The Passenger(s) in Aisle Seat 18B by David Scholes

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"It's more than just the Aurora Borealis," said the co-pilot, clearly unnerved, "it may have started out that way and there may even have been a proton storm but this is something else. I've never seen a sky anything like this, anywhere." The big man spoke from experience. Having flown in every part of the world and, as a former bomber pilot, in both Gulf wars.

It was a sobering experience for the rest of the crew, none of whom had ever seen their redoubtable co-pilot this way.

The passenger aircraft had lost all communications a while back and a lot of other instrumentation, including all navigation aids. There was now no way of measuring the aircrafts speed, altitude, or position. They were still flying but totally blind.

"Now we are just down to two engines," exclaimed the Captain despairingly. Yet even as he spoke those two remaining engines failed. Almost simultaneously. Despite this the aircraft continued to fly quite smoothly through the ever changing ever more macabre sky. At present it was a violet colour with what appeared to be massive black forks of lightning up ahead. For a while no one on the flight deck said anything. They just looked outside wonderingly at the failed engines. Wondering what could possibly still be keeping their aircraft aloft. One of the flight attendants thought they saw a light green shimmer sheathing all of the engines but no one else among the crew could detect anything against the background of the awesome sky.

Not a one of the passengers were fooled by the captain's earlier attempts at soothing announcements. Everyone on board knew that something was seriously awry. Instructions for them to close blinds and not to look out the windows had only encouraged exactly the opposite. The only thing that seemed to be holding passengers and crew alike together was the seamless smoothness of their flight. As if some greater power were protecting them. .

Just then there came a knock at the cabin door.
"Captain, I have someone here that you need to talk to," came the voice of a very nervous senior flight attendant. Captain and co-pilot turned around together with stunned looks on their faces.

* * *

As the flight attendant escorted her charge to his seat, all heads turned to watch their progress down the aisle. Yet no one got out of their seats. One attractive woman passenger turning away from the window just in time to see the flight attendant motion the "man" into the aisle seat next to her. "_____ will be joining you for a while," said the flight attendant with a look that was only capable of one interpretation. Simple disbelief.

The woman passenger, Chief of Surgery in a Sydney, Australia, hospital and normally very self assured looked in total awe at the being alongside of her. For a while she couldn't bring herself to say anything. The man, if such he were, smiled politely.

Finally the woman surgeon mustered up the courage that none of the other dumbfounded passengers could manage, "You didn't get on at the airport did you?"
"No," replied the "man" "and I won't be ___."

His reply was lost to her as just then the Captain made a further announcement.

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