Back in 2996 aboard what was left of the Tiberius.
“You want me to do what?” David asked in disbelief.
“Jump.” Amy said.
“From way up here,” David asked, “You’re nuts.”
“It is not as bad as you think,” Amy said, “You can do it.”
“Go ahead,” An angry David said, as he sat, “Keep it up. You’re doing a great job at convincing me. I just might do it.”
“You’ve got a Phase suit.” Amy said.
“An old Phase suit.” David countered.
“David please,” Amy began, “Before the Phase suits, there was the Gaiden suits. Before the Gaiden there was the Thesian, Vector, Mongol, Amazon, Zyger, and Warlord.”
David pointed to his butt, “You see this ass,” he asked, “It likes gravity. It ain’t going nowhere. What’s your point?”
“My point,” Amy said, “Is that exo-atmospheric insertion was perfected long ago.”
“Can you guarantee everything will go without a hitch?” David asked.
Amy knew to lie and make David feel better, but then she’d be lying, “No,” she answered.
“Thought so,” David said, “This old suit won’t make it.”
Amy quickly processed information, “Records show you have done it before in training,” she said, “Why not now?”
“Because it’s an old suit,” David said, “Plus, we’re a lot higher and that was a long time ago.”
“True,” Amy said, “However, think of it this way; you will have the highest recorded jump in history.”
“Yeah,” David added, “At the end, it’ll say ‘did not end well’.”
Amy wasn’t about to give up. She couldn’t, she was a computer simulation, “I am going to tell you something,” she said, “The truth is that with everything I know, you will make it. I cannot feel like you do, but I do know you sometimes need to take risks, even if it might cost you your life. I cannot promise you anything, but I can tell you this; if you jump, everyone will know you did everything you could to survive.”
David calmed down and thought a moment, “Amy,” he said, “What’s the status of the suit?”
“Phase everything on and I will check,” Amy said, “Why?”
“I’ll go for it,” David said, standing and walking over to some consoles while phasing the suit on, “I’m going to jump.”
“Excellent!” Amy said, as she uploaded herself to the suit and just as quickly came out, “Done, the suit is in perfect condition.”
“What am I looking at once I jump?” David asked.
“There’s a little debris,” Amy answered, “Nothing that will be a problem for your thruster boots. If it makes you feel better I can go with, controlling the thrusters, providing trajectory data on your HUD and I can make course corrections.”
“If you can go,” David said, “You’re going. I’m not leaving you behind.”
Amy uploaded to the mainframe and came back out, “There, I made it so when this light comes on, you go.”
“Amy,” David said, “Can I land anywhere?”
“Just about,” Amy answered, “What did you have in mind?”
“Home,” David replied, “I’m not just talking about Earth. I want to go home to my wife.”
Amy processed some information, “Sure,” she said, “We will have to wait a little bit for it to come up and then you can go. I just need a moment to recalibrate the light.”
David waited for Amy to come back and upload to the suit. He worked a comm. console a bit, “This is Major David Peter Thomas,” he said, “Repeat. This is Major Tom. Serial number: PV-801. If you are receiving this, please, tell my wife I love her.”
David had a seat and heard Amy through the suit, “All we have to do now is wait,” she said, “Your wife must be very important. Tell me about your family.”
David didn’t have to think much about his own family, they were constantly on his mind, especially now, “My parents passed away in an accident,” he began, “My son and daughter have grown up and moved on. My daughter, Janina, visits often. I haven’t seen my son, Duncan, in almost a year. My wife, Jane, lives with me at our house on the farm.”
“What is she like?” Amy asked.
David chuckled at the thought, “Beautiful,” he started, “Funny, strong, very superstitious, but smart.”
“No pets?” Amy asked.
David shook his head, “Had a dog,” he said, “Went with the daughter.”
“What is the first thing you’re going to do when you get home?” Amy asked, trying to keep David’s mind on going.
“After I kiss the ground,” David replied, “Give Jane a big hug.”
“Favorite hobby?” Amy asked.
“Going to karaoke bars and singing.” David answered.
“You, a singer,” Amy said, “I would never have guessed.”
David nodded, “That’s how I met Jane.” he said.
“What else is not in your files?” Amy asked.
“Starships,” David said, “I recently started to collect and build model starships.”
“What about Jane,” Amy asked, “What does she like to do?”
“Dance,” David answered, “Sometimes she’ll dance alone and I’ll just watch. I’d like to be able to do that right now.”
“That is good,” Amy said, “Get ready to do all that again. It is almost time.”
David stood, suited and ready to go. He walked to the edge of the breach. The only thing between him and space was a force field. The view of the Earth below was something else. It sent a shiver up his spine.
“You see that last console,” Amy asked, “The one nearest us? When you see a green light that is your signal to go.”
“You wouldn’t happen to have a stiff drink would you?” David jokingly asked.
“Sorry,” Amy replied, “When you are home, you can have as many as you want. Just pass that force field after you see the light, aim for Earth, and I will do the rest.”
David watched and waited for the light. For him, it seemed to take forever. When it finally did turn green, he went through the force field and headed for Earth.
“Here we go,” Amy said, as she activated the thrusters, moving David faster and faster, “Try not to be scared. I am a computer. I can make these course corrections faster than you think.”
“I don’t really have a choice now, do I,” David said, watching the HUD and the debris Amy narrowly dodged. He could never react as fast and shut his eyes in prayer, “I’m already going and you’re the one in control.”
“Trust me,” Amy said, “We are almost through. After that, it is pretty much a straight shot.”
David and Amy passed the debris and headed home.
“You might need to shut your eyes or engage the visor’s shield for this,” Amy said, “We are going to hit the atmosphere and it is going to get bright with the heat.”
“Beat you to it,” David said, “My eyes are already closed.” He hit the atmosphere and went down like he was skydiving.
Jane walked out on the porch and saw what looked like a shooting star, not realizing it was David. She clasped her hands together and wished to see her husband again.
David landed in a field not far from his home. He still made a nice size crater and sent up a plume of dirt.
“David, we made it,” Amy said, “You can open your eyes.”