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Old 12-30-2010, 05:10 PM   #787
pshrynk
Beepbeep n beebeep, yeah!
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: La Crosse, Wisconsin, aka America's IceBox
Device: iThingie, KmkII, I miss Zelda!
Postscript Four

Harv was trying to teach Vivaldi how to fly. He counted his luck as more on the upswing than usual. Even though he'd crapped out on the second throw, he still was the proud owner of the Goose and some sort of little shack on the coast of Long Island. He made a note to himself to go and visit it someday. Then Vivaldi had proven to be an adequate student, even though he was having problems with the pre-flight checklist.

"Props?"

"I think pshrynk loaded a few of them in the back for the nest installment."

"Not those props! The ones you can see out the window!"

"Well, they're still there, I guess."

"Throttle?"

"Look, just because I'm not getting this doesn't mean you have to make threats!"

"Not throttle you! Throttle, as in engine throttle."

"Oh. Um, check?"

"Flaps?"

"That's a strange word, 'throttle.' I mean, if you throttle a person, you're choking him, but if you throttle an engine, you're making go faster. And don't get me started on 'choke...'"

"FLAPS?"

"Oh, right! Check!"

"Cargo doors?"

"Really, if you choke a person, you're doing pretty much the opposite of choking an engine."

Harv sighed. Bad enough that he now owned a talking dog, he had to own one who questioned the nature of reality. "Would you mind just doing the check list?"

"Check," said Vivaldi, ears laid back.

"Passengers?" Harv felt particularly luck there. Not only did he have his first paying customers, but one of them was Vera. He resolved to get to know her better as days went by. Having Biggles back there was getting to be a bit annoying, what with all the retching from air sickness, and they had yet to take off, even. Just a short hop over to Mexico City to drop off Dr Montsnmags, and then on down to Panama City with the American spies. He was even thinking about setting up shop there. Because there was opportunity there. Definitely not because of Vera going there...

"Six of them, all strapped in."

"Six?"

"Yeah. A couple of socks are hitching a ride. They want a change in climate."

"Right. Radio?"

"Ooh! You'll like this!" The speakers blared with the sound of ska. Harv nodded his head in time with the beat. He could really come to like this!

"What I meant was, is it operational?" At this rate, they might get off the surface of the bay by 1940.

"Well, isn't that obvious?"

"Landing gear?" asked Harv soldiering on.

"Well, we seem to have a boat welded to the bottom of the plane. I guess that's going to have to do."

Harv was quietly beating his head against the yoke. "Close enough. Ignition, and we're off!"

The Goose glided out into the calm waters of Havana Bay and gracefully launched skyward. They passed over a tramp steamer and rose to ten thousand feet. This was some plane, boy!

As the pleasant strains of ska came over the radio, Vivaldi looked at the instrument panel and asked, "I wonder what this button labelled 'M.A.R.V.I.N.' does?"

Click.
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