Any Landing You Walk Away From…

Suddenly, the plane lurched violently, throwiing peolpe about the cabin. The eingine revved and sputtered seemingly at random, as the plane began to plummet.

Fox leaps up from her seat and looks out the window scanning for the cause of the trouble. "Fuck!"

Photon spat out a different four-letter word as she rose to her feet. "Why the hell can't 'outside interference' happen when we're on the ground?" she asked of nobody in particular.

"Oh, shit. THis is so not good…" Stonewall said. "Um, Warpy boy? THink you can get us down?"

Warp nodded. "I'm trying!"

Blink moved to the cockpit, looking for a way to jack into the system, if possible. "Holly-girl, what's happening? Can you tell us anything?"

Jonathon rose, making his way across the transport in search of a window to see what was happening. "Do we have and sort of emergency packs?" he asked, seriously thinking about jumping.

"What, and give you a chance to escape?" Blink called back, a half grin on her face. She got to the cockpit, finding it intact. But the autopilot was offline, and Holly still wasn't responding. She began searching for some way to jack in. "Holly-girl? Whatcha got for me?"

"Autopilot is down, trying to re-establish connection." Blink yelled to the others. She pulled the datajack from behind her ear, and plugged into the system. She set the sensors in her fingers to full cpaacity, grabbing the second control.

"Forget auto-pilot," Sheathe complained, "how about just not falling like a rock?!"

"I'm working on it… But I don't know how to fly this thing, so unless you do, back off!" Blink said, concentrating on trying to get the auto back online.

"Okay, how many of us can fly?" Warp asked. "I can portal us outside, but if I try for ground I might bury us. I'll need to go for open air, and we don't want anyone falling now do we?"

Fox looked over, "I can't fly"

"Me neither." Blink said. "Come on… there's got to be a bypass in here somewhere…" Holly was no help; as far as Blink could tell, Holly was completly offline.

"I'm not familiar enough with aircraft engines and control systems to figure out how to get things restarted," Photon remarked nervously.

"There!" Blink got the plane stabilized. An instant later, the autopilot came back online.

Fox gasped, "Thank god."

Stonewall looked around. "We in the clear?"

"Don't know, Stoney." Blink replied. Her voice was slightly mechanical. "No sensor net on this beast. YOu guys need to be my outside eyes and ears."

"Can we move to the cockpit?" Stonewall asked, looking around.

"Not sure there's enough room here for everyone." Blink replied. "I'm learning as we go. So you might want to htink about bailing… If it comes down to it, I'll get us as low as possible so you guys can jump." Further work managed to get the autopilot linked to the global sat-nav network. It could now fly the plane and land it at any approved airstrip.

Foxy leaned back in her seat, "This has not been fun" she sighed looking out the window. "I hate planes."

Stonewall punched her shoulder. "Hey, you could always join the mile-high club."

Fox looked to her, smiling. "Oh? That would keep my mind off it…" she winked, licking her lips.

Stonewall grinned. "Well, we might have to look for the head then, dunno if the kiddies want to watch."

"Yeah, don't wanna hurt the little baby boy" she said looking to the newest member of their team. "I think he's still in diapers," she said, slipping up and hugging Stoney. "Shame too, he's kinda cute."

Blink looked back to Photon. "Boss, where do you want to land this bird, anyway?"

"Paranoia's part of my job, so I think this was probably deliberate to force us to land. I don't see that we have any other choice, though, because none of us has the expertise to fly this thing on manual, and if this happens again…" Photon paused. "Where are the three closest landing points? The autopilot should have a list."

"Checking, Photon." Blink said, going back into the system. She sent 'feelers' back toward Holly, trying to get to her in any way possible… She checked to see if there was any way back into the system, primarily thorugh the medical and personal databases, which she had had the most contact with. She found nothing. The communications links were working properly–she checked–but Holly simply wasn't there.

Then Blink tried to use the SatCom to see if she could track back to Holly. The basic lines might be enough to at least check back to the island. She got Dr. Markum instead. The normally cool woman seemed releived. "Blink, it's good to hear you are well. We weren't sure what happend to the plane."

"Managed to get us connected to SatCom, Dr. Markum. "What happened? Holly went offline, and the plane went blind. Is Apr…everything ok?"

"Yes and no. Everyone here is fine. Holly is inoperative at the moment."

"What happened?" Blink asked. "Do you need any help getting her back on? We're oging to land by SatCom, since she can't land us."

"We don't know honestly." Markum replied. "Some catostrophic system failure."

The autopilot set them down in a tiny rural airport in the Bluegrass Terrtories of the Southern US. It was little more than a automated terminal tower and landying strip in the middle of a big empty feild. Talk about the middle of nowhere. And it looked like they might be here for awhile.

Stonewall looked around. "Well, ain't this f'ing cozy…"

"Let me work on it a bit… I'll figurte out a way to fly our asses out of here… sepcially since yo ugot such a nice one, Stony." She grinned, letting the jack feed her occasional reports, and trying to reestablish contact with Holly in some…in any way.

Fox sighed walking out "This is horrid! We're in the middle of Bumble-Fuck?" she kicked a rock.

"That's about the size of it, Foxy girl. Unless I can learn how to fly in a hurry… We're stuck here." Blink returned to the cockpit.

Fox's arms crossed over her chest as she frowned. "Dammit!"

"Well, the adrenalin junkies among us are now going to have a seizure," Photon remarked.

Fox nodded, "I'm trying not to."

"Well it could be worse," Sheathe replied, as he knelt in the grass and ground the earth between his fingertips like he was some natural born ranger–which he wasn't.

"True… " Fox said smiling at him with a wicked look in her eyes, "We could be here without any entertainment" she grinned playfully.

Well, they had to find something to pass the time. Scarab and Stonewall seemed to have found a way. The insect man had his hand down her pants. Fox looked over mumbling some about not fair until she looked over to Sheathe. Smiling widely she slipped up walking over to him, "So… you wanna fuck to pass the time?"

"You want a black fly to fly up your pussy?" Sheathe replied, shaking his head. "Then there's always the matter of just who forced us down. I don't want to be caught with my pants down in the most literal sense."

Fox glowered lookgin to Scarab and stoney, "Oh please… they're not coming… we would have been dead if they wanted us to be already. If you can't get it up, just say so."

"Well," the man, scarcely more than a boy, said. He didn't look angry, but more a little dissapointed. "You could come up with a better come on line then 'let's fuck'. What do you think I am?"

She looked to him, "Oh geez… I thought you were a man, I was clearly wrong…" She shook her head. "I didn't ask if you wanted to be my boyfriend or go steady… I wasn't proposing and I wasn't looking for love because it doesn't exist" she shook her head, "I am horny and I tend to be blunt so I apologize if I'm not flowerly enough or good enough for you," she snapped, her hands caught in fists as she turned from him.

"Well thanks for thinking you can turn me into your boy toy," Sheathe said, rolling his eyes and ahaking his head. "It's not my fault your wit went down with the plane."

Fox looked to him a moment, "I didn't want you to be my anything… I just wanted to fuck and thought you might want to as well. Damn, why do you have to make things so complicated?" Her silver hand went to her head the metal standing out against the black locks. She swore again, then turned and stormed off. This whole thing rotted. If she didn't need to get out of jail she would never have agreed to it. She didn't care if she had to sit in it the rest of her life, she had to stop the man who killed her sister. Justice had to be served. She glowered, what did that stupid boy know about anything anyways… he was the little pampered one who just snapped when his girl friend was killed… the home town hero pushed too far… she glowered, not wanting to admit how alike they truly were.

Sheathe watched her go, thanking his lucky stars that he hadn't agreed to that. With his luck she'd probably been brought in as some form of sexual predator. Not like he hadn't been preyed on enough in his short life. "I'll check out…" he started to say until he saw the two people coupling, "…never mind." With that he went up to explore the tower, to see if there was anything useful up there.

"Hey, hold on, I'll come with you," Photon called after him. "I need to stretch my legs anyway, and that," she gestured with her head toward Stonewall and Scarab, "is probably going to get out of hand shortly."

When they were some distance from the plane, she turned to Sheathe and said, "Welcome to our oversexed little family."

"So it would seem," the young man replied as he walked at Photon's side. "It seems that the tabloids are even less lurid than reality for a surprising first."

He then paused his speech. "I'm sorry, that was a bit harsh. I'm still a little bit hurt about being treated like a human dildo."

"I doubt she was trying to offend. She enjoys herself that way, and I don't think it's occurred to her that not everyone's going to react positively to a very direct 'let's fuck'," Photon replied. "For what it's worth, I probably would have reacted pretty much the same way that you just did."

"Yes," Sheathe agreed, examining his orange jump suit critically, "though you'd have more reason. You're a woman so that's obviously wrong. I'm a man, so it's automatically assumed I'll take whatever's handed to me."

Photon chuckled. "It's a bad assumption if you're at all worth having."

"What can I say," he laughed with a teasing tone, "men stink."

"What, they don't allow inmates to bathe at Dixie Federal Prison?" she asked, in a similar vein.

"I don't think they want to," Sheathe laughed back, "however, I spent most of my time in a special cell, psychic dampened and structurally reinforced."

Photon shuddered. "I've seen the psychic isolation cells at the Special Crimes Enforcement Building back home. That is not my idea of fun."

"The hum of the electromagnetic field coils is the worst part of it," Sheathe agreed, trying not to look to grim, "but you learn to block it out after a long while. Luckily I was only there for the few months needed for my psych evals and the like to get me into this project."

Photon gave him a long look, as if deciding whether or not to say something. Then she spoke slowly, "I'm going to ask you a question, and you can feel free to tell me where to stuff it and I won't take offense." She paused and looked up at him again. "Why are you here? Everything I've read–and I have full access to your file–suggests that you probably would have been acquitted if you'd allowed it to happen."

"'With great power comes great responsibility,'" Jon quoted. "We are bastions," he explained, "we set examples for those that follow and we have a responsibility to lead the right example."

"From my reading, it seemed that you were rather violently provoked. But no matter; it was your decision." She sighed. "I could very easily have wound up facing that sort of a decision myself, but I failed to pick the right pocket twelve years ago."

Jon chuckled. "Too bad you didn't end up hanging with me," he chuckled, "being the poster child of the super hero world has its own entirely unique problems. I could have used the help. I guess we all needed someone."

"Oh, yes," she replied. "I probably wouldn't have been much help, though; puberty, parents vanishing, and new powers–all at the same time–tends to be a bit distracting."

"No matter how bad it gets," Jon answered her self-derogatory escapade, "that's what friends are about, supporting one another."

"Friends, hm?" she smiled up at him. "Works for me. And it's Jennifer, by the way."

"Jon," her new partner replied, "the man who's sure to be hit in Paris any minute now."

"When porcine aviation becomes common," she remarked with a grin.

Jon laughed and plucked at his neon orange jumpsuit. "I was referring to my smashing duds. At least if you guys need a flag to get someone attention Stoney can just wave me around."

Jennifer looked at him critically. "Yes, you do seem to be the Team Target at the moment, don't you? I guess nobody got around to telling you that we do have less… vivid attire aboard the plane. They're just plain old gray jumpsuits, but that's better than nothing."

"That's the sound of the men," Jon sang quietly as they approached the base of the tower while swinging his arms in mock imitation of a mallet, "Workin' on the chain gang…"

"As slave drivers go, we're not so bad," she quipped.

Jon checked the door to the tower as they came up under it. It was fairly old, just like the rest of the strip. The paint was peeling and the surface grain of the wood had widened into thick grooves. "Still looks sturdy at least…"

"It should be. These remote strips are usually automated, so they've got to protect the equipment somehow." Experimentally, Jennifer reached out and twisted the doorknob.

Scarab had gotten bored. And bold because now Stonewall's jeans were at half mast…

She smiled, leaning against him a bit more. "We could jsut dispense with these…"

He chuckled, cupping one of her breasts though her t-shirt, "You think so?"

"They only seem to be getting in the way, don't they?"

Blink sat in the cockpit, idly looking out the window, as she scrolled thorugh the data from newsnet and other sources.

Fox just kept walking she was so pissed off. What did he know about anything? Nothing! He knew nothin about no one here and he was so… so aggrivating! Oh why did she even bother!