"Whoa, you're going to Earth? Alright then...You must be special if they let a duster down their well, I guess...go see the Ocean for me whilst you're there eh? Have a good one buddy, I'll see you 'round I guess." She hefted her flight helmet up onto her elbow, her forearm sticking out its front and walked off towards the Atrax. The craft was emitting a deep bassy hum, steam and gasses poured from its vents and as she approached the overhead floodlights turned on, bathing the vessel in bright light. It's two massive vertical stabilisers loomed over her as she walked around it to the back and inspected its engines. Two rectangular scramjet engines, angled downwards for vertical takeoff and landing sat motionless, betraying the power they would soon unleash, and arrayed around them, the eight half dome's of the micro-epstein the ship had been outfitted with, she imagined if they had been allowed to even exist there, cobwebs would soon be forming around them through disuse...at least for now. Walking underneath the vessel towards it's nose, she raised her hand and slid her fingers along the craft's underside, feeling the vibrations and the raw power contained within, a small smile playing across her face. As she neared the front of the craft she keyed a button on the inside of her helmet and with a pneumatic hiss, the cockpit descended out of the bottom of the craft, a large crash couch sat waiting to accept her. Climbing into the couch she had the soft gel of the seat allow her to sink several centimetres into it before forming to her body and creating a soft cushion, protecting her from the brutal g-forces that were to come. Lifting up her helmet she pulled it over her head and locked it into position around her neck, the heads up display inside it coming to life and giving her real time readouts of her location, flight path, vital signs and local air traffic control. A warning flashed in the TC zone, focussing on it with her pupils she blinked to open the information package. Her take off had been delayed by several minutes as a freighter that was resupplying at MCRB Persephone was scheduled to lift-off any moment now. Keying the button in her helmet again, the crash couch began moving again with a whine, lifting her up and inside the cockpit, which illuminated around her. The inside of the Atrax was not built for aesthetics, it was mostly monitors and readouts, the inner walls of the cockpit suddenly turned a bright white before displaying a 360 degree view of the outside of the vessel, letting her view everything around her in real time. This was the true beauty of the system, when in the sky she felt like she was in a supersonic crash couch, thundering across the deserts. A sound like a thunderclap accompanied by a loud rumble signalled the departure of the freighter up into orbit, followed almost immediately by yellow flashing lights and sirens in the hangar. "Depressurisation warning, all hangar crew please put on your respirators." An automated voice called out, telling the hangar's occupants what they knew by second nature by now. The huge doors at the front of the hangar parted, and pushing forward on the stick, Karen guided the Atrax out onto the tarmac. As she left the darkness of the hangar, the brilliant light of Sol lit up the fully enclosed cabin, Karen swore she almost felt the heat of the light, even though the cabin was completely climate controlled. To her left, a column of white clouds reached from the surface up into the heavens, the drive exhaust of the recent freighter launch. "Persephone TC this is Echo-four-niner, requesting clearance for takeoff." "Echo-four-niner you are cleared for runway four." Karen guided the Atrax out through the base, many of the Martians carrying out their daily duties paused for a moment to watch the sleek, aggressive fighter roll past the. Coming to a halt at the head of runway four, Karen went through a quick pre-flight. "Echo-four-niner you are cleared for takeoff." Fixing her eyes on the horizon, Karen gunned the accelerator. She was immediately sucked back into her crash couch as the roar of the engined dominated her reality. The runway was quickly disappearing and just like hundreds of times before, she gently pulled back on the stick and and vibrations and rattling of the craft on the runway subsided as it lifted off into the Martian sky. "Cleared the runway, starting patrol route delta-echo-north-two-eight-delta” she replied. “Persephone TC acknowledges, see you in 30 hours Nomad, over and out.” The Atrax shot off over the horizon heading for the Sharonov Crater, a white-blue contrail bisecting the sky in its wake.