All out of love

Martialla said to me that air power rests at the apex of the pyramid of military something or other.  The aforementioned pyramid of course consisting of the doctrines of mobility, flexibility, and initiative.  As we all know.  These are the kinds of things she says to me now.  I think she’s read far too many books about World War Two and she’s become deranged.  The point being that she was far more interested in the plane than the ground vehicles even though they have armor and weapons and this bird looks like a hard sneeze would blow it apart.  I can’t pinpoint exactly why, but I find her enthusiasm vaguely distasteful.  Martialla was straddling the engine like a wanton I watched on dubiously. 

“So what, we throw bombs out the door, like with our it with our hands or something?  Or drop sacks of rocks?  That doesn’t seem very effective.” 

“It isn’t, that’s why I wouldn’t get this thing anywhere near a battle.  Aerial recon Ela.” She patted the side of the craft like a treasured horse “That’s what this beauty is for.” 

“Aerial Recon Ela, is that like Live at the Improv Barbie?” 

She poked her head up from the other side of the fuselage where she was clinging like a gangly gecko “Whatever happened to that creep who kept saying he wanted to make a Barbie doll of you?” 

“I don’t know, but you saw that mannequin at Dildopolis, it looked just like me.  Where’s Paul?  Doesn’t he want to watch you work on this flying hay bale?” 

Martialla gave the surroundings a quick scan “He’s skulking around somewhere, like a new cat.  He’s afraid of you Ela, you’re too direct with him.  I’m not sure he spoke more than a handful or words to anyone for years before I started talking to him.  You come on too strong, you have go slow and steady.” 

I grunted “Or he could stop being a baby.” 

Martialla nodded “Sure, he was just frozen in a tube as a teenager during the end of the world as he knew it and woke up in this shitshow with everyone he ever knew dead, left to scavenge and murder his way to adulthood, he could just get over it.”  

“Exactly.  Do you know how to fly this thing really?” 

She frowned slightly “Of course, I wouldn’t say I could if I couldn’t.  You’re the liar, I’m just the killer.” 

“It takes two to lie Martialla, one to lie and one to believe it.  When did you learn to fly a plane?” 

She crawled into the cockpit and started fiddling with the panel in a way that I found very unreassuring “When I was in the coast guard.  What did you think I did there?” 

“I don’t know, what did that Tailhook woman do?  I figured you did whatever she did, filing or shorthand or something, I didn’t know they let women fly planes.  Or they the Coast Guard had planes.” 

“Tailhook was the Navy, not the Coast Guard, and there were more than eighty women involved in that scandal not just one.  Plus a couple men as well, people never talk about them.  Think about how hard you have to get molested as a man to speak up about it in the service.” 

“I think about it all the time.  Huh, wasn’t Gail O’Grady in a movie about Tailhook?  Was she playing a composite character?” 

Martialla sniffed “Never heard of any Gail O’Grady, sounds made up if you ask me.  Are you ready to take this thing for a spin or what?” 

I hung in the doorway like a gibbon on a fig tree “Don’t planes need special gas?  You can’t just land your Cessna at the local Shell station and fuel up can you?” 

She shrugged far too carelessly for my liking “Ideally you’d use aviation fuel for a plane but this one can run fine on normal gas.  Well, not fine, but . . . anyway.” 

My eyes widened “What do you mean by that?  I don’t like the way you just trailed off there.” 

“Aircraft engines don’t have knock sensors so it’s possible for them to blow up if you run them on normal gas.  Also normal gas can corrode the lines.  There are also issues if you fly too high with normal gas but we’re not going to be going anywhere near enough to make that matter.” 

“How comforting, so all we need to worry about is the engine exploding.” 

She winked at me humorlessly “Exactly, so mount up and let’s get this baby in the air.” 

I crawled into the passenger seat reluctantly “I have the strangest sensation of DeJa’Vu, it’s like a memory of a memory or a dream or something.   I feel like we were in a helicopter and we were trying to get away from an angry mob or a bunch of monster people, it didn’t go well.  I think we were in Florida?  Why would we be in Florida?” 

“When does anything ever go well for us?  That would never happen anyway because I don’t know how to fly a helicopter Ela.” 

I shook my head slowly “I don’t think you knew how to in my dream either.  That was the problem.  Do you believe in past lives Martialla?” 

She snorted “No.  The population keeps increasing so it makes no sense for there to be past lives.  If you go back far enough was one caveman a million different people now?  Besides, all those past life people claim to be kings or famous historical figures in their past lives, if past lives were a thing almost all of them would be someone boring or a kid that died before they were six.  It’s almost like people use the concept of reincarnation as an ego trip.  Gautama Buddha would be pissed if getting pissed wasn’t against his whole thing.” 

I randomly threw in a direction “Hey Paul, we’re going up, you want to ride in a plane with us??” 

From somewhere I heard a crash like a raccoon jumping off some garbage cans and then some faint rustling noises. 

Martialla raised an eyebrow “See, like a new cat.”