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I Don't Know Who This Woman Is... Part Two


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The air was warm, a welcome relief after a winter that had dragged on far too long. I hate the winter, and not just a little bit. I truly hate winter. You would think for someone who lives in the north that wouldn't be the case. I like the positives so much that I deal with the negatives. I think I've gotten sidetracked here...

 

I was enjoying the evening breeze when my phone buzzed. I looked down at the text, it was the mystery woman.

 

"I need you to pick me up now," it said.

 

I half laughed with a roll of my eyes. "Sorry," I wrote back. "I'm in Seattle."

 

I was just slipping the phone into my pocket when it buzzed a second time.

 

"Then you'd better get a move on."

 

How do I keep getting sucked into these things?

 

2020-4-25_21-58-7-734.jpg

Spent way too much time using these sims...

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Nice plane to start with!

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The only thing available for me to get back to Naperville was a little Cessna. I'm sure Her Grace will be pissed. I'm not sure I care.

 

2020-4-26_10-7-55-64.jpg

Spent way too much time using these sims...

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Nice Cessna :D

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Sure enough, she wasn't real pleased with having to ride in the little Cessna. Clearly, it was not luxurious enough for her tastes. Once she was relatively settled, I went to start the engine. Nothing happened. I tried again, same result.

 

Without much choice, we looked to see if there was another plane at the club we could use, and there was. A little Piper Cub. She stared at it, her eyes wide while I tried to conceal my smile. I remember someone who worked for Piper once commenting on the Cub that you could get them in any colours you wanted, as long as the colours you wanted were yellow and black.

 

I helped her into the back seat before climbing up front, listening to her complain all the while. If she thought the Cessna was small, it was spacious compared to this little guy. I taxied for takeoff, and as we turned back toward O'Hare, we got a good look at the club.

 

2020-4-26_11-44-34-933.jpg

 

The Cub was slow and I could feel her fidgeting in the back. More than once she knocked the controls and I finally had to tell her to cool it. 18 miles from the field, I called the tower and got us cleared to land.

 

2020-4-26_11-54-1-344.jpg

Spent way too much time using these sims...

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I don’t know, but it would be interesting to find out who this woman is.

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From the little Piper, we transferred to a Mooney Acclaim with a glass cockpit. She seemed to accept that complaining wasn't going to do much, because the grumbling diminished substantively. Good thing too, because we made a bit of a flight from Chicago up to Sault Ste Marie.

 

2020-4-26_17-1-40-121.jpg

 

We climbed out of the plane and I followed behind as she seemed to know where she as going. There was a little café not far from where we parked, and as we approached, the door opened. A woman stepped out, dressed in a long, fur coat, sunglasses and a big hat that hid a good portion of her face. You know that thing with the fake kiss on each side? I'd seen people do it in movies and on tv, but never for real, until just then.

 

"It's so good to see you!" my companion said, before gesturing toward me. "This is...well he's with me."

 

It was my turn to grumble as they spoke in hushed tones I couldn't make out. Then she indicated for me to follow and we got into a fancy, white BMW. We drove for about half an hour, with me sitting in the back while the two women were up front. They didn't say much, even as we turned and followed a dirt road. Finally we came to the shore of a lake where a float plane bobbed in the water.

 

2020-4-26_23-3-8-719.jpg

 

I expected her to complain again, but she led me to the shore instead. The exterior of the plane looked pretty nice, but the interior was rough. I got it running without too much trouble, and even got airborne, though I don't have much experience with float planes. I have to admit it flew nice, it was smooth, even though it had no autopilot and I had to fly it by hand. Once again, she seemed to have an idea where we were going as we travelled in a generally east-southeast direction for a while until she pointed out an area where I was to land. I did as instructed, and pulled as close to the land as I was able.

Spent way too much time using these sims...

FS 5.1, FS-98, FS-2000, FS-2002, FS-2004, FSX, Flight, FSW, P3Dv3, P3Dv4, MSFS

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She was gone a long time. A good few hours. The gentle rocking of the plane in the waves lulled me to sleep and I only woke up when she returned and pulled the right side door open. In her hand was a wrinkled map, and once she was in her seat, she spent several seconds looking at it before gesturing for me to get moving again.

 

The aircraft's ability to maneuver in the water was pretty poor, and it took some serious jiggling to get it pointed toward the open water. But finally I put the flaps out half way and pushed the throttle all the way in. Acceleration was smooth, and we lifted up effortlessly. She stared at the map a few minutes more before pointing where she wanted to go.

 

We flew for a long while in silence was she looked at the map and compared it with what she saw out the window. It must have been an hour or two when she told me to turn to the right.

 

"Right there," she said, almost immediately.

 

I looked where she was pointing: a little piece of land jutted out into the lake.

 

2020-4-27_12-42-3-984.jpg

 

I landed as close as I could, and did my best to taxi through the water back to shore.

 

Not far away stood a small house. She ran to the door and banged hard enough for me to hear from the plane. The door opened shortly after, and she looked around as though afraid someone might be watching before stepping through the door.

 

2020-4-27_12-51-17-532.jpg

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Yep, I’m very intrigued on who this woman is!

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I didn't have to wait long before she leaned out the door and waved me to go to her. I considered giving her the bird, but relented. When I entered the house there were two men with her. One was a little taller than myself, and looked to be in is 30s. The other was somewhat shorter and a little heavyset, his hair was starting to grey.

 

"We need you to make a side trip," she said.

 

I shook my head. "No. You tell me what all of this is about. If not, forget it."

 

She sighed with a nod of her head. "Yeah, I guess you deserve that much. One more thing, when you get back I'll tell you everything I can."

 

Once again I considered walking out, but before I had the chance she handed me a piece of paper. On it was scribbled a hand drawn map. "I need you to go to that airstrip and pick up a package. Don't look inside or open it, just bring it back to me."

 

I looked at the map for a minute or two before turning back to her. "Fine, and then you tell me everything."

 

"Everything I can."

 

The shorter man led me out behind the building where a tarp covered something, and as the other man came to his side, they pulled it aside, revealing an old plane underneath.

 

2020-4-27_17-27-40-973.jpg

 

"You won't be able to take the float plane to get there, you'll have to use this."

 

I climbed in and got it started. I used the rough beach as a makeshift runway and got the plane airborne. It really wanted to pull to the left and I had to hold the controls to one side to keep it straight. The map flapped in the wind, but I managed to make sense of it enough to get headed in the right direction.

 

I flew for a while, until the strip came into sight.

 

2020-4-27_17-40-19-341.jpg

 

I landed and exited the runway to the right. There was a little restaurant at the field, a faded red sign announced it as the $100 Hamburger. I pushed the door open and stepped through. Several wooden table were scattered around the room with the chairs piled atop them. A serving counter was open to the left and I stepped up to it.

 

"Hello," I called.

 

"Well hey there," someone stepped up to meet me.

 

"This is going to sound weird, but I'm supposed to pick up a package?"

 

He reached down and pulled up a package slightly smaller than a shoebox, wrapped in brown paper. "I was wondering if someone was really gonna come get this," he said.

 

Pretty soon I was back in the plane and in the air again. I retraced my route until the little strip of land was clearly visible in front of me.

 

2020-4-27_17-53-33-100.jpg

 

I wondered if I would have enough room to land, but I needn't have bothered. Not only was I down with room to spare, I had to give it a little power to get all the way back to the house. I parked the plane and got out. I rapped on the door and waited several minutes.

 

 

I was starting to get worried when the shorter man opened it, silently motioning me in and toward the kitchen. When I got there, the woman waited. She had changed her clothes and was wearing jeans and a plain white t-shirt, her blonde hair hanging loose.

 

She motioned toward the kitchen table and I sat next to it.

 

"Alright," she said. "You wanted to know..."

Spent way too much time using these sims...

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A blonde no less...interesting.

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The kitchen was done almost entirely in wood. From the cabinets, to the table to the floor, the same colour of brown occupied everything. An old stove sat in one corner, black as soot, standing in contrast to the rest of the room. A single pipe rose from it and passed through the ceiling. Across the room from where I was sitting was a counter with a pair of stainless steel sinks, above which was an open window.

 

Air blew in, ruffling a set of curtains which had been pulled open. In the distance, I could see the float plane gently bobbing in the waves. A staircase went up along the right hand wall though I couldn't see to the top from my position.

 

The blonde woman stood in front of me with her arms crossed, her head cocked slightly to one side. Finally, she spoke. "I said I'd tell you everything I could."

 

She reached into her pocket and pulled something out. It was an ID badge which she put on the table and then used one finger to slide toward me. As quick as she had put it down, she snatched it back. I didn't have time to make out her name, but I did catch a glimpse of the FBI logo. I looked up at her as she stared back.

 

She glanced at her two companions with raised eyebrows. One crossed him arms and shook his head vigorously, while the other shrugged.

 

She turned her attention back to me and nodded slowly. "I work for the country's intelligence community," she said. "We are trying to defeat a major international terrorist organization."

 

"Go on." I hoped to get as much from her as possible.

 

Again she looked at her companions. "You remember 9/11"

 

"Of course."

 

"Well the intel says there's something big in the works. Something that will make it look like child's play." I wasn't sure what to say. I tried to remain neutral but my expression must've given me away. "That's right, you should be worried."

 

"So what's the target?' I asked.

 

"You, me, the Unites States, Canada, Australia. If they're successful, there won't be a man, woman, or child safe in any country."

 

That seemed like a stretch, but I tried to accept it, outwardly at least. "And you are?"

 

She glanced again at her companions. "You can call me...Mary."

 

"And them?"

 

"They mean nothing to you. You'll take your orders directly from me." I sat back in my chair and shook my head with a smile. "Now here's the problem," Mary continued. "My cover has bee blown. So tomorrow morning, the woman you have been escorting around is going to die in a plane crash. You will be killed too."

 

"Excuse me?"

Spent way too much time using these sims...

FS 5.1, FS-98, FS-2000, FS-2002, FS-2004, FSX, Flight, FSW, P3Dv3, P3Dv4, MSFS

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Thrilling!

'You, me, the Unites States, Canada, Australia. If they're successful, there won't be a man, woman, or child safe in any country.' : bioterrorism do you mean? :):):)

Gérard Guichard, Dijon, Burgundy, France. i5 Intel processor, 4 Go of Ram, Nvidia GeForce 920MX, DirectX 12.0, and FSX Gold Edition with SP1, SP2. My personal flightsim website is at http://flightlessons.6te.net
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And the plot thickens!

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It didn't take long before "Mary" and I were back in the float plane. I set the flaps halfway down and pushed the throttle all the way in, we were airborne in not more than a few seconds.

 

She had me fly south for a good amount of time, until a city came into view. I recognized a few of the landmarks, enough to know it was Detroit.

 

I was directed to land on a little lake next to one of the smaller airports.

 

2020-4-28_12-58-42-420.jpg

 

I pulled the plane around up to the shore, and Mary and I jumped down. We hugged the trees around the field, then Mary darted for the myriad buildings and I had to hurry to catch up. I followed as we wound around and finally came to a beat up looking 747.

 

2020-4-28_15-9-35-879.jpg

 

It took a little work to get the plane clear of the structures but I managed and got it to the main runway. I was a little afraid we wouldn't have room to take off, but it ended up being a little more than enough. Mary gave me an airport code to fly to and I set in into the GPS. It wasn't a code I was familiar with, and I used the GPS to determine it was somewhere in Africa.

 

We flew for a long time, with Mary alternating between sitting in the co-pilot's seat and going back to the cabin. By the time we landed, there were only a few hundred pounds of fuel left, I was surprised we hadn't run out and crashed somewhere.

Spent way too much time using these sims...

FS 5.1, FS-98, FS-2000, FS-2002, FS-2004, FSX, Flight, FSW, P3Dv3, P3Dv4, MSFS

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Ouagadougou.

 

No, it's not a voodoo curse. It the name of the city in Africa where Mary and I landed. And a terrible landing it was, the plane just kept floating over the runway. I kind of assume that it was so light; no passengers, no cargo, no fuel! I eventually got it down and exited the runway, a good thing since we couldn't have gone around.

 

I'm not married, and I have no kids. But I do have people I care about, and I begged Mary to at least let me call my mother to let her know what she would be hearing soon. No dice, Mary wouldn't allow me to do any such thing.

 

We landed in the dead of night, and by morning when I checked the news on my phone, there was a little blurb about a Lockheed Constellation which had gone down somewhere over Montana with two people aboard. An unnamed woman, and myself. There was even a pretty terrible picture of me to make it convincing. We had first met when she had hired me to fly her in a Connie.

 

So that was that, I was officially persona-non-gratta.

 

Mary hailed a green cab at the airport and we both piled in. She began giving directions to the driver, who immediately began arguing with her. they were speaking in French, and though I kept quiet, I knew enough to be able to make out the basics. Mary wanted him to take us outside of the city to a location where he didn't want to go.

 

Eventually she bribed him with enough to convince the driver to take us, and we cruised at slightly more than walking speed through downtown. There were motorcycles and scooters everywhere, along with people selling an incredible assortment of good from stands arranged with no rhyme or reason that I could make out.

 

With time, the paved roads until the car gave way to dirt ones, which were in worse condition the farther we went. Eventually we stopped outside a dingy looking, one story brick building. Mary dragged me out of the cab and closed the door just in time for it to pull away, leaving a cloud of dirt and dust behind.

Spent way too much time using these sims...

FS 5.1, FS-98, FS-2000, FS-2002, FS-2004, FSX, Flight, FSW, P3Dv3, P3Dv4, MSFS

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I wonder who the sorry souls were in the Connie

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2020-4-29_16-7-58-31.jpg

 

It was completely out of place given the surroundings. A gorgeous Bonanza. Mary and I climbed in and I managed to get it flying. Once we were in the air, I had a chance to look around. The plane was beautiful.

 

We were in the air a few hours when Mary's phone started to buzz. She pulled it out and tries to remain non-chalant as she looked at it. Fat chance, I saw the look that came over her face.

 

"Turn around," she said. "We're going back."

 

"Back?"

 

"Now!" she screamed.

 

I set the autopilot to take us back to Ouagadougou. Mary was on the phone instantly, and I could only catch bits and pieces of what she was saying. It was after dark by the time we got back, and Mary had me pull right next to the aircraft we had come in on. We boarded and I found that the fuel tanks had already been filled. As per Mary's instructions, I set a course to go directly to JFK.

 

We were well over the ocean by the time I broached the subject. "So, what's going on."

 

Mary looked at me for several seconds before speaking. "New York has gone dark," she said.

 

"What does that mean?"

 

"No one can get a hold of anybody, or get any information in or out."

 

It didn't sound good. And even worse was our attempt to approach the airport. As much as I tried, I couldn't get anything. I tried the VOR frequency for JFK, then for La Guardia, but the radios never became active. I tried contact New York center, then the tower at JFK, the tower at La Guardia, and the tower at Liberty over in New Jersey. Nothing from any of them.

 

As we passed over the city, everything was black. There were no lights anywhere. "That explains a lot," Mary said. If we'd been on the ground, I would've wanted to look around. But we didn't have a lot of fuel left, so Mary and I agreed to divert to Boston.

Spent way too much time using these sims...

FS 5.1, FS-98, FS-2000, FS-2002, FS-2004, FSX, Flight, FSW, P3Dv3, P3Dv4, MSFS

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Being screamed at by a blonde Mary and New York is down. Sounds like we’re getting into “ Die Hard “ territory!

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2020-4-30_21-2-21-607.jpg

 

We were in Boston just long enough for Mary to get us another aircraft, and it happened to be an Acclaim almost exactly like the one I'd flown some time earlier.

 

I'm fairly used to the north-east part of the United States, and we immediately headed back to New York. We were still a bit out when we passed over the line that marked where there was power as opposed to where there was none. It was like flipping a light switch.

 

We continued until we were over the city, I kept a much higher altitude than usual to stay away from the buildings. For the first time since I'd met her, Mary was at a loss for words.

 

"What do you want to do?" I asked her. There was no answer as she gazed down at the darkness below. "Mary?" She jumped a bit as she brought her attention back to me.

 

"Let's go on to Washington and see what they have to say."

 

I nodded and put the destination into the GPS. We arrived shortly after dawn.

 

2020-4-30_22-20-41-956.jpg

 

I parked and Mary brought us over to where a little helicopter was parked. "Come on," Mary said. "We're going to the Bureau."

 

2020-4-30_22-26-38-325.jpg

Spent way too much time using these sims...

FS 5.1, FS-98, FS-2000, FS-2002, FS-2004, FSX, Flight, FSW, P3Dv3, P3Dv4, MSFS

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