I wrote a short story that takes place after one of my Main Characters has retired. What happens to the valiant warriors when they can no longer carry a sword?
Tenner Baronspring, brave Warbaron and pilot of the Baron Core, is old.
Tenner Baronspring sat on his balcony, letting the wind rustle his hair. A blanket, drawn up around his shoulders, kept him from catching chill, but his face he could not stand to be stifled.
In his younger days he had let the wind rush over him like a river. But now his eyes watered and even the mild gusts obscured his vision. But when the tears forced him to close his eyes, he remembered.
Dawna walked out onto the balcony, dressed in drab and loose-fitting clothes. She had aged better than he. Her hair still carried streaks of blond—his, the little that was left, was pure white.
He reached out a hand. Talking was harder for him these days. Speaking was hard on his short breath. Even greeting the visitors he received each day was difficult.
He closed his eyes as his wife sat down beside him. She slipped her wrinkled, cold hand into his. Tenner gripped it lightly. It was strong and smooth—but it gave beneath his grip. Like the control stick of a skycraft. Or like it had been. It was different now.
There was colder metal. Stronger. Less pliable. Like himself, ironically.
Dawna stood, making her way back inside. Tenner didn’t open his eyes to watch her go. In the breeze that wafted over his balcony, behind his watering eyes, he imagined he was behind the control stick of a Chao-class, ruling the sky.
Far below the red ground rushed by, oblivious to the tower that ruled the air above and the man that had once been the tower’s ruler.
Below, in the tower’s launch bays, two slim silver crafts slipped form their berths, rushing into the evening sky.
Tenner heard them go. His son might be flying one of them—it was his watch. So he willed himself to fly with the crafts.
The two crafts were a new design—faster, sleeker, more advanced than anything Tenner had ever flown…but his spirit outflew them both.