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It's an early morning flight from Vegas; few, if any, individuals are going to be in a good mood. People are hungover, sleep-deprived, and leaving the City of Sin and Vice.
To make things worse, none of you got a window seat. Instead, you're crammed in with four strangers in a center aisle. Boarding has stopped (finally), and they're going with that idiotic safety video, complete with music far too cheery for this hour of morning.
...And they've just informed you that breakfast would not be served on this plane. Though apparently "complimentary peanuts" would make things all better.
Yes, you are all sitting next to each other. Now go wild.
Anthony wasn't in a good mood, much like those around him. Turns out first class was all booked out, so he'd been stuck crammed in the back with the bulk of people that Vegas attracted. His business suit and smart appearance didn't seem to quite fit in, which is not something he wanted.
Still, he couldn't stay in Vegas, so here he was. At least he wasn't jammed right in the middle like the poor sod to his left, but not having an aisle seat didn't make him any more amicable.
"Excuse me, sir, could I just get to my briefcase?" he asked the man sitting by the aisle. The flight wasn't that long, but anything he could do to pass the time would make it all the better.
Dungeon Crawl! - IC / OOC
Still not use to the whole aspect of flying Richard had adamantly started to watch the safety video. However, a few minutes in, the repetition and simplicity of the film began to grate on his nerves, so he turned some of his attention to a small piece of literature he had picked up on the way to the plane. The magazine was not anything special, just a little light reading to get through the repeats in the video.
As the intercom came online he gave it his attention. Its message caused him to shift around in his seat. He had skipped the breakfast they offered at his hotel in hopes that a hungry stomach would be more in agreement with the planes food. His plan having backfired more than he thought possible, he turned right to his fellow passengers with a look of dissatisfaction.
The small frown crossed the middle aged mans face, the extra creases accentuating his sharp jaw line and gray soul patch. Not really wanting to be too much of a bother he offered up a couple quick, snarky words, If I knew that their idea of a meal was a package of peanuts, I would have eaten breakfast.
"Are you sure you're missing out? About a month ago when I flew I had something with uncooked chicken in." Anthony replied, not exactly discretely, to the comment regarding the catering as he lifted up the briefcase that was lodged down by his and the man to his right's feet. "Considering that myself and a dozen others came down with food poisoning the next day, it put quite a dampener on the trip. I haven't been eating any in-flight meals since; can't stand the thought of it, even."
He shuddered a little at the memory. "Frankly, I'm glad it's just peanuts; I don't have the smell to trigger that thought wafting around next to me. Sucks a bit for you, though, I'm sure. How about I give you my peanuts whenever they come around?"
Story is a fabrication. Rolling for "Bendin' the Truth" for anything to do with it and any further expansion on it.
"Bendin' the Truth" - (1d100)
Dungeon Crawl! - IC / OOC
He folded the edge of his current page then laid the magazine spine down next to him in his seat. Leaning forward he gave a quick apology to the man to his right as he carried on the conversation across several seats. In an almost playful manner he slightly raised his pitch for the interjection, Wow. I guess I was lucky; my flight to Las Vegas had pretty decent food. Well if you do not mind microwave food. He kept his slanted position as the story went on; waiting for it to finish. With a bit of disgust in his voice at the thought of food poisoning, Yeah, I bet it did.
At the offer of peanuts, Thanks. Normally I would say no, but if you do not mind I will take advantage of your generously today. Leaning further inward Richard offered his hand to the stranger, Names Richard.
Carrying on the conversation, Anthony opened up his briefcase and took out the latest journal from the IEEE, something he'd been meaning to catch up on, and snapped the case back shut.
"You're more than welcome," he replied with a friendly smile. "Hell, I had a late dinner anyway, damned conference overran, so the only use I'd have for them is something to keep me occupied."
He excused himself to the man to his left with a polite smile as he leant over a little to shake the offered hand. "Anthony," he responded. "I guess your bad luck now is softened by mine last night. Which one of you wants to be the next in the karma chain?" he joked to the others seated in the row. "Don't tell me one of you was responsible for running in to my client's car and making him two hours late for the meeting?"
"Bendin' the Truth" - (1d100)
Dungeon Crawl! - IC / OOC
After settling down in his seat, Jack packed his leather mailbag away and proceeded to rest his eyes for a few moments after narrowly making his flight back to Chicago. The usual routine carried along, as a flight attendant reminded Jack with a nudge to stay awake during the dismal safety instruction. Interest aside, his attention quickly waned into sleep as the video ended.
In the subsequent morning rush, Jack's stubble remained unshaven and his usual bagel overtaken by a hasty smoke and coffee. As he shifted from being half asleep and sketching in his small notepad, his focus drew away from the meagre packet of peanuts upon his lap.
Last edited by mostly_harmless : 08-23-2012 at 11:36 PM.
Reason: redundancy in sentence "smoke and cigarette"
He wasn't happy, although to be fair he hadn't been happy in over fifteen years. He knows; he'd counted the days. More than being unhappy, or at least in addition to it, he was frustrated and irritable. He'd had to skip breakfast in order to make the flight, only to discover that they wouldn't be serving it on the plane. He was seated just about as far away from a window as was possible, among four other men, two of which were talking, one of which was sleeping. The stewardess, who was distressingly unattractive for a stewardess, highlighting just one of the many changes that had occurred while he had been away, had given him a funny look when he'd requested alcohol and then told him that it was too early to serve it. The seat was too small, and the armrests pressed into his thighs. Finally, the insultingly tiny bag of peanuts that was meant to negate the hunger pangs he was suffering seems to be made of titanium. With one last wrenching pull, he manages to tear it open and spill peanuts all over himself and the other four men.
Great. Just great, Ellis thought to himself. A center seat. How magnificent to spend the next four hours or so crammed in here amid the dregs of humanity, all undoubtedly limping back to their suburban Illinois homes after squandering their paychecks on nickel slots and strippers. To make matters worse, he'd had to load up on caffeine in order to maintain sufficient consciousness to make this flight, and there were often attendant consequences to the overconsumption of coffee. The swill he'd had at the hotel's continental breakfast was terrible- it tasted like hot water someone had thrown a brown crayon into- so he'd had to purchase an overpriced drink from some green-aproned schmuck who was far too friendly at this ungodly hour of the morning. Ellis could just envision inconveniencing his neighbors with frequent trips to the bathroom, eliciting muffled grunts and dirty looks. Phenomenal.
Why the American History Association had chosen Vegas for their conference this year was beyond his comprehension. Most of the attendees were impoverished grad students, barely able to afford the cost of accommodations, let alone partake in Sin City's other offerings. Hell, the only reason Ellis had even set foot in a casino was because the drinks were free. Not only had the paper he had presented barely received any notice, the panel participants were all bleary-eyed dolts. Not one of them had any real interest in actual history, they were simply content to plagiarize real scholars and condense the difficult work of interpreting primary documents into palatable little nuggets for mass consumption on an outlet like the History Channel. It had all felt like a waste of time.
Ellis sighed and pulled his messenger bag out from beneath the compartment under the seat in front of him. He gazed into it as though it were an interminable abyss. His prospects for entertainment looked grim. He had a copy of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck's Zoological Philosophy (the focus of his forthcoming History of Science paper), a stack of papers he'd postponed grading because of the conference, and a copy of Rushdie's Satanic Verses, which he feared might draw stares if he pulled it out. At least it wasn't as bad as the last time he flew, when he obliviously drew out a copy of First As Tragedy, Then As Farce, the cover of which depicted the same crash-landing emergency procedures as the airline safety pamphlet. That drew some stares.
Ellis finally settled on a copy of The New Yorker he'd purchased at the airport newsstand, and popped in a piece of chewing gum to diminish the inevitable sensation of pressure that would soon flood his eardrums. He tried pointedly to ignore his neighbors, who seemed insistent on making inane and distracting chitchat. Who talks about food poisoning to strangers at this time of day? he thought to himself. Acting like giving someone a pack of peanuts is equivalent to donating a kidney. If this guy doesn't shut up, it's going to be a long flight.
Jack gave up trying to sleep after hearing the phrase "food poisoning". He pocketed his slim notepad and proceeded to ask the flight attendant for a hot coffee. He looked over to hear the source of the "food poisoning" discussion and looked dismally at the peanuts given to him. After seeing the man over spill his, he offered his own. "Here," Jack offered.
During the handshake Richard returned the friendly smile then moved back to a normal sitting position. The talkative fellow continued onward trying to rouse a response out of the other passengers. Must have been too early in the morning for them, as none responded. When a man requested a drink a thought of slight disapproval entered his mind, apparently not too early for some things. Not really wanting to be one of those people he let the topic naturally drop off into an awkward silence.
When the flight attendant stopped at their row he quietly passed the peanuts to his right. Thanking her before she continued forward, he set up his tray and emptied his bag onto the right portion of it. Unwilling to let his magazine wrinkle he plopped it down to the left of the pile of peanuts then slowly and methodically started eating the peanuts one at a time.
The struggling passenger drew a glance from him. Still caught off guard when the bag burst, he jerked back ever so slightly in surprise. A light shower of peanuts covered Richards blue jeans and light blue dress shirt. Richard started to pinch the peanuts off him; storing them in his closed palm. He kind of felt sorry for the unlucky sod.
At least someone's not in a completely foul mood. Okay, so it's early, great, but you booked the flight, you knew what was happening. I ended up back here in Grouch Central when I was vouching on cruising it in first class.
Following the unexpected peanut shower, Anthony couldn't help but laugh a little. "We're just rolling in good fortune today, hey guys? Which one of you smashed a mirror on a leprechaun before boarding? Still, could be worse," he continued, brushing little pieces of peanut off of his shoulder. "If they were pretzels, the shrapnel would have been lethal."
"Oh, and did you still want these, even with your extra fifth of a bag?" he joked, tossing his packet over. "So, any of you lot have luck with the casinos? Odds are at least one of you was here for 'em. I don't suppose any of you happened to be playing the slots? I saw some old bird cash out big time, that must have made her night."
He paused briefly, quickly assessing the responses of the others. "Am I talking too much? Sorry, I'll be honest, I still get a little edgy when flying. I specifically asked for a window seat, the only thing that can take my mind off of it is yammerin' away. Crazy, huh? I'll be fine once we've levelled out. I just get a little angsty, is all. I'd offer to get you guys a drink to make up for it, but I guess that's not going to happen until we hit the ground... not hit the ground," he added, realising an implication of his phrasing. "You know what I mean."
"Bendin' the Truth" - (1d100)
Dungeon Crawl! - IC / OOC
Before a thought registered, a smattering of peanut shells and such showered onto Jack's lap. Still tired enough to let the incident pass, he looked around and tried to make eye contact with another, more visually appealing flight attendant in hopes of a fulfilled request. Though the veil of a hazy hangover, Jack mustered a smile. "A few small, empty paper cups please," with a sweeping motion of his hand indicating his purpose. The flight attendant returned with a knowing smile and brandished a few small cups emblazoned with the airline logo. Jack smiled and thanked her as she trotted away to settle another passenger. With a sigh, Jack filled one cup with the scattered peanut debris, another with the contents of his peanuts package, and the last toward the previously talking man whilst motioning for his peanut filled palm to empty the contents into the cup. With the remaining effort he could muster, his peanuts package was emptied into a cup and offered to the man who spilled his own. With the matter settled, Jack drifted back into sketching a few designs upon his notepad. At least now, I'll be assured a measure of peace for the next three hours.
Last edited by mostly_harmless : 08-24-2012 at 06:19 PM.
After accepting the proffered legumes with a grumbled thanks, Frank leans back in his chair and goes about opening the bag -- carefully, this time -- and popping one into his mouth. He crunches it loudly between his teeth before speaking. "More likely to die on the ground than in the sky," he says, reaching three sausage-thick fingers into the package for another peanut. "Flying's the safest way to travel." Crunch, chew, swallow. "Cars crash into each-other all the time. Not planes, though. They've got safeguards for that; keeps everything nice and tidy. For the most part, anyway." He considers the book by his side, nestled in a clean white paper bag. He'd picked it up in the airport, some non-threatening horror... no, sorry, 'thriller' novel by a guy with a German-sounding last name. He hadn't cracked it open yet and was eager to do so. He'd become a fan of that sort of thing while he was away, and could power through them in a few days at the most. But maybe reading a horror novel when you're thirty-thousand feet in the air would be too close to tempting fate? He decides to not risk it. There'll be plenty of time to read in Chicago, once he's done what he needs to do there.
The flight takes off , the roar of the engines rousing all but the most hardened and hung-over passengers, and reaches cruising altitude (thirty-three thousand three hundred feet) without a hitch.
The fasten seat belt sign turns off, and there is minor panic as several people, desperate for bladderial relief, make mad dashes for the two lavatories at the back of the plane (the two up front being strictly reserved for those who had paid for the privilege of first class, of course). Another man, a tall, bald man with a green camo sleeveless shirt and shamrock tattoo, gets off his aisle seat in the row just below first class to retrieve something from his bag.
He can see the cold glint of metal and a slim profile in the man's hand.
Anthony chatted away during the actual take-off itself. Mostly inane ramblings, but he brought up the fact that he was in the software industry to anyone who was listening... or to the general plane itself if no one was.
"Yeah, irrational fears are great. If I could reason with it it wouldn't be irrational," he added in response to the very valid point raised. "The curse of the job: I need to fly to do business, but having to do business gets in the way of seeing anyone about it. Catch 22. You lot don't look like you were in Vegas on vacation, or if you were I'm guessing the casino took a little more than you were willing to spend, so how about it? Go on, indulge me, I'll shut up once we level out."
He won't shut up once they level out. This is far too fun for him.
"Bendin' the Truth" - (1d100)
Dungeon Crawl! - IC / OOC
Jack settled in deeper into his seat as he imagined the morning sun from the airport. A few simple figures and designs built themselves from his work-weary mind, as the man towards his left continued to rouse conversation. Jack acknowledged his efforts with a few moments of listening to his conversation, and politely packed his notepad into his jacket. Following the man's mention of gambling, Jack chuckled to himself. Going through his pockets he remembered his flask and lighter empty as he was flying and couldn't indulge. He then cast off the thought and reached for a worn copy of The Fountainhead he tucked away in the side pocket of his mailbag and placed it under his arm before responding to the man a few seats over. Jack nodded knowingly and clarified, "Business is what brought me, aside from the occasional drink." Jack then sat back and asked, "And you?"
Last edited by mostly_harmless : 08-25-2012 at 06:14 PM.
Ellis found himself rereading the same paragraph three times, disturbed again and again by the constant inane chatter from his seatmates. He looked up at the two bantering back and forth, prepared to shoot them a dirty look, clear his throat, and politely tell them to shut the hell up. Unfortunately, as he raised his gaze from his magazine, his eyes caught something, and he noticeably blanched.
Ellis clears his throat and nudges the gentleman next to him with the aisle seat, nodding slightly in the direction of the bald man and quirking his eyebrow in a suggestive and curious way. Ellis pulls out his iPhone and pretends to fiddle with it, turning on the camera and attempting to surreptitiously snap a quick photo of the man as he rifles through his bag. I'm being paranoid, he thought to himself. This is just post-September eleventh neurotic fear. Still, he found his curiosity had gotten the better of him.
(1d100) Knowledge to see if the man is in any way recognizable, or if his tattoo denotes anything significant like gang affiliation or the like.
Oh, you've got to be kidding me. I just want to get to Chicago, already. This is going to ruin everything. Best case, we land somewhere, and everyone gets asked 101 questions.
Anthony's mind was already thinking through the madness. Admittedly, he'd rather just be jolted awake and find he'd nodded off on the flight and his over active imagination had concocted something far more "interesting" as his in-flight entertainment.
Better to be on the safe side, though, and actually treat it like his life was in peril. What did he do? He reached for the pen in his jacket pocket. Why? Maybe he was still a little unsettled, but he had plans for that pen.
"This is not going to make my fear of flying any easier," he muttered, glancing around behind him and hoping the Air Marshall wasn't stupid enough to just stand up.
Dungeon Crawl! - IC / OOC
Last edited by Amanil : 08-25-2012 at 11:08 PM.
After noticing the armed man and his vicious-looking firearm, and recognizing the voice that crackles over the intercom, Frank buries his head in his hands. "Oh, for ####'s sake," he grumbles. "This is exactly what I ####ing needed today." He shakes his head and forces himself to breathe. Okay. ####! Okay. Best-case scenario? We're hostages, and they're going to try and trade us to the government for some really bad people. Too bad the U.S. 'Doesn't negotiate with terrorists'... Worst-case scenario, they fly us into a building and we end up meat-confetti. Great options. He looks up and glances around, trying to take everything in. Don't panic. People who panic get shot, and people who get shot get dead. You've been in tough spots before. Didn't always come out clean, but you've always come out alive."Oh, #### me, I just wanted to see my wife and kid! Is that too much to ####ing ask for?"No, come on, keep it together, Frank. Keep it together!
This is it. Merde. Jack had minute thoughts racing as he glanced up toward the armed man. Ideas flitted across his sleep addled brain as he conjured hasty ideas. In the resulting chaos and confusion, the only thing that permeated his mind was the quote printed into the first line of his book. "Who is Howard Roark?"
The same sentence hammered itself into mind, as steel railway spikes dug into his conscience with each thud of his heartbeat. He envisioned the morbid aftermath of his inactive state these very moments as time ticked away in his pocket. Jack calmly removed his fountain pen following the movement of the fellow passenger as he fished a cigarette out with his other and tucked it away behind his ear, for a calm moment should it come.
Jack simply sat and thought, eyes lazily dragging visual stimuli across the aisles as he heard the muffled screams in first class. Jack sighed and thought quietly as he began to attempt to remember if he had packed a usable lighter.
Last edited by mostly_harmless : 08-26-2012 at 08:39 AM.
Ellis looked around the cabin. He suddenly felt enormous guilt and shame for the contempt he had expressed for these strangers a moment ago. He had previously dismissed them as just dumb tourists getting drunk on vacation; now he saw them in the fullness of their humanity. If only he could fully document their stories in their entirety, that would be history. They were lovers and parents, hard-working and honest folk, they had hopes and fears, families and responsibilities. Flawed people, certainly, but they were trying, and they did not deserve this. They did not deserve to die today at the hands of this maniac.
Ellis decided right then and there that he had to do something.
What it was that a scrawny grad student could do in the face of madman with a gun wasn't yet certain. One thing he knew he could do: he could tell the world what was happening. He ducked a bit lower in his seat, just like nearly everyone on the plan was doing since the gun had been whipped out, and swiped his phone. He quickly tapped out a message to every friend he could text, posted on social media sites, everything he could do to get the word out: "Apu Al-Mohammed has hijacked flight 5709, Vegas to Chicago. Updates forthcoming."
((Do remember this is 2006. Social media isn't as much of a thing.))
There is a sound like a dictionary being dropped from a second story window.
"...That was one of the three flight attendants on this aircraft. The other two are to put themselves into the restrooms at the back of the plane."
Eyes wide in horror, the two do as they are told.
"Now, my associate is going to be handing out rolls of duct tape to those capitalistWesternerswine! in economy class. Everyone is to tape their hands to the person next to them; those on the aisle are to be taped to their armrest. If you would be so kind?"
That's one person dead, but at least the Air Marshall didn't give himself up... if there even is one. How much duct tape has this guy got? Anthony's thoughts ran into each other. He glanced at the man's accomplice, sizing him up. He felt like he was a good judge of character; someone in the business field had to be. What's an angle I can work? He's got the gun, sure, but I've talked myself out of worse... okay, so maybe not worse, there's always been somewhere to run if it all went wrong. If we get tied up, though, we lose any edge we might have. They've only got so many bullets...
He was no expert on firearms, and apparently this one was a bit unusual. Still, he'd read a few books about them. Maybe he knew how many shots would have to be fired before the thing went "click"?
Not sure what roll you want for weighing up the man he's looking at. He's trying to tell his level of confidence, that sort of thing, and I figure he's reasonably "qualified" to do that. I'll just roll here and you can pick whichever stat or skill corresponds?
As for whether he knows enough about firearms to judge how many shots are in the clip (i.e. see if he knows a little about the gun without any real details):
"Knowin' Just Enough" - (1d100)
Dungeon Crawl! - IC / OOC
Ellis desperately tried to conjure up some knowledge of this Apu Al-Mohammed guy. He'd read so much post-colonial history, though, it was all starting to jumble together. He'd been so busy engaging in critical analyses of works, arguing over whether or not they were too "Orientalist" in scope, to actually remember the factual components of the stuff. Capitalist Western swine? It was such an odd combination of insults, and odd characterization of the passengers. Most jihadists didn't care about capitalism, hell, most of them hated the old Soviet regimes as much or more. Still, he seemed to remember something about a group of fundamentalists with more leftist leanings...
Know it all:(1d100) looking for anything on Apu's background, his affiliation, his possible goals, etc. Chronicler:(1d100) subconscious channeling of the avatar in this high stress situation seems pretty appropriate, since this kind of knowledge would help.