The Glider

Demetri was strapping himself into the glider by the time I reached him. He had a dangerous, fatalistic look about him that morning in the mess hall that he still hadn't quite managed to shake yet. I wasn't sure if he'd try to do something crazy or not, but I sure as hell wasn't going to lose my precious pride and joy simply because he had a vendetta against Aeneas.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?"

I croaked, gasping for breath. The roof of the world really had a habit of winding a guy.

"Zee advenchure, Milo. It calls cho me. Zee General knows nothing about zee trials of zee common man. Do cho know vhat I vas before zat menace chained me into serzice ov vour puny empire? I vas a king, my comrade. A king vhat ruled a vorld!"

He shouted while fastening the elaborate safety harness around his legs. The thick aviator goggles that he somehow conned the quarter master out of were thick, obscuring his good eye. Sometimes when he slipped into his socialist accent it meant trouble, sometimes it meant he was just putzing around. I prayed to the children is was the latter.

"Cut it out, Dem. You grew up a block from me."

"Yeah. Okay. Sorry. What, no sense of adventure? Or are you jealous I'm taking her for a spin? Don't worry kid, I'll bring you back a condor egg or something. Maybe the head of Admiral Buzzkill down there? Who's to say I won't be a hero and save us all?"

He petted one of the heavy blades affixed to the bottom of the glider, making it look like a gothic Christmas sleigh.

"Aeneas is going to shoot you out of the sky before you even get close to the ground, Dem. He already knows what you're trying to do. It's not worth it. It was an outside shot as it was. We're safe up here and we have plenty of supplies. And even though you and.. General Aeneas disagree on a lot of things, he does have your best interest in mind. You're not going to help anyone by letting those savages down there tear you apart and get a hold of the glider."

I spurted loudly, quickly finding myself out of breath again. I had a white knuckle grip on the roll cage of the behemoth I built weeks prior. I had invested six months in it and I wasn't about to abandon it to some whim of my unstable comrade.

"Zee.. General. Ze knows, ves?"

Demetri whispered, his hand on the control panel.

"Cut it out!"

"Zou told him, ves?"


For a glorious but horribly brief moment I thought he was going to stand down. He cracked a wide, sane smile. His hair was wild and wind swept, like something out of a bad military novel. His face crept closer to mine

"Zhat is vhat I vas hoping vor."

The roll cage suddenly became very hot. The control panel reflected it's green status onto Demetri's face. His smile became wicked.

The glider rocketed forward and pulled us over the edge.


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