These days, these days, I've clearly been the less active of us two authors on this blog K (oh yeah, and did I mention that I did not read your fantastic Christmas-special chapter until this very evening? Shame! Shame on me!), I suppose a chapter is way overdue on my part...
Wow does an aircraft fall fast when it runs out of fuel. It felt like being on the downhill part of a roller-coaster, I think my heart even moved upward a few millimeters in my chest. No matter how much I pulled the throttle back, I couldn't get the hovercraft to level in a steady decline. We were nosediving straight for the ground, in a plunge to death, like the classic scene in any action movie.
'AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!' Heathcliff screamed continuously in his high-pitched shriek, his arms locked on Theo in a tight embrace, who wasn't hugging him back.
'AH! AH! AH! AH! AH!' Dennis screamed in short staccatos. He and Heathcliff formed dynamic counterpoint with their screams. I was going to join them with a third rhythm when Mr. Kent remembered how we can get out of this situation.
'Wait! Don't panic! I remembered!' Mr. Kent snapped his fingers, pleased he had figured out how to save us.
'WELL WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!!! WHAT IS IT!!!' Theo screamed at him.
'The seats! Of course! How could I have forgotten about the seats!' Mr. Kent shouted, 'They're ejection seats! We're saved!'
'Ejection seats?' Theo shrilled incredulously.
'That's right, the seats here, they have rocket motors beneath them, open up the hatch there, Charlie! We'll blast straight out of this thing!' I recognized Mr. Kent's expression, he was lost in the excitement; it always happened to dad when he's watching football, he'd jump all over the living room hollering madly. Once, he even threw himself out of a window and frolicked for fifteen minutes in our fields (trampling twenty turnips) before he calmed back down.
I opened up the hatch, the air hit me like a football player (I know this feeling because dad signed me up for the school football team in eighth grade, it took a while for him to realize that I wasn't exactly football material, I'll talk about that story later, since what was happening right then was so exciting).
'Five people...only four seats.' Theo said something like that, since stealth mode was still on we could all hear her.
Heathcliff threw his entire self onto Theo and proclaimed, 'Strap me in, I shall be your protector.'
'Aw, how romantic.' Dennis remarked, easing for a moment the urgency of the situation.
'Shut up, Dennis.' Theo said, and reluctantly strapped herself and Heathcliff to her seat.
We all fastened the straps on our seats in no time, and I found out that our altitude was still one thousand feet, the hovercraft seemed to have gone into a last-pitch emergency landing mode, it was attempting to ride the air currents to cushion its fall.
The hatch of the hovercraft had opened completely, we were strapped into the seats in the cockpit, and altitude was at eight hundred feet. Nothing happened.
'Um, something is supposed to happen, right?' Theo asked edgily.
'Yes, something is supposed to happen indeed! Silly me, how could I have overlooked this point, I don't know how to eject the seats from the hovercraft!' Mr. Kent said with a slap to the head.
'You WHAT?' Theo shrieked.
Heathcliff and Dennis, who had stopped screaming when Mr. Kent remembered the ejection seats now went back to screaming in their respective rhythms.
'See, Mr. Wayne was the chief engineer of these machines,' Mr. Kent explained over the screams of Heathcliff and Dennis, 'I'm only the General President of the Justice League. I don't know all the intricate details of how these things operate.'
'Oh dear.' Theo closed her eyes. We were at six hundred feet.
Whether by chance or divine intervention, my eyes fell on a button on the upper left control panel, a red button that read 'eject'.
'Hey! I found an eject button! This can be it!' I said, 'I'll press it and see what happens.' I pressed the button, we were at five hundred feet.
It was a blur.
I heard the sound of four pairs of rocket boosters igniting one after the other, and the floor of the cockpit gave away.
I heard everyone else scream, and then their voices were gone, drowned out by the howl of wind. The hovercraft continued to fall beneath my feet, but I was no longer falling with it. I felt suspended in midair. The parachute opened and a sharp tug on my seat straps forced half the air of my lungs.
I was in a light free fall. Gusts of wind violently shook the seat I was tied to, my heart was still a few millimeters above where it normally is, and I felt weightless.
The ground neared, a grassy field. The seat crashed right into the ground, and the impact made me regain some of my senses. I got a face-plant in the soil; it was a nice sensation, having my nose right up against the fresh smell of earth. I didn't fell broken, miraculously, just shaken.
The seat tipped sideways. I was suddenly looking at a pair of black army boots standing right in front of my eyes. I followed the boots upward, to legs in black leather tights, then a black sweater waist up, and finally I saw the face. Oh the face! It was impossible at first to believe, I was looking at the face of my favorite actress of all time: Vivien Leigh, in person.
But that is impossible, Vivien Leigh died in 1967, and I don't think she ever dressed like Catwoman. So who was I looking at?
Against arguably better judgement, I think I said something along the lines of, 'Are you Vivien Leigh?'
'Pfft,' Vivien Leigh said, 'I knew that one was coming. No I'm not, and I never understand where people get the idea to ask that question. Let's cut to the chase, I'm Laura Gable, I've been looking for your acquaintances for quite some time, and I must say, that was some nice flying you did back there.'