Thursday, October 23, 2014

Skewed Slightly to the Left: You find someone to carry you

[This was written in a hurry, because I didn't have a lot of time at the time.  Originally posted at Slacktivist.  Cameron and Tsion crossed the border here, they got away cleanly and should theoretically have been able to fly away within 45 minutes of stealing a car but things didn't go to plan, they were discovered, and now they're being chased.  This begins with a phone call to Ken Ritz, their pilot waiting in their plane.]

[Do remember that Cairo was nuked.  Jerry Jenkins doesn't.]


"Hey, Cam, what's up?"

"Oh, the usual."

"So I'm guessing the troops massing here are your fault."


"What did you do this time?"

"It was just a minor difference of opinion on what you should have to declare when going through customs."

"Right," the sarcasm dripped from Ken's voice, and the static of the bad connection did nothing to lessen it.

"Honestly, I don't know what they're getting so worked up about."

Ken said nothing.

"Ok, so it was more about whether you should go through customs at all or just, you know, sneak through unannounced while you blow holes in the border fence with high explosives, but that's just details."

Ken sighed. "What do you need from me?"

"Nothing much," Cameron said.  "I just need you to commit treason, risk almost certain death, and have the plane ready for immediate take off."

"The usual, then."

"That's what I said from the start."

"Ok," Ken said.  "Don't get dead."

"Ditto," Cameron said, and then she cut the connection.  "Rabbi, we may need a plan."

"Do you always take refuge in understatements?" Tsion asked.

"No," Cameron said.  "It's just one of many tools I use to take the edge off in situations like this."

"This sort of thing happens to you a lot?" Tsion asked while gesturing to the growing number of Global Community cruisers behind them.

"Not a lot, but enough," Cameron said.  "This still isn't worse than Serbia."

"You mentioned a plan," Tsion said.

"Yes, do you have one?"

"Of course not."

"That makes two of us."

"What are we facing?"

"Global Community forces are massing at Arish; the plane will be ready, but we need to get to it somehow."

"How do they know we're going to Arish?"

"They're probably covering every transit hub in the area."

"What sort of plane?"

"A Lear jet.  Why?"

"After the bombing of Cairo it's likely that the airport is flooded with refugees.  If we offer them seats on your plane--"

"They might be able to get us there."


When the first shot rang out Cameron and Tsion both unbuckled and did their best to curl up on the floor, hoping to keep the engine between themselves and oncoming bullets.

Meeting the roadblock was announced by a horrible sound of warping, twisting, and ripping metal and a disturbance that smashed them into every part of the car around them.  They probably both ended up with concussions, at the least, but there was no time for that as the car was still moving, meaning they'd made it through the road block.

Cameron risked sticking her head up and saw how quickly they were approaching the crowd of refugees.

She tried slamming on the breaks and veering away.  The car rolled.

The good news was that the car didn't hit anyone.  The bad news was that Cameron was in so much pain she could barely move.  Tsion wasn't much better.

It looked like the plan would fail and when the door opened Cameron was prepared to be executed or arrested.  When a concerned question was asked in Arabic, Cameron looked up an saw a civilian.  Cameron responded, in Kurdish, that she didn't speak Arabic.

Tsion said, "He's asking if you're all right."

"No," Cameron said.  "Tell them that we have a Lear jet ready for take off, and we'll take as many with us as can fit if they get us to it, but trying might get them killed."

Cameron heard excited Arabic words exchanged outside of the car, and Tsion said, "They understood."

Cameron and Tsion were pulled from the wreckage and carried to the jet.  So many people packed in that there was no space to sit or even bend.  Ken took off, and a lack of anti-aircraft weaponry meant they were safe.  All local air-forces had been destroyed by the recent war.

Partly to keep her mind off the pain, Cameron reflected on the fact that she and Tsion had survived not through the grace of God but through the kindness of strangers.  When the car had wrecked the people had not known that helping might get them a flight.  They had simply known that a car had wrecked and thus whoever was in it would likely need help.  Then they had gone to provide that help even though it was clear that the people with the guns wanted whoever was in the car dead.


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