baby, i'm ready to go.
Cara’s in her plane. That sentence unto itself is a whopper, but that’s a story for another time; one that requires a drink or two (for you). Y’see, she’s been knee-deep in her own pilot training (the civilian class is a decent one, and a license stating she’s Carol Danvers does no one any good, she knows), but it doesn’t stop her from sitting in her own cockpit every now and then, yawning softly as the sun starts to dip toward the horizon line. SFO, part of her has determined, is a decent place to watch a sunset.

It’s a habit that Carol has when the days start to bleed together; the isolation, the concrete viewing of one day’s end. She’s done it often, and Cara understands the habit in a way, closing her eyes as she rests her head back. A pilot’s chair is no place for sleeping, she knows that too, but when the images start to play, amplifying from the back of her brain like the sound-test in a movie theater, she doesn’t stop them. It’s less a nap and more of a lesson, a memory; and she willingly lets Carol’s brain take over, speeding forward into darkness -- nothingness -- as she draws in an inhale. It’s as instinctive and natural as breathing, the way her body moves in space and time; she slices through barriers like an osprey, pulling herself through clouds, as if she were trying to bring space down to her. And then, she has. She’s there.

Like cannonballing into the stinging cold of a lake, this is what it feels like to both be frozen and on fire all at once. Skin tingles. Lungs compress. Ears pop (and her jaw subsequently stretches to alleviate it). And through all of this, there is silence; a thick quiet that rests over her body -- mimicking a television show that’s gone on mute. There are no sounds in space; not the kind most humans know or can hear, anyway. When she’s alone, it takes actively pressing at her neck to ensure her pulse is still there, and it always is: soft and human, defying the odds in a place not meant for soft and human things.

Eventually, and inevitably, when her mind wanders, her body drifts. Unyielding under space’s crushing vacuum, her descent begins slowly, like a gentle drift toward the sea floor. Her limbs feel dense, not heavy, and it takes a gentle push of electromagnetic energy, extending her senses to usher her back toward earth’s atmosphere. When blonde hair tangles in front of her face, that’s when she knows she’s headed in the right direction -- nevermind the blue marble beneath her, just over her shoulder.

On her next impossible breath, she pushes again, another confident direction from brain to body as her drop begins to speed. Heavier, faster, and warmer now. Her veins open and pupils dilate; this, something deep inside her knows, is what it feels like to truly awaken.

Faster, and faster still.

Captain Marvel drops through the air, arms held confidently out to her sides, and toes pointed; relaxed while she hurtles toward solid ground like a meteorite. From the inside out, she’s on fire -- is fire itself -- as she scorches her way back down through the auroras in the thermosphere and the space junk pelting earth’s stratosphere.

She can’t draw in the breath to satisfy the burning sensation in her lungs, and she starts to taste the tang of copper and rust on her tongue. It’s that moment that her fists clench and ignite, kicking her feet around (surprisingly deft in manner) and twisting to right herself midair. With all of the centrifugal force, gravity, and inertia her body’s swallowed, Cara Davies sees herself take off like a human torpedo, eyes, hands, hair, and feet all ablaze.. A streak of light surfacing, returning home from space’s darkness.

By the time she wakes from the memory, she’s stumbled out of the cockpit and to the tarmac, jogging out a small door in the side of her hangar. She’s punched holes in the surface tension of the moment, feeling every impulse, neural connection, and desire for flight spill out before her like blood from a gunshot wound.

As such, being the intelligent, sentient human that she is, Cara scrambles to stave it; to apply the necessary mental pressure, and keep her breathing steady to counter the chaos that’s erupted in her subconscious. It’s meditative, almost, as she paces back and forth beneath the winking stars and planets that’ve decided to show themselves at dusk.

And then.. And then.

It starts as a brisk walk, then a jog from one end of the tarmac to the other.. Like she’s lining up a perfect swan dive into the waves, Cara Davies sprints at nothing and throws her arms ahead of her. When she leaps, this time, she doesn’t come crashing down in a heap of limbs and shrieks; this time, she roars into the sky, pulling her arms down to her sides like a swimmer off of a quick-turn.. Grunting as she pushes herself higher. While it’s wholly true that until six months ago, Cara didn’t have Carol Danvers in her life..

.. Carol, it was important to note, didn’t have Cara.