King Cobra Theatre

This is a simple sketch from The Fifth Duck, using as its' basis the UK Driving Test.


Two people ENTER, one holding a clipboard as a driving examiner might

Examiner Now, Commander Jameson, could you please indicate which spacecraft is yours?

Jameson [Pointing] That one, the Cobra III with the custom paint job

Examiner I see. Can you read the registration number for me please?

Jameson JX-451

Examiner Thank you. Now can you read the sign at the far side of the hangar bay?

Jameson "Spacecraft in mirror may be closer than they appear."

Examiner Good. Now, before we go down to your craft and commence the test, could you explain why you want to pass the Advanced Commanders' Flight Test?

Jameson Sure. I want to be able to fly something that looks good, flies good, shoots good, and won't get blown up in one hit from a pirate.

Examiner I see...

Jameson And so I don't keep getting mistaken for a cop.

Examiner I'm sorry?

Jameson I used to have a Viper, that's the ship cops use. I must've been asked to write more parking tickets than I've been given!

Examiner [Frowning] And did you?

Jameson No! Except for that one time with the Imperial Courier, but he was taking up two spaces! Anyway, I want to move up and start making my rep.

Examiner I see. You do realise that the Advanced Commanders' Licence is very thorough, and the exam makes no allowances for error?

Jameson I know.

Examiner Very well. Some safety questions then. Can you tell me your full drive specifications?

Jameson Type 3 Kettlion drive with a max range of 8 lightyears, intra-system main thrusters give a max of 20.1g acceleration, retros 7g, turn rate 16 degrees a second.

Examiner That corresponds with my information, good. You're travelling at a thousand kilometres a second, what's the stopping distance?

Jameson 22 million km

Examiner And the thinking time? [LONG PAUSE] Well?

Jameson I'm thinking [The EXAMINER goes to make a negative mark] 10 minutes!

Examiner Very well. What is the maximum permitted intra-system speed of your class of ship?

Jameson Seven thousand kilometres per second on astroways, six thousand kilometres a second on major routes, and three hundred kilometres a second in built-up areas.

Examiner And what action should you take at any of those speeds if you were overtaken by a freighter?

Jameson If a freighter overtakes me at seven thousand kilometres a second I'll say, "holy shit, what did he mod those engines with?" [EXAMINER frowns and goes to mark something negative on the clipboard] And then I'll make a note of the registration and report it to the nearest police outpost. [The EXAMINER doesn't make a bad mark]

Examiner Right. Now, could you explain to me how you would check your navigation lights are working?

Jameson When in the docking lift, cut all internal and external lights, and look for the red and green glows reflected on the walls.

Examiner And if you're at an open-air spaceport?

Jameson Get out and look.

Examiner Good. How would you execute an emergency stop?

Jameson Flip over on the y axis and hit full main thrusters. I'd hardly call it an emergency stop, though. At a thousand kilometres a second it takes an hour and twenty minutes to actually stop.

Examiner Nevertheless. Now, do you have proof of a recent 400 lightyear service and a valid MOT certificate?

Jameson Yes, on board, in the glove box where I won't lose them.

Examiner And what about insurance certificates?

Jameson I've only got third party until I pass this test. It's in the glove box as well.

Examiner Very well, Commander Jameson, we will proceed to your vehicle and commence the test.