saluting and beaming a movie star smile. His Expeditionary Fleet uniform is perfectly pressed. He is surrounded by a small gang of children, all radiating smiles and mimicking his salute. “Protect our future!” The pamphlet implores, “Take the fight to the infinite skies!”

As the pamphlet unfolds, it reveals more inspirational pictures and messages. There is a wire diagram of the fighter craft, with neat pointers identifying its awesome weapons systems, engines, and armor. The star pilot is there again, this time in a closeup giving thumbs-up near his cockpit. Over his shoulder are two rows of stenciled stars, indicating an impressive number of kills. A photogenic family having a picnic in the park is followed by a burning enemy ship, its sides shredded by shells from a strafing fighter. As more enemy ships come alight in the background, a fighter wing sweeps across the scene in perfect formation.

The final picture features another wing of the fighters parked on the tarmac on a bright sunny day. The pilots are in front of their machines, standing at attention. “Join the fight,” the pamphlet here proclaims. “Join the ranks of history!”


4 Responses

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  1. kliphtin said, on July 18, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    I’m totally going to start adding to this because it’s an awesome sci-fi idea.

    • erdaron said, on July 19, 2010 at 7:52 am

      Ha, I’m pretty sure you and I are the only ones who actually know what the idea is :). We can talk about it when I come up to Phoenix next time.

  2. kliphtin said, on July 20, 2010 at 5:26 am

    The single man star-fighter looks innocent in the low hanger light. Giant metal clips keep the star-fighter from sagging at the shoulders. Unmanned, the lifeless exoskeleton hangs from the ceiling much like a tattered metal business suit, but the business of this suit is clearly battle. This particular machine knows three things, death, human limitation, and victory.

    The outer shell of the star-fighter has it’s own reminders of battle. Upgraded deflector panels installed at the “shoulder blades” are a distinct reminder of what happens when soldiers break formation. The left “leg” dimpled by shrapnel burn, is enough to remind any pilot that though powerful, the star-fighter is not impenetrable. The tubes that snake around the pilot’s chair, over control switches, and vid-panels provide the ultimate reminder. The machine is only as good as its captain and the combat cocktail it delivers.

    Adrenaline shot through my veins the first time I saw the hanger, but that was years ago. Now the empty clips seem to mock the friends I’ve lost, and the fate that we will inevitably share. Can’t think like that, a second’s hesitation could be enough to make a mistake, and star-fighter pilot’s can’t make mistakes, ever.

    The hanger alarm screams. Lights flash and the giant mechanisms that surround my suit begin to creek and groan. Run number 84, the wall is coming soon. The first thing star-fighter pilots in combat training is that once you hit the wall there is no return flight home.

  3. The gates « Die Writing said, on August 11, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    […] Thanks for reading, y’all. This is related to the Pamphlet. […]

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