A Starfighter Pilot’s Pep-Talk

Babylon 5 Light Starfury
(Wikimedia Commons)

All starfighter pilots are a little bit crazy, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. We have to be to do our job.Oh, I know you lot, fresh out of the Academy, say that you’re “crazy awesome.” I know, and it’s not because we bugged the barracks.

Although, come to think of it, we probably should. Major, make a note.

Point is, once upon a time, we were you. Now we’re us and we know better. We are all, every single being in this room, a wee bit mad, as my first CO often said. Normal, sane people don’t pull on a flight suit designed fifty years ago and stuff themselves into a bird where the only thing between them and hard vacuum is a mess of titanium, tansluminum, transparisteel, thrice-repaired motherboards and a jumble of circuitry.

It takes a special sort of crazy to do that. It takes an even specialer sort of crazy to keep doing year in, year out.

So what about the Fleet pilots, I hear you muttering. The Fleet-based squadrons that put on the same flight suits but fly birds with no FTL and no shields only think they’re best. The thing to remember about them is, they think that way because their birds are lighter and more maneuverable in zero-g.

Fact is, they’re just stupid. And suicidal. Without Fleet backup they’re sitting ducks.

Yes, that pun was on purpose.

No, I do not have a grudge against Fleet and their pilots. But it’s beyond stupidity, bordering on suicidal, to do what they do. Fleet likes to call them the elite, the best pilots in service, but how many of you — and I’m talking to all of you, not just our newbies — chose the Starfighter Corps over the Fleet?

That’d be most of you, then. That’s because you’re a little bit crazy, not stupid and suicidal. The Major here started off as Fleet, but we don’t hold it against her. She wasn’t really suicidal, you see, and got out before her case of stupidity reached terminal velocity. She’s a rare case, though.

I see a couple of our newbies didn’t. Well, if you’re holding a grudge, be sure to lose it fast. As in, before you leave this hangar in one of my birds. That kind of thinking will get you killed. It’ll kill others, too, if you’re really unlucky.

Trust me. I’ve seen it happen.

So if Fleet pilots want to brag, let ’em. We know, and every single member of the brass knows, who pulls more of their weight and gets more done. Besides, most Fleeters get damned tired of hearing their pilots brag, and really, really tired of hauling their asses out of the bar after we’ve tromped them yet again.

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