Terrorist Hijacking of Pacifica 762 SQUAWK 7500 0645 Central Standard Time

  • Print Article |
  • Send to a Friend |
  • |
  • Add to Google |

It wasn't uncommon for Mike Rendell to hit the snooze button three or four times before he mustered up the energy to face the day. But today he was wide awake before the alarm made its' first chirp. Turning on the bedside lamp, Mike rolled out of bed and reached his arms toward the ceiling. Oh, yeah, the stretch felt good! He did a couple of jumping jacks and a few torso twists and set down on the edge of the bed.

Picking up the bedside phone, he pressed the number that connected him directly to room service. Told that the kitchen staff wasn't busy and that his breakfast could be delivered right away, Mike placed his order and hurried to the shower. Amazingly, just as he had finished drying off, the room service waiter knocked on his door. Mike was amazed because, normally, his days away from home did not run this smoothly. Usually his alarm clock malfunctioned, there wasn't any hot water, or room service would take forever to deliver his order of cold eggs and even colder coffee.

The ultimate injustice, however, would be some punk pulling the fire alarm at three o'clock in the morning, waking Mike from a sound sleep with only two hours remaining before he actually had to get up. But today none of that happened. It was surreal. Perhaps, during the night, the sun, the moon, and the stars had all lined up in a perfect orbit followed by nature and mankind falling into flawless harmony.

Suddenly, Mike had a "flashback", recalling the old, toothless fortune-teller who had told him once that sometimes the juxtaposition of the planets are but a thin veil concealing unexpected troubles. But he softly chuckled and shook his head as he pushed that portentous thought aside and with a smile in his heart, and contentment in his soul, sat on his bed, Indian-style, eating his breakfast and flipping the TV between ESPN and The Weather Channel.

After Mike had eaten his hot and hearty breakfast all that remained of his morning rituals was for him to brush his teeth, comb his hair, and don his dark blue pilot uniform. Standing in front of the hotel room mirror and softly humming an old Eagles' tune - Hotel California - Mike was finally able, after two bumbled tries, to fashion a presentable knot in his tie. A quick three hundred sixty degree turn in front of the mirror convinced him that the rest of his tailored uniform was in tip-top appearance.

Returning to the main area of the suite, Mike scoured the room for any items that he may have overlooked while packing. Not finding any stray socks or wandering underwear, he zipped up his roller bag and set it by the door. He walked to the desk and, as he was picking up his wallet, a credit card receipt fluttered to the carpet. It was a pleasant reminder of the raucous crew party that had taken place last night in a local pub. As a smile crept across his face, Mike crumpled the paper and shot it into the wastebasket. Gazing at his watch, he saw that he had fifteen minutes until he was required to catch the airport shuttle. Plenty of time to call his wife before he started another average day of flying an airliner cross-country.

Mike pushed the speed dial number on his cell phone. As his wife, Lisa, picked up the kitchen phone, she was greeted with a "hey, babe" from her husband of 13 years. She responded with a wifely "hey, you", and then said, "we need to talk before you take off."
"OK, shoot."

"After I drop the girls at school, I'm going down town to run some errands. Do you still want me to pick up the tickets to the football game or will you do it when you get home?"

"Well," Mike said, "since the ticket office is only twenty minutes from the airport, why don't I pick them up on my way home tomorrow?"

"Excellent," Lisa said. "That will save me some time today." Pausing briefly, she asked, "Do you want to say ‘good morning' to the girly-whirlies before I take them to school?"

Mike took a quick glance at his watch. "Sure," he said. "I've got a couple of minutes."

Mike briefly talked to each of his two girls; Sara, who was in fifth grade and Holly, who was in second grade. He made them promise that they would pay attention in class and eat the nutritious lunch that their mother had packed for them. The girls told their dad that they loved him and they would see him when he got home. Mike told them that he loved them, too, and to put their mother back on the phone because he was starting to run late. "Hey," he said to Lisa, "I'll give you a call tonight when I get to Seattle."

"OK, babe. Take care and be safe. Love ya!" Mike hung up the phone, picked up his bag, and walked out of the room. When Mike reached the hotel lobby, he could see that the rest of his crew, the first officer and the three flight attendants, had already checked out and were helping the van driver load their bags. He placed his key on the counter and walked through the double front door. Placing his bags with the others, he glanced up at the sky. "Man, what a beautiful day for flying," he thought. Mike put his sunglasses on and climbed in to the passenger's front seat.

As the courtesy van pulled away from the hotel's awning and was bathed in the early morning sun, Mike Rendell, forty-nine year old captain for Pacifica Airlines, was looking forward to starting another typical day of flying - totally oblivious to the fact that old, toothless fortune-tellers were occasionally wiser than they looked.

Next: Saturday 0944 Central Standard Time 

Captain Steve A. Reeves is author of fiction book SQUAWK 7500 Terrorist Hijacking of Pacifica 762 rue and it is true story. Book will be soon available on Amazon. Stay tuned.

Article Rating (5 stars):
  • article full star
  • article full star
  • article full star
  • article full star
  • article full star
Rate this Article:
  • Article Word Count: 983
  • |
  • Total Views: 229
  • |
  • permalink
  • Print Article |
  • Send to a Friend |
  • |
  • Add to Google |
>