I point my cell at the other soldiers. “I have an itchy virtual trigger finger. Don’t make me text you too.” They stop dead in their tracks.
The first soldier said “I need to know three things.” Wasn’t that my line? “First, who the hell are you?” “I’m Detective Arkaby.” “Uh huh.”
“Why are you here?” “That’s none of your police business.” “OK.” He points to a rusted plane abandoned by the runway. “That’s what we want.”;
“Third, when are you taking off and can you take us with you?” “In that? Ha! That rusty crate isn’t going anywhere.” http://bit.ly/1aP1T8G
“How are you flying?” I indicate the air taxi on the runway. The troops break out in raucous laughter. “For real? We’ll take our chances!”
I say “Don’t take this wrong. Why are you rats deserting the ship?” “It’s not safe here. We’re commandeering that plane.” “You can have it.”
He looks me up and down. “We can use a man who knows his way around a phone app. Come join us.” “No thanks. I fly solo.” “In an air taxi?”
“Do you pilot?” “No. I’m flying solo, with a pilot.” “And your girlfriend?” “Yes. Let’s say I’m flying solo with a pilot and my girlfriend.”
“Is that a body in front?” “Yes. I’m flying solo with a pilot, a girlfriend and a cadaver in the baggage bay.” “So not really flying solo.”
“I fly solo metaphorically.” “Me too.” “I’ll reach my destination. Good luck in that deathtrap.” “Thanks.” “I’m being sarcastic.” “Me too.”
“You guys regular military?” “No. University security. Some idiot destroyed the campus. When everyone mobbed the main airport we came here.”
Holstering my phone, I head back. Regi asks “What was that about?” “University security. They want to escape in that abandoned airplane.”
“They don’t want our plane?” “They think they can do better. Are we ready to go?” David says “Sure. The meter’s been running for an hour.”
I can now see the entire airfield and it doesn’t look good. http://bit.ly/1c094ro “The runway looks short. Do we have enough take off room?”
David says “Of course we do.” As he speak the derelict jetliner taxis down the runway and topples over the edge. “They, of course, do not.”
Regi says “Uh oh!” I say “Yikes!” David says “Excelsior!” “Are you sure?” “Absolutely!” We pile aboard and David drives us to the brink.
We teeter over the edge. Below us I see the derelict airplane just clearing the tree tops. They made it! Then an engine bursts into flame.
Trailing smoke, they head out to sea. I say “Can they make it?” Our own engine noise is unbelievable. “PUT ON YOUR HEADPHONES!” says David.
Once again, our plane’s noise is unbelievable. I point to my ears as I don my own phones. “WHAT’S WRONG WITH MY EARS?” asks Regi. “NOTHING.”
I think Regi yelps as we plunge over the edge. I can’t hear her because of my own headphones. I reach over and place phones over her ears.
“Believe me, you don’t want to travel without these.” “WE’RE FALLING!” David says “I got this.” He pulls hard on the yoke and we level out.
(The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery)