I’d finally saved up enough money to buy one of those fancy new SRV everyone was suddenly going mad for. Of course, the fact that I bought one nearly a year after every pilot and their brother snatched one up was about par for the course with me. No big deal. I always kind of did things at my own pace.
But, at last, I plopped down the credits and the boys in the outfitting bay fitted a planetary vehicle hangar into the Valdosta II and then I purchased my first SRV. Of course, it wasn’t one of the top of the line Surface Recon Vehicles. It was just the base, cheapest variety available. But even that took a hefty bite out of my credit pool.
Even still, I was pretty stoked to take that thing out for a spin. I mean, you spend days, weeks, months, in the cold heat of space, and you start to crave something different. Some rocks and valleys and dirt instead of the impersonal black. So, to that end, I found myself a nice little planet with a couple of landing docks and nosed V2 into the atmosphere.
It was strange, at first, feeling that buffeting and rocking that accompanied atmospheric entry. It had been a long time since the stick fought me. After a few moments, though, I regained control and let the old girl sail deeper into the planet’s well. Finally, we broke through the atmosphere and entered a smooth glide, flying over the rocky surface of the planet at about 2500km/sec. It was actually kind of a thrill. Sort of like flying the way the ancient aero pioneers did.
In atmosphere, a Cobra isn’t the most aerodynamic vehicle, so it took some doing, but I was finally able to coax her into an acceptable landing, and the port’s docking arms secured my ship and lowered us into the hangar. Landfall at last!
I climbed down my ship’s interior ladder, feeling the unfamiliar tug of planetary gravity. I laid my palm on the security panel of the SRV. It recognized my heartbeat and sweat acidity, went green, and opened up.
I slid into the seat of the SRV.
It was smaller than the Valdosta, with the driver’s seat surrounded on three sides by a plexi bubble, so I had a bit of a greater field of view than in the Val. But it was cozy, and it belonged to me.
Of course, the first thing I did in the blasted thing was crash into a rock and flip it over, shredding hull and throwing me around like a raisin in a tin. Well, that’s not entirely true. The first thing I did was trigger the SRV cannons in a no-fire zone, netting me a cool 100cr fine. I paid that off, then drove my SRV into a rock and flipped it.
It’s a good life.
LOOK WHO CAME: