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Psions Unite! : Chapter 1 - Activate


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19:00 New York JFK airport and Terminal 7 is bustling with passengers and staff making their way to and from the numerous Gates. Gate 5 was quickly filling with the World Traveller passengers, while the Business and First class passengers loitered in their respective lounges.


Viktor Black made a minor swirl as he arrived at the Concorde Room with his entourage, but that was more for the surprise at the teenage girl in the midst of the usual beautiful women, business executives and obvious security with him. She certainly peeked the interest of the daughter of one of his business rivals seated in the lounge chatting to a friend as they arrived.


Down at the Gate 300 people slowly drifted in, struggling to find seats, somewhere to stand and balanced takeaway coffees on top of carry-on bags. Dotted around the Gate screens displayed CNN's Today programme with Amara Walker.


Outside a few streaks in the sky from the new meteor shower are almost lost amongst the blaze of lights across the airport.



A voice comes over the tannoy:

"Flight BA0116 for London Heathrow is now boarding at Gate 5. This flight is scheduled for a departure at 20:00 EST and due to arrive at London Heathrow at 07:55 GMT."


Those at the Gate start to gather their belongings and form a rough couple of lines while the rich, powerful or corporate backed make their way from the lounges and are escorted aboard first.


While walking on to the plane Zoe receives a call on Viktor's work phone:

"Miss Taylor, it's Steve Pang at Carbon Research I need to report an incident to Mr Black."

"I'm sorry Mr Pang, but we're just about to board a fllight. I'll ask if he can speak to you, otherwise I'd suggest an email. He'll be able to pick that up and perhaps call you back after take-off."

Putting him on hold, despite some odd background noise she took a few faster steps to catch up to her boss. Behind her, her daughter barely noticed the gap widen between her and her mother, after all they were just following the corridor to the plane.

"Mr Black, I have Mr Pang on the line from Carbon Research, he has an incident to report."

Viktor half turns and holds a hand out for the phone as he walks, "Unusual, Steven is not one to be easily fazed."

"Hello, Steven. What is the problem? ... Steven?"

Viktor turns back and returns the phone to Zoe, "No one there. Call him back once we are safely off. Perhaps he got called away."


With that the passengers started to board the plane...


Game Info
Zoe has booked Viktor, herself, Temp, 2 other Execs and 2 of Viktor's security in First class. The other 4 execs and the various pa's and partners are in World Club (Business) along with the other 2 security.

Amanda and her friend Cheryl are in First of course.

Rebecca and her brother are also in First.

Philip, Darksol's character whose name eludes me right now, and Marco (I believe) are in Business on lower deck.

Evo, his mother (?) and Millicent are in World Traveller behind the business section on the lower deck.

Mala, I can't remember whether Sakura was going First or Business class?

Feel free to mingle/chat a little while boarding and pick seats if you wish, I'll post a seating plan on the Links/Newsfeed thread.

Let me know on the OOC thread when people are ready to move on...with take-off and later events :)



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Rebecca didn't mind first class. It beat sitting in the hold of a transport plane or the center of a rescue helicopter. It still stuck in her craw how her flight career ended. And all over regulations and politics. 


She found her well plushed seat and stowed her large dufflebag, filled with memories of her past namely her old uniform and lots of pictures and some going away gifts... probably things improper. She herself was in a white blouse and a black skirt, and flat shoes. She loathed wearing heels, and these shoes were easy to take off for the excessive security theater that the US had to offer. To be honest she was glad she was heading home, as James sat next to her. He sat the bag with the ashes of their parents and a couple changes of clothes in his cupboard.


"Seems this is the last flight our folks will take now, eh?" James said, putting a hand on Rebecca's knee.


Rebecca just looked out the window. "I just wanna go home." She said as a couple meteor streaks she could barely see went through the night sky.


She'd been melancholy since her discharge. All she wanted to do now is go through the safety briefing, the take-off, and have a well deserved nap.

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“So what’re we looking at in progress so far Winslow?†Desmond spoke into his headset softly; he was in the midst of stowing his laptop under his seat where he could get to it after takeoff.

“The fifth and forth data clusters have already been verified, if this trend holds we’ll be finished within the next week or so.  Not as quickly as we usually like, but still before schedule.â€

“Good enough then, we can work on being more efficient when I get back, as long as the client is happy with our results.  I’ll check in later.†With that he ended the call and sat down awaiting takeoff.  International business class left him with more than enough room to stretch out and make himself comfortable while unfurling his scientific journal.  He smiled inwardly, reflecting on how this entire trip was written off as both a business market research trip and a potential client screening, allowing him to claim it as a deductible expense.  He’d have to give Larry a bonus whenever the budget allowed, perhaps after the final payments from their current client.

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The two young women made their way onto the plane as the attendant checked their passes the taller of the two, Amanda Kantner daughter of Billionaire Jason Kantner, surveyed the others boarding for first class. Her friend Cheryl was saying something but then she usually was and as usual Amanda wasn't paying the least bit of attention. As they made their way to their seats she finally picked up on something Cher was saying.

“It's not like its forever, in eight months you'll be eighteen and then we can kiss the emerald isle good bye and go do what ever we want. You will be free.â€


“That's Ireland Cher, not England.†Amanda finally recognizes the suit with the entourage she had been watching as a rival of her fathers and flips that group the bird out of habit. Cheryl quickly reaches out and shoves Amanda hand down before anyone can see the offending digit “For Christs sake Amanda what if they see.†Amanda gives her best friend a very annoyed look. “Who cares hes a prick, they all are. And it doesn't matter that I'm eighteen in a few months I don't get the trust fund until I'm twenty-one and then its only a partial. So no I'm pretty much fucked for the foreseeable future.â€


As she drops into her seat she looks back at the Black Party at the one person of interest that she has seen on the plane. The short little teen looking out of place with the suits.


Settling back into her seat she looks across at her pudgy friend. “Fuck I need a drink.â€

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Sakura leaned back in her chair in first class, getting comfortable in the overstuffed leather monstrosity. She had a hard cider already cracked open next to her, her in-flight anxiety medication of choice. She wasn't afraid of flying, she'd done it too often in her life to put up with that sort of fear, but it was boring and she hated turbulence of any kind. At least the transcontinental planes were usually too big for many bumps. She laid her head back, going through some of meditation techniques to try to put herself in a sleepy state. Jet lagged sucked and she hoped she'd be able to get herself switched around in transit. She hardly wanted to show up at the publisher's meeting with bags under her eyes and that sleep-depravation headache that was always a thousand times worse than a hangover. But not as bad as that peyote-weed mix Mom used in the sweatlodge when  I was seventeen. Gods, that stuff was awful.


She smiled a little, reliving amusing memories from her childhood, and waited for the large metal tube to propel itself into the sky. 

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Tempest didn't just look out of place with the OBI contingent, she felt really out of place, as she trailed her mother onto the plane, a tiny girl in worn, but high quality, jeans, a t-shirt with the Triforce symbol on it, and a poofy winter coat with a group of middle-ages execs in expensive, tailored suits. The Starbucks Venti looked ludicrously large in her petite hand as she trudged onto the plane, wheeling her bulging, carry-on laptop bag behind her.


Stepping into the First Class hardly made Tempest feel more at ease. Despite her mother doing really well doing... whatever she did for the CEO of OBI, and her grandparents being more than well off, Tempest still wasn't used to considering herself one of the rich girls in school. The sheer space and luxury in the First Class cabin was still a surprise to her.


That she was the youngest one in it didn't. Though there were a pair of girls ahead of her that didn't look that much older than her, at least, older than she really was, not how old she looked. They did have the look of The Pink Slips from school, though: pretty, rich, and entitled. Tempest sighed, blew a lock of red hair from her face and took her solo window at the back of the cabin, A4. She didn't think she could stand having her mom fuss over her for the entire seven hour flight, or having one of the other execs next to her, not that they really noticed her anyway.


"Do you need help putting you carry-on in the overhead, Pixie," Zoe asked her daughter solicitously.


"No!" Tempest replied sharply with a scowl. Being so short and with the extra head-room in first class, there was no way she'd be able to do it herself, not that she had planned to put it up there anyway. But that wasn't her mother's fault. "No, Mom, it's okay," Tempest added less sharply. "I'm gonna pull out my laptop anyway and game or work on a video or something."


Tempest stuffed her carry-on under the seat for take-off then plopped down in her seat, it's plush and luxurious size engulfing her tiny frame. She unzipped her winter coat and slipped it off, pulled out her headphones, then slouched in her chair, leafing through the songs on her phone as she waited for take-off.


Yes, it was cool that regardless of how busy Mom was with work and working out and stuff, she still tried to make time for her daughter, even if sometimes, it seemed like she was trying too hard to shove herself in her life. And going to London together was cool. It just would have been cooler if it had only been them going, instead as part of a business trip. Tempest felt a bit tacked on, not as an afterthought, but just as an... extra.


Oh well, at least I'll be able to see Abbey Road and maybe see a concert at O2 Arena, and I gotta find some gifts for the Irregulars.

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Meanwhile, all the way down in World Traveler... Mother and son sat quietly. Dolores was already putting in earplugs and preparing to lean back for a nap. Donald drew open his laptop, and started looking through a selection of Mobi files for an e-book to start reading. By mutual unspoken understanding, neither were making any attempt to converse. The tension between the two of them was still taunt enough to hold a rubber band stiff.

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First class was always different for each airline. This is not the first time Zoe's been to the UK, but first time on this airline. Each seat is it's own little section for each passenger. Of which Zoe is grateful and bugged by. She'll have to send notes to Viktor, but Tempest is bound to go nowhere. She wonders if her daughter will relay the ordeal of flying in first class to her followers on the internet. She wonders how Viktor will be in his little space by his own. She wonders what movie is showing.

Before sitting down, Zoe takes a look around, noting in what seat everyone is sitting. Which is kind of easy since there are so few seats here. She smiles and goes to help her daughter, but is quickly reprimanded. Zoe sighs with a smile and remembers simpler times when she would leap to Tempest's aid whenever she wanted for whatever she wanted. Luckily Tempest kept a good head on her shoulders. She goes over to Viktor, who has already seated. "I'll try Mr Pang again as soon as we're in the air and allowed our electronics. After that I'll be doing a last check on our itinerary. Is there anything you need before we take off?"

Once she takes her orders from her boss, Zoe goes to her seat, tapping her gift bag for later. It should be smooth sailign from now to London. Then the fireworks begin.

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As Philip waited to board the plane, he could though he saw Viktor briefly turn around ahead of him. He quickly dismissed this thought, as the chances of bumping into him on a random flight was low. It probally looked nothing like him if he saw him close up.
As Philip boarded the flight, he though how much he used to love flying. He stopped enjoying it after his second long haul flight. He stowed his carry-on lugage and made himself comfortable. As he waited for the flight to take off, he absentmindedly looked out the window, pondering the lights in the sky. As his mind wandered, he came ever closer to sleep.
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When the boarding call came, Marco sighed, got to his feet, smoothed his clothes and gathered his carry-on bag.  It had been a long week, first shooting in LA for 4 days, a short flight and one day photo shoot in New York, and now off to London for 2 days for another scene.  The money would be good but Marco was already tired from all the travel land he was looking forward to chance to sleep on the plane.


Marco scanned the group lining up for Business class and was relieved to see no passengers with babies or young children.  Boarding went smoothly for the most part and after finding his seat and checking his phone for messages, he settled in to wait for the plane to take off.

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Millie managed to get through airport security with minimal fuss.  She sat down in her seat on the World Traveler section.


She texts her dad "Just boarded, dad.   Call you when I land!  *hugs*"  Before setting the phone to air plane mode.


This was it.  What ever choice she makes in London, she's going to one of the best schools in world.   Her future is looking bright. 


"Nothing can Possibly Go Wrong...."  She smiles to herself, deciding to fiddle around on her new laptop for a couple hours and then sleep.

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The plane soon fills up with its mix of the rich, the business executives and recreational travellers and by 19:55 EST they are shutting up the doors.


As the plane taxis to its assigned runway the usual announcement is made.


"Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome aboard flight BA0116 for London Heathrow. My name is Captain Simon Berry and my co-pilot tonight is Ian Hopkinson. Your Service director is Mary Allen who hopes to be serving the evening meal at 8:30pm EST. The weather forecast is clear for most of the flight so you should have a good view of the current meteor shower and after breakfast in about six hours at 07:00am London time we hope to be landing at London Heathrow at 07:55am GMT. Now if you will all relax and strap up your seatbelts please give your attention to the in flight safety video."


With that announcement the videos at each seat start to play the safety video, which you can't turn off only ignore. The stewards also start making their way through the aisles checking peoples seat belts are done up.


Takeoff is promptly on time at 20:00 and you are clear to use electronics and remove seat belts a few minutes later once you have passed 20,000ft and the ascent slows.


Cheryl nudges Amanda and points to a line on the menu she was perusing - it lists the choice of wine for each meal on the menu.

"I guess we can start there." she says with a grin.


Meanwhile James has put on CNN and exclaims "Oh SHIT!, the station's been hit!" He quickly turns to Rebecca and encourages her to check the program. Several other people seem to have heard him as they can be seen changing channels on the monitors or hurriedly grabbing there own laptops. [see Newsfeed topic]. Similar exclamations attract attention to the news in the Business and World Traveller compartments


Zoe misses the excitement as she is engaged in making calls trying to reconnect to the elusive Mr Pang. She only notices something has happened when Viktor gets up from his seat and goes over to one of the other Execs seated on the other side of the plane, but since he doesn't call for her attention she returns to her rapidly increasing list of failed calls.


In the mean time staff start asking people which meal from the menu they would like, and in First and Business Class what wine they would prefer with their meal.


Ok, I'll try to move things on with another general post over the weekend, if not it will be Tuesday. In between I am happy to do IC conversations/interaction by pm, or chat to be later posted here or directly in posts here if you prefer.

Alternatively you can just sleep the flight away - but let me know so I don't keep hassling you for a post before an update :)



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Rebecca steepled her fingers. "Is this going to be safe flying?" She thought to herself. "Why haven't they grounded aircraft during this meteor storm? 20,000 feet isn't exactly as safe as on the ground..."


"Hopefully the astronauts got to their Soyuz or Orion capsule quick enough... last thing we need is fatalities in orbit. That could kill the space program fast. All the bean counters need is an excuse." Rebecca said. Sitting back in the seat. She was a bit pale.


"If only we could have delayed a few days, James..."


The stewardess comes by the pair, James picks out a meal that seemed like it looked good, although Rebecca knew at altitude everything tasted bland. She just took a pasta. There was enough spices and flavors in it to at least be half-way decent. She did ask for something non-alcoholic, leaving her with a soda can, or a box of milk usually set aside for kids. She went with the Milk.

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The wine with dinner was decent for coming out of little airport bottles, the meal itself forgettable and neither Amanda nor Cheryl ate much of it. Used to flying east coast to west coast on daddy's private jet with a roaring party going from takeoff to touchdown made this flight comfortable but boring. Cheryl lost her self is a book and was soon asleep. Amanda on the other hand was bored. She never slept before 3AM and for first class the only thing it had going was the sweet attendant(who had been given a nice gratuity by Amanda) who kept her plied with mini champagne.


Looking around she saw that most every ones was either napping or deeply involved with whatever their work or entertainment was. She noticed the only other teen in first class was doing something on a laptop while wearing big headphones. She idly wondered if she were Black's kid. Getting out of her seat, Amanda swayed a bit not due to the booze but a little wave of dizziness and nausea swept over her. Oh great she thought, now im coming down with the fucking flu. Smiling at her attendant she pointed at her plastic champagne glass and then moved around to where she could see the other girl's laptop screen. Frowning. she couldn't make heads or tails out of what the girl was doing, except that there was a video involved. Then the girl took notice of her.


Tempest was deep into her editing process when the older girl came over and  looked at her screen. She had immediately identified those two as Pink Slip types and so she was already in self-defense mode, Turning her screen to block the standing girls view, she slipped her head phones down around her neck. "Can i Help you?"


Oh Amanda recognized that tone. She shifted to her "I want to make friends" persona and dove right in.  "Sorry didn't mean to bother you," she smiled warmly turning on the charm as she crouched down beside the girl, "I'm Amanda, my friend fell asleep and i saw you over here with all these suits and thought I'd come over and say high. But I see your busy and im really sorry I disturbed you form whatever that is your doing. It looks complicated."

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Donald heard some of the exclamations and then found himself curious. Several clicks and types later brought him to the CNN reports on the ISS. The clangs of cosmic rock bashing against the station made him jolt, and provoked a sudden, stern, "Turn it down." Mom was roused, and Delores scowled at him. Donald gave her a sheepish look and lowered the volume. She pushed back against her pillow.


Donald went back to reading/watching the news.

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Philip was pondering whether to just fall asleep, or have the free meal. As he was entering the early stages of sleep, he heard hushed worried talking. Having picqued his curiosity, Philip tried to figue out what was going on, waking up in the proccess.
After a few moments, it was clear people where reading tablets and phone. Breaking news maybe? Philip slipped on his smart glasses to see what the fuss was about.
ISS destroyed? A meteor SHOWER capable of reaching the surface? Capable of "totalling" cars? Sounds like a good time to find somewhere safe, like a shelter or a subway. Hard to find those on an airplane. There was nothing he could do. But they said it would be harmless, that some peaces MAY survive. He decided that until he could actualy do something, just ignore the issue.
He started to choose his meal. Nothing looked good with the faint hit of anxiety gnoring away at him, so he just chose a simple pasta (and as always, he steared clear of the alcohol). As he waited for the stewardess to take his order, his mind couldn't help but flit back to the "problem". He didn't really belive that there would be a problem, but his brain insisted he still worry. He moved a news window to the corner of his vision, and started a game.
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Tempest had decimated her meal while barely tasting it, just needing the calories for fuel, far more interested in the coffee she demanded from the flight attendant more than once. First class sure has good coffee... She was running a pair of dailies in World of Warcraft when Dmitri mentioned the ISS getting hit. She commiserated with him - Dmitri had always dreamed of being an astronaut - but the extraterrestrial accident didn't affect her nearly as much. Outer space had never really been one of her interests.


She was working on a new YouTube video - splicing and editing footage from various zombie-focused video games and trying to sync up the music file she was still in the process of fine tuning - when she felt the other girl standing behind her. Slipping her headphones around her neck, Tempest was at first initially wary, but the girl seemed friendly enough. Just a glance at her, Tempest could tell she came from money, but she didn't come across as so superior and snotty as the Pink Slips did.


"No... No, you're not bothering me," Tempest said hesitantly, her dark brows crinkling as she considered the older girl. The truth was, with her friends in San Diego, with no one her age, Tempest was feeling a little... well, she supposed it was lonely, even if she could text and chat with friends and her YouTube channel subscribers wherever she was. "It's not really that complicated," Tempest claimed, her mouth quirking into a wry grin. "Well, it can be, but I have practice. Just working on a YouTube video. It's not finished or polished yet, but you can take a look it you want."


As Tempest tilted her laptop so Amanda could see it, and offered her the headphones, Amanda reevaluated how old the teen was. Tempest was only two, maybe three years younger than her, she was just small and boyishly flat for her age. Probably was touchy about it too. Glancing at the laptop, Amanda saw a series of scenes from various video games that she guessed were supposed to be evocative and atmospheric. 


Holding the headphones close to her ear without putting them on, she heard some pretty decent music, some kind of indie or alternative rock with a variety influences from operatic to goth, a bit of techno, pop, and hip hop, even more. She could hear guitar, piano, and violin and the singer had a high, silky voice that emoted extremely well, contrasted and complemented the music perfectly. Amanda didn't recognize the song, but she had a clue as who performed it.


"Wow! Never heard this song or this band before, but they're pretty good," Amanda claimed. "Who are they, so I can find this song on iTunes."


Tempest sat up straight in her seat, shoulders back and looked Amanda proudly in the eyes, daring her to doubt her. "It's only one person singing and playing all the instruments. Tempest. Me." Tempest smiled, and while she obviously had skill and pride in her music, Amanda could tell the younger girl still sought validation from others. "I'm Tempest Taylor. The song is called Living with the Dead."


She really doesn't seem like a Pink Slip, Tempest thought, but there was still one major test the older girl had to pass before her doubt would really be at ease. "And what's your name? My YouTube channel is TempestAVExperience, by the way, if you want to hear and watch more of my stuff."

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Rebecca started eating, reading the reactions of the crowd around her. This was the thing about a disaster, crisis, or tragedy. Most people will be shocked, maybe say a silent prayer, and move on. Some seemed tense... But perhaps...


She asks the flight attendants to pass some champagne to those at their seats in first class, her bill. And one empty glass for herself, pouring her milk into it. Of course the minors here would get something like Ginger Ale and non alcoholic.


She took her milk before she started her meal, and rose from her seat. She loudly cleared her throat, looking over the First Class area before making a couple polite pings with her finger. "Umm... excuse me... I'm not the crew or anything on the plane... but I consider those brave men and women on the ISS fellow aviators, being a former Royal Navy pilot myself... I truely, and with my heart hope for their safety in this crisis and they can get safely back to Earth."


She raised her milk to the cabin. "To our Astronauts in distress, may they make it home to our gratitude, and we keep them in our minds until they are safe!"


"To wild endeavors, and safe journeys!" She says, lifting her glass.

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Calling Mr Pang. Texting Mr Pang. Emailing Mr Pang. If she could have sent smoke signals to reach the man and get an answer, she'd have done it! After about twenty or so minutes, she gave up on trying to reach him. She shot the message to Viktor that Mr Pang was unreachable after she was done. She inform her boss that the itinerary would be done and ready to go over in a few minutes, they would go over it at his leisure.

Looking outside the window she saw streaks of light. That was unfamiliar. Checking her news feed she saw that the International Space Station had been hit. Flinching she looked outside again. Was that what this was? She stayed calm and kept her game face on. No need panicking at 20,000 feet. Viktor seemed to already know about the whole thing. Apparently she zoned out too hard on reaching Mr Pang and he left her to her work.

It looked like Tempest had made a new friend. Zoe was always glad when Tempest connected with someone outside of her clique. She checked up on TempestAVExperience. Nothing uploaded yet. She must have been playing games with her new friend. Oh well. She ran through different news feeds trying to find out more about what was going on. Until Viktor came back. then she was all business. Unless he made mention of it, she wouldn't.

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"It's Amanda," She said as she pulled he phone out," Do you have OpenSync on?" Always a good move to instill trust, she thought, offer up your info in exchange for theirs even if they don't really trust you most people would be way too embarrassed not to offer theirs in return.


"Yeah, go ahead>" Tempest was a little surprised and pleased as she tilted the laptop toward Amanda, who gently tapped the phone to the edge of the computer. After a few seconds her phone played a popular if somewhat mundane tune as a ringer to acknowledge the functions success while at the same time her laptop signaled with a popup.


"That song is really good, your dad must be proud." Amanda made a slight gesture toward Victor Black.


"Dad?" Tempest looked genuinely and when she saw who Amanda meant, she scrunched up her nose in annoyance. "Mr. Black isn't my dad, he's Mom's boss. She's his PA." Tempest shrugged with an utter lack of regret or yearning as she glanced back at her laptop. "I never knew my father. Fucker took off before I was born."


"Oh sorry, I just assumed." Amanda put that bit of info away, Why would Black let his PA bring her kid on what is obviously a pretty important trip,Then she stopped her herself exasperated, and why do i fucking care about Black omg! "Yeah Dads can be pricks. Tha'ts your Mom?" She looked back and froth comparing the two. "You don't look like her."


"I know," Tempest replied, not able to hide a hint of sour bitterness. "All I got was a natural tan and the black hair." She flicks a strand of hair from her face with a tiny hand. "This is just dyed." She gives a short bark of laughter. "Didn't get any of the height or boobs or Brazilian ass. I'm like the whitest half Brazilian girl ever. Thanks Daaaad."


Amanda saw the look and read the emotion in the younger girls voice and she realized she didn't want to play this girl. She cut a glance back toward where Cheryl was napping as she leaned back on her heels and put the champagne down on the floor. "I don't know you might not have the body but you have a very very pretty face and your talented. I mean unless your Auto-tuning your voice, you have star potential. I have heard a lot of ," Amanda makes air quotes, "real stars sing without all the production and trust me your good. Is anyone helping you along with your music?"


What the fuck, she thought, am i drunk. She felt the plane shift but no one else seemed to notice and then another wave of nausea and a sharp jolt of pain in her left eye.


"I think I had too much to drink, Tempset. I like like your name too.It's cool" She smiled at the her and touched her arm reassuringly." I think i better go sit down.  I don't know how long your going to be In London but give me a call, we can do something and i'll introduce you to Cheryl she"s more of a tech head than i ever will be."


Standing and smiling at Tempest again Amanda made her way to her seat feeling good and bad at the same time.


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Zoe managed to catch Viktor just before the meal was served, but it didn't take long to mention her failure to contact Steve Pang. It wasn't until she went through the list of how she had tried to contact him that she realised that she hadn't been able to contact anybody at the lab and that being in Washington State it had barely been after 5pm there when she started to make her calls. Viktor's grim face was all she needed to confirm that this was not a good thing.

"Thank you Zoe for you efforts, very thorough as ever. I will have to look into this myself now I believe. Enjoy your meal." So saying he turned back to his own that had just arrived.


Zoe sat down just as the steward arrived with her own meal, but was interrupted from starting by a call on Viktor's phone. The caller id was unknown, but Zoe recognised the voice as his German grandmother and groaned internally, the woman always came out with weird cryptic stuff but Viktor seemed to take it all seriously or at least never complained about it.

"Hello Mrs Schwarz, how can I help you?" she said in pleasant tones.

Mrs Schwarz reply however was urgent and in more broken English than normal,

"Zoe, you tell Viktor it is tonight! It will crashing over us all like giant wave and I can't see past it. I am done now, I pray to see him on other side of wave."

"Mrs Schwarz, I don't understand..."

"No need to understand, just tell Viktor! Tell him now!"

And with that the barmy old woman hung up!


With a sigh Zoe put aside her barely touched food and passed the message on to Viktor as close to word for word as she could, and while he had looked grim at the prospect of having lost contact with a whole lab he looked worse now.

"Thank you Zoe. I will do what I can with the information. By the way I have asked the local police to look into what's happened to the lab at Rochester. They should be able to find out more than we can from here."

Zoe returns to her meal.



Rebecca's toast at the end of the meal gets a mixed response from the crowd in First class, James naturally joins in, as do the two ex-military looking types at either end of the compartment and the guy who seems to be their boss and who gives you a polite nod. The others seem a little unsure and slow on the uptake, except the two teenagers who enthusiastically down their glasses.

Sitting back down Rebecca is pleased with the reception her idea got and is slightly surprised from her thoughts when James leans over.

"That guy down the front, the one in 1A. That's Viktor Black the owner of OBI. We got a contract from him about a year ago to work with him on developing some kind of exoskeleton for the British military. Going quite well if I remember correctly, I'll have to check again on it when I get back. I remember it because KGE wanted us to drop out of that contract in order to get one from them, Dad told them to get lost of course. That's the CEO of KGE's daughter over there, the prettier, drunker one."


The conversation between Tempest and Amanda starts about 21:30 after the meal has been cleared away and Cheryl has fallen asleep.

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"You don't say..." Rebecca said as she finished her meal and gave the plate up to the Stewardess. "Strange how fate works. Here we are, You bein' the newly minted CEO of Baines Aerospace and we got OBI here in full effect. and the head of KGI's Daughter of all people."


She leaned back in her seat. "Stay frosty, keep an eye on your drink, and don't give away the family jewels." She said to James who sighed.


"Seriously, James. Mom an' Dad aren't here to hold our leashes anymore or fix up our mistakes. You know how you get when you see the potential for a deal. Take it slow. Don't wanna be like me when I got into training and ended up wrecking my instructor's leg and losin' a BAE Hawk."


Rebecca looked like she was getting tired. "If you wanna mingle, that's fine. But if you're doin' somethin' important, wake me up. 'kay?" She said, grabbing a small pillow to lean against as she looked down at the ocean below. There was a few moments before she talked again. "This cabin's too big. I'd rather be at the stick flyin' alongside ya." She said, moving into a comfortable position before managing to fall asleep, the milk Kicking in.

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"Looks like I can't get on City of Heroes 2. from here.  Damnit, I was hoping to get on Ikazuchihime tonight and have her beat up some Outcasts"


"And on top of that the ISS is getting hit with meteors?  Damn."


Millie sighed and turned on her new anime for the week.


"Sweet next ep for Crossbone Gundam and Ace Combat are out. "


She watches both and after leaves a comment on a forum that the Ace Combat ep left something to be desired. before dozing off while listening to music.



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After returning to her seat the headaches seemed to intensify and the nausea wouldn't go way. After fighting it for several very uncomfortable minutes she rose to go to the bathroom. One of the attendants saw her sway and thinking she might be drunk came to see if she needed any help.


"Miss can I help you with anything? Are you ok?"


Amanda, never a good patent at best always hating to be bothered when she felt bad, swallowed her sassy and rude comment along with the bile gathering at the back of her throat. "No just a bad headache and sick to my stomach I'll be fine after i go to the washroom."


Once safely locked in the bathroom she splashed cold water on her face and fought a losing battle not to puke. when that was all done she cleaned up and with her head still pounding returned to her seat. almost the instant her butt hit the seat the attendant was there kneeling down beside her.


"Honey," she said softly which just annoyed Amanda, "If you want to go change into the pajamas supplied we can set up your bed for you and make you comfortable."  She ended the probably sincere offer with a smile. Amanda gave to woman who was only doing her job a cold glare. "No. I just want to be left alone". The flight attendant a bit shocked at the young girls manner nevertheless nodded and stood. "Well if you change your mind just use the call button and we will be glad to get you whatever you need" As the attendant made her way back tot eh stations she could help but think, bloody rude yanks.


Amanda sat in the dark her head pounding as the jet liner flew on into the night.

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The girl raising a toast to fallen astronauts with her milk brought the issue up in orbit to Desmond's attention, up until that moment he'd been busy combing through stock reports and going over the electronic transfers from his company.  The first thing he did was check his news feed sites to find out what the story so far entailed, then he checked his messages looking for something from Winslow, something like a damage report.  Seeing nothing he sighed in relief to himself and started peering around the cabin watching how the other passengers reacted. 


Most seemed to be heading off to sleep, or going back to whatever business they'd been about before the plane took off.  Shrugging he switched off his smartphone and took to staring out the window while listening to the rest of the passengers.

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Just after finishing his meal (2050) Philip received an email from his Mentor - Viktor Black

Philip, I suspect problems at a number of my facilities in the near future can you please cancel any work you currently have on and be on retainer to me so I can let you know where I need your help? I am happy to pay any penalty clauses you may incur and will double your normal rate for the duration of this contract. I'm currently en route to London, so please reply by email rather than phone.



The time passes uneventfully for people after the meal with many choosing to sleep. For those following the news there is an update on the ISS at 2145: " A NASA spokesperson has announced that the breach to the observation bay window has been sealed albeit with a very slow leak and so the astronauts aboard the ISS have sealed off that section and recovered the remaining atmosphere from there into the ready tanks. They do not intend to use the Dragon escape module until the meteor shower passes in approximately 36 hours as the module does not have the same thickness of protection as the majority of the ISS does."


By 2200 Rebecca, Zoe, Sakura and Marco have nodded off to sleep in there respective sections. Amanda is still suffering with her migraine. Millie is listening to music and starting to nod off and Desmond is watching the decreasing rate of streaks in the sky as you head across the Atlantic.


Temp exploring with her friends on WoW when over the voice link Lucas exclaims "Shit that itches"  his character soon jigs about briefly and goes still as he continues over the link "shit, shit, shit..arghh" others have started reacting the same way until the only ones responding to her startled cries for information are Sven in Norway and Alec in England, neither of whom know any more than she does.


Meanwhile those watching CNN get a more vivid display. The anchor suddenly starts twitching as though trying to resist an itch but rapidly loses to this impulse and starts to itch her head and body. Crying out she falls to the floor as you can hear others in the background reacting similarly to something.  The camera follows her briefly then suddenly jerks up and to the side but she can still be seen in the bottom corner of the screen. She suddenly goes stiffly straight and still and silence falls, then within seconds a faint covering seems to form over her, rapidly thickening over the course of about 10 seconds to a black layer. After about 15 seconds a second layer starts to form, this one a smokey glass or crystalline one.


Shouts and exclamations go up across the plane from those watching this and other US based news channels, waking all those trying to sleep, and News channels based in other countries soon start showing the images. Frantic phone calls to friends and family anywhere in America are met with unanswered ringing until they go to voicemail or ring out.


The cabin crew try to calm people down with little success and soon a tannoy message comes from the Captain in an obviously shocked voice which firms up as he speaks...

"Ladies and Gentlemen this is your Captain speaking, could you please retake your seats and calm down. We do not know what has happened to those in the USA behind us, there is no response to calls to any of the US or Canadian airports that we could normally reach from here. However, we are in contact with Iceland, Greenland, Ireland and UK air control. Therefore, we will be continuing our flight and aim to put you all down safely in Heathrow in approximately 5 hours time. Please remain in your seats as much as possible. Thank you."


Following this message the general mood becomes more subdued although obviously concerned and agitated.



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Rebecca wakes up when the commotion starts, but then starts seeing the other weirdness that is happening on the screens of various news channels and otherwise. "Now that's something you don't see every day." she said, looking out her window. She sat up, scratching her head out of curiosity, taking in what was happening in the cabin.


She wondered why the Captain wanted everyone at their seats. They were 5 hours out you'd only ask to keep in your seat if there was bound to be turbulence or something of that nature... or was expecting trouble from the passengers. She calmed down and waved to a Stewardess. "Get me the most caffeinated soft drink you can find to me, please... several cans. Diet can go to blazes today."


She went over to where her dufflebag holding some of her belongings were, pulling out her laptop and getting it booted up, plugging in her machine to a outlet on her seat. She did like running a lot of programs, usually graphically intensive ones so her BAttery would be slaughtered otherwise. Namely playing Minecraft in Creative. She also started to get all the news she could about what was happening as well, switching back and forth from her browser to her game. She crossed a leg and kept her laptop supported and to keep it from overheating her leg.


Rebecca sighed. Showing James the picture of the woman seemingly put into a crystalline Cocoon. "That... that isn't normal at all..."


She turned the screen back to herself. Steepling her fingers. "Curiouser and Curiouser. This isn't some form of attack, something else is happening." She said with a sigh. "This is turning into a Doctor Who episode faster than I would like."


Rebecca didn't look as panicked as the others at this point. Looking at one of the 6 cans of Mountain Dew the stewardess gave her. "Here you go, Ma'am."


"Thanks." She said, cracking it open watching the two former military types. Watching their moves and reactions while looking at her Laptop screen and taking sips from her drink.

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"Baguguy-Huh?"  Millie wakes up with a start and looks at the reports.


"Oh my God!"  She grabs her phone and tries to contact her dad but to no avail.


"No No No NO no!  Please be okay, Dad..."


She said looking and sounding worried, while checking for any more updates on the situation.

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Standing in Shattrath, Tempest watched as more than half of the players on her North American server for World of Warcraft went still or flitted around inanely, a mounting sense of... of something indescribable impacting her. Something dreadful, something wondrous. The world stood on the cusp of world changing events.


Tempest snorted in disgust at her grandiose thoughts, but she couldn't shake the feeling. The mutters in the First Class cabin weren't helping, nor were the nonsensical talk she saw in the general chat channel. Worried, she began to text the Diego Irregulars, but stopped after calling Sloane and not getting an answer. She could guess she wouldn't get answers from any of them, but somehow, she knew regardless of whatever was happening, they'd pull through.


Others wouldn't...


Shivering with an anticipation she couldn't identify, Tempest curled up on her seat, knees pulled up to her thin chest, arms around her legs as she rocked back and forth, staring at her laptop monitor. Her breath came fast, almost hyperventilating. The eerie lack of activity and chatter in the game was disconcerting. She felt something on her cheek and when she went to brush it away, her fingers came away wet.


"Mom," Tempest called softly, but Zoe's head snapped around, hearing the plaintive terror in her daughter's high, sweet voice, her pretty green-blue brimming with silvery tears, "there's something wrong. Something terribly wrong."

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After chasing away the bothersome attendant  Amanda closed her eyes and tried to will away the headache. She had had headaches before but not often and usually associated with the night before, but never one like this and the sharp pain in her left eye was worse. She imagined a needle heated to redness would hurt less than the irregular piercing pain she was getting there. She wondered if she were having a stroke or aneurism or something then she felt a solid pop in her head and could hear everyone babbling at the top of their lungs about some shit on tv. she opened her eyes and the plane seemed to spin around her, the sounds grew louder but the voices where out of sync and strangely layered. She reached out and grabbed Cheryl shaking her Best friend awake at the same time she turned on her tv.


Cheryl came awake with a start and looked at Amanda noticing how pale and drawn she looked, she was about to ask her what was wrong when the Planes speaker came on and the voice of the captain made his announcement.


"Ladies and Gentlemen this is your Captain speaking, could you please retake your seats and calm down. We do not know what has happened to those in the USA behind us, there is no response to calls to any of the US or Canadian airports that we could normally reach from here. However, we are in contact with Iceland, Greenland, Ireland and UK air control. Therefore, we will be continuing our flight and aim to put you all down safely in Heathrow in approximately 5 hours time. Please remain in your seats as much as possible. Thank you."


"Oh my god, Amanda whats wrong? Are you ok?" Cher was out of her seat and kneeling at her best friends side in an instant. "Whats going on?"


Amanda pale and sweating, knuckles white from gripping the seat, stared unseeing at her friend. then she looked around as the voices all receded into background white noise in her head. She looked back over her seat at the girl, Tempest and at her mother, then to the woman who had made the toast and at others each drawing her attention. Then back at Cheryl, sweet loyal trustworthy Cheryl.


"I don't know," she almost hissed through clenched teeth, "but I can feel it."

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The cries of the passengers jarred Desmond from his skywatching and had him craning his neck to see what the news was showing that had people in such panic.  He saw the tail-end of one of the images showing on CNN where some spokesperson was apparently rapidly crystallizing, and saw the same feature play out on other news networks.  There was no way this was a hoax, it was far too widespread.  All around him people were whipping out phones and making frenzied calls to loved ones and getting nowhere.  The captain's message came over the loudspeaker and stopped panic from breaking out, but the underlying tension was still in the air. 


Pulling his Tablet out he sent a message to his remaining family looking to see if they were alright, and then to his staff asking for a status report.  Without waiting for a reply he began calling up various news feeds from all over the world to see how widespread this was. When he caught sight of a passenger apparently having some kind of problem in the seats ahead of him (as evidenced by someone kneeling next to her), he stopped what he was doing and watched intently.  If the same thing happened to her as was happening all over the news this could turn into a panic-riot.

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Philip was having trouble distracting himself from the worries of the meteors, but when he got Viktor's email, he cheered up. Here was a problem he could do something about.
Philip checked UK (for comparison), then the US's dns. He traced the "network health" all the way to a few of Viktor's sites. Nothing was wrong. Philip felt guilty that he was disipointed not to find a problem.
"Victor, had a quick check and couldn't seem to find any problems. I am in the air to, will contact you when I land. Will be in the UK, so not able to go on-site for a while"
Philip kept probing for any problems he could find for his customer while waiting for a reply. At least it distracted him from what was happening.
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Viktor's reply was prompt.


Which flight you on? BA0116 from JFK to London myself. Don't expect much to be happening now, but wanted to be prepared. Don't worry about being on site as we have sites all over the world. When we find where we need you we'll get you there. We'll meet up in London I guess?




Philip was surprised to realize that he was on the same flight as Viktor, it HAD been him he'd seen while boarding the plane.

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Philip forwarded his seat details to Viktor. Today was definatly getting strange.
After a while, the news struck. Today was now officialy beond strange. Philip closed the news window in the corner of his vision. Until there was something he could do about it (eg just before they land), this strange news would just make him more axious. He redouble his efforts to find out what was wrong with the network, know there was no real problem. He needed to keep busy.
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After Zoe was done conferencing with Viktor she took some time for herself to eat a meal, down a few drinks, watch the UFC event she missed earlier, check up on Tempest and then fall asleep to some very relaxing scenery in her glasses.

Zoe was woken by her daughter's voice. Tempest was upset. You tend to notice your children's fears even through sleep. Sitting up, she looked to Tempest and yawned, "what's wrong, Pixie?" Then she noticed the people on the plane freaking out and the cocoon news. Was this one of those lucid nightmares she was used to having? Unfortunately not. Was the plane crashing? Fortunately not. Zoe might have been the most patient and blase when it came to everything falling apart, but she was always there for her daughter. No matter what she was going through. "It's fine dear," she lied sweetly as she held and petted her daughter, "everything is going to be OK." It wasn't. It was weird, not OK. That cocoon looked like something out of a horror movie. Tempest was right to be upset.

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When the fright and astonishment passed around, Donald looked confused, then the images on CNN provided an unfortunately answer. Was this real? And happening to people? An odd premonition of lifelessness surrounded him, and Delores began to stir and the commotion. Donald quickly moved to nudge her back to sleep, not wanting to frighten her. And then he dialed up his cell phone. Was this happening in London?


You did not simply "lose contact" with air control towers like the captain was trying to brush off.

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Marco was woken up by the commotion and after getting his bearings, he realized something on the news was the cause of all the drama.  Marco clicked on the TV on the back of the chair in front of him on and quickly caught himself up on the surreal world events.  He watched, with the fascination of a rubbernecker at a traffic accident when the Captain's announcement came over the cabin speakers.  Realizing there was nothing he could do, Marco sighed and settled in for the rest of the trip.

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Following CNN effectively going off the air, unless you wanted to look at a pod, most people had turned to BBC News 24 channel for any information on what was going on. The next headlines came at 2215 from a slightly pale anchor.


"Following the startling news that a large portion of the population of the world seems to have been enveloped by some kind of crystalline cocoon, including my colleagues in Singapore, we go now to our Science correspondent Jonathan Amos."

[This Newsday programme at 0300 GMT - 2200 EST is normally co-hosted from London and Singapore and would normally concentrate on the Asian business markets.]


The camera cuts to a slightly disheveled middle aged man.

"Since things started some quarter of an hour ago we have investigated the extent of the phenomenon and have found that the initial wave of changes occurred across a vast area of the planet from the East coast of North and South America westward across the pacific, Australia, Asia and the majority of India. We are now also able to confirm that it is continuing to spread from the east and is calculated to hit the UK at about 0500 this morning. About ten minutes ago at 0310 we were informed that the Prime Minister has called an emergency video conference of the COBRA emergency committee and is expecting to make a statement at 0330."


"However, we are able to state that the timing of the event and its rate of progress around the world has been found to correlate with the build-up in density and spread of the meteor shower. Whatever the effect of these cocoons the source of this is confirmed as extraterrestrial in origin. We will bring you more news as we get it and the PM's statement at 0330."


The noise of discussions and panic raises again slightly at the news that this, what ever it is, came from space, but this quickly subsided when people realised that it made no difference to their inability to do anything about it. Conversation remained sporadic and dominated by the subject of the cocoons and what was happening to people inside them. Some people surfed the internet looking for live webcams to see what parts of the world had been hit.


 Through it all Sakura lay obliviously asleep, in her first class cubicle made up into a bed, curtains closed, complimentary pyjamas and eye mask on, complimentary ear plugs in place.


Come 0330 GMT [2230 EST] the British Prime Minister appeared on camera, slightly disheveled and perhaps a touch paler then usual but calm and determined. 

"We have been in touch with our partners in Europe, Greenland and Iceland and are determined to prepare as well as we can for these events. To that end all reservists and TA personnel are to report in to their commanding officers by any means available by 0400 today. Be that a phone call, a text, email or going and banging on their door. We need to know who can be ready to help us organise the aftermath of this event. All motorways and A roads are to be cleared by 0430. If you can get to your destination then please do so, but if not please pull into the first service station you see. There are a lot of planes still en route to the UK and we need to do what we can to accommodate them as safely as possible and so I address the following to those in the air. If you can reach your destination in the UK or Europe by 0430 then please do so. If not then keep coming to your original airport. We are in the process of clearing the runways and taxi ways of all aircraft currently landed and will keep webcams of the runways and grounds running throughout the events to come. Use these to plan your landing, and if airports become too congested use the Motorway system which we are clearing of cars for your use."


"Together we are preparing for this event as best as we can, and we hope to see you all once it has passed. God Bless us all."


There is a little discussion of the address on the media, but it soon peters out and the channel leaves the details of the address running across the bottom of the screen together with the website information for the webcams in the airports and motorways.



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Rebecca watched everyone's reaction. Looking at how people changed into the strange coocoons, she started to scratch her head. "This... this is completely..."


"Unprecedented?" James completed her sentence for her.


"I was going to say outright frightening. I wonder if these meteorites have some sort of origin." Rebecca said, pulling up a Wikipedia article on Meteorites. "Most of the meteor showers we see come from the Earth passing through a comet trail. I wonder of the ESA, NASA, or JAXA has any information on asteroids..."


James quirked an eyebrow. "Think of it... a NEO. Ever watch those documentaries about how we could deflect a High-threat asteroid that is in earth orbit? Apparently there's tons of them. What if a very, very large asteroid got smashed into bits a while back and it's debris has made it to Earth somehow... Something like being torn apart by Jupiter or Saturn's gravity... remember Shoemaker Levy 9?"


"Wouldn't explain people becoming those pods though." James said, putting his hand on Rebecca's shouder.


"Everything is a theory at this point. And I'm drawing straws from the Science Fiction section of the library."


She gets up with a start, her laptop falling to the floor. "Shoemaker 13!" She said, not shouted, but more in terms of a memory of some news she heard a few months before her last flight in the military.


"Say again?"


"Shoemaker-Levy 13, James! It smashed a very large asteroid 6 months ago... about 4 and a half months before my career was tossed in the garbage... it hit the asteroid, completely shattering Shoemaker 13. That shotgun blast's been making it's way here ever since!"


"So we got a culprit but not a reason for why a whole lot of people are getting put into Cocoons."


Rebecca looked at her Laptop, it had gone into crash mode, although the solid state hard drives and it's own design wouldn't have meant much of a disaster anyways. "Yeah...  Cocoons..."


She winced. "Well crisis or not... excuse me..." She said making her way to the bathroom to take care of her business. After a couple of minutes she returned to her seat, she did one final boot up and shut down though to check her system once it looked clear she packed everything away. "I'd... better stay awake for this one. Thankfully all my saves went to the Cloud..."


"James, you did get the high-end flight insurance, right? The one that did cover acts of God?"


"Of course... not that anyone would benefit."


All Rebecca could do is giggle a little.

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Grasping Cher's hand and pulling out her phone she dials a number she has rarely ever called. it rings several time before going to voice-mail. She looks at the phone and squeezes Cher's hand tighter. "Cher hun, go get us some bourbon ok and lots of it." she hands her the credit card then puts the phone up to her ear.


"Mom...this is Amanda, Im on the flight and we know whats happening from the news and the plane people. Mom somethings going to... I' don't know if I'm ...if we are going to make it. I know your busy and I know you might not ever hear this. But I'm Sorry and I... I love you. Good bye"


Cheryl comes back with several little bottles of bourbon and the two girls not knowing if they are going to see the morning drink until they are gone. Cheryl drunk crawls back into her seat and curls up and passes out.


Amanda Kantner sits the last bit of bourbon in her glass untouched, staring at her tv screen set to one of the news channels in the US. Staring at a picture of a pod or cocoon or what ever it is, the picture at an odd angle. Her head pounding, unfazed by the alcohol, she stares at the pod and wonders, Who are you?

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