The small three-pilot craft streaked through the atmosphere of the nondescript planet as if on a deliberate mission of the utmost importance. In all truth, however, none of this was accurate. The craft contained only one pilot, and Crash Facepalm wasn’t on a mission, important or otherwise, as much as he was fleeing from one.
“How was I to know that when they said they wanted me to escort their high princess to her meeting they wanted it done right away? I mean really, what’s a small detour for some romantic sightseeing?” Crash muttered to his companion, a small cat named Orbit.
“I don’t know,” replied the computer, presuming the question was directed its way. “Is it possible that they were upset that you were days late and the princess no longer wanted to participate in the meeting?”
“Hey, you can’t blame me. She was taken with the sights,” said Crash, knowing that the computer wouldn’t care about his response. It sounded sentient, but it was just a very well-crafted expert system.
Orbit rolled its eyes, a gesture missed by Crash, who was intent on his console.
“Fuel level critical,” came the warning. Before Crash could do anything, the thrusters cut out abruptly and the craft started to tumble out of control.
“Flight profile unstable,” intoned the computer.
“Tell me something I don’t know,” said Crash, annoyed.
“Okay,” replied the computer, “The eye color of deer change season to season to adapt to different light conditions.”
“Smartass,” mumbled Crash as he prepared the cabin for impact. He pulled on his seat straps and fastened his helmet. The chair holding Orbit did the same, automatically. Cats in space suits, even automated ones, were all the rage.
“Computer, initiate impact protocol.”
The air in the cabin was evacuated as the suits went to pressure and then switched to internal power and supply. Once complete, the cabin filled with impact foam and the electronics shut down, going into safe mode.
“Nothing to do now but wait,” said Crash, this time for Orbit’s benefit. “Computer, play me something old and thoughtful.”
The soothing sounds of Pink Floyd began to fill his helmet as he waited on the inevitable.