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The Early Years - First flight of the Mars
Wed May 5, 2010 12:17am

Demios walked easily down the darkened hallway. His six foot form passed easily through the clutter of the bay, brushing aside spanners, bolts and cables of every shape, size or color. His dark green armor thudded heavily on the bare concrete floor. The reploid had only been active a year now and now, he had a clear goal. Something he could set all his will to.

He stopped at an unmarked door and took the simple brass handle and pushed it open. The dank smell of stale air assulted his nose and the creaking echo of an open space was the only immediate sensation. He groped around the inside corner before finding and flicking on the lights. The cavernous garage lit up in all its empty glory. It had been empty for longer than he had been active but for now, it was going to be his.

Inside was a singular object. A years worth of scrounging, saving, thieving and assorted work and he had managed to finally scrape together enough to buy his own land-chaser. He had seen them flying dozens of times before and each time, it had been a sort of magical moment. He had even found scraps of a machine that had worked once before but now, he had a real one. An Ariax 96Z, "Thresher." He had named it the "Mars."

He walked across the room and ran a hand along her lines. Her smooth, ceristeel plating felt cool to the touch and it ran a tingle up his spine. The machine was old, of course, but well cared for. The nose of the machine held a retractible plasma cannon but was otherwise unarmed. The dual exhausts of the rear engines were well cleaned and gave him a good amount of thrust. His hand trailed up to the handle bars, which controlled the front struts. The struts reached down to hold the grav plate that handled navigation.

"Stop strokin' the poor thing." Came a gruff but amiable voice from the door, "It's a 'chaser, not a woman for chri'sake."

Demios couldn't help but grin, "But she's beautiful to me all the same, Trans."

"Y' gettin' all sentimental and y' haven' even ridden it yet." Trans was a balding man, about Demios's height whose stature and energy belied his years. His mouth was covered by a thick, handle bar moustache set below dark eyes. He wore a simple dingy gray coverall that blended in well with the simple metal walls. "Go on, fire it up."

Demios's grin only broadened as he threw a leg over the side of the chaser and settled into the couch. His hands fell easily into the guard wells over the handle bars and the machine beeped quietly at him, pressure sensors in the seat alerting the chaser to his presence. "I like it."

"Y'll like it more when you actually turn it on." The man said, either getting impatient or teasing Demios mercilessly.

Demios reached down to key in the ignition sequence. Beneath him, the heart of a tiny star burst into life and the plasma reactor fed power to the Land Chaser. Slowly, it rose off the floor, letting Demios's legs straighten under the push of the anti-grav. If his grin could get any broader, it did.

"Don' blow it up on your first run." Trans said, pushing the heavy button that began a motor overhead. In front of him, the segmented door began rolling up and out of sight, letting the orange horizon of the setting sun peek into the garage, overtaking the weak artifical lighting. Demios's occular sensors quickly adjusted to the lighting and he let his legs come off the floor and settle into the foot wells. Carefully, cautiously he applied some thrust and eased the Land Chaser out of the garage.

"Come back before it gets too dark, y'hear?!" Trans yelled over the engine noise before Demios opened up a bit of the throttle and powered away, down the access road.

It was exhilerating! The dingy hangers and garages made way for open terrain, the expanse of rocky desert a brilliant golden red in the dying sun. The thrumb of the engine was barely audible over the roar of the wind and the force of the air was just enough to kick Demios's adrenaline.

Trans stood idly in the garage, fiddling with a micro-computer when Demios eased the 'chaser back into the garage, "So whachya think, there?"

Demios's grin was ear to ear, "It was amazing!"

"Hah. Glad you thought so. I got a surprise for you." The human said which almost immediately killed Demios's cheer. He didn't often care for surprises. "I signed you up for a race this coming weekend."

The reploid blinked, "A race? Trans, I only just took my first ride a second ago."

"You're a natural, kid. You came back in one piece, didn't fall off and you weren't exactly going slow. A race will challenge you."

Demios frowned, "I don't know..."

"...Plus there's prize money."

Demios's grin returned, "Let's get crackin'!"

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