The Servant Ch. 01bycaligula97236©
Chapter 01 - Santa Eduviges Island.
Trish Bousquet quietly stared through the airplane window of her first-class seat at the calm Caribbean waters below. The colors she saw were truly special, unique to that part of the world... the brilliant turquoise water punctuated with ragged reefs and dotted with dark green islands. She reflected that she had been in so many places, but there was nothing like the Caribbean, with its beach resorts, diving, party scene and raves...which combined heat and luscious beauty with a hint of ever-present risk and danger. To the woman's restless soul, the Caribbean offered so much more than the comparatively dull social scene in Europe. She always thought about going back to the tropics...always in search of new adventure.
Trish smiled as she thought about all the things in her life that she had gotten away with. She was not grateful for her narrow escapes, but instead bored thinking about the past and looking forward to new adrenaline rushes. 24 years on the planet had not taught her much common sense. She was a trust-fund heiress who had never had to deal with any responsibilities. In her private school she was considered one of the worst students, but a couple of generous donations from her trust fund manager to the institution ensured she stayed enrolled no matter what. Same thing in college...funny how a girl who doesn't go to class can still get through...with the right kind of persuasion to the right people. Then there were the DUI's. Yep...Trish had plenty of those under her belt as well...but you know...campaign contributions smooth over plenty of those problems on top of everything else. Up to that point money had made Trish Bousquet untouchable.
At that very moment Trish was having a new adventure. She may have done plenty of bizarre things in the past, but most of it paled compared to what she was doing on the plane. If she were caught, she'd face serious legal problems, and very likely a jail sentence. Inside her body she was carrying cocaine, a full kilo divided into pellets that she had swallowed before going to the airport and boarding her flight. She was doing it not because she needed to, but simply because she never said "no" to doing something crazy: never said "no" to doing something that would leave her friends gasping with amazement. As for what she was doing at that moment; two weeks earlier she made a bet with her friends in Baton Rouge that she could smuggle a kilo of cocaine into the US from a foreign location. The agreement was that she had to fly, alone, to the country of her choice, figure out the best way to smuggle the cocaine, return to the US, and then, in front of her friends, present the evidence.
So...why the cocaine? Hell...Trish could buy a kilo of cocaine, no problem. Ten kilos...maybe even 20. She was doing this dare because her spoiled life had addicted her to being outrageous. She loved putting herself into dangerous situations...the more bizarre the better. She loved it when people looked at her and said "Oh my God! Do you see what's she's doing?" So...for nothing more than bragging rights over doing something that her party friends would never dare do themselves...and for having the satisfaction of watching a room full of people get high on cocaine that she herself had delivered, Trish had decided to make the trip.
Her boyfriend's drug source was the one who set Trish up with a contact in Panama. At first she thought that she was going to carry the cocaine in a concealed suitcase, but the Panamanian told her that she'd be better off swallowing the cocaine in pellets...much less likely to get caught. When the rich girl showed a hint of reluctance the dealer noted:
"I thought you wanted to have the real drug smuggling experience. This is it muchacha: it's the way we move drugs in our organization."
So...Trish spent a couple of days in Panama City getting ready for her adventure. She practiced swallowing whole grapes and hotdog pieces until she could overcome her gagging reflex. Finally she was ready...she swallowed 90 grape-sized pellets of cocaine, all of them wrapped in bluish plastic and tightly sealed on the ends. She headed to the airport and boarded her flight, thinking how great it would be to see everyone's faces when they realized how she had brought them their coke.
Nope...24 years on the planet had not taught Trish Bousquet any common sense whatsoever.
Trish' pleasant thoughts were interrupted when suddenly the plane jerked. Then there was a strange series of clicks. The warning lights came on. Then came a loud whooshing sound. The aircraft began rocking from side to side as the cabin filled with the frightened murmurings of the passengers.
The pilots managed to get the rocking under control after a few minutes, but everyone could see that the aircraft was losing altitude. The plane approached the ocean, then leveled off only a few hundred feet above the water. The pilot finally announced the obvious: the aircraft was having mechanical difficulties and would have to make an emergency landing.
"Folks...looks like we're cleared for an emergency landing in Santa Eduviges. We'll be touching down in about five minutes."
The sudden drop in altitude made Trish sick. A spasm of pain worked through her intestines. Unlike her fellow passengers, she was not frightened by the whooshing and strange noises coming from the plane...because she had a much more immediate problem; trying not to throw up. This was not good. Trish had been confident of making to Miami, but she knew that she could not keep the pellets down if her plane had to make an extra stop. The aching and nausea sweeping through her body made her wonder if what she was doing was really such a great idea, if taking such a risk really was worth the bragging rights she could enjoy if she made it home.
The plane hit the runway with a jolt. The pilots immediately hit the reverse thrusters. The aircraft tilted to the right and some of the passengers started screaming. Barely, but just barely, the pilots managed to correct the direction and avoid touching the wing on the ground. There was another scary jolt as the left wheels hit the pavement. There was a bounce, a distinct pop, and then, finally, all the plane's wheels were safely on the pavement and the aircraft slowed. The screaming changed over to nervous cheering and clapping.
The pilots pulled up to a set of small buildings and a newly-built control tower. With a sigh of relief the cockpit crew announced:
"Well, folks...welcome to Santa Eduviges International Airport...and after our little adventure in the sky, quite a site she is..."
Several workers rolled staircases to the front and back doors of the plane. The pilots emerged from the cabin; trembling, pale, and drenched in sweat. That detail alone told everyone how close the plane had come to crashing. The crew nervously shook passengers' hands as they got off.
Trish fought off nausea as she descended the staircase into the intense heat of the tropical afternoon. She got a quick look at the locals, who were the mixed-Creole descendants of a succession of Spanish, French, and British settlers and their African slaves. They were dressed practically for their environment, all of the airport workers and officers, both men and women, wore light-colored uniforms with short-sleeved shirts and cargo shorts.
Among the officials there was a police woman who caught Trish's attention. She might have been a couple of years older than Trish. The police officer was darker-skinned than most of her co-workers, reflecting her mostly African ancestry. The woman was attractive, but had a no-nonsense look on her face. At first glance she seemed to have an ordinary figure, but Trish then noticed that her arms were muscular. The officer was tough-looking, definitely not one a normal person would want to get into a fight with. When the traveler noticed the officer's badge, there was a strange coincidence; the woman's nameplate read "Bousquet". Odd...it turned out that Trish and the island woman shared the same last name.
Several island cops and custom officials surrounded the passengers and guided them towards a double trailer that seemed in somewhat better shape than most of the other buildings. The officials pointed at a row of metal detectors through which everyone would have to pass before being allowed into the main part of the airport.
Trish was nervous, not because of the metal detector, but because the heat was making her sicker than ever. If she could just get through those detectors, she'd find a bathroom. The nausea had convinced her that what she was doing wasn't worth it. She'd get rid of her cocaine, go home, buy some the normal way, and make up a cover story. To hell with completing this dare...it was just stupid.
Life is extremely ironic, however. Just as Trish was starting to develop a hint of common sense and beginning to understand that not everything in this world is worth trying, her life was about to take a turn she never expected.