“Brehan it is, then.” The captain enjoyed the agent’s enthusiasm; his last visit to Africa had left him with a bitter taste in his mouth, though that wasn’t exactly the natives’ fault. Chris vaguely wondered if Sheva or Josh were in the region, having only kept in contact with them through an occasional work-related email after the Kijuju incident.
“A Skywagon, huh.” The captain scratched his head, looking unfazed—partly because he was, and partly because he wanted to alleviate Piers’s anxiety. “That’s a bush plane,” he explained. “They’re used to travel to areas with underdeveloped roads. Like, places in Alaska, Canada, Australia.” He shot a side-long smile at his partner. “Very reliable little planes.”
Chris then gave his full attention to Brehan, returning to his ‘Captain Redfield’ persona. “How long until she’s ready for the air?”
“Skywagon is not the most reassurin name,” Piers muttered to himself, itching anxiously. It brought to mind images of horses and carts, rumbling along, ready to fall apart. He wasn’t scared of heights, but wings wouldn’t save them if the bottom of the plane fell out. Still, the smile on Chris’ face put him at east, a little.
Brehan remained unconcerned, patting the side of the Cessna and paying no mind as Piers cringed at the hollow sound it made. “Ah, we don’t have these crazy regulations like you Americans,” the guide said with a teasing look in his eyes. “Hop on board and we’ll get that engine talking right away! There’s a file on the front seat for you, Captain, and a letter from a certain little lady back at the East Africa HQ that I said I’d deliver!”
With that, he wrenched open the door for them - the stepladder squeaked loudly as he pulled it down to the tarmac - and left them to it, wandering over to greet one of the men fuelling the plane. Piers took a deep breath and climbed inside; it wasn’t quite the luxury of the jet, six worn out seats squashed together and dust and sand from the runway scattered across the floor. The seatbelts looked like they’d been ripped from a car and bolted down, and something rattled down below as the fuel was pumped in. Piers took a seat and stared out the window, silent for a moment before he looked at Chris, chewing his bottom lip. “Reliable or not,” he frowned, “I am pretty sure we’re gonna die in this thing. It was nice knowin you, Captain.”