Jan. 3rd, 2015

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After carrying out our intricate plan to perfection, we took the Colonel out of the prison camp through the sewers. We came out in the farmlands outside. The Colonel was impressed. "You're the best I've seen," he told the team. "I never thought that scheme with the cabbage shipment would work."

We had a celebration back at Resistance Headquarters, but then it was time to get off planet. That's always tricky.

My Dream Best Friend patted my back at the ticket counter. "This one's on me," he said, pulling out a roll of tan and blue thousand-credit notes. (My Dream Best Friend was just like my real life best friend except he was black. It was probably makeup. Why they didn't just use a black actor was beyond me. This was just a movie, after all. It didn't matter if the person playing my best friend was my REAL best friend.)

I got my ticket and got in line behind the rest of the extraction team. They went through security without a question but the nice lady at TSA stopped me. "You've been on a lot of planets lately. We have to scan you. It will only take a moment."

So I stepped to the scanner- an oak podium with crystal spikes on the corners. It scanned me. Alarms went off. I heard my real name pronounced. Crap. Computer facial recognition.

"No," I said. "That is lousy writing. I hereby invoke Invulnerability."

The guards closed in. I batted the scanner aside with the back of my left hand and started toward the departure gate, tossing guards aside as I went.

"Why are you doing this?" an old guard asked me. I paused for a minute, and decided to tell him. "I hate it when a story ends with snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. They've killed the Swamp Monster twenty times and in the last scene he comes back from the dead and rips the hero's head off, roll credits. It's lousy writing and I will NOT have my story end like that."

"I see your point."

"Good. Now go, I have a starship to catch." I set him down, straightened his lapels, and went on my way.

Just as the departure gate came in sight they closed three foot thick steel blast doors across the corridor to stop me. "Oh no you don't," I said, and detonated them with a touch. But it delayed me just a bit, and when I got to the gate the door was closed. "I'm sorry, the aircraft has pulled away from the gate," the airline agent said with that fake sympathetic smile they have.

At this point I think I lost my temper.

I walked out of the terminal in a straight line. The building was a maze of TSA security theater, Imperial Stormtrooper strongpoints, and fast food joints, so it was impossible to walk through it in a straight line without causing critical structural damage, but I did anyway. Guards and stormtroopers tried to stop me. I tossed them aside over or through obstacles, as appropriate.

I ended by detonating a fifty foot section of wall and walking out onto the airfield outside. Wisely, the Empire didn't send anybody after me.

There was a man outside in a suit and fedora. "I see you did it your way again, Kid."

"Yeah, Frank, but now I need a ride out of here."

"No sweat. Take my Ercoupe."

"Thanks! Do you know how to pull the propeller through for me?"

"No need, it's the advanced model. It has electric start." He tossed me the key and wandered off with a tip of his fedora, singing something about "Fly me to the moon."

I got into the Ercoupe and started its 60 horsepower gasoline engine. I took off across the runway; a 1946 two seat light aircraft needs much less runway than a jetliner, and infinitely less than a starship. Once in the air I reached to the bottom of the control panel and flipped the switch to fire the rocket boosters, because you know every 60 horsepower antique airplane with a service ceiling of 13,000 feet has them, otherwise it could never achieve orbit. I pulled the wheel back. The nose came up and I headed for the stars.

I rendezvoused with the starship in orbit before they warped out. When I walked into the main lounge they were setting up for my wake.

"Hey, how'd you get here?" my Dream Best Friend shouted. "We thought you were a goner."

"So did I."

"The security alarm went off. The terminal went on lockdown. There were stormtroopers everywhere. There was nothing we could do. How'd you get out?"

I shrugged. "I had to engage Mary Sue Mode."

He stopped and stared at me, disapprovingly. "That's terrible writing."

"Yeah, I know," I said, snagging a flute of champagne from a passing waiter. "But I was provoked."

January 2015

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