Stories Heard in Shatterhonian Coffee Shop

1400 HRS, Shatterhonian Standard Time
Anders, Central Park

This is James Anderson, everyone calls him “Andy”. He has a good job, working in the new startup called “Auronia Lab”, a nice car, and, strangely, has no family.
Usually around this time, he should be working in his office processing some documents. Not today, it seems. He sat down on a bench, looking at somewhere, but nowhere, wondering about…something.
Two hours ago, he got a call from an unnamed caller, warning him of a whistleblower report to the media, should he not comply of transferring at least 2 million Quartz to an offshore bank account by 3 in the afternoon. He still have one hour left.

“Where can I get that one million?”, Andy thought. He could use some of the moeny from his project, but with that amount transfer out of the company account, he will get caught quite easily.
Or he can sell off his newly aquired luxury sedan, but acccording to the current second-hand car market, he might even need to pay just to find a dealer willing to buy that lemon off his hand, considering he just signed that 9-year loan last week.

14:30, the lockscreen said. He must find that cash, fast. He cannot let the news go out, he must not.

…or will he?

“…screw it,” he said, “I am leaving here.” With that, he tossed his phone into a trash bin, and drove to the airport.

1 Like

0800 HRS, Shtterhornian Standard Time
Taylors Industrial Park

“Hey, Ron! How’s the assembly going?”
Ron, a mechanic working for one of the Shatterhornian military contractors, put down the wrench in his hand, and shook his head slowly.
“It is still under assembly, mate.”
“…okaaay,” Timothy, the head of the assembly line of one of the Shatterhorn “top-of-the-line” fighter jets, which is AV-8B Harrier, a fighter that was in service since the 70s, said, “so how many we have assembled for now?”
“One.” Ron said underneath his breath.
“One? Out of 200?”
“…you do know that this project is well pass the deadline the MoD has given us, right?”
“Yes, I do.”
Timothy ran out of the hanger, and called someone.
…or at least he thought.
“The number you dial is not avaliabl-”

0500 HRS, Shatterhornian Standard Time
Hendricks Air Force Base

“Well, we’ve made it. Despite the numerous delays.”
With sweat dripping from his eyebrowns, He looked at the JAS-39, which was the first fighter jet locally assembled in Shatterhorn, and marvelled at this state-of-the-art aircraft.
“Sure, if only those delays are not, like, 6-7 months,” the Minister of Defense, Dylan Wong said.
“Anyway, let’s not get bogged down about those details, alright?” Timothy quickly moved on, “and get this bird into the sky first.”
“Whatever you said, Timothy. Get the pilot in this plane, right now.”
With the hanger door slowly opened, the rays of sunlight shone onto the plane, which revealed the black livery of the aircraft. The iron bird slowly made its way to the runway.
“All systems checked, ready to go.”
“Shadow One, proceed towards waypoint TWK, maintain 5000, then towards RTY after takeoff. After that, you are cleared for IFR.”
“Solid copy, over”
The engine roared to life, and the plane immediately took off within the span of 2 minutes.
“…huh? Something’s wrong.”

With the aviation investigator group arried at the crash scene and the pilot sent to the nearest hospital, Dylan and Timothy looked at the once-combat-ready wreakage.
“Timothy, you are, from now on, blacklisted from government contracts.”