Chapter 1

Chapter 1

A Chapter by LizLadyNinja

A Psychologist and Russian Scholar board differnt planes at Ronald Regan International, little do they know that their paths will cross more than once.


The drone of the airport blocked out any room for deep thought. Mothers were scolding their children, and men rushed past on cell phones. Ronald Regan National was just like any other airport in America. Everyone was rushing around, and everyone subconsciously kept an eye one each other. Even years after nine-eleven, people still feared unattended packages left in the terminals.

            Abby Smith sat comfortably in the bar. She was drinking an ice tea and watching the news on her laptop. Her short reddish brown hair was pulled back in a half ponytail and crimson colored glasses rested gently on her nose. The buzz of the airport had been drowned out by the snuggly fitting headphones her husband had bought her. And she sat contently watching a news clip from AOL news.

            “The miracle drug, which researchers had believed would bring the cure for AIDS has been deemed unsafe. The researchers at United Pharmaceuticals announced today that the anti-virus had somehow mutated. This caused the untimely death of one Richard Green. Richard had been diagnosed with AIDS only three years ago, and had eagerly volunteered for the program.

            No official statement has come from United Pharmaceuticals, and we will keep you updated as we learn anything new.”

            The broadcast had been made while Abby had been in her medical conference. She had been attending a presentation on the AIDS virus at the conference at the time the news had been aired. She rubbed her eyes and stretched.

            A little instant message box popped up on her screen and she smiled when she noticed her husband’s name. She typed him a quick reply and then closed the laptop. She began to put everything inside the bag just as two men brushed past her. One glanced back and apologized, and kept on going. She lifted the computer bag and slung it around her shoulder. She exited the bar and joined the crowed, quickly blending in.


Peter sat back in the plush first class chair. He was quite happy to see that he didn’t have a seating neighbor and thus began to settle in for the flight to Main. He pulled a very tattered book from his pocket. Had anyone around him taken the time to observe, it would have been noted that the book was not written in English, but some sort of Slavic language. The book had been used so much that the cover page was a map of wrinkles and creases. The pages too were just as tattered and the ink nearly unreadable. That wasn’t the point though. The point was that Peter had waited year to go on this trip. The fact that the university was paying for it made the trip that much sweeter. All Peter needed was spending money.

He settled back and began flipping through the worn pages. He had the book nearly memorized. But he liked the smell of the pages. It was calming. And it gave his fingers something to do while his mind wondered. The first thing he was going to do upon his arrival to Russia was eat. And the first thing he was going to eat was kotleta po-kievsky, a chicken dish that he had read about. Thinking about eating made him hungry so he pushed food from his mind.

A man in front of him heaved a decent sized carry-on into the upper compartment. Peter watched him and he heaved the bag into the container. He wore a business suit, it was shaded grey and he had a burgundy tie on. Peter assumed by looking at the man that he was a lawyer of some sort. A slick black mustache adorned his face and crows feet pulled at his eyes. He wasn’t old by any means, but he looked it.

Probably from being man handled by the airport, Peter thought. He man glanced at his ticket and frowned. A young woman was sitting in his seat nodding off. Angry at this small trial in his way, he raised his voice and barked for her to get out of his seat. The young woman jumped, frightened by his suddent out burst. She glared at him and glanced at her ticket. When she realized she was suppose to be in the seat by the window she stood and approached a flight attendant about it. The man sat heavily in his seat and pulled the newspaper out from the pocket in the seat in front of him. He opened it loudly and began reading.

From his observations, Peter could tell that this man was going to be a very pleasant flying partner. He just hoped that there wouldn’t be anymore out bursts. He really hated flying with jack asses. And whoever this man was, he was defiantly one of them. Peter glanced at his watch. The plane would be pulling out any minute. He settled in and flipped through his book again.

Five minutes had passed and Peter began looking for a flight attendant. The static of the PA system came on and a bright female voice came one.

“Thank you for choosing American Air. We hope you have a pleasant flight. In a few moments we will show you the proper steps to take in the event of an emergency. If you will please take a moment to locate the closest emergency exit….” She went on with the routine.

Peter noticed that the angry man in front of him was an emergency door contestant. Lovely, Peter thought, He’ll probably f**k us all and abandon ship. Not exactly a fair deduction since Peter didn’t know the man, but he’d flown hundreds of times. He knew how people got under pressure. He wondered if the man in front of him really was a lawyer. Doubtful if he couldn’t handle being in the hot seat. Maybe he was the CEO of some big company hitting the crapper. Maybe he was an Enron guy. Peter chuckled at the thought.

The flight attendant thanked everyone again and disappeared behind the curtain. Peter sat back and waited for the plane to start moving. He was looking forward to getting his free soda as he hadn’t had anything since the bar in the terminal. His thoughts flickered back to the woman whose bag he had tripped over. He wondered where she had been headed, not that it really mattered.


            Abby heaved her laptop into the overhead compartment. She hated flying. Deciding that it was too much work to try and close the damn lid, she left it and sat heavily in her chair. A flight attendant would make sure it was closed before they took off. She couldn’t wait to get back to Colorado and to Andrew. The conference had been long and she wanted nothing more than to take a long bubble bath and have a massage. She leaned back into the plush comfort of the first class seating. She closed her eyes and waited for sleep to come.

            It would not however, as a young man sat down next to her. Instantly she knew this flight was going to be a long one. The young man smelled of cheap cologne and pot. She wondered if there was anyway she could get someone to switch seats with her. She sighed and sat up. The kid smelled so strongly of cheap cologne that she wondered if he had had a bath recently.

            He noticed her looking at him and smiled. Green braces adorned his teeth and she noticed that at least he had bothered to brush. He wore a blue baseball cap and his mop like brown hair stuck out from every direction. If she had been three or four years younger, she would have thought him a little attractive.

            “Hey,” he said happily. “Name’s Nick.” He produced a hand, and Abby was startled to find it completely clean.

            “Abby.” She said. She had taken noticed of the glossed over way he looked at her. This kid was higher than a kite.

            “What brings you here?” He asked, tying to make small talk.

            Abby was impressed that the kid could actually try and hold a conversation, as doped up as he was.

            “I was attending a medical conference.” She replied.

            “You’re a doctor! Would it be too late for me to tell you I’m blind?” he asked, taking note that she could probably tell he was stoned.

            She shook her head. “Too late kid and I am not a doctor. I’m a psychologist.”

            Nick relaxed as she revealed this last tid-bit. “So you can prescribe drugs?” he asked.

            “No.” Abby said, having taken interest in the young man. “I just work with kids.”

            “Ah, well I don’t need a shrink.” He said jokingly.

            The more Abby talked with Nick, the more she decided that the flight wouldn’t be so bad. She was only a few years older than him and stoned or not, the kid seemed pretty intelligent.

            “So,” she began, “Where are you going?”

            Arizona.” He said happily. “I’m heading home for a couple weeks. I’ve been attending the American University for the last year and my parents paid to fly me home.”

Nick’s highly inebriated state only lasted for so long, as his intoxication lulled him into a sleep soon after the plane backed out from the gate.  While thoroughly enjoying his half crazy, marijuana induced company, Abby was happy to have some time alone.  Her lack of sleep over the last week or so due to her intense workload and the medical conference allowed her to pass out almost the moment the plane started out of the gate as well.

“Conversation with a pot-head can only keep you so entertained…” she thought to herself as she closed her eyes and waited for the rush of inertia signifying the plane’s takeoff.  “So strange how I never seem to stay awake for the entirety of any of the flights I take. Could be a blessing given all the problems in airports these days.”

Abby drifted to sleep very quickly, but she awoke abruptly without having so much time as to wipe the sleep from her eyes.  Smoke. Darkness. Panic. 

Finally the pilot came over the barely working static filled intercom and made the announcement that shook Abby to the bone. “The plane has overturned.  Some idiot ran across the runway and the plane flipped as we swerved out of the way.  Everyone stay calm.  We have been assured by the tower that the area is sealed, on-hand emergency vehicles are already here and taking care to get us out safely.  I just guess these 747’s just don’t turn like they used to eh?”

Great humor for such a random and intense situation, Abby thought.  She looked around to make sure that she was uninjured and that her things had made it through the crash and decided to check and make sure that Nick was still fine as well.  Still passed out.  Apparently it is entirely possible to sleep like a brick.  Now she just focused on slowing the beating of her heart, though adrenaline is a tough thing to fight. 

One of the exit windows burst open and a man in a large silver fire retardant suit stepped through with a flashlight.  A quick look around, and to the despair of everyone on board he stepped back out.  There was a fire in coach. 

An electrical fire broke out during the crash and with fuel spilling over the runway the fire team rushed to cover the plane and the fire in coach with water so as to keep it from exploding.  Another man in a silver suit stepped into the exit row and started shouting directions.  More and more panic exploded in waves throughout the cabin as the passengers were informed that they had to leave as soon as possible, and Abby’s heart started to race again.

“Will you wake the heck up Nick!” she screamed at him while shaking him violently.  As he came to he looked around, dumbfounded, and suddenly screamed.

“God! I promise I’ll stop smoking if you let me live through this.” He yelled and started crying on Abby’s shoulder.  She shook him off instantly and unbuckled her seat belt so she could leave.  By now the panic had led to riot in the cabin as people were crawling over seats and other people trying to reach one of the two exits. 

The sight of the stewardesses and the galleys scattered throughout the cabin, mixed with the screams of fear from frightened passengers and the darkness, flickering on and off made sure that Nick would not at all be calmed by any of her efforts to get him to control himself.  Abby finally realized the horrible state that the cabin was in when Nick looked around in absolute awe.  Bags were scattered everywhere from the plane sliding onto its side and spinning to a stop. The overhead compartments were open and there were belongings strewn everywhere.

How Abby did not notice another exit open on the plane was beyond her.  She prided herself on her acute senses and awareness.  That didn’t matter now. She looked at Nick, and trying her best to calm him down said, “You already have Nick.  We never took off.  Some psychopath ran across the runway and the pilot’s turned over the plane to avoid him, but there is a fire in the cabin and you need to get up…NOW.”

Surprised at herself for how calm she could possibly be in such a situation, Abby began rushing him more and more.  You can’t very well get out of a seat on a plane without launching yourself over the person sitting next to you, which would be especially difficult in this situation because the plane had come to rest on her side.  As she stood up, effectively on the side of the plane, she pushed around to try and get to some opening to squeeze out to an exit.  With the lights flickering on and off she could barely make out how much room she had to squeeze over the seats and escape this sitting death trap.  She squeezed through, but only barely and made her way to a clearing.  With the plane on its wing, tilted to the side, Abby was disoriented and her standing up only panicked her more.  The lack of light played tricks on her eyes, and she took off her glasses to try and focus.  It was an almost welcome sight to see the cabin brighten, though the happiness almost instantly disappeared as she saw where the light was coming from: the fire in the back of the cabin.  Pushing through the seats in the aisle and attempting to not fall back in would be difficult enough, but with the newly energized fire and 200 other passengers to fight to get to the door she had quite the task ahead. She stepped forward, crouched over so she wouldn’t hit her head and felt something under her foot.

When Abby looked down the last thing she expected to find was something human, but to her surprise, it just so happened to be a hand.  Somewhere between the wreck and the riot to get to the door the man in front of her had his hand broken at the wrist and was being run over by the passengers headed to the door and was screaming violently in pain.  Fear struck her and froze her solid. Unable to move, until she was assaulted from behind, Abby lost control and fell between two of the cushy first class seats, getting caught in the seatbelts and spraining her ankle.  All this in the span of two minutes at most, and Abby could see her death, trampled on by a bunch of crazy airline passengers, in a fight for their lives because the plane she was on, going home, had been overturned by some sicko out for an afternoon jog on the tarmac.  She suddenly felt a kick from behind make contact squarely in her temple, knocking her unconscious.



It had been nearly an hour since the plane was supposed to depart. Peter was becoming restless. He wondered why there was such a delay. He frowned as the realization hit him. If this plane was an hour late taking off he was going to miss his international flight. He glanced around for the call button just as a young woman came over the PA.

“We’re sorry folks, but there has been an accident on the tarmac. We need everyone to please collect any valuables as we are going to have to evacuate the plane.”

Peter wondered what kind of accident would warrant them getting off of their plane. He assumed that it was bad and stood to gather his things. The lawyer man in front of him became angry and began cursing under his breath. He angrily gouged the call button. The flight attendant who had gone through the evacuation drill came forward. She had a grave look on her face.

“Yes sir?” She asked politely.

“I don’t know what your airlines policy is Miss, but I paid five hundred dollars for this flight.” His voice rose as he explained his situation. The other passengers had taken notice of the commotion and had stopped to watch.

“When I pay five hundred dollars to fly somewhere, I expect my plane to take off on time. So why then are we an hour late taking off?” He growled.

“Sir, there has been an accident on the tarmac…”

He cut her off. “Why didn’t we take off before this ‘accident?’” He snarled. “We’ve been sitting here for an hour. We should have taken off forty five minutes ago.”

“Sir there is nothing….” He cut her off again.

“Tell me how hard your job is?” He roughly threw his collapsible table up with such force it bent. “A monkey could do a better job than you. Now I want this plane to take off and I want it now!” He was bellering now.

The flight attendant sat there and took his verbal assault for another several minutes. Peter was becoming more annoyed at each passing minute. The man in front of him grabbed his collapsing table and yanked it off its hinges. He began slamming it into the seat in front of him, beating the fabric in a pointless rage. Peter had taken all he was going to. Flying was bad enough since 9/11; this a*s hole was just going to make things worse. The man’s tantrum continued until Peter grabbed him by his collar. Peter shoved the man back against the emergency door. Their faces were inches from each other.

“Knock it off.” Peter hissed.

The man seemed to come to his senses. When he realized his predicament he began to holler. “Do you have any idea who I am?” He shouted.

“Yes.” Peter said coolly. “You’re an a*s hole. Now you are going to collect your things, and you are going to get off this flight. Or I will drag your pathetic a*s off myself.” Peter roughly released the man and began to collect his things.

He tossed the overly large carry on at the man and pulled him out into the isle. He pointed him in the direction of the door and gave him a rough shove. The man stumbled over his bag. After he regained his balance, he grabbed his carry on and glared at Peter. He sized Peter up. Peter was much bigger than he and he decided against tackling him.

“You’ll be sorry.” He spat.

Peter took a threatening step forward. The man scooped his bag up and practically sprinted for the door. As soon as he was gone, the plane erupted in applause. The flight attendant thanked Peter and everyone finished gathering their things.

Peter was one of the first off of the plane. As he stepped back into the terminal, he caught a bit of a breeze. He smelled smoke. He wondered if an engine had caught fire. He doubted that was the case, they probably wouldn’t have evacuated the plane for that. As he entered the terminal, the buzz of excited voices greeted him. He glanced around and noticed a group of people looking out a large window at the tarmac. From his current location at the gate, all he could see were large orange flames licking high into the air.

He approached the window and looked out. His eyes widened when he saw the plane. It was tipped on its wing. A good strong gust of wind would flip the large bird and it would be belly up. He and the other spectators at the window watched as little orange dots ran about the tarmac. They were people, people on fire. In the distance red and blue lights were flashing. They were getting closer. Dear Jesus, Peter thought. What happened?


© 2008 LizLadyNinja

My Review

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Hello, my name is Eric. I just wanted to say I read some of Vaccine. Very impressive. I think your vision and plot for this is on target.

Posted 5 Years Ago

Outstanding story. Made me desire to read more.

Posted 10 Years Ago

You can picture the scenes displayed in this book i hope this is just a taste of things to come

Posted 11 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Holy snap that was awesome!! I felt as if I was really there on the plane with Abby and Peter!! Your an amazing writer and I can't wait to see what happens next!

Posted 11 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I love the feel of this. The scenes seem very real, I look forward to seeing more.

Posted 11 Years Ago

3 of 3 people found this review constructive.

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Added on March 18, 2008



Denver, CO

I joined Writerscafe almost 10 years ago, when it was in its infancy. I dealt with the breakdown when it lost our writing and many of my pieces were unrecoverable. Which, as you can imagine was pretty.. more..


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