John Works stands next to the scaffolding, briefly addresses the press gathered in front. Every word dampens the helmet’s glass visor. He feels nothing.
It’s time, he climbs, he is fond of the two interns that help him inside the mock cockpit. Buckled up; sips through an almost invisible spout, the hydrating fluid tastes rubbery. T minus 3 seconds –says the tiny voice. Boom he’s gone, they’re gone.
Everyone tingling with excitement, John tingles as the G forces make his blood flow in ways never thought pos- sible. Sweat accumulating within the inner ear and in every crease of the flight suit. A whole array of increas- ingly haptic memories flood his mind. Lights flash and dissolve, long forgotten partners melt with the dashboard and the tiny voice is but a sweet reminder of his first daughter’s laughter. Faint architecture molds into faces folding into instructions: He’s no longer able to push the button when the light flashes annoying the statisticians.
It’s over and done. The mock cockpit opens, the removal of the helmet reveals blood trickling down his left ear and eye. A sterile gauze is used to clean. The gauze is thrown and discarded, only to be found later.