A/N: This is not my first fanfic I've ever written, but it's my first that I've written on this site. I hope you enjoy the story!
Audrey McCarthy sat impatiently at Gate B. She had already seen three planes take off to wherever their destination was. She couldn't hear over the intercom to where the planes were, what time it was, or anything like that. She had turned the iPod's volume all the way up. She was still mad at the fact that her father was dragging her and her mother to yet another international science convention. Frustrated, her knee bounced repeatedly and her fingers tapped on the arm rest of the chair she was sitting in. Audrey's father glanced down at her and shook his head.
"Audrey..." He said sternly. No reply. "Audrey." He said a little more firm. Still no reply. He sighed deeply and frowned. He shook her shoulder and she turned her head to look at him.
Obviously annoyed, Audrey took out her earphones and replied, "What?"
"For Christ's sake Audrey, you're 23 years old now. You're not 16. Stop acting like a spoiled teenager." He retorted, giving her a look that an embarrassed father would.
She just rolled her eyes again. "What are we even waiting for anyways? We've been waiting for almost two whole ho-" She was cut off.
"Professor McCarthy." A man in a very expensive looking suit walked up to Audrey's father as he stood up. He nodded and he and they mysterious man walked off far enough to not be in hearing distance. The two men exchanged words back and forth silently. She sighed frustrated and turned her head away not catching the surprised, yet concerned look her father had given the man.
"Brad..." Audrey tapped on the shoulder of another man in a suit. "When are we leaving?" She asked.
"As soon as your father is done talking with that man." Brad replied.
"We don't even know him!" Audrey exclaimed. "I thought you were assigned to my father to protect him? Yet you let him go off with some stranger?" She scoffed. "Some bodyguard." Brad had stayed silent.
Brad had been assigned as Professor McCarthy's personal bodyguard by the DoD for 16 years. Audrey had only been 7 when they met. He was to obey Professor McCarthy only. When Audrey was 15 and talking about boys, her father changed the priorities of Brad's job. Audrey, Fiona, and then himself. The Professor wanted his daughter and wife to be taken care of at all costs. Though this crossed the boundaries of Brad's job, he obeyed.
"I'm making sure you're safe..." Brad simply stated quietly. She sighed and understood. Audrey was used to having Brad around all the time. Through high school he was never more than a 150ft radius of her. And through College, the leash was loosened to a 200ft radius. And when she went to work or anywhere for that matter... Brad was always there. Audrey's lips curved, making the smallest of smiles thinking of all the good times she and Brad did have, despite that he hung with her like a shadow. She was an only child... and Brad was her big brother figure.
"I think I'm safe in a chair." She joked. He stayed put. Audrey glanced at her father once more to see if there was any signs of the conversation starting to end. She only made out a bunch of nods and sighs. She furrowed her brow and looked for a reason to walk around. Ah-ha! "Uhm... Brad. I'm going to use the bathroom." Audrey stated as she stood up. He nodded and got up. They both walked to the restroom and she went in while he waited a few feet from the door.
Audrey washed her hands. Not really having any purpose or need to be in the restroom. She glanced up at her reflection in the mirror. Lack of sleep overwhelmed her physique. She yawned and shook her head to "wake up" a little more. Behind her a flight attendant stepped out of the bathroom stall, looking a hell of a lot worse than Audrey. She actually looked so bad that Audrey was startled as she took a couple steps back. The woman smiled weakly and coughed up a small laugh. Her eyes were sunken in and her skin was pale and clammy looking. Her hair was pulled back and up into a bun that needed more effort to make look better than it had before.
"I look that bad huh?" She asked, already knowing the answer. Her eyes glazed as if she was on the verge of passing out. Audrey looked at her sympathetically. She was at a loss for words. "It's okay... I've been running a fever for a day or two now... I think this will be my last flight though, I'll rest it off when we land in Georgia." She was flying with a fever? Audrey seemed nervous, but she understood. Audrey had went to school and work before when she was sick. It was just something that would pass.
The flight attendant rolled up her sleeves as she approached the sink to wash her hands. Audrey noticed a bandage around the woman's arm. Blood seeping through. She gulped. Not wanting to ask about it, she patted the girl on her back, "I hope you feel better soon..." Audrey said sincerely as she walked out of the bathroom. She walked over to Brad quickly and she grabbed his arm, "Let's go." She ordered as she walked briskly to her mother and father. The mystery man was gone, and her father looked pale as a ghost, nervous. Her mother looking at her husband sympathetically. She didn't know what was going on either.
"Brad. We need to get to the CDC as soon as the convention is over." Her father stated standing up as their message to board came over the intercom. Brad nodded, grabbing all the carry-on luggage he could.
"FINALLY." Audrey said as she pulled her purse over her shoulder and shuffled quickly to the line to board the plane.
"Passport and ticket please." the man at the front of the line said as he held his hand out without looking up. Audrey handed both of the items to him and smiled. The man looked up and smiled as he stamped the passport. "Oh! Ms. McCarthy. I'm sorry, I didn't know it was you. Nice of you to be flying with us again!" The man said happily.
"Yup! Another convention, another new country." She said trying to sound excited. "America."
"This is the seventh one in the last couple of months." He stated. It was true. She had been dragged around all over the world to these conventions. China, Japan, Russia, India, Germany, and France. Now it was America. She had never been so jet lagged in her life. Something was wrong, but she just didn't know what it was. She'd always be left in the convention to roam around with Brad and her mother while her father spent all day in the conference rooms with other professors, doctors, scientists, and whoever else was in there. "Well Ms. McCarthy, you have a good flight now." He smiled and she smiled back walking forward.
Audrey found herself walking up to another flight attendant. "McCarthy." She simply stated. The flight attendant smiled and replied.
"Welcome back! First class, Ms. McCarthy." her smile faded when Audrey passed her not even listening to the rest of her sentence. She wasn't normally like this. She was just so tired. Flight, after flight. It had been hell for Audrey. It had been the same shit with all these conventions. It even seemed like the same people were always there too after the first couple of conventions. She was excited the first time, but now she wanted to pursue her career in the military hospital. She earned her degree and everything. It seemed to her as soon as she graduated from the university she was pulled around all over the world, all for her father's reasons that were still very unknown to her.
Audrey found her seat and plopped her purse down along with herself. Thank God for first class, Audrey thought to herself as she closed her eyes for a moment. Her parents soon joined her. Audrey opened her eyes as she saw her father, mother, and Brad take their seats. She was just about to close her eyes again when she saw something more interesting than the back of her eyelids. A bite mark? Audrey blinked hard and saw the same flight attendant that she met in the bathroom changing her bandage nearby. The flight attendant looked a little worse than before. Audrey felt for her. She made a silent prayer in her head for the flight attendant to feel better.
DEE-DOO. "Welcome and thank you for choosing Delta Airlines. We will be departing in 10 minutes. ETA is 13 hours and 45 minutes from Glasgow, Scotland, UK to Atlanta, Georgia, US. Flight attendants will direct you through the emergency procedures before we take off. Thank you again for choosing Delta Airlines. Once again, departing in 10 minutes. Please relax and enjoy your flight." DEE-DOO. Audrey had heard those announcements far too many times. She sat through the emergency procedures and take-off before she drifted into sleep.
Audrey woke up from her nap feeling well rested. She pulled Brads arm up and looked at his watch. 12 hours had gone by. She had slept through the whole damn flight. No wonder it didn't feel like so much as a nap. They were already in Georgia. She looked out the window in amazement. "America..." She breathed out to herself fogging up the glass. She drew a smiley face and thought to herself that maybe this convention wouldn't be so bad. She stood up and kissed her mother and father on the cheek and smiled. Brad and her parents noticed that she was in an exceptionally better mood. Audrey trotted off to the restroom. As she walked off she bumped into the same flight attendant. She looked like she was dying! Audrey looked shocked as the woman held on to her. She was a million degrees. Audrey and the woman fell backwards. "Help!" Audrey yelled out. Two other flight attendants rushed over and looked at their co-worker in shock.
"Oh my... I knew she was sick... I didn't know it would be this bad." one of them said sadly. Brad ran over hearing Audrey. He pulled her out from underneath the woman.
"Brad! Something's wrong with her!" Audrey clenched on to Brad's suit desperately. "She needs help. Where's Dad!?" She shook Brad as she ran back to where her father was. The other flight attendants rushed over to the curtains that separated the coach flyers from the first class flyers and closed them to limit the panic of the passengers. Brad looked over his shoulder to the flight attendant on the ground. She was unconscious. He grabbed her arm and felt her neck and to his surprise, he found no pulse. He let go of her arm and saw blood seeping through. He took the liberty to further investigate, lifting her sleeve and removing the bandage. He found a bite wound. A good amount of flesh was taken off and it was infected.
"Can you tell one of the pilots?" He asked one of the flight attendants. She nodded and ran off to the cockpit. She returned shortly with the co-pilot. He frowned at the state of the flight attendant.
"Oh Jess..." He breathed out sadly. "Get her up, she needs to be away from the passengers. Get her away from making a scene. He picked her up and carried her to the cockpit. Audrey and her father walked up to Brad who looked shocked. Brad walked briskly to the cockpit and caught the door before it shut.
"She isn't breathing! What do you think you're doing?!" Brad looked at the co-pilot like he was crazy. Audrey's father held his hand up and motioned Audrey to stay put as he walked up slowly behind Brad.
"What happened?" He asked.
"Professor McCarthy. This woman. She's not breathing she's injured." Brad informed him.
"Injured? What kind of injury?" He questioned, nervous of the answer.
"A bite wound, but that's not important. She isn't breathing!" Brad tried his best to stay calm. He wasn't one to just sit by and let people die or become injured, regardless if he was assigned to them as their bodyguard or not.
Audrey had not stayed put like her father implied. "Daddy! She had a fever before she fell. I met her in the bathroom! She's sick! Do something! Anything!" She exclaimed in a panic. Her father looked shocked. He was in a different world. He knew something that they didn't.
"Sir! She isn't BREATHING!" Brad tried to tell the co-pilot again.
"Look sir. I know you're concerned but there isn't anything we can do about it right now. We'll be landing in fifteen minutes, so just take a seat and we'll get her to a hospital as soon as we land!" The co-pilot shot back at Brad.
"What?" Audrey looked behind the co-pilot. "She... She's alive!" Audrey's eyes filled with hope as she saw Jess the flight attendant stand up. She still looked sickly though, and even worse before she passed out. Her skin pasty and pale. She looked cold and grey.
"Uuunngghh." Was all Jess could make out. The co-pilot turned around and looked at her, relieved but nervous. She shuffled and stumbled her way to him slowly.
"Hey Jess. You were out for a second." He said soothingly as he extended his arm to help her walk. "You can go and rest until we land, we'll get you to a hospital afterwa-AAAAHH!" Jess grabbed onto his arm and sunk her teeth into it, ripping the flesh off and covering her face in his blood. Panicked, the captain who was flying looked back in horror. Brad took Audrey and her father by the arm and ran them back to their seats. He sat them both down and they buckled up. Audrey sat in shock. The color in her face disappearing. She could not un-see what she just witnessed. She was confused and upset. She wanted to help. She gripped on to Brad and looked at her father and mother.
"Daddy... What... What was that?" She managed to stutter out, wide-eyed and horrified. He only sat there and muttered to himself.
"This can't be happening. It shouldn't have spread this quick... It's going to be global now? This can't be. We need more time. Something's not right."
"Honey! What happened?!" Audrey's mother clenched onto her husband's arm. "Darling?" She asked as she got no response. Then the plane shook violently. Screams were coming from all the passengers, babies were crying, and alarms were going off. They were only ten minutes from landing Audrey thought. Then it hit her... The plane was crashing. She clutched onto Brad as tears began to fill her eyes. Her mind was shaking, she couldn't see straight. She saw her father and mother unbuckle and struggled to walk over to Brad and Audrey. They both cupped her face and kissed her face.
What were they doing?! They were unbuckled out of their seats. It was obvious that no one could survive this crash. But Audrey had hoped for the best, that maybe, it wouldn't be so bad. Maybe they would survive. Maybe they would walk out of it together. Maybe it was a dream. Maybe it was...
Her thoughts ended and the impact came and cut off of her thoughts.