I just could not get this story out of my head. I am working on the sequel to Evander's Heir, the first story I had ever written, and this idea just kept interfering. So, I figured I would just write this first as a small mind clearing exercise then get back to the Evander story. I apologize for any mistakes regarding flying, decompression, hypoxia and such. I know just enough to be dangerous. Yeah same for the medical stuff too. Yes Sheppard gets whumped.
I appreciate your feedback whether you enjoyed it or if you have suggestions for improving the story or my writing. Thanks for reading at least this far. I have it mostly done so should post fairly quickly if real life does not get too troublesome.
Disclaimer: I do this for fun. Any resemblance to anyone in real life or another story is coincidental etc. etc. I own nothing related to Stargate or Zorro, but that sure would be nice. Special Thanks to my Beta's Carol and C-A! Your time is valuable and I appreciate your help.
Chapter One-Take Off
"This should be fun, guys," Sheppard said cheerfully as they sat waiting for their plane.
Ronon looked at Teyla skeptically, but she only smiled. "I'm sure it will be, John. Where are we going again?"
"Europe. First stop England, then Scotland. After that France,then Italy. We've got two weeks so this is plenty of time for us to see the sites. I want to show you tons of places. It'll be great. Won't it, Rodney?"
McKay looked at Sheppard with his best irritated look. Sometimes the second meanest killing machine he had ever seen could be such a kid. Actually, maybe he was the meanest because Sheppard was more subtle and beguiling than Ronon. "Yeah." he finally said as Sheppard waited for an answer. Hours of flying in the air over water. Two weeks of touristy jaunts across Europe. I can't think of anything better."
"Hey, at least we'll meet up with your sister and family up there in France."
McKay looked thoughtful a moment. "Yeah, there is that. Still the water."
"Rodney," Sheppard growled quietly, "I think you should be used to all of that by now."
McKay looked at him squarely, "Yeah, but you aren't flying right now are you?"
Sheppard was about to say thank you I think when they called for first class passengers. Rodney turned to Teyla and Ronon. "You won't believe how grateful you should be for first class tickets, but you should be. Especially you, Conan." McKay shook his head as the flight attendants batted their eyelashes at the oblivious pilot who was casually talking to some woman who was nearly 100 years old or so Rodney figured. Even she couldn't keep her paws off of him as Sheppard helped her down the gate bridge.
Teyla listened to McKay and she had to admit she was excited. Sheppard had told her a great deal about Earth's cultures and she was excited to finally visit some of them without having to actually work. They sounded varied and interesting. This was what Rodney called a vacation. She was grateful that the IOA had purchased their tickets and arranged something called passports, even though McKay had commented that it was the least they could do. Sheppard was going to buy them all but General Landry had commented that everything had been arranged for all four of them. She remembered Sheppard's look when McKay asked him if he was rich or something. The colonel had not answered but she knew the look as one of a desire for privacy. It had been clear enough even for McKay as the good doctor did not seem to ask any further questions.
Teyla was amazed by sheer size of the aircraft. Sheppard had called it an Airbus or maybe he said a 747, she thought, and even he was a bit excited saying it was 'state of the art'. She felt her own excitement and perhaps a hint of anxiety as she thought of their trip. Sheppard guided them to an upper level and to their seats. She smiled when she heard McKay whine to Sheppard about why he had to sit next to Ronon and Sheppard got to sit next to her. The colonel said nothing but only smiled. Sheppard was stowing a bag in an overhead been when she heard a warm but unfamiliar voice call out. "Is that you, Spike?" She saw Sheppard almost snap to attention when he heard that name, but a grin quickly crossed his face as he turned around.
"It is you!"
"Yes sir, it is. Wow, it is great to see you. Didn't expect to see you here."
A man nearly Sheppard's size wearing a uniform approached him and grabbed Sheppard before he could do anything and clasped him in a big bear hug. "Great to see you, but when were you going to call me? Hard to get hold of you unless you call me."
"Well, now that you've retired and are flying all over the world it's kind of hard to get hold of you too, but it has been too long."
"Tried writing you since the last time I saw you, but never heard back from you."
"Yes sir, sorry. I actually just got your letter not too long ago. Been a little…busy."
"Hey now, Spike, no need to call me sir anymore. You know that. By the way," the man said with a gleam in his eye, "Did you grow or something in the last few months or is it just your hair that's grown more wild?"
Teyla laughed,as did Ronon. Sheppard was obviously embarrassed but looked at the man with something she had never seen him look at anyone with before…awe.
"So wonder what the Spike is about." McKay drawled.
The older man laughed. "That's Sheppard's nickname…for obvious reasons. See some things don't change."
Sheppard smiled broadly. "ColonelRamos, this is Dr. Rodney McKay, Specialist Ronon Dex, and Teyla Emmagan." The pilot shook hands with each one and introduced himself as Joachim. "You don't have to call me colonel either, Shep. Joachim will do. I was the good Sheppard's primary flight instructor during preliminary training then advanced training later. I gave him the nickname Spike, when he earned it. That was an easy one to come up with. Anyway, we've managed to keep in touch although a little less over the past four years, but we catch a good steak every now and then."
Sheppard nodded. "So are you flying this old bird?"
The man feigned hurt. "What do you mean old bird? State of the art. Heck, does notreally need much of a pilot, but it gets me to Europe and back."
Teyla smiled at the man with the salt and pepper hair and bright brown eyes. He was obviously very important to Sheppard although her very private friend had not mentioned him before. "Why don't you come up and meet the crew? You can go through our preflight with us. We are just about to get started. I noticed your name on the passenger list and had to see if it was really you. The pilot began to walk back toward the cockpit when he turned and saw Sheppard still standing in the aisle, "Want to come take a look or not?"
Sheppard looked at each of his friends in turn with the eagerness of a five year old. Teyla had to admit she loved this boyishness of his. He had so many looks, and this one she loved the best. Funny, how his face could turn to one of darkness when needed.
"Oh go on, Spike," she heard McKay tease, "Don't want you pouting because you missed your chance to see all the cool stuff." She nodded with a smile as Sheppard looked at her. He said nothing as he walked away with the older pilot.
"Kid in a candy store," she heard McKay mutter as he opened up a newspaper and began reading. She smiled at Ronon who nodded then closed his eyes. She enjoyed watching the people board the plane as well as the activity outside. These people had never known the Wraith and it showed in their confident demeanor--one she hoped would return to the people of Pegasus.
She heard the flight attendant comment about getting ready to push from the gate and begin preparations for take off. About 15 minutes after he had left, Sheppard returned with a huge grin on his face. "Man, that thing has tons more buttons to push than the pu…well other aircraft I have flown. I forgot how complicated things were, but they have an all glass cockpit which actually means tons less buttons. They even have fly by wire. He wasn't kidding when he said state of the art."
She listened to him talk about the details of the cockpit as they rolled down the tarmac. Lately, he had been more withdrawn and fatigued since they had lost Elizabeth to the replicators and almost lost Ronon to his former friends, so it was nice to see him in good spirits. She did not understand even half of what he was saying and was not at all interested in it, but rather in how he was saying it. She watched the sparkle of his eyes and listened to the inflection of his voice as he spoke. She stole a glance at McKay and Ronon who both rolled their eyes when they caught her eye, but she also saw them grin. Colonel Carter had asked them to take some time off after the recent events and told Sheppard in particular that she would not have them onactive duty for at least two weeks if they stayed on Atlantis. He opted for leave as he termed it since he had "use or lose" anyway. She was not sure what all of this meant but they found themselves on this vacation at the expense of the IOA. She smiled at him as he continued explaining all the apparent equipment that was available and new on this aircraft.
A deck below Mathias sat quietly watching the others and hoping that his flight on this stinking airline would be one that would end in glory. He had been patient, and now he had everything he needed.
He closed his ears to the children laughing a few rows down. He imagined them not as living beings, but angelsalready watching over the others. It would be easier to think of them as already a part of the heavens than as children he would murder. They were unfortunate casualties, but the world had left him no choice.
Uh the aircraft is really a mix of the 747 and the huge Airbus. I kept it that way for flexibility and such and because I am no engineer. I ask for your patience regarding creative license and hope it is at least believable to the regular folk like me. Any engineers, pilots and such out there, just cover you eyes please.
The night will soon get worse for Sheppard and team, not to mention everyone else.
This story was inspired by a recent trip of my own and thoughts of the old great movies like Airport 77 and the other one with Charlton Heston. Anyone remember those? I loved them!!