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Lost - Jaxamar and Wyobi

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  • #31

    "They're sealed units," Wyobi replied, answering Jax's question about the reaction wheel. "If we had a spare, we could change it out, but they're precision manufactured in a factory. There's no way we'd be able to repair it ourselves. Also, the smallest of the units mass at around two-hundred kilos. It would take both of us together to lift one out and put it back in again. And well..."

    Jaxamar would know what Wyobi meant. There'd be no way the fox would be able to help. Not until he'd healed, anyway.

    There was silence from Wyobi's end as Jaxamar talked about the shortcomings of the fighter. He gave a shrug when Jax finished.

    "League military doctrine now a days," he said. "Bean counters and bottom lines. What can be best crammed into one of these fighters at the lowest cost. Can't argue that it isn't ideal, but it's what we got to work with. As to the rest..." Another shrug. "Like I said, we were drilled to be prepared to fly straight out of our bunks if needed. The inertial-dampening system made it possible, so the bigwigs said we should be ready to do it if we were called upon to do it."

    A sudden wry chuckle came from the fox. "There was even one drill session where we sat balls on the seat."

    If that raised any confusion, Wyobi would clarify with, "Yeah. Naked." Wyobi gave another shrug then. "It's just the way it is in the League now. It's gotten worse in the last year, but everything is being run more and more by the big corps. Every government official from the lowest copy room clerk up to highest congressman is in somebody's pocket. They pass laws that make the fat cats richer, and in turn, get richer themselves. While us small fry... Well, we're the ones who get squeezed in the middle."

    There was a snort of a chuckle from up in the front part of the cabin. "I always thought of it like popping a pimple, and guys like me, we're the pimple. 'Cept when we go pop, there's a fair chance something bigger, maybe even strategically important goes pop with us. Old as time itself. People'll shoot their own noses off to spite their faces. While the rest of us..."

    There was a final shrug, and Wyobi met Jaxamar's eyes in the mirror. "We just grin and bear it. Got to, if you want to fly in the League. But hey, as every first year wingnut (a person who is obsessed with the idea of becoming a fighter pilot) knows, could be the safest fighter in the whole universe, but flying one in combat would still be dangerous as dangerous gets. So yeah, if it's just a little more dangerous? There ain't nothing like the feeling of flying a state-of-the-art fighter."
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    • #32

      "Brilliant," Jaxamar growled, sarcasm dripping from the word, before he sighed, "Sorry, Lieutenant."

      Shaking his head, he leaned back.

      "Lowest bidder taken to its... all too logical end-point," he groaned, shaking his head, "This is exactly why the Katana flopped."

      The revelation that Wyobi had flown in the craft naked earned disbelief.

      "Seriously?!" he exclaimed, somewhere between laughing at the absurdity of the mental image and scrunching his snout in disgust, "You flew completely naked?!"

      The explanation of the corruption within the League got a disgusted expression, though there was no surprise.

      "Way things have been going for the Curiosity and the frontier, I'm not surprised in the slightest," he huffed, "Bunch of self-serving..."

      He trailed off rather than descend into what would likely have been an expletive-riddled rant.

      The pimple analogy, rather than clarifying the situation for the Plated Dragon, just caused confusion.

      "A... pimple?" Jaxamar asked, uncomprehending.

      The concept of a pimple was largely foreign to Drakeraserath; they lacked sweat glands, instead handling excess heat by radiating it via the wings, by panting, and - if the temperature rose too high to handle via the other two methods - through tiny internal endothermic reactions.

      As a result, it took over a minute, and a half-remembered conversation with Liam Nightfang regarding an ingrown hair (where pimples had been mentioned in passing) for him to realize what it actually was.

      "Ah. Skin cyst," he said, snapping his fingers, "That... sounds like it could be painful. Though your analogy now makes a lot more sense."

      A pause.

      "You have a point. Doesn't matter how safe your fighter is if you take a hit to the cockpit," he conceded, "Still, some of the features you mentioned sound like ones you'd put in a drone craft, not a piloted one. Almost like they changed their mind halfway through development."

      A brief pause.

      "This thing would be a lot more cost effective if they'd just put everything in places that made sense, and saw to proper pilot safety. A lot less training expenses since they don't have to replace pilots as often. A lot fewer compensation payouts to families whose members died or were crippled in accidents. Better pilots and more cost-efficient training because there are a larger number of more experienced pilots. I get that these birds were rushed out, but this is shinachirai*."

      :::
      * Shinachirai (pronounced sheen-ah-cheer-I) Literally "Wrong Saving"; a Drakerian term referring to short-term savings that end up costing far more in the long run.Roughly equivalent to the adage "penny smart, dollar foolish".

      PS: Sorry this took so long. Muse didn't cooperate, and then I got distracted with stuff here IRL.
      Last edited by Arratra; 1 week ago. Reason: Error-fixing
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      • #33

        Wyobi chuffed, loudly. "'Pilot safety'," he echoed. "They say pilot safety is a paramount concern, but in practice, it's all about what costs less. In example: do you remember that court case against Williamson Yacht about twenty years ago?"

        Jaxamar certainly would. Nearly everybody in the League knew about it. It was a sensational case. Williamson Yacht discovered a flaw in their Space Reaver design. It was one of their most popular low-end yachts. A family where mom and dad both had decent salaries, could purchase one and Explore the Stars!, according to the company's advertisement campaign. No huge down payment and payments no larger than for a typical luxury family ground car, and a family could own one all their own.

        The flaw was with the yacht's toilet system. If certain situations arose, while someone was using the toilet, the toilet's empty system could malfunction, venting its contents into space while the toilet's inlet hatch was still open. The case broke into court after a five-year-old was sucked into space and lost his life. The design flaw was discovered during the civil suit that followed. It was subsequently discovered that Williamson knew about the flaw, but judged the cost of recall against probable lawsuits, and decided to cover the flaw up. Four executives wound up serving long prison sentences and Williamson Yacht Manufacturing was sent spiraling into bankruptcy by subsequent huge fines and civil losses. It was a case that held media attention for some years to follow.

        "Well, it's kind of like that. They know these fighters aren't the best or the safest. But we're servicemen. We supposedly knew the risks going in. Combat is dangerous and all that. We get killed, it's chocked up to war or combat or whatever, and the widow or widower or parents are given a flag, the pilot's pension, and that's that. You can't sue the government if someone dies in the line of duty. It is an accepted hazard of the job. Also, if any of us were to raise a stink about it, we'd quietly be given jobs that grounded us until we rotated out. So, yeah, it's kind of like that; we just shrug, because we don't want to lose our flight status and we just get on with our jobs. It isn't perfect. It kind of sucks, really. But like we've all learned to say, 'It is what it is'. It's the League, and a bunch of pilots aren't going to be able to change big-money policy."

        Then Wyobi just shrugged. "Yep, naked as the day I was born. It was only a maneuvers flight, though, and we were only out for twenty minutes, but yep, we sure did. It was both kind of weird and weirdly exhilarating at the same time."

        The fox grinned.

        "The whistle calls we got from the hangar crew when we were getting out was pretty embarrassing, though. We were never made to do it again, though. The base commander got wind of it, and rumor had it, he had our CAG standing on the rug for a serious down-dressing. Never confirmed it happened, but he did walk around with eyes down for a few days after it was rumored to have happened. Couldn't have happened to a better guy. Real wanker, our CAG was. Anyway..."

        Wyobi found Jaxamar's eyes in the mirror. "Think you could break open that pack. I haven't had anything since we hit your deck. I'm famished."

        A slight grimace. "They're not anything to write home about, but at least they're edible."
        Rick Canaan's Signature
        Confucius Horsie Say:
        Politeness is more important than Punctuation
        Decency makes more friends than Dialogue
        Good Attitude is better than Grammar Aptitude!

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