Sub-Lieutenant Sarah Long
Eos II Scouting Mission: During Planetfall

“Bring her down slower! Raise the Tail! We’re too heavy, eject shielding seventeen and twelve!”

It doesn’t matter if it’s your first flight or if you’re the best pilot in the galaxy, there’s always someone shouting in your ears during landings like they think they’re telling you the secret to enlightenment. Most of the time, they’re just terrified that they have temporarily lost any control over their lives.

If you’re lucky, G-LOC gets the best of them and you’ve bought yourself a precious few moments of calm. No such luck in my case. Navy bodies were engineered not just to be mobile, but also to better handle lack of gravity and maneuver induced g-force, enduring up to twenty G’s before fading to black and AIs would take charge.

AIs could pilot the ship themselves, but EDEF policies reserved that for emergencies, preferring meat to be in the driver’s seat. AIs might be fast and accurate but they lack the capacity to do anything beyond operate the ship’s system. If a panel didn’t work, they couldn’t jury rig it into working before the ship was nothing but junk.

The ship continued zipping through the air, once the atmosphere was broken and we reached a low-enough altitude I activated the decel thrusters,; placed strategically through the ship, they allowed the ship to not only decelerate but to levitate and move akin to a VTOL fighter jet. The ship stopped abruptly in its course downward.

“No injuries reported.” Ensign Summers reported. If someone hadn’t been buckled down, they’d have floated pressed against the ceiling until the decel was hit, then they would have crashed down strongly enough to pulp the brain of a Marine.

“We’re rather off the target.” The Lieutenant noted, getting up from his seat down that the descent was over with. Not the smartest thing to do, he’d be in trouble if we fell.

“We have seventy minutes of reaction mass remaining. More than what we need to correct our placement.” I said, checking my gauges, one of the AI helpfully changing the measurements to fit our new mass and the local gravity.

The easy part was now over.Getting there was the easy part, people thought planetfall was scary, but what we could find here was much, much worse. Until Griffin could fix something up and that was if he could, we were stuck on this rock until reinforcement would arrive.

“All Marine personnel, report to the hangar in twelve minutes. Marine Personal, Hangar in twelve minutes.” The ship’s intercom buzzed.

My job was done, we were at alpha site. Now, it was the knuckleheads turn to work their magic.

The ship was safely on the ground in an elevated clearing not too far from our objective. This raised by score to 73 successful landings and two catastrophes. I unplugged myself from the blackbox, happy to know I wouldn’t wake up in VR being interrogated about a crash.

I needed a shower and some grub.

The End

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