Lance Steele seems to have hit a nerve in some peoples' funny bones, so let's introduce the rest of the crew before this gets too out of hand. :D
Lieutenant Lance Steele of the Galactic Patrol scowled with grim determination. His airship’s engines didn’t behave like diesels, the weather was implausible, the sentence structure was a nightmare, and his characters wanted to pitch the obvious Russian spy overboard, abandon the expedition to the North Pole, and set course for Florida!
Introducing Lance Steele! For reasons which shall become obvious, I'm thinking of donating him to this community. I bet people could have a HOOT playing around with him.
Stiletto tumbled helplessly, dark and powerless, lost between the stars, so far from home.
On the courier ship’s cramped bridge the emergency lights flickered and came on. Lance Steele shook his head, groaning. He blinked and rubbed his eyes.
“Report,” he croaked.
This was written as a result of seeing the call for submissions put out by Subterranean Magazine. (In fact, Mr. John Scalzi was the editor of that particular issue.) The idea was to take a standard science-fiction cliche (or Popular Mechanics' 'In The Future, Man Will... [have flying cars, personal robot butlers, etc.] trope) and make it interesting.
This is what I came up with. I think it's interesting; it certainly was different from what I usually write. I was aiming for a kind of Heinlein's Heyday feel, though I'm not sure if I managed to get _that_ across.