Drop The Pilot

by Jacob Clifton November 2, 2009
The Plan

That night, One changed into his pajamas and got into bed with a woman -- the Tough Six, with her dominatrix gear and stripy hair -- and she sleepily asks what the latest commotion was about. "That was the Four. Oh, and Boomer shot the Commander." He gets into bed, a single, and grumpy-cutely tells her to move her arm. "There's not much more down [things] could go," Six ruminates. "The Six failed, the Two failed..." He says they are a Fleet-killing machine that just needs to warm up, and then she jacks him off and it's totally gross. We find our pilots when we need them.

Day 52. Saul stared down at Bill, begging him to come back to life, well aware that he was about to fuck things up tremendously somehow but entirely unsure as to how he was going to inevitably do it. He was only thirty; he was in his sixties; he was two thousand years old. Bill was the only thing he knew.

"You shot him. But you didn't kill him? You didn't kill him. And things were finally going well..." Eight was horrified. "What do you want from me? I shot him twice in the chest!" One leaned well through the bars, scary and funny at once: "How about once in the head? Did you think of that?" She swore once again that she wasn't in control; that Sharon was winning every fight. "The only way that I could get this done was to turn myself into a Centurion." Disgusted, with flat affect: "I could feel my skin turning hard, I could feel the bullets moving through the channels under my hard metal skin, I couldn't feel my heartbeat." One adored the sentiment, but she spat at him.

"If there was any part of us that's human, in that moment, I killed that." He swore that was the entire idea, and congratulated her. "I need you," he said, "And I need to break a string of failures..." He wasn't hearing her; she shook her head in horror again: "I lost the best part of myself." And that's all it took. Into the Recycling Bin she went, with all the unearned cruelty that being human earns you. "All right," he said, tossing the elephant in his pocket, saying goodbye as she faded out for the last time: "I see how this is. Goodbye, Eight, and good luck."

Sharon Valerii stared at the man through the bars, confused and angry. "I don't want a priest," she said. And he looked her in the eye, this traitor to the Fleet, and dug his heel into her heart: "And you deserve no absolution." And when the priest was gone, long into the night, as she sang herself strange songs, Sharon Valerii just couldn't kick the feeling he was right.

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