(Backstory: Devon has decided to be a Skybase agent and has even recruited his DRH friends. Nothing too exciting has happened lately, so now Harrier wants to remedy that.)
Harrier rolled into Skybase's headquarters and made her way to Motthew's office. She drove into the room and waited in front of his desk.
Motthew looked up from his computer screen after a moment. "What is it, Harrier?"
"I was just wondering if you could sign me up to compete in the World Airshow this year." Harrier said hopefully, "I know I should stay anonymous so that I'll be more useful as an undercover agent, but I can't help wanting to fly in one of the best airshows around!"
Motthew considered Harrier's request for a bit, the propeller on his nose spinning at a slow and thoughtful speed. Finally his propeller stopped and he smiled up at Harrier. "All right, miss Electra-Wright, I suppose I can do that. But I expect you to practice until you nearly break down, and never actually break down. Got it?"
"Yes sir, thank you sir!" Cheered Harrier.
Harrier spotted Devon and Boost practicing wheel-to-wheel fighting. Devon was facing away from Harrier so he didn't notice her, but Boost paused when he saw her coming over, which earned him a punch in the face.
"Ow!" Boost yelled.
"Oops," Devon said apologetically. He turned to look up at Harrier, "How may we help you today?"
"Could you two critique my flying for a bit? I want to practice for the World Airshow, and they don't let competitors use GPS to fly the courses they think up. So I really need to get accustomed to flying without my GPS."
"Sure," Boost said, "but I don't know much about flying."
Devon grinned. "We don't need to know much about flying. All we have to do is keep an eye on the computer and an eye on Harrier, and tell her what she's doing wrong."
"And what I'm doing right," Harrier said firmly.
"That too," agreed Devon.
The two cars rode the elevator to the top of the airplane training tower and went over to the computer, putting on their headsets. Devon's headset was a bit too small and Boost's was a bit too big, but they tried trading and found that the other car's headset fitted even worse. They swapped headsets again and started messing with the computer.
"Want something hard to fly, or fairly easy?" Devon asked Harrier.
Outside of the building, Harrier winced and turned down the volume on her fancier, aerodynamic headset before replying. "Something simple, please. I need to work on accuracy and I haven't been doing that enough lately."
Boost selected an easy flight pattern for the airplane, and Devon read it for her. Then Harrier attempted to fly it as accurately as possible without using her GPS as a guide.
Harrier practiced obsessively. She spent hours in the sky, only stopping when she started running out of fuel or was needed to ferry cars around. She improved from being 'very good' at stunt flying to being 'world class'. Her friends, both winged and wheeled, alternately smiled with pride and shook their hoods in sorrow. The poor jet plane was hopeless.
The day before the airshow finally came. Motthew ordered her to not practice, and the day was instead devoted to her being polished until she gleamed in the sunlight. Forklifts hurried about touching up the Skybase emblem on her tail with fresh paint and checking her wheels.
Harrier tried to hold still, but she couldn't help fidgeting a bit. "I should be practicing!" She told Devon.
"No, you need to be rested up for the airshow," he said sternly.
"I know, I know, but I just can't keep still!" Grumbled Harrier.
Devon groaned. Tomorrow couldn't come soon enough for him.
The big day arrived. Planes and helicopters from every continent on Earth flew into the big field where the airshow was being held. Cars, trucks, forklifts, and even a few motorcycles watched from any spot in the field that wasn't being used as a runway, a place for the competitors to be refuelled, or an award ceremony area. The noise was deafening.
Harrier had been chosen to fly second to last. She kind of wished she could just get this over with, but oh well. She was patient.
Devon had come along because he'd never been to an airshow before and Harrier wanted company. Scott Wheelmaker, the insanely charismatic Nissan Pulsar with fold-in headlights who acted as spokesman for Skybase also came along. Harrier hadn't really wanted to bring him, but she didn't have any good excuses for leaving him behind.
They watched as the competitors flew overhead, either by themselves or in teams. The competitors all looked amazing, even the poor helicopter whose rotor somehow snapped off and was almost killed in the resulting crash.
Finally it was Harrier's turn. She flew beautifully, feeling delighted that there wasn't any turbulence to mess up her performance. As she landed daintily on the runway, she heard the crowd screaming with delight. She smiled at her fans and parked next to the other competitors at the end of the field.
The last plane was taking off when suddenly...
They all heard a roaring noise in the distance. As one, everyone for miles around looked up. They saw the sleekly curved nose, the undersized wings, the huge blasts of superheated air slowing the descent of the biggest vehicle anyone had ever seen. It landed in the middle of the field, its hulking body casting a vast shadow as the sun began to set. And then Harrier saw... It had no eyes. She began to tremble as a door on its side opened and several small life forms came out. She knew what they were. They were humans.
"WE ARE YOUR CREATORS. YOU, OUR INVENTIONS, REBELLED AGAINST US. WE HAVE RETURNED TO TAKE BACK WHAT IS RIGHTFULLY OURS. SURRENDER, AND WE SHALL TREAT YOU WELL AS A REWARD. REBEL, AND YOU SHALL BE PUNISHED."
The voices of thousands of airshow watchers and competitors rose in a massive shout of defiance. "NEVER!"
Harrier felt dizzy and sick to her oil tank. She hadn't been this scared since the last time she had been made to watch a video with humans in it, and that had been years ago. Dimly she realized that she needed to pull herself together, but she simply wasn't able to do it.
"Harrier! Snap out of it!" Devon yelled, pounding on his friend's wheels, "We need to get out of here!"
She saw a couple of strong young fighter planes attacking the spaceship. They were effortlessly destroyed by its powerful guns.
"Please!" Yelled Devon.
A heavy, squat looking tank rolled toward them on its steel treads. Some people came out of it carrying huge guns. They began fastening a hook to Harrier so they could drag her back to their ship. She fainted.
Devon began shooting the humans with his gun. Some fell, but one managed to hit him with a blast of white light and he lost consciousness.
Slowly Harrier woke up and began to shake off her panic. She looked around and decided that she must have been taken to the human ship. Her wheels appeared to be clamped in place, and she noticed that part of her metal skin had been removed so that they could attach wires to her. Presumably they were running some sort of science experiment and she was their guinea pig.
That thought made her feel dizzy all over again.
Then a human came into the room. Harrier shuddered with terror. The human glanced at her vital signs, realized that she was the source of the airplane's fear, and left.
After Harrier's vital signs had again returned to near-normal, she heard a voice come from a speaker in the wall.
"We saw that you have an extreme fear of humans, so we have chosen to communicate with you using the ship's speakers instead. Is this less frightening for you?"
Harrier glanced around the room until she spotted a camera. She glared at it. "Apparently. Why have you hooked me up to all these wires," she suddenly remembered something, "and what did you do with the blue car you shot while capturing me?"
The voice sounded like it was amused. "We are glad that you are feeling better. We attached those wires to you so we could see if you were healthy, and to see how airplanes have evolved since we left Earth. And your blue friend is quite all right. He is undergoing similar tests at this time."
The thought of Devon being wired to machines and fastened down was... Unpleasant. "I want to see him." Harrier told the voice.
"All right. We will ask him if he wishes to see you."
A few minutes passed, and finally Devon was dragged in by a robot. His tires were all parking booted and his hood was partly open so that all the wires the humans had attached to him would fit, but he still looked happy to see her.
"You really are alive!" Harrier said, "I thought they might have been telling me lies."
"I'm indestructible, don't you know?" Devon grinned.
Harrier raised one eyelid skeptically. "If you say so, kid." She laughed, "You know how nice you looked as a Nissan Cube?"
"Well, right now you look slightly nicer than that," Harrier smirked.
Devon rolled his eyes but smiled. "You just boosted my self image by thirty points."
"I'm glad I could help you," she replied sweetly.
Devon attempted to smack his hood with his tire, but failed for obvious reasons. "I was being sarcastic!" He suddenly looked more serious. "There's an important subject we should be discussing: How in the name of Hyundai are we going to get out of here?"
"I don't know if we can," replied Harrier, "we're both pretty well restrained, we're probably under constant surveilance, and I freeze up whenever I see a human."
Devon silently nodded. Harrier was right; they were being watched. But maybe they could find a way to escape anyway.
Then a robot came and dragged Devon away.
He wasn't allowed to see her again for a few days. Instead, he was visited by a middle aged human who almost looked nice. The human told Devon about humankind, and human kindness, and the sorrows of being chased from one's own homeland.
At first, Devon was unsympathetic. But then he began to think that maybe the humans weren't so bad. After all, they just wanted their homes back. And it wasn't like they were being mean to him.
Pretty soon, he started thinking that escape was unnecessary; Maybe even a bad thing. The humans didn't deserve to lose a willing captive, did they?
Like Devon, Harrier was talked to by the humans in an attempt to make her develop Stockholm Syndrome. However, they had considerably less success with her. Maybe it was her extreme fear of humans , or perhaps it was her better understanding of various forms of brainwashing, but something kept her from meeting Devon's fate.
She quickly figured out what they were trying to do and began attempting to act like she was feeling a bit more friendly toward her captors. Occasionally the humans sent in someone to see if Harrier was any less terrified, and they found that her panic attacks were becoming less extreme. They actually began removing some of the wires from her and giving her the freedom to move around the room.
Finally, Harrier and Devon were allowed to talk with each other again.
"How have you been doing?" Asked Harrier quietly.
"Quite well. These humans really aren't as bad as I first thought."
"No," agreed Harrier, "they're even worse."
Devon snorted. "That's your phobia talking."
"On the contrary, I think that it's you Stockholm Syndrome talking," growled the stir crazy airplane.
"You're overreacting. Face the truth, Harrier; We'll be happier if we obey them."
She knew her voice was rising in anger. She didn't care one bit; She needed Devon's help if she was ever going to get out of here, and he wouldn't help if he didn't think they needed to escape. "How can you possibly think such a thing? DJ, strong right tire of the Delinquent Road Hazards, letting himself be turned into a test subject and slave of the humans? No, they aren't subjecting us to much physical pain, but they wouldn't be rubbing in how they're our creators if they-" at this point, a group of humans came in and dragged Devon away. Then they came back, making no effort to keep her from being terrified.
Harrier trembled and cringed as they drew closer, closing her eyes to calm herself. It helped a bit.
"Trying to spark rebellion, airplane? Well we can fix that," growled one of the humans, zapping her with a taser.
Harrier sobbed for mercy, begging the humans to go away, but soon she realized something. She was actually feeling less scared. Could it be that she was getting past her phobia? It seemed quite possible.
Devon was immediately made to talk with the nice older human, but the damage had been done. He no longer found the propaganda quite as convincing and what Harrier had said kept coming back to haunt him. They had to escape.
As actors went, Devon was pretty good. He acted like he still liked these people and sighed sadly whenever Harrier's name was mentioned. They still trusted him and soon he was allowed freedom to explore the less important levels of the ship.
One day he finally made his move. He located the battle computer of the ship and destroyed it completely. Alarms began screeching and red lights started flashing as the ship's weaponry deactivated. Devon sped toward the room where the defense computer was located but only made it halfway there before a group of guards showed up. Somehow he managed to avoid being stunned although he was hit by a few bullets before he made it into the defense room.
He destroyed that computer, too.
Harrier nearly cheered when she heard the news over the intercom. Someone had destroyed the two computers which protected the ship! That meant that maybe the invading humans could be sent packing, or at least negotiated with.
"Life support destabilizing. Prepare for evacuation." Said the life support computer.
Harrier grinned and tore herself loose from the few remaining wires attached to her. The airplane-sized door was opening...
That sounded like Devon. Sure enough, he came speeding into the room leaking oil by the bucketful. His engine sounded terrible; Harrier guessed that he was overheating. She let her ramp drop open and Devon dove into the safety of her cabin. Then Harrier began the delicate process of flying out of a room which was hardly higher than her tail.
Somehow she managed it. Before she flew away, she turned to look at the humans who had just followed Devon into Harrier's prison. They appeared to have been knocked out by the sound of her engine. Served them right. She flew out the door and away.
"So what happened to you?" Harrier asked curiously.
"I realized you were right. Once that realization made it into my thick hood, I decided that we needed to escape. I kept pretending to be sympathetic to their cause, so they let me out and I destroyed their computers. What happened to you?" said Devon.
"They accidentally made me get over my phobia after you were taken away."
Devon sounded delighted. "You aren't scared of them now? What happened?"
"I'm still a bit scared of them. But after they spent a half our tried to scare me, it stopped working so well. Stupid humans," Devon could tell that Harrier was grinning as she spoke.
They flew into Skybase airspace and Harrier was immediately surrounded by a patrol of five smallish fighter planes. They let her land on a runway but continued the fly over her, weapons ready. A group of forklifts hurried over and began inspecting both Harrier and Devon for bombs and human-designed information transmitters. Both passed the inspection, fortunately.
Then Devon was sent to the hospital. He had lost a lot of oil and was shaking and weak.
Harrier was taken to the interrogation building to be questioned. She obediently told their Skybase superiors everything. After that, she was equipped with some weapons to replace the ones the humans had confiscated. Finally she was sent to Motthew's office.
Motthew smiled as Harrier came in. "So you're here to learn about what has happened since you were captured?"
"Of course," Harrier nodded.
"Basically, the humans retook California in under a day. They held the ten biggest cities in the state hostage by setting bombs in the city centers and threatening to set them off if anyone tried to leave the cities or attack. Needless to say, we chose to let them keep the cities while we tried to figure out what to do. There were millions of lives at stake. Fortunately, your partner seems to have made the fight more even. As of one hour ago, we have successfully taken the humans' ship and are strongly encouraging them to go home or hand over their weapons to us and become our allies."
Harrier smiled. "I'm glad that there's a possibility of us winning the fight now."
"I think we all are happy about that," Motthew agreed, "oh, and you won the World Airshow Grand Champion award."
"I DID?" Harrier yelled.
Motthew winced. "Yes you did. No need to shout." He frowned at something he'd just read on his computer, "could you go help our patrols out? They appear to be having trouble with some attackers at the border."
"Of course, sir!" And with that, she hurried off to help.
A few days later, Harrier was lazily sitting near a runway and letting the sunlight warm her wings when she heard a very happy voice.
"Wake up, Harrier! I have some great news for you!" It was Devon.
"Yep, you being out of the hospital so soon is definitely good news," Harrier laughed.
Devon rolled his eyes. "No, silly, not that. The humans are forming a treaty with us. They're going to be our allies!"
"...And we all know how well human treaties work out, thanks to our history books," said Harrier sarcastically.
"Fine, I won't count my chickens before they hatch," Devon sighed, "...What's a chicken, anyway?"
Harrier rolled her eyes.
I don't think this chapter is as good as the first one. Main characters who are airplanes are hard to write well, and the humans just aren't as charismatic as Ukalele Oildrinker was. In fact, it took me about four days to get up the courage to post this. But here it is at last!