Saturday, March 7, 2015

Skewed Slightly to the Left: After landing

[Originally posted at Slacktivist.]
[In the canonical version Rayford postures out whether or not to get a lift back to the terminal or to walk, is a jerk to his copilot Christopher Smith, is dismissive of Hattie, claims he'd volunteer for emergency service, and then walks through the emergency scene ("All around were ambulances and other emergency vehicles trying to get to ugly wreckage scenes...") without volunteering once.]

"Is there anything I--" Rayford started.
"We," Hattie said.
"We can do to help?"
"Get yourselves and the rest of your passengers off the tarmac, indoors and out of the way," the woman directing things on the ground said. "Then stay there."
Rayford nodded.
"Can you do that without me holding your hand?"
"Yes," Rayford said.
"Good," the woman said, then she immediately turned and left.
"What an asshole," one of the passengers said.
"No," Hattie said, surveying the airport, "she just has a lot of work to do."
"Yes she does," Rayford said as he tried to work out what had happened. Maybe a midair collision? At least one plane had obviously been afflicted at just the wrong time. "Let's get out of the way and let the professionals do their jobs," he said to the remaining passengers. "Chris?"
"Yeah, Ray?" Smith said.
"You want to lead, or make sure no one falls behind?"
"I'll take the front," Smith said. "Everybody, listen up," he shouted --loudly so all would be likely to hear, but without any negative emotion-- as he walked through the group toward the terminal. "I'm Christopher Smith, I was your copilot, now I'll be your tour guide. If you look to your left or right you will see utter chaos. That's bad. Right now we're in the way, that's worse," Smith was now at the front of the group and had turned so he was walking backwards. "The sooner we're out of the way, the sooner we stop being a problem; so follow me."
Smith made a "come on" gesture as he turned away from the group and toward the terminal as they started their walk.
Rayford took position at the back of the group where he could watch everyone and hopefully notice if anyone was having problems or if anything Smith couldn't see might need them to change course.
Hattie walked closer to the middle of the group, keeping conversation going to prevent people from focusing on the disaster around them.



  1. That would be the way to do it - professional in the best sense of the word. :)

  2. But then there woudn't be a Vital Distinction made between the Real, True Christians and the others.

    Mind you, I think it would be fair to argue that this isn't a great time to make it.