Getting Away From It All. (Mostly.)

A Tale of a Captain and His Best Gal, Part One

George Cahill wanted only one thing in life: to be a pilot. As soon as he graduated from Buckingham High, he signed up for the military. His family didn’t have the funds to send him to pilot’s school, so George packed his bags and left Foundry Cove behind. He worked hard to earn his wings, too, becoming one of the youngest pilots on record.

After a twenty-year career as a pilot, George retired. His military career hadn’t been jetting around in the latest and fastest; instead he had flown cargo planes. So it was only natural that in his next career, he’d continue doing what he knew.

George sank all of savings into the most beautiful gal in the world. Her name was Penelope, and she, too, had served decades in the service of SimNation. Now retired, George saved her from the boneyard. George and Penelope flew supplies to regions far and wide, including Oasis Springs, Selvadorada, and StrangerVille.

It was during one of these flights to StrangerVille AFB, that things went terribly wrong. A storm arose quickly; the gauges quit working, and Penelope blacked out. George must have as well. When he awoke, he had a monster headache and was lying face down inside a small crater. Pieces of Penelope were scattered all around.

“Nooo!” he yelled as he staggered to the remains of the cockpit, “Oh, Penelope, I’m so sorry old gal.” He put his head in his hands, “So sorry.”

George fell into deep despair, and the next months (or years? he couldn’t remember) were a black fog.

Erwin Pries, one of the few people George associated with, told him about a new program called the Rosebud Recovery Act. “It’s the least they can do, man,” he explained. “The government needs to pay for all the damage they’ve done to our town.”

George wasn’t sure. Ned’s Curio Shop roadside stand was about as far into town as he ever ventured. Sure, there’d been all that strange weather and weird events, but George had kept to himself, preferring to hunker down in the subterranean bunker he’d built from scavenged pieces. “You had your suspicions, too,” Erwin stated. “I just can’t believe nobody remembers anything!”

A few days later, Representative Victor Feng visited. “Nice to meet one of my constituents,” he greeted George. “As one of the authors of the Rosebud Act, I thought I would personally deliver this offer to you.” George eyed the politician suspiciously.

“We would like to use this piece of property as a new national park,” Victor began. “restoring the natural habitat, preserving the natural beauty while allowing visitors to experience it–it would be a great boost to your town’s economy,” Victor’s speech rolled off his tongue. “Of course, you would be compensated for the value of your destroyed property, and we are offering a piece of property on the bluffs in the new neighborhood–“

“Penelope?” George interrupted. “What would happen to her?”

Victor blinked. “Who?” George gestured angrily, sweeping his arm outlining the wreckage. “Ah, your plane,” Victor stammered. “Of course, of course,” he recovered with the smooth reply. “Well, we would like to include a small monument to, er, Penelope.”

After some tense negotiations, Victor Feng secured the land and George had agreed upon new place to live. With just one stipulation. And one secret.


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