Steve: Hothead

The ship broke through the atmosphere. Immediately Harold's face was red with concentration. Kudos to him, though a terrible person he can be, he was good at his job. He managed the first part easily, taking the change in atmosphere in his stride, at first he smoothly breached the clouds, but then the snow and strong winds began to buffet the ship, throwing us off course and making visibilty extremely poor.

"You aren't equipped for this atmosphere," Grashawk muttered.

"Give me your opinion when I ask for it!" Harold snapped, his eyes popping in frustration.

Emily took the co-pilot seat.

"Harold, we need to follow the winds and snow so we can see a good landing spot," I could see his jaw clenched as the landing console vibrated.

"Got it," Harold said. I clutched the seat, feeling slightly queasy. I was used to helicopters and jets from the army but this was something else, "Emily, can you see a good spot?" he asked civilly. I was surprised but it made sense, in life and death situations, with the entire crew at stake, a persons true character would come to surface and they would look anywhere for help. I had seen that in battle, when you have somebody's life in your hands for that ten seconds, you know them better than anybody. Emily was intelligent, only Harold could possibly best her in flight.

"I see one there," she said calmy, pointing to the edge of a cliff where the land was flat.

"Yes, that is the Mathor Plains, the capital is nearby."

Suddenly the visual became blurred, the electrics where faltering with lights failing.

"Bart?" I asked.

"It's the ice, it's short circuiting the electrics."

Tiff rounded on him, "can you fix it?" she wondered. He nodded gravely.

"I'll do my best," a thought occured to me.

"Maybe Steve could heat up the ship, try and remove the ice as it could make the metal too brittle and less pliable causing it buckled under the pressure," Emily suggested.

"I could," I agreed quickly, "but it will get hot in here."

"I think it's for the best," Tiff said, "Harold could shield us, that may work but..."

"I need to concentrate on this," he grunted, trying to best the console in strength.

I placed my hand on the metal and felt warmth spread through me and out as plumes of fire like a spray, heating up the metal which the rest of the ship began to conduct.

Grashawk looked outside as the heat began to take effect and the visual became more clear. "What is this?" he asked, as the snow came towards the burning ship, it heated and became water.

"We call it rain... precipitation," Emily explained.

"I have never seen - rain - before," he marvelled.

Slowly, the ship landed with a bump.

I breathed a sigh of relief and wiped sweat from my face, "I'm not used to sweating," I said, but mine was more from fear and exhaustion. The others looked at me with a deranged glint, wiping their own foreheads, their faces extremely flushed. Harold turned to Emily.

"Thanks," he muttered awkwardly.

"Don't mention it," she smiled in a you're-never-going-to-live-this-down look.

"Shut up Emily," we all laughed in recognition of good old Harolds return, masking our enjoyment of his embarassment.

We all went to the exit ramp, Tiff went to open it but Grashawk held out his hand.

"You don't want to leave like that," he said, indicating the clothes we had on.

"But we-"

"It's ok, we have thermals in the cargo bay," Emily pointed out.

They all got dressed in dorky fur coats and those hoods and face masks you see on arctic expeditions. Bart had returned and Nadia was waiting in the door.

"You are going to let me join you aren't you?" she asked expectantly.

"No-"

"-Yes," Harold and Emily said at the same time.

"Sure," Tiffany said, "but I think we should only take five, the less the better-"

"Emily should go," Harold said immediately.

"NO!" she shrieked at him, then composed herself, "she is my assistant, I must be with her."

"I don't think she should be left behind either," Tiff said, "I think it is Steve that should be left behind, the last thing we need is a power-happy moron who injects a bucket-load of testosterone into the group," she snidely remarked.

"Subtle," I rolled my eyes, "but we all know I'm the best fighter here, let's face it," I stated, "and if it comes to that, you'll all be wishing I was there... you know I'm right."

"We all need to go," Bart said, "now come on, stop with the whole election thing and lets get on it," he said. I had to hide the snigger I felt coming at his accent, after all he was fighting for me, "hey Steve, what about you, aren't you wearing any thermals?"

"Me? course not," I laughed, "I don't need them cramping my style, this face needs to be seen," I smirked at the ladies and led the way out, allowing the warmth to spread through me as the snow whipped my face and melted, "in fact," I stripped off to my shorts and held out my arms, "come on ladies-" suddenly I fell back, my body rigid.

"Hothead," Bart said.

The End

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