Air Safety and Astronautics Officer Maria da Cunha had ticketed just about every kind of bad pilot you could name. But right now, on this quiet night in the city, she was enjoying a cup of coffee under the stars and simply looking forward to the end of her shift.
Life's like that. When Ahab lost his leg to Moby Dick it's likely that he was sitting happily on the foredeck with a cheese sandwich. When Captain Hook lost his hand to the crocodile he was probably enjoying a book of poetry and looking forward to an evening at the ballet. Their lives were changed in an instant in a way that gave them a new and uncomfortable - but undeniable - meaning.
So although this was a big surprise to Maria, it should not be surprising to anyone else that in just that moment, while she was enjoying her coffee, her cup was swept away by the tail fin of an upside-down Hepmobile that roared over her, spun three times, and turned ninety degrees to starboard before it raced away.
Officer da Cunha was a highly trained professional. Before her coffee cup had hit the ground she'd started her cruiser and was off in pursuit of the Hepmobile. She just had time to think: I had no idea a Hep could corner like that! as her instincts took control. Her instincts knew just what to do: they were going after the White Whale and the ticking crocodile.
So it was with all the determination of an Ahab or a Hook that Maria da Cunha flipped on her siren and raced after the Hepmobile.
This was not, by any means, her first pursuit: but unlike Maria the Hepmobile's pilot didn't seem to understand how this worked. The rogue rocket was flying sideways now and heading right back the way it had come.
It's always happy hour someplace, Maria though