The Pandoran Age Chronicles 1
Winteroud Sole is twelve years old when the Royal Detectives bring him on a case as a psychic. It is not long before the small group of investigators draws fire. The Transhuman Imperials, numerous galactic corporations, and underworld space syndicates all are suspect.
Even swaggering, live for today, Coco-butter Parsons got a big fat dose of “Uh-oh” when he walked in to the service hangar and felt the vibes oozing off Hammerstein. Parson’s pay grade didn’t make him privy to the abduction of the Princess, the details of the salvaged Sunrider at Fort Oort, or the fact that the government had commandeered the son of an aristocratic family as psychic to root out an unsolvable crime, but a lifetime of living by his wits and landing on his feet gave him the sense to know this was a….well, he had some very artful expletives in his mind when he summed up the situation.
As a young gentleman whose Grandmatron had always told him, “Remember who you are, Winteroud. Chin up and white tie for dinner”, I’ll of course leave the ribald Navy expletives out of my recounting of the tale, but they are, as I said before, rather an art form unto themselves; a proper response, at some level, to the absurdity the universe so often persists at presenting mankind. Sometimes even my Grandmatron would add, “Chin up, shoulders back, and boobs out”, but of course only rarely and then with the unending embarrassment of my mother who mostly preferred delicate pretense and propriety to the certain genius of real recognition that we live in an absurdly off kilter universe which we did not make.
Parsons whispered to the head tech not knowing I could read him across the service bay, “You got any idea what’s going on here with this little fly by night run?”
The tech gave him a sidelong glance, “Nope. The Detective is top brass, the kid is rich, and the female captain is smoking hotter than a volcano. They all have to be at Fort Oort yesterday. Any questions?”
Parson looked at the Hammerhead. “Yeah, how’s my Honey?” He ran his gloved hand along the hull with a loving caress.
“Well, Officer Hammerstein over there wasn’t too happy with the time we’ve been eating up prepping your Hammerhead, but I’ve kept it by the numbers.”
“Thanks. I like coming home with my heart still beating. Any word on the winds?”
“Solar wind at a minimum. One more diagnostic and you’re good to go.”
“Roger, Roger, Kazi, kitty! Thanks, Buck!” Parsons quipped and climbed into the Hammerhead and began his flight deliberations and lockdowns.
The tech nodded to Hammerstein and we climbed aboard. There wasn’t a thing on that airship that didn’t need to be there except a small plastic Hula dancer someone had glued over a structural reinforcement over the door and painted, “Aloha baby let’s dance!” below. Dancing of course a metaphor for combat flight. If you’re going to die in combat, in a Hammerhead, best to do it with a Cavalier attitude. You've either got, or you haven’t got style.
Welcome to the dance.