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A Tricky One

May 24th, 2008 by Bahama

I wrote before about my fear of flying and how I was feeling a bit better about space travel.

Forget what I said.

Last night Captain Jaegen Fenris requested my help aboard the Beowulf for a little space hunting.  He assured me my job would be easy and so I agreed to go along.  After all, he’s fully aware of my fear and would never put me in a position where I’d be sitting on a bridge surrounded by windows and ask me to be the only one in charge of making sure the shields held up to protect the ship and everyone aboard.  Right??!!!

Wrong!  As soon as I arrived on board I made my way to the back… away from the windows and that long skinny walkway into the cockpit.  Imagine my surprise when he told me I’d have to walk across it and sit in that chair next to him.  I knew right then I was in trouble… big trouble. 

Some of my guildmates know about my fear.  But most don’t understand the severity of it.  I don’t really talk about it in front of them.  After all, I don’t want to be known as the psycho tailor who can’t handle being in space.  With so many of them on board I figured it wasn’t a good time for a total breakdown. 

I stood there frozen for a minute or so then carefully made my way to the seat.  Being securely strapped in did nothing to stop me from shaking.  I blocked out everything except for the controls and listened intently as my duties were described to me.  Three buttons.  Few enough that I could spend most of my time concentrating on breathing.

My body was tense, my stomach was queasy and my head was spinning.  I didn’t feel well at all.  I sat wringing my hands and avoided looking at the vast space I knew existed just a inches from where I sat.  I reminded myself that Captain Fenris had brought me home safely before.  He was a good, experienced pilot.  He would keep me from harm….  Or I’d kill him.

As we engaged enemies I kept my eyes fixed on the display panel.  Those shields had to stay up.  I held on to the seat cushion tightly and waited for the rocking to stop.  It felt as though a long time had passed.  This was taking forever.  I kept catching myself holding my breath and digging my fingernails into the upholstery.  Then I would suddenly realize I was spacing out thinking about how overwhelmed I was and tried desperately to refocus myself on that display.  Shields.  Shields.  Watch the shields!

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Though I can’t understand how, everyone else on board seemed calm and relaxed.  They traded insults with our enemies.  Joked with one another… and with me.  I was glad at that point to be sitting so far forward.  While I normally handle teasing with ease, I was so emotionally overwhelmed at that point I struggled to hold back the tears.

Once again all was quiet and Captain Fenris announced, “Home we go!”  I sat back in my seat a bit and closed my eyes.  My body was still shaking and I felt tears of relief swelling up.  Then all the sudden I heard Captain Fenris say, “This is going to be a tricky.”   I sat upright, my heart pounding.  WHAT?!  One of my guildmates asked, We aren’t doing anything stupid like trying to take out the corvette are we?”  Clutching the seat, I looked over at Captain Fenris hoping to see some evidence of a misunderstanding.  “That corvette will be tricky”, he replied.

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At this point I think I officially lost it.  No longer fearful of appearing to be the psycho tailor, I started to mutter insanities.  Not happy… not happy… not happy….I had such a pretty house, why didn’t I just stay in my pretty house?  We’re gonna die….

I froze at one point and the ship took damage.  The fighting was endless.  My efforts were barely keeping the shields up.  My heart sank and my brain tried to grasp the reality that I was going to die. 

But suddenly our enemy disappeared.  Vanished.  Gone.  We finally headed for home.  But having been deceived once already I refused to let down my guard until we were safely back on the ground. 

When we landed I sat down and let go.  I cried and cried.  I couldn’t stop shaking.  It was quite a while before I could even walk again.  Later that night I tried to shake off the lingering tension and contemplated my experience. 

I’ve decided I am definitely NOT feeling better about flying.


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