Chapter 65

Maya had heard Alex scream her name a few minutes ago. Ray’s, too; and the  David. Ray had leaped up and ran to her side as soon as he had heard Alex. She was thrashing, now; the sound of Rays voice trying to calm her. The cold turkey portion of those drugs were a bitch.

Maya tried to calm herself, think about anything else. Her friend was going through hell while they were going though the easiest part of the trip. 

Well, relatively easy. 

The cargo plane was loud and unpressurized, uncomfortable and hot. But also stingingly cold at moments. Maya wanted to strip off all her clothes and bundle up at the same time. If she had been allowed a negative forty degree sleeping bag and to be naked with a book and a beer, she'd be a happy bean.

But, no. She sat in a jumper seat, holding onto netting, staring at the woman who had rescued them. 

She was tall and blonde; her ponytail not doing anything for her facial features other than pull the locks back from her face. Her tactical vest, shirt, tight cargo pants, boots, and gun were all the same mate black. 

She hadn't done anything to make the flight more comfortable for any of them. Not even let them know where they were going.

She had handed them food. If you could call it food, the protein bars that attempted to be chocolate but ended up tasting like sawdust and sadness. Maya ate it regardless, remembering she hadn't had anything since he pancakes that morning. She gulped two bottles of water with the damn thing, it tried to choke her with is slovenly solemnity; as if it's horribleness was an act of laziness. 

Maya curled up on the bench, trying to wrap her jacket around her. It didn't fit. Why didn't anyone make a jacket that doubled as a blanket. It'd make a killing in the homeless market. 

Her last though made her almost giggle, and then felt a presence over her. 

She looked up and saw Leo come to sit at her head, holding a grey blanket. May lifted her head and laid it on her sisters lap, letting Leo put the blanket over her. It was scratchy, but warm. In light of current circumstances, Maya decided she had better knock it off with the negativity; she was where she was and may as week make the best of it. 

She let Leo stroke her head, feeling her sisters fingers weave their way through her hair, like they had when she was a little girl. And she fell asleep. Dreaming of nothing. Waking to feel as if she had traveled through time, the light peeking though the covered windows and trying to blind her. 

She half stretched as not to disturb Leo and looked up. Her sister was in the exact same place she had been when Maya went to sleep, and still awake. Maya wondered if she had slept at all. She highly doubted it. 

“Where are we?” She asked, sitting up carefully. 

“She says we're in the French Mediterranean. Anyone's guess where. But it's relatively safe, at least. Might be a bit hot for my taste. But safe.”

“Are you sure?” Maya looked up at her older sister, Leo was staring at the bench across the fuselage, at Sam. Sam was sleeping with his arms crossed on his chest, sitting up with his chin lolling, passed out. 

“I'm hopeful.” Leo shrugged and broke her stare, looking down to smile at Maya. “Wish it was the same thing. It's not.”

“Do you hope we will be safe someday?” Leo blinked at her younger sister. 

“Why…” she didn't finish her sentence. She didn't have to.

“Because sometimes…”

“No.” Leo interrupted. “We need to be safe. It's what everyone longs for, right? Even when things are even moderately askew?”

Maya didn't ask again. She just sat up and finger combed her hair and drained a canteen. She wondered if she should ask for another portion bar, but thought better. She was always a bit shaky on descents, and in a non-pressurized cabin, that could be even worse.

Her stomach lurched along with the plane. The ride hadn’t been smooth before this, but now it was downright hellish. The tall blonde lady came back, somehow managing to have strapped more weapons to her person.

“We are beginning our descent. Don’t be surprised if we have to try this a couple times. We are still working on our air traffic control.”

Maya’s heart began to beat more and more heavily. This was not going to be good. She was right. It was one of the worst thirty minute spans of her whole life. She was shivering and sweating, stomach tying and untying itself, she held her head in her hands, trying not to vomit.

The wheels of the plane touched with a body breaking thump, but it was minutes before they finally stopped moving. Maya prayed for the sickness to either stop quickly or end her quickly.

The blessed stillness, the engines of the plane winding down. Maya looked up through bleary eyes as the cargo door of the plane opened up like a mouth, sunshine drenching her face.

Her sickness was replaced with an all new one as she stared at the “resistance” home base and the mediocrity that was their security. Little tents and shanty towns with no camouflage netting over the top. And an actual pirate flag. Oh shit. They were near the sea side, too.

It only got worse as she stepped out of the plane. They had civilian planes and helicopters out in the open, along with fuel supplies. Maya looked around as they were lead out. What had this been before? The black asphalt stretch for a sold six acres and lead right up to a white sand beach. The beach would have been quaint and perfect if it hadn’t been for the living arrangements scattered like chip wrappers across the length. Their mess hall was an actual mess, a bunch of plastic picnic tables and chairs out in the open as well.

They were lead across soft sand to one of the tents, baking in the sun in all it’s black canvas glory.

“Here’s where you will be staying.” The blonde lady gestured to the interior of the plane like it was something to be proud of.

“Oh gee thanks…” Maya rolled her eyes. The woman took her silence as a clue that Maya didn’t know her name.

“Yvonne.” She smiled, the first time Maya had seen her do so. “My name is Yvonne.”

“Thanks, Yvonne.” Leo took control as Maya fought the urge to scowl at the woman. “I think we want to rest and get washed up.”

“The bathrooms are up the hill, clearly marked.” Yvonne nodded. “But most of the men wash in the ocean, because we haven’t figured out how to get our hot water to work.”

“Awesome.” Maya shook her head and tried not to cry.

Zoe FleischerComment