tagNovels and NovellasAvenging Angels Ch. 09

Avenging Angels Ch. 09

byVjax©

Chapter 9

The boarding area for flight 2233 Non-Stop from New York to Rome was not crowded. A few people milled about, getting their last good stretch for nine hours. It was late, or early depending upon how you marked the passage of time.

The gate attendant was happy, this was her last flight of the day and she was looking forward to putting a long shift behind her. Reviewing the passenger manifest she was surprised that the company had actually kept this flight on schedule. So often now when a plane was this empty the flight was canceled, putting off the passengers to later flights so as not to waste the money on a nearly empty plane. She was glad they didn't cancel, it had already been a horrible day with almost every flight delayed, eleven hours of pissed off passengers and disinterested flight crews was more than enough. Kim was grateful to end the day with an easy flight.

'Only thirty-two people total, one special needs, six others in first class, everyone else in business. At least they will all have room to stretch out.' Kim thought to herself as she turned from the passenger manifest to look out the window behind her. Clouds had rolled in just before dusk, the airport was quiet, but that was the way Wednesday evenings usually were, everyone was where they were going.

Jim from the ground crew came in the service door and walked over to Kim.

"She is all checked out Kim, fueling is moving along, you should be ready on-time."

"Thanks Jim, this flight is setting up smoothly, I wish they were all like this one."

Kim was going to continue but was interrupted as the captain and flight crew unexpectedly came around the corner. "An hour early?" Jim's spoken question mirrored her own thoughts. Both knew that with the way scheduling was done these days, getting the crew on the plane before the first passengers was rare let alone having them show up this early.

"Good evening Captain Willis." Kim said, the surprise evident in her voice as she greeted the pilot.

'Hello Kim, nice to see you again."

"How is the bird checking out?" Willis asked the technician beside the startled flight assistant.

"She's checked out; fit and ready to fly, fueling is underway and you should be good to go on time. I'll go make sure there are no delays." Jim said, anxious to get back to his crew to make sure there would be none.

"Gordon," Willis said to the young man at his side, "why don't you go with the tech and give the bird a once over, I always like to have someone from the flight crew take a look."

Gordon had flown a few of these V.I.P. Assignments with Willis before and anticipated the request.

"Lead the way," Gordon said, motioning Jim toward the service door.

"The interior is ready Captain, they had two crews waiting to maintenance as soon as the last passengers disembarked. Are there any special considerations I should be aware of for this flight?"

Kim's question was not unwarranted. It was well known that the few regular flights Willis was assigned were for V.I.P.'s or government contracts. Kim wanted to be sure that there were no special requirements she needed to be aware of.

Willis' easy smile put her at ease.

"Nothing special and nothing major Kim, just a few people that the airline wants to coddle a bit."

His tone dropped in octave and in volume as he continued.

"Best to just do your normal thorough job, appreciate the easy flight and not take to much note."

Kim understood the meaning behind the Captains words. There would be no gossip about this flight or those who were on it.

Accompanying the flight crew to the plane Kim chatted idly with the stewardesses, noting that while all of them had several years of experience none were over thirty. She smiled to herself understanding that at about five years most stewardesses became jaded, going through the motions of their jobs but not really caring one way or the other how the passengers were taken care of. With this crew it was obvious that the higher ups new the score as well. It was a shame they didn't give the amount of care to every flight that they were this one. Perhaps rumors of bankruptcy wouldn't be quite so energetic if they did.

Kim moved easily through the cabin, helping the crew get their things stowed before walking back up the ramp to the desk. She wouldn't gossip about the flight, she was however, interested to see just what kind of group warranted this level of attention and anonymity.

...

"Can I help you with anything?"

She was only being polite, but the question grated on Cryptic's nerves none the less.

Plastering on his best fake smile he responded.

"Gate 67?"

"Ah, down and to the left, do you need someone to help....."

Cryptic had already started wheeling away, her statement going unfinished as she watched him move off in the direction she had indicated.

His powerful arms moved the lightweight titanium wheelchair easily down the concourse. He felt bad about being rude to the woman, his mother would not approve. The thought of her reproachful sneer brought a grin to his handsome face as he navigated into the waiting area for gate 67.

Kim watched the young man as he rolled to a stop before her desk.

"Ah, Mr...Farron,' she thought to herself as her finger traced down the names on the flight manifest to the one that indicated special needs.

'So young, and where are the parents?' Shaking off her questions she regarded him, noting the mistrusting look in his eyes.

"Mr. Farron, my name is Kim, can I get you anything while you wait? We should be boarding in about twenty minutes."

Cryptic answered her smile with a cold uncaring glare.

"No thank you," he said moving toward the bank of windows looking out over the dark runway.

Cryptic had spent many hours trying and failing to get his system back on line. The crash itself was nothing he hadn't experienced. Such things happen to everyone, even him. The fact that he was hacked, supposedly by some bible thumper at the Vatican was what had turned his mood foul. The idea that another human being could get into his system, shut him out so thoroughly shook him to his core.

Kim watched him wondering what tragedy could cause such anger in someone so young. She saw the tension in his shoulders, the way he seemed to bow under some unseen weight. He epitomized the word...alone.

Turning back to the counter, Kim was startled to see two women standing there waiting for her attention.

"Good evening. Checking in?" She asked regaining her composure.

With a warm smile Cali pulled out two tickets from her purse and slid them across the desk.

"Yes, Cali Simms and Samantha Carson."

"You're confirmed in seats 5a and 5b, we should be boarding in about fifteen minutes." Kim said returning the womens' tickets and boarding passes.

A large group, seemingly the bulk of those flying in business or coach came in, obviously having traveled together to the airport. Check-in went smoothly with no problems for the large group. 'Still four missing from first class.' Kim thought to herself as the Co-pilot came back through the service way.

"We are all clear Kim, you can start boarding anytime."

"Will do, um, we are still waiting for four first class passengers to check in." Kim said.

"Let's start the boarding while we wait for them to arrive. We are on a tight schedule but it's a light flight, we can wait awhile before making sure everyone is seated and belted. I'll let the captain know about the four who are running late." Gordon said as he turned and headed down the gantry to the plane.

"We can get you boarded now." Kim said in a quiet voice from behind Cryptic.

Not responding, Cryptic merely turned his chair and started quickly toward the gate, Kim walking fast to keep pace.

Cali and Sam watched the scene with interest.

"So much anger," Cali said to Sam as the wheelchair passed out of their line of sight.

"Yes, and sadness, he carries the weight of the world on his shoulders and feels very much alone in the struggle." Sam said giving her mates' hand a warm squeeze.

"Everyone carries anger and sadness," the strong sensual voice said from behind them, " it is up to each of us to carry the burdens they bring without allowing them control over our lives."

Cali and Sam turned as one to find Takari standing behind them, her eyes on the empty door through which Cryptic had just passed.

Wide smiles broke out on both of the younger womens' faces as they appraised Takari and immediately felt a kinship to her.

"I'm Sam, and this is my lover, partner and best friend Cali."

"It is a pleasure to meet you both. I am Takari, I think we are on a similar adventure." She said smiling and taking both of their hands gently in hers.

'Yes, and' Takari thought, 'very strong they are, old magic, good magic, very interesting.'

The three women turned at the noise of running from behind them just as two men and a woman came rounding the corner at almost a full run to pull up quickly before the three standing women.

The men moved naturally in front of the woman. As the three new arrivals drifted warily towards the three women, all of them felt the various tendrils of power flowing about them, each trying to gauge the intentions of the others. It was a tense moment, finally broken as Aiyana pushed from between the two larger men and smiled at the three women.

"Greetings sisters, may your paths be smooth and your companions amiable. I am Aiyana, this is Jonus and Duncan, we are most pleased to be sharing...whatever is to come with such interesting companions."

Aiyana's lilting voice and easy manner eased the tensions that had burst forth at their arrival.

"Takari."

"Sam."

"Cali."

Each said completing the introductions all around.

Their attention turned as one to Kim who had come back to the desk and announced that the flight could now begin boarding.

She noted the four new arrivals and was pleased there would be no delay. ...

Cryptic was not happy.

He had only flown twice before this and those times had not provided a great deal of confidence either in the mystical properties of aerodynamics nor the trustworthiness of the mere humans that controlled the magic of flight, and his overall well being.

"Can I help you into your seat?"

Rebbecca was one of two stewardesses assigned to first class. She was young and pretty, a typical California surfer girl, long blond hair, green eyes, long legs and an ample bust line. On the job for a little over three years, she still retained the enthusiasm that so many of the older attendants had lost after having too many bad flights and even worse passengers.

Cryptic's anger blazed hot as he turned to the stew, getting ready to let loose one of his signature tirades on not needing any help. As his eyes met hers his anger lost energy. In her eyes he found that rarest of commodities, an actual desire to help another person, a look he had rarely seen since his mother died. In a soft even voice he answered her.

"No thanks, I can manage, but I appreciate the offer." The smile given with the polite refusal was most appreciated and accepted.

Pulling himself over to the large leather seat took no effort for Cryptic as his daily workouts and endless laps in the pool kept his upper body in excellent shape. Grabbing his duffel bag and slipping it to the seat next to him he watched as the attentive Rebbecca took his chair to store for the flight.

Settling back in the comfortable overstuffed seat he was just pulling out his laptop as Rebbecca came back to his side.

"We won't be taking off for about twenty minutes, can I get you a drink or something to snack on?"

Her question was delivered with a happy lilt to her voice that Cryptic was once again surprised by. His last flights had been narrated by stewardesses who never met his gaze and droned out their lines with a monotone only achievable with a total lack of interest..

"Not right now, maybe after we break the laws of gravity."

Cryptic's nervousness about the flight was easy to pick up from the waver in his voice.

Placing her hand gently on his shoulder, Rebbecca bent at the waist to look him in the eye.

"Don't worry, you've got the best pilot and crew on this flight, there won't be any problems."

Cryptic enjoyed the feeling of her warm hand on his shoulder. It did however bring up once again the frustrations of being a normally hormonal teenager trapped in a body that would not respond.

He turned to his laptop as Rebbecca walked the few feet to the door to greet the incoming passengers.

Takari walked a few steps behind Sam and Cali down the gantry way to the plane.

'An interesting group of fliers, too much of a coincidence to be one. The two up front are very strong probably ritual magic. The three behind me...stronger still but an odd mix of beliefs and powers. An interesting flight to be sure.' Takari chuckled as she entered the plane, hoping that the small metal tube was designed well enough to contain such a unique gathering of energies.

Sam and Cali sat a few rows behind Cryptic, both of them giving him long stares as they passed.

Two seats behind them Jonus, Duncan and Aiyana found their seats with the men sitting together and Aiyana taking the isle seat next to them. Takari found her place just behind Aiyana.

Almost as soon as Takari took her seat the other passengers began boarding. It was an orderly group with no pushing or shoving, which was odd in itself. What was odder still was the fact that almost to a person they went out of their way not to meet anyone's stare in first class as they headed toward the rear of the plane.

"Good evening ladies and gentleman, this is Captain Willis, myself and the flight crew would like to welcome you on our flight to Rome tonight . We will be departing the gate in approximately five minutes. Flight time should be around eight hours and twenty-two minutes. Weather report looks good for a nice easy flight the whole way."

There was the quiet muffled banter from the business class section after the Captains message as was the norm before take off. First class was much quieter, more reserved, than would be seen as normal by the flight crew. However, the entire crew understood this was a special flight and it was best not question.

The door was sealed up and the plane began it's slow taxi to find its place in the take off order. None of the passengers truly understanding what such a common place action as stepping on a plane would have in the landscape of their lives.

...

Mary was in a frantic state as she ran through Sheremetyevo International Airport. The church car had had engine trouble. The late night traffic through Moscow had not been bad, but the hour also made the wait for the small service truck longer. As she weaved her way around weary travelers in the 60's era terminal she just knew that the flight was going to leave without her.

She had been met in the crowded entry concourse by a representative of the airline as well as an older priest from the Archdiocese. They had assured her that the plane would wait for her. Their assurances fell on deaf ears. Mary was focused on one thing, finally being free of the solitary life she had lived for so many years. The representatives had to jog to keep up with the Mary as she practically sprinted toward the boarding gate.

The boarding area was empty when Mary arrived. Her heart sank, sure that she had missed her opportunity. As she was about to turn toward the airline rep, ticket clutched in her hand, tears being held back with her last reserves of strength the gate door opened.

Looking around the middle aged attendant saw Mary and smiled.

"Ms. Mary Stewart?"

His question spoken in broken English.

"Yes." Mary said, her tone revealing equal parts relief and joy.

"Ah, excellent, we have been holding flight for you, please follow me." He said holding out his arm to the young woman.

Mary glanced behind her to see the two reps huffing and puffing, both nodding their heads in approval.

Stepping into the doorway of the plane Mary was met by an older flight attendant with a tired but genuine smile.

"Ms. Mary Stewart," she said matching Mary's ticket to her passenger manifest. "Come, I will show you to your seat and let the captain know that we are now clear to leave the gate, we were worried you would not make flight."

Mary's seat was only 4 rows back and a window to boot. The last time she was on a plane was the flight from Boston to Moscow, she had been in coach on the aisle and found the experience less than pleasant.

"May I get you something to drink?"

The stewardess's question brought her back to the moment and her attention to the now.

" I would love a coke," Mary answered animatedly.

With a smile at the young woman's enthusiasm for a soda the stewardess turned to fetch the drink.

The intercom switched on and Mary listened to the captain go over the flight time and weather in Rome, She picked up most of it noting it would be a four hour flight and that they would be landing in Rome at approximately 5 am local time. Mary was relieved that she did not have a seat mate, as this would give her a bit more room to stretch out and get some rest before landing. Turning her attention back out the window Mary was once again distracted, pulled equally by memories of the past and wonder at her new found future. ...

Sun had watched the comings and goings at the boarding gate with a practiced eye. The dance of life had always fascinated him as his own life was fairly insulated. He enjoyed the opportunity to simply watch his fellow travelers pass by, creating his own landscapes within which they walked and loved and lived. The trip from Tibet had been uneventful. The church envoy had made all the arrangements and in a little less than two days he had made his way from the monastery to Moscow, his last stop before the final destination of Rome.

The layover had not been too bad, in fact it was too short, Moscow was an interesting city. One which he would like to come back to. It had a unique energy that was unlike anything he had experienced through his travels.

The attendant finally came to the small desk and started checking people in for the flight. Sun stood and stretched, his muscles were tight from the days of travel in sometimes cramped quarters. He needed to do his Kata, needed to feel the wind on his skin, give succor to his universal nature.

'Soon enough,' Sun thought as he twisted at the waist, cracking his back, feeling his spine realign he smiled and started to walk briskly around the perimeter of the gate area, allowing his body the freedom of movement it would be denied for the next 4 hours.

Sun waited as those passengers with special needs were boarded and then presented his first class ticket to the attendant.

"Mr.....Ling, ah here you are, seat 6b, please proceed to the plane and thank you for flying with us today."

The attendant barely looked at Sun before shifting his attention to the next passenger.

The flight was full. Sun had noted the amount of people and assumed that some would not find seats on the flight.

As the passenger flow began to slow then finally stop, Sun was surprised to see three empty seats remaining in first class. Normally those seat would be filled well prior to this, he didn't imagine they would hold the seats for late arrivals.

To Sun, Mary's arrival was like a soft sunrise on a gray morning. The world a smoky clouded landscape in negative relief and then suddenly the sun breaks the horizon, clouds that seemed impassable part at the suns brilliance and the world becomes a riot of color and light.

Mary's soul was something Sun had never encountered before. He had been in the presence of monks who had spent their lives searching for such light. He met men who had a depth of understanding about the universe and its numerous planes of existence that could not touch the inherent joy contained within this one young girl. She took his breath away before she had a chance to sit down in one of those last remaining seats. The glimpse of her eyes, showing both easy joy and the weight of much pain seared his heart. In that moment he became bound to her vowing to protect her and to make sure her unique light would not pass easily from this world.

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