He pumped the lever with one hand and turned the crank furiously with the other. His panicked frenzy of action resulted in no perceptible change in trajectory. Strapped to the exoskeleton he careened with it into the facility’s wall dislodging masonry and bending a steel girder like a noodle. Steam exploded from the crank-house on his back, and he went down in a fusillade of broken bricks and hot sparks.
She was there before the dust settled. The skyward flywheel was still spinning. “It’s okay,” she said. “It’s okay.”
She helped him extricate himself and smiled weakly as he dusted himself off.
“Most people have to take the test a few times before they get their license,” she lied.