Oh what the fuck was this?
After getting the fuck away from Helena, I'd drive around Mount Chiliad and back up into Fierro. I popped around to the garage and found out what was going on, making sure they didn't need me to do anything, but Cesar and Kendl had everything under control. I told them I was going out of town on "business" and they hadn't pressed me, they knew that part of what I did to keep the family together and in paper meant I had to disappear for a few days sometimes. I headed home and took a nap, then got up, took my clothes out the dryer and headed back for the airstrip to finish up my flying lessons.
And here I was, sun just barely creeping over the edge of the mountains and what did I see in front of me? A weird little plane and a fucking HELICOPTER! With guns on it! And fucking rockets! Or missiles, or whatever the fuck they called them.... what the hell was th-
"Hey buddy!" shouted a voice, and I turned towards the tower, hand slipping to my side to pull my piece if I needed. But the guy coming towards me didn't look like a threat, a short stocky middle aged guy with a big moustache and thinning hair,"You Mr. J?"
"Yeah?" I said, carefully,"Who are you?"
"Jock Kincaid!" he said, thrusting his hand out at mine. I shook it, a little grin creeping up on my face.
"Jock Kincaid? That ain't your real name."
"Well, your name isn't Mr. J," he said back, and I laughed,"Your Boss hired me to bring out these bad boys for you."
He waved his arm at the plane and helicopter.
"I flew these babies in here yesterday, waited around all day, you didn't show up and I don't have a contact number for the Boss, so I crashed in the office up in the tower... watched those tapes, they give the basics, but boy howdy do I have a lot more to show you."
"What exactly you here for, man?" I asked, and he frowned.
"Your Boss didn't tell you?" he asked, and I didn't think to correct him, tell him Toreno wasn't my Boss, I was just... well.... working for him and doing what he said.
"I'm here to teach you stunt flying, and the basics of combat flying, thought that isn't my specialty," he told me,"I'm the best, and I do work for.... your people.... every so often, usually when the public mood changes and they stop making action movies. That asshole Howitzer going to jail means none of the studios want to make a new action movie, so I was available."
"You... you a stunt man?" I asked, surprised.
"Nobody better," he grinned, taking hold the lapels of his silly leather jacket which had to be burning him up even this early in the morning in the desert,"Planes are my specialty, but put me in or on pretty much anything that moves and I can stunt with it, and the helicopter stuff lets me practice my special effects work. Believe me, kid, if you have any talent at all, a day with me and you'll be flying with the best."
I sighed, looking over at the plane.
"Oh I got talent," I said,"Everybody always tell me I got talent, which usually means they want me to do something for them. Okay, man, let's roll."
"Fly, Mr. J," laughed Jock, putting his arm around my shoulder,"Fly."
And that's what we did.
After hours of flying along with Jock, then by myself, taking in his instructions, picking up tips and tricks from him, doing it over and over again.... I was starting to feel about flying like I felt about driving. Before it had been scary, then exciting to be up in the air flying a plane, but now it felt like I was in control, that it was me in charge up there, and I wasn't at the mercy of the machine.
"Okay, what next?" I asked Jock after taking the helicopter up and down a few times, as the sun went down and the dark crept in.
"Check out the hangar," he said, leading me over to the big ass hangar over to the side of the airstrip, across from the tower and office. We opened the big doors, and I was surprised to see trucks and cars parked inside.
"What are these?" I asked.
"Provided by your Boss, Mr. J," he said,"We're gonna line up the trucks along the strip and you're gonna do a flyover and blow them up, then turn the chopper around and take out the cars, which I'll be remotely controlling so you can get a chance at hitting a moving target."
"That fucking copter has live ammo?" I asked, shocked, and he laughed.
"Hell no, buddy," he assured me,"The trucks and cars are wired with explosives and sensors, when you open fire you'll be sending out a signal. If you're lined up correctly, you'll trigger the explosions."
"We gonna do this tomorrow?" I asked, and he laughed again.
"Part of your training is night flying, buddy, might as well combine them... come on, it'll be fun!"
Fun? Yeah right.
Hey... that was fun!
"Okay, let's call it a night, buddy," Jock told me, slapping me on my shoulder,"Good work today, you've got talent, and if you commit I can make you good, damn good."
"I'm committed," I said.
"Not yet," he said,"But you got the bug for flying now, I can see it, and maybe we can do something with that.... speaking of which, I... uhh, crashed in your office last night, your Boss told me you'd be paying my expenses while I was here so I didn't bring more than a little walking around money....."
I sighed and peeled off $1000 for him, not even thinking about how that much money would have felt like to me a few months back, and he slapped me on the shoulder again and then headed off into the dark, shouting out that he'd be back in the morning. He was a little full of himself, but the fucker could fly, and I was picking up shit from him, even in the little time we'd worked together. Tomorrow I was going to get even better, no matter what he said about my commitment. What the fuck did he know, I was committed.
The next morning, Jock showed up about 9 and we spent two hours going back over the technical aspects of flying he'd shown me the day previous. He was checking up on what I remember, correcting what I got wrong, reminding me of what I'd forgotten. Finally he seemed happy and headed off to set back up the cars and trucks with fresh explosives, telling me that setting all that stuff out helped him with his special effects experience. I didn't really care about that, I had a feeling if I ever had to use that helicopter's weapons for real, it wouldn't be to set off sparkly explosions in empty cars. My phone rang and I pulled it out, wondering if it was Cesar or Kendl, they'd only be ringing if it was an emergen-
"Carl," Toreno's voice said, sounding fed up,"Leaaaaarn. To. Fly."
"I am!" I said, looking over at Jock in the distance,"Me and Jock ar-"
"Jock? His name's Jimmy, Jimmy Katzenberg," Toreno interupted,"And he's Expensive, Carl, that's with a capital E. And I sent him out there because YOU told ME that you would be at the airstrip, and he ended up standing there costing ME money for a day while you were off sticking your dick in some gun nut."
Jesus Christ, he really did know everything.
"I'm on it, man, I swear!" I said. Fuck, if he knew where I'd been, surely he knew my fucking Beagle had crashed an-
"I'm on it, man, I swear!" he repeated back at me, voice high pitched and bratty, like a kid, mocking me,"Same old broken record, Carl. But that's fine... because your brother's getting a new cell mate tonight."
Shit, what the fuck he-
"HORSE COCK HARRY!" Toreno laughed down the line, but the laugh was cruel,"And I'm sending a present, little wedding present. Biiiig tub of lube!"
"Shit dude, OK, OK!" I yelled,"I swear man, I'm gonna be the best pilot!"
"I'd love to hear you Carl," whispered Toreno, having too much of a good time, too nasty to stop,"I can't hear you. All I can hear is your brother's love cries... as eight kilometers of COCK finds it's way up his ass!"
"AOOOOOWWW! That's your brother, OK?" he growled at me,"No big problem."
"Wait!" I yelled, desperate now, knowing he'd do it just to prove he could,"Please, man!"
"That was my last motivational speech, understand?" he grunted through the line at me,"Am I being too spiritual for you, Carl?"
"OK, man, I get the message!" I said quietly, and Toreno was gone.
"JOCK!" I yelled as he came walking back my way.
"Yeah, buddy?" he asked, spotting my putting the phone away and figuring something was wrong.
"I'm committed," I said. He blinked, then stepped up close and looked me in the eye.
"Yeah, yeah you are," he said at last,"....let's fly, kid."
It was amazing what a little motivation could do for you.
"So?" I asked that night as me and Jock sat in my office in the tower, drinking Sprunks.
"You've got the skills, you've got the talent," he said,"All that's left is experience, you just gotta fly, buddy, and make what I've taught you second nature. But you got it, alright, you got it."
"So I pass?" I grinned.
"Almost," he told me,"I'll come back tomorrow and take us up higher than you've been yet, that's your final test."
"That's it? I just gotta go up high?" I asked.
"That's it," he grinned, raising his can to mine,"You just gotta go up high."
Motherfucker never mentioned the part about getting down.
I hit the ground and pulled the parachute away, shouting and cursing. I looked up, but I couldn't see Jock's plane, it was up too high, or it had come down while I was slowly falling towards possible death. Suddenly I realized I could hear a phone ringing, and it was coming from the tower.
"Fuck," I snapped, and ran up the stairs, picking it up, wondering if it was Toreno.
"Hey, buddy," said Jock,"You made it."
"FUCKING RIGHT I MADE IT!" I yelled,"NO THANKS TO YOU!"
"Mr. J, Mr. J, relax," he laughed, and I realized I couldn't hear the engines, he must have landed,"You made it, that means you pass the final test. Congratulations, Mr. J, you're a real pilot."
"...I.... shit... you could have warned me, man."
"Not the point of the test," he said,"I enjoyed our time together, you're good and you're only going to get better. Maybe I'll see you around some time, but probably not."
"Eh?" I asked,"What about yo stunt plane and helicopter?"
"Yours, paid for," he said,"You'll have to dump what's left of the trucks and cars yourself though. Good luck to you, Mr. J."
He hung up and I turned around, looking over the airstrip. Suddenly it didn't seen so much like a dusty graveyard no more. Suddenly it wasn't just a long stretch of sand and dirt surrounded by chunks of metal. Suddenly it was mine, a place where I could lift up off of the ground and soar through the clouds, controlling what had seemed uncontrollable only a few days ago.
"Shit," I said,"I'm a pilot. A real pilot."
My phone rang.
"Carl, Katzenberg called," said Toreno,"You learnt to fly.... about fucking time...."
"Fuck you, Toreno," I said,"Threatening my brother like that, I fucking learnt to fucking FLY man, in less than a fucking week! How about some fucking appreciation?"
"Carl, if you don't like being threatened, then just do what I tell you, when I tell you," Toreno said,"You're the one who seems to be eager not to have a complementary, mutually satisfying relationship."
"Man what the fu-" I started, but then he was going silly.
"Ooooh Carl, I suck joo off soooo good," he said like he some Latino chica,"But joo gotta lick my pussy! Did Catalina ever tell you that, Carl?"
"Oh for fuc.... how the fuck you know about Catalina?" I shouted.
"How many times, Carl? I know everything, I'm God... or the Devil.... whatever floats your boat.... you fucked up not sticking with her, my friend, she's going to go places.... of course she'll probably be shot in the back of the head and in an unmarked grave before she hits 35, but she'll go all the way to the top before it happens, and she could have dragged you with her."
"Man, what you want, Toreno?" I demanded, sick of this shit, of him showing off,"I fucking learned to fly like you wanted? Now tell me WHY!"
"Get the fuck out of that airstrip, Carl," he told me, chuckling,"Go have some drinks, have a good time, but don't go too far, I need you back there at noon tomorrow, then you'll find out why I need you to fly."
"For fuck's sake... okay," I grunted,"Fine."
"Oh Carl, one last thing," Toreno said, a grin in his voice.
"What?" I asked, and what he told me sounded like a joke. But he didn't sound like he was joking.
"I need you to dress like an asshole."