Saturday, March 5, 2011

Lost Convoy, Part XI: Survival Line

"We need to make something clear. We've just been through a terrible event, and we're not in the clearing yet. We survived the destruction of Earth, but we still need to find some new kind of permanent safety. We aren't going to survive on ships forever. Now, as some of you know, there has been an additional complication. Our frigate has lost contact with the rest of the fleet. We've already taken measures to remedy this situation, and I'd like to personally and publicly thank Clive Lockwood and Jim Brewer for their assistance in this matter. This represents, however, just one of the many hurdles we still have ahead of us. We still don't know why it happened, and to be honest, that's completely beside the point. We will need to work together, put all our petty differences and irritations behind us. There's a lot more trouble out there than we really need to create ourselves. I can't make you become better people, but I can ask that you at least try and make life tolerable for everyone, because that's the first best step to ensuring we can make it to the next step, the point where we're safe and secure again, wherever that may be."

Normally, Ray Patch wasn't much for making speeches, and the only way he made it through that one was by starting it as soon as he entered the cabin, and refusing to even think about stopping. It was incredible, it really was, that he'd made it the whole way through, with the same confident air he hoped his passengers were generous enough to believe in.

For a few moments, it seemed as if everyone were just too stunned to have more of a reaction than stare at him, and he was grateful that he was done speaking, because he wouldn't have been able to continue now if he tried. The flight attendant, Kim Jones, was standing by his side, and he saw Clive and Jim shake themselves free from the man who had presumably begun the commotion Kim had come to warn him about.

"You're talkin' about a survival line," the man said, who was of course the only one who was going to speak at all. "Okay. That's good enough. Now get your ass back into that cockpit. Makes me nervous seeing the pilot stand back here with the rest of us. I'm not too good at the stick myself. Wouldn't want to press my luck."

There were a few nervous smiles. "Gabriel Martinez," Kim whispered to Ray.

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