Kevin sat on the plane reading the newspaper, as the air from the overhead nozzle streamed down onto the paper, it created an eddy that whirled up and blew around his face. He looked out of the small window at the clouds and day-dreamed that the air was whooshing over his face as he flew through the clouds.
He returned to the paper and turned the pages away from the business section and back to the front page. Despite the hundreds of hours, he’d spent flying business class, he still hated take-off and landing, so had deliberately skipped the front-page news of a plane crash the day before.
The flight attendant came round with a tray of drinks as he immersed himself in the gory details of the incident. ‘Would you like a drink?’ the attendant asked, leaning over in front of him just enough to guarantee a response.
Kevin briefly looked up at the smiling woman and returned the formality with a toothy grin. ‘No, thank you’ he replied before returning to the story.
The flight attendants smile disappeared instantly as she moved on to the next passenger.
As Kevin read, he automatically corrected the poor grammar and made a note not to read that particular paper again. He poured over the details of how the eco-terrorist group Omnicide had launched a neural hacking attack on flight RH657 from London to Sydney. They’d used a combination of chemicals and technological hacking to persuade the crew of plane that their autopilot had taken control and landed as part of a security threat. As the sky was dark and the altimeter read zero, the pilot trusted the flight controls.
Despite the chaos and confusion, the flight crew had followed protocol and fired the doors off to allow the emergency slide to inflate – at 30,000 feet it was catastrophic. The group claimed responsibility and promised further attacks until every plane had been grounded.
Turbulence shook the plane as Kevin finished the article; he looked out of the window again to see the plane in a decline. After checking his watch, a frown came onto his face and he pressed the button which beckoned the flight attendant.
He watched her walk down the aisle pouting, her eyes narrow in belief that she was almost inviable to business class passengers. When she was a few rows away she looked up from the aisle and saw him watching her, her pout broke into a smile.
Before she could ask him what he wanted he blurted out, ‘why are we descending?’
She looked at him with a quizzical expression, as she handed him a drink. ‘I didn’t order a drink, what is this?’ Kevin asked as he took the drink from her.
The attendant placed a hand on his shoulder, ‘Are you feeling alright, Mr Green’ she asked with a look of concern on her face.
Kevin looked at the drink in his hand, ‘Why are we descending?’, he repeated.
As if on cue, over the loud-speaker came the captain ‘Please return to your seats and return your table to its upright position. We are beginning our decent.’
Kevin’s eyes opened wide as he looked out of the window again. The attendant had begun to walk away as Kevin got up from his seat and shouted, ‘we have hours to go, what’s going on?’ The air from the nozzle above him blew a cold patch on head, so he fumbled around with the controls, until the air stopped blowing.
The attendant walked back over to him with her arms raised in placation. All the other passengers were staring at him, ‘please sit down, sir’ she said. Out of habit he obliged and sat back down.
The descent had become steeper now and out of the window he could see that they were below the cloud line. He clambered out of his seat and began running down the aisle, ‘take me to the captain’ he shouted.
One of the attendants began to get out of their seat, but another grabbed them by the arm and hauled them back down, just as the plane shook and the engines screeched.
Kevin was flung to the ground as the overhead compartments crashed open, sending luggage sprawling into the aisle and raining down on top of him. As he tried to rise from his position, he looked out of the windows and saw water rising as they sank, in the distance was the white of an iceberg and all was still.
Two of the attendants had now unbuckled themselves and were striding over to where Kevin lay while another headed over to the doors. The passengers sat silently, waiting to disembark, as the attendant blew the doors and ice water flooded in.