The pilot of the biplane was a man of some repute, an aging veteran of the skies who gave seemingly romantic deaths to husbands so that their widows might smile inwardly as the dirt was shoveled, because they had loved a brave brave man even into death and daisies. There was a sort of telepathy beneath his wings when he flew that seemed to make him infallible. He was a predator, to be sure, and like all great killers he was not foolhardy enough to look his opponent in the eye while the gauntlets were thrown. Dogfights are for heroes, and heroes have a knack for dying.

Smartly dressed in broken leather and red scarves, he bled the brilliance of the sun and nestled his guns in belly of the nimbus until the roar of their engines smelled more red than blue. The world, being the infinitely patient place that it is, never minded standing still to watch him squeeze the trigger and admire elegance to rival its own. It was the same every time, though never wanting. Thud Thud Thud, a panicked face turning in its seat, a futile attempt, a silent resignation, the flutter of his scarf between the propeller blades, and straight into the belly of the earth.

Eventually, the patience of the world got the better of him, and the pilot of the biplane grew curious. The air began to dangle more and more laconically, and his business of killing no longer satisfied him. Death is, understandably, an exhausting and lonely business. Neither love of country nor love of the sky could sway him any longer, and with one glance to the sea far below, he knew that he would go. To the city of glass that he had sent so many before him into. He was still wearing his scarf when the blades hit the water, and for the first time since he realized his talents, he smiled.