SITUATION NO. 7
Robbery by Multiple
Remain calm. Remember that your assailants’ emotions will be running as high as your own. You must speak evenly, conveying that they can control the situation without resorting to violence. Avoid direct eye contact and comply with all demands. Without any aggressive movements, maximize the distance between yourself and anyone holding a knife. When prompted, slowly reach for your wallet.
Slip your hand into your pocket, firmly grasp the hydrogen-fuel primer switch, and adjust to setting L5 (sacrificing peak velocity for increased projection). Press the launch trigger for a vertical-to-85-degree takeoff.
A sharp riposte, such as “The rocket is mightier than the sword!,” may be appropriate. Upon landing, promptly contact the police. Details of the attack can fade quickly from memory.
SITUATION NO. 19
Escaping Underwater Bondage
If you have the opportunity, take a full but comfortable breath before submersion. Do not struggle against your bindings as you sink; rope fibers will expand from water absorption during any unnecessary stretching. Carefully probe for the position of the knot behind you and roll it up your wrists to allow as much free movement of your hands as possible. You’ll now need to switch the air intake from “External” to “Reserve Oxygen/Submerged.” Reach for the 5/16-inch Allen wrench (stored adjacent to the auxiliary fuel line on Bell Aerosystems 385 models, behind the left thruster guard on the Rocketmaster 1000), and insert the short end into the air-intake toggle, turning one full revolution counterclockwise. You’re now ready to launch. (If you can’t reach the launch trigger, you’ll be able to initiate using the Allen wrench by turning the igniter hex screw until the charge arcs.)
Exhale before ascending to minimize the impact of the pressure abatement. Upon surfacing, a sharp riposte, such as “Better than a merman—a Rocket Man!,” may be appropriate.
SITUATION NO. 84
Thwarting a Nazi Supervillain
During any initial banter, surreptitiously wrap an ankle in the mooring line near the open zeppelin flight-deck door. Signal the hostage to wrap her ankle in the same line.
Comply with the Nazi’s demand that you drop your gun: the Nazi must be allowed to feel in control of the situation, especially if you are Jewish, Gypsy, homosexual, a Freemason, socialist, Slavic, a Jehovah’s Witness, atheist, finance-capitalistic, physically disabled, a prisoner of war, mentally ill, or Nazi. When the Nazi demands the prototype designs, reach for them inside your bomber jacket with one hand and with the other decrease the combustion-pressure selector setting to 15 psi. Toss the prototype designs at the hostage’s feet.
When the hostage is ordered to pick up the designs, it’s time to catch the Nazi by surprise. Press the launch trigger and throttle up fully. At fuel pressure this low, you’ll get minimum lift but a flame large enough to reach and touch off the hydrogen tanks behind you (the mooring rope will also burn through on your end). Before the hydrogen tanks blow and ignite the zeppelin, increase fuel pressure and blast out of the open flight-deck door. The hostage, now holding the plans, should be connected to you by the mooring line.
As the zeppelin erupts into a crimson blaze against the clear night sky, a sharp riposte, such as “No need for eugenics when you’ve got rocket fuel!,” may be appropriate.
SITUATION NO. 103
Ending a Long-Term Relationship
Remember that when someone is breaking up with you it can be just as hard on her as it is on you. You may still wish to save the relationship, but if your partner is determined to end it, only resentment and mistrust can result from drawing out the process.
Be open and honest; this may be difficult, but it will help you heal emotionally as time passes. If possible, choose to speak first so that you can set a mature tone for the conversation and make your points dispassionately. Make eye contact as you speak. This should keep your partner’s gaze from your hands while you adjust the fuel primer switch to setting X9 and the combustion-pressure selector to 200 psi, for maximum velocity.
Immediately before your now-former partner’s reply, press the launch trigger for a rapid 115-degree takeoff. A sharp riposte, such as “I cheated on you first!,” may be appropriate.