The Lost Fighter
Aocles Kaper sat at the peak of a mountain of junk. The junk was in a junkyard that belonged to his dad. Before his dad owned it his dad's dad had owned it. It had been in the family since the first junk yards started popping up. As a matter of fact this was the first junkyard to pop up and actually survive. Being the oldest and biggest junkyard in the state there were parts of it that were almost completely forgotten. Some parts weren't even visited after they were filled. As a result he and his dad had taken to treasure hunting in several parts of the junkyard.
Aocles' dad, Larry, inherited the junkyard and the house with it but could never make enough to live comfortably without a little help. He got no outside help. he sold old things he found on ebay to collectors and fixed up some of the older cars that came through the yard. Aocles usually helped with the cars. And in doing so imbedded knowledge into him of fixing things and renewing them. Of course there was also the monthly child support check his mom had to send to them.
When he was only four his parents had gotten a divorce. His mom had been deep into drugs and argued with his father all the time. Eventually when his mom was off her high for a little they agreed that it would be best for him if they separated. His mom tried to get custody but his father brought up the problem of her drug addiction and was granted full custody.
Now at fifteen Aocles was close to mechanical genius and a computer pilot expert. Almost all the money he was allowed went into simulations of flying fighters and the such. As a result he was a flying expert. He could fly anything from old bi-planes to new F-22s.
Aocles had wanted some time alone today so he set off on a hike of the yard. When he had left his dad was working on a Mustang Fastback. It was just as well that his dad was busy. He had intended to go to one of the unvisited parts that his dad would have loved to go to. Sitting on the mountain of junk Aocles stared out at immense field of junk in front of him. To his left were what appeared to be Model T cars. Well the frames of them anyway. They collided with some old appliances that were out and in circulation back then. To his right though was an almost flat plane of indistinguishable metals. About one thousand feet in that direction though was a pinnacle of metal protruding through the ground.
He started off to the left to see if any of the old cars were in good enough shape to be rebuilt. Several were nothing but a shell with nothing on the inside. The same amount also had perfect inside parts but their shells were shattered. And one was in such a perfect state that he couldn't figure out what was wrong with it.
Pulling out a map of the yard Aocles marked where the cars were for his dad. He figured his dad would flip out at this find. Heck they might be able to sell it to a museum for more than enough money for the newest simulator. He decided that lone pinnacle of metal would be his next stop.
As he headed to the lone pinnacle he walked through the field of out of date contraptions. What caught his eye though were several odd looking items that didn't fit into the area and certainly looked more advanced than even the items in this day and age. Over there was a short cylinder shape that looked like it might belong in an engine. Right there was a set of joysticks that looked to be part of an airplane yet it was nothing like what Aocles was familiar with. Finally he made it to the lone pinnacle.
The pinnacle was all one piece. The top was rounded from one side over the top to the other. The sides that weren't part of the curved top were slightly curved but went straight down from the top. The pinnacle seemed to extend deeply down into the ground. When Aocles pushed against it, it didn't even budge. Wanting to see how far down it went he started digging out the metal and junk around the pinnacle. He got three feet down before quitting. This three feet added to the already five foot length above ground. Now when he pushed against the pinnacle it seemed to give some.
On the way down the pinnacle Aocles discovered four ridges of metal that arrowed back from the pinnacle. At the seven foot mark they were maybe two feet wide. Night was quickly approaching so Aocles left hoping to return to it soon.
When Aocles got home his father was in the kitchen making them supper. Supper turned out to be Shrimp Alfredo. Larry asked his son how his walk was, and Aocles responded by telling his dad he had found something interesting that he wanted to study further ... alone. Larry let him go at that. After supper was finished they both helped with the dishes. When the chores were finished Larry retired off to the living room to watch TV. Aocles retired to his simulators.
He actually had the entire downstairs dedicated to his simulators. Almost all the sims were pods. Some of the sims he had doubles of. Those pods were side by side and usually connected so that two people could fly as wingmen. Aocles choose his favorite sim. It was a fantasy of spaceship dogfights. This pod had a set of joysticks. One controlled the left right motion and the pitch of the ship. On the joystick was a thumb lever that controlled the amount of power being put into the engines. The other joystick was more or less the vertical control. You pull back you go down. You push forward you go up.
The sim was quite advanced in that it actually took in the consideration of the laws of space. Just a little power would send you forward until you hit something. Thrusters going up the nose and all over the body allowed for corrections in the course and for maneuverability. You could even send yourself flying sideways if you wanted to. Hours were spent in this sim just getting used to it. After that Aocles would try again and again to get rid of his enemy in the best way he could.
This night though he decided to uneven the odds from the usual one on one. He decided to make it two on one. It took him little time to learn how to beat them. Again he stepped up the odds. Taking them on three on one. Aocles played well into the night upping the stakes every time he got bored with the stakes. When he finally slept his latest stakes were a small fleet against an armada. Of course he didn't survive in the sim. The odds were just to great. Several times he came real close. Yet the remaining dreadnoughts would obliterate the remainder of the fleet. Fighters and all.
Breakfast the next morning was a plate of pancakes, scrambled eggs, two slices of ham, three slices of bacon, orange juice, apple juice, and a glass of milk. All this nutrition was for the workout he expected to do today. His father, sitting across from him at the table, tried to break his plans though.
"Son, will you help me with the car today?" Of course Aocles wanted to. The pinnacle took top priority for him though.
"Sorry dad. I'm busy working on something out in the yard today. Soon I might let you see it. That and other things I found. So no I won't help you out today," Aocles said. His fathers face showed surprise. He always wanted to help fix cars. Now he put it down for something else. It must be important, thought his dad.
The dishes were put up and the recently dirtied dishes of breakfast were put into the dishwasher. Following his chores Aocles soon set out for the pinnacle. It was an easy walk up the road that came closest to the pinnacle. From the road the climbing onto and over the mountains of junk took even more time then the walk. Finally Aocles reached the pinnacle.
Almost immediately he started digging again. As he descended lower into the junk surrounding the pinnacle Aocles noticed several things. The first was that the pinnacle never showed a single scratch from the surrounding junk. Even from the pointed pieces. The second was that the lower he got the wider it got. From the three foot radius at the top to and already five foot radius eight feet from the top. Third he noticed the four ridges seemed to get wider. The fourth thing was that there were several holes on the pinnacle. One on the very nose facing backwards right at him with two right behind it but facing left and right. Midway to the bubble were more holes. Two side by side once again facing Aocles square in the eye. It seemed that where ever the holes were there were also an identical set on the other side.
At the eight foot mark of the pinnacle an oval bubble sat right against the pinnacle. When he tried to move the bubble away Aocles moved the entire pinnacle. There was still enough of the pinnacle left in the ground to keep it from falling though. He continued digging trying to find the end.
Finally fourteen feet down Aocles found the end. It rounded off at the bottom with three holes placed in an equilateral triangle formation. Having gone ten feet below the level of junk Aocles had made himself a ramp out of the hole. He pushed the pinnacle down so it pointed up the ramp and the bubble was on top. It came crashing down. The design looked odd to Aocles almost like it was out of a science fiction novel. Then taking in the sight of the whole thing Aocles discovered what it was. His mouth hung open. His brown eyes wide with surprise.
There in front of Aocles sat a spaceship.
Science Fiction /