Wednesday, 17 June 2015

A Pilot in his Starship

Becoming a pilot is no easy feat. Learning the basics, on simulators and small ships good for nothing much but becoming scrapheap metal take the better part of the first three years at the Commorium Academy. The following two years are filled with harsh training, waking up at the crack of down just to enter more simulators, one harder than the other, teaching you how to loop, how to duck, how to fire and how to retreat. Sometimes you get out of the simulator and you shake so bad from the sudden movements that you can barely remain on your feet. Other times you glow with pride for having nailed all the exercises. Then comes the last year, the one everyone has been both expecting and dreading. Piloting a real Commorium Starship under the scrutiny of your trainers and hoping for all it’s worth that you don’t mess things 

But once six years have passed and the mandatory trial period of another year, all the hardship is finally worth it. It is at this point you find yourself stepping foot for the first time inside your own ship. The controls are still new and shiny, paint as fresh as the day it came out of the factory and the smell of leather envelops you as you sit down in the pilot’s chair. Your hands and fingers fit seamlessly on the controls and you lift off, leaving behind the planet of the Commorium Academy and exchanging it for the wide expanse of space.

Being a pilot is an exhilarating ride, even in the midst of a war threatening the entire Federated Republic and not only the Commorium Star System. Where once pilots steered their ship towards the uncharted territories past the borders of the Star System, now they remain in their home galaxy, patrolling the borders with increasing frequency so that no enemy is able to slip by. But even so, the joy of being in your own ship is nothing to scoff at, even if exploration has been exchanged for patrol. Being in the cockpit, feeling the engines thrum under your feet and the ship move under your guidance evokes feelings that cannot be expressed in words. 

Then the missions come: surveillance, stealth or bombing missions where the enemy must be monitored or engaged. Adrenaline pumps in your veins as you prepare, alongside your wing mates, knowing the Star System depends on your success. There is no time for worry or fear in those moments. It is just you, your ship and the people you have trained with, in whose hands you place your very life. The controls are already familiar under your hands and you could pilot your starfighter with your eyes closed. Be it merely a routine mission or a highly complex one, you have complete confidence in your skills and your success.

And why wouldn’t you? After all, your training was done at the best Military Academy in the Federated Republic and your starship comes as an extension of your own soul. There is always room for mistakes, but your training and your technological superior starship provides you a higher chance of success than any other pilot in the Federated Republic. And when your mission ends with success, you know for sure the best choice you could have ever made was becoming a pilot in the Commorium fleet.

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