Cohost writing prompt: @Making-up-Mech-Pilots — Mech Pilot who donated their replica cockpit to the local museum

"You're donating it?"

"To the flight museum. Yeah."

"Well, I guess I'll be glad to have the garage back." Ari rubs the toe of one shoe thoughtfully against her other calf. "You've spent, what, six years on it?"


"And a small fortune on genuine parts."


"And taught yourself machining to make the stuff you couldn't get." Like a replica of the upper third of the mech's spine, because Ari put her foot down hard about having the rusted carcass of basically an entire frame airlifted into the backyard to be cut down for this...thing. "And now it's just...going to a museum?"

"I could keep on detailing for ever. But now it's painted and she's got her unit number stenciled..." Caitlyn puts a hand to her chest. "She feels done. I feel done."

Ari keeps her lips firmly closed over what does your therapist think? (She's pretty sure they can both hear her not-saying it.)

"It feels almost like an exorcism," Caitlyn says quietly, wiping her hands on a rag. "Like I reached into myself and pulled The War out of me and put it into the real world as a solid object."

"And now it can just...go?"

"Yeah. Yeah, I think so." Caitlyn tilts her head to one side, still looking at it, then decisively turns. The garage windows halo her with pale daylight; for a second Ari sees her superposed on herself a decade eariler, pressure suited, flight deck floods glaring behind her. "It's done, you know?" She grins crookedly, and reaches out. "I could be spending that time with my wife."