Outside they check the airplane carefully. The antenna is in perfect condition, but the tip of one wing and the left wheel are crooked. For the rest, everything is fine. Against Bruce’s fear, the plane is firmly placed on the ground, next to the cliff but not in the brink.
“To be a forced landing, it was perfect…” says Sylvia admired.
“It’s me, please… What did you expect?”
Sylvia, ignoring his joke, looks closer the damaged wheel.
“If I had some tools, maybe I could fix it…”
“Yeah, it’s not completely broken. I can try at least…”
She didn’t finish her phrase that Bruce runs into the plane.
Minutes later, he comes back notoriously disappointed.
Sylvia slowly moves her head; she didn’t expect tools, all in all they went to a nice ride through the sky and a picnic.
Bruce looks up to the sky.
“Isn’t it weird that it’s so cloudy?” he asks.
Sylvia looks up too.
“It wasn’t this way when we started the flight.”
They both look at the sky but no explanation shows up.
“Maybe it’s going to rain?” she suggests tentatively.
“Mmm… Yeah… It could be.”
But it’s obvious he isn’t much convinced.
“Anyway. Let’s have our picnic.”
Bruce turns and gets in the plane followed by Sylvia.
It’s the 1st day of summer, Sylvia is tired of her work and decides to take a proper holiday… she decides to go on a journey, so she goes to the nearest bus station with her luggage, searching for a way to finally relax herself. She waits for the bus, for an unknown destination… bus is late as usual, but this allows her to make new acquaintances. Sylvia sees this guy on the floor and looks away; he reminds her too much her former boyfriend, a guy that she hopes not to see ever again. She also hopes not to see any of his or her friends. All of them got her completely stressed, sick and exhausted. She needs a start over urgently.
After the forced landing (the glade was too small to make a proper one), they look each other and the landscape through the window.
“Hope we’re not in the brink.” says Bruce.
“Seems to be stable…”
Bruce looks at her face for a moment.
“That compass…” he says.
“The real thing.”
She takes it out of her pocket again.
“It’s beautiful. Who gave you this?” he says taking it to behold.
It’s a careful handicraft, made in the style of the ancient instruments, wrapped by a box of leather and thin hard wood. It has a tiny lock and a ring for attaching purposes.
“Why you think it’s someone who gave it to me?”
“I know when it’s a gift.”
“Oh! David gave it to me.”
“Ah! Is he into you?”
“Well… I didn’t ask…”
Bruce makes a noise somewhat similar to a laugh. After studying it a bit more, he gives it back to her.
Sylvia saves it inside her pocket. The compass still looks like if it went mad, but moving slower.
“Yeah, he said that given I’m always traveling and taking photos, it would be of use.”
Bruce carefully stands up to see if any inner damage was done to the aircraft. Meanwhile, Sylvia takes the radio to make an emergency call.
“Mayday Mayday Mayday. Aircraft…”
Bruce comes back thinking she stopped because she didn’t know the airplane data.
“It’s written there.” he says pointing a paper hanging at her right.
“No. It’s not that.”
Sylvia pushes the radio button; only the noise of opening/closing communication is audible. There’s no radio signal, not even background noise.
Sylvia looks at Bruce in despair. If they can’t communicate, who’ll seek them… And when.
Bruce ponders for a moment, moving nervously.
“Let’s go outside. Maybe we can fix the antenna.” says Bruce.
They open the door, loom and jump outside.
Sky is blinding bright blue with some flocks of white clouds. It’s a beautiful day, not too hot and not too cold, with a soft breeze blowing from the tail.
Sylvia is seating like a good girl admiring the view. Bruce smiles proud of himself.
Given is a warm day they aren’t much wrapped up. She has a jean long jacket, tight elegant pants and short leather boots. Bruce is wearing pilot jacket, comfortable long pants and tennis.
Airplane motors are purring soothingly and instruments show a nice speed of 100 mph.
Life is simply perfect.
“I really think I should give him a call…” says Sylvia pensively.
Bruce moves uncomfortable in his seat.
“Don’t talk about him when you’re with me.”
Sylvia downs her head.
“Nothing bad against that old hairy arse. But you know, you’re with me right now so…”
“Yes. You’re right. I’m sorry.”
Bruce shakes his head. After a moment of silence, he points out a group of clouds saying:
“Look! What about climbing on the clouds?”
Sylvia raises her head and nods happy.
They didn’t really climb on the clouds but rather went through them. Then they get out and keep flying a stunning bright sky.
“But I can do many other things…” says Bruce smiling.
“Oh, yeah! But I need some inspiration…” says Bruce stretching his neck, offering a cheek like a small child expecting a cuddle.
Sylvia shares some little kisses with him, planting them on his face.
“Balls to the wall!!” says Bruce enthusiastic, suddenly accelerating the airplane.
Sylvia giggles delighted as he makes all sorts of crazy things flying.
“To the Empire of the Clouds!!!” says Bruce leading the aircraft to a huge flock of cotton clouds.
They fly inside and a bit over the clouds for a long while. Amazed, Sylvia takes some photos. Bruce flies looking at her from time to time with a proud satisfied smile.
Eventually, they leave the clouds. By now, fuel level is reaching the half tank indicator.
“Okay, let’s find a nice place to have our private party.” says Bruce with a naughty expression.
“Oh! You make it sound like an orgy!” says Sylvia laughing.
“No, no. No orgy. Only you and me.” he says and winks.
But when they see the ground again, can’t find a place to land on. Everything is trees on uneven fields.
Bruce smiles as if he knew exactly what is going on, makes a turn and keeps flying confident they’ll find a place. After all, it’s England, it’s not like it’s an infinite territory…
“I think we’re going in the wrong direction…” says Sylvia looking at the airplane compass.
“Look… It’s pointing to the other side.”
Bruce takes a look and frowns. Then make a turn but the compass keeps pointing at the same direction. Bruce is starting to get nervous. Sylvia pulls her phone out of her jacket pocket. The compass in her phone is pointing to a different direction. Then she pulls a real compass from the other pocket. This last one is frantically pointing everywhere. She lays both things on her lap and calls Bruce’s attention. He looks and curses.
By now, fuel level is half tank, so he has to think fast.
“We must land.” announces.
“Yeah, but where?”
Fields below looks like chopped with an axe, and wildly populated by nature.
Over their heads, sky is uniformly clouded. They find it strange, but isn’t the moment to discuss it.
“Look! There!” says Bruce pointing out a far place at their right.
There’s a glade next to a brink. Bruce will take no risks, so he tells Sylvia to hold tight and fly there to force a landing.
“Hello? Sylvia? Ah, finally! I’ve been calling you for the last 10 minutes!”
“I was busy”
“Organizing your party? Yeah, about that… you should come here”
“I have a nice surprise for you”
“Can’t you tell it on the phone?”
“No, you have to come here”. Ah, never say no to Dickinson… It’s Sylvia’s birthday today and he’s planning to try a new aircraft, making the first flight for her birthday, as a present. Therefore, she reaches the airport and finds him all smiling, next to his new toy.
“Oh! You’re there!” says Bruce.
“Finally! You took an eternity to come!”
“Sorry.” Sylvia says confused.
“Look at this beauty.” he says pointing at the plane behind him with a wide gesture of his arms.
“So pretty…” she says with shining eyes.
“And look inside…” he says guiding her to the airplane.
She looms to see the interior. There’s some boxes at the bottom and nothing else. But being a light aircraft like that, there isn’t much room to carry many people or packages.
“I planned a nice journey with a picnic… Only you and me.”
Sylvia smiles delighted.
“What do you say?”
“Sounds so good…!”
With a touch on her back, Bruce Dickinson invites her to get in the plane.
“Shouldn’t we tell Steve…?” asks Sylvia.
“What for? That wanker won’t come anyway. ”
“No, well, no… Not to invite him, just…”
“Let’s go, come on.”
Sylvia gets in the aircraft followed by Bruce. He sits down on the pilot place and she takes the copilot.
She looks around excited and happy like a child anticipating a surprise. Bruce asks permission through radio and starts the motors.