November 17, 1986.
Commercial Flight Air Japan enroute Paris-Tokyo Over the Alaskan Air Space
“Anchorage, do you read me?”
“Yes, Japan 1628. Loud and clear.”
“Anchorage, eh… do we have traffic intersecting our trajectory?”
“Ah… Negative…” Sh-sh-sh.
“Anchorage, we have a visual on a… perhaps an aircraft carrier.”
“Beg your pardon?”
“Well I can’t tell exactly, but there is something there. My copilot and other crew confirm the visual…”
Sh-sh-sh – click – crack – crack – click
“Japan 1628, ah… we stripped filters from the radar data… On the raw data we … ah… confirm an object in your relative proximity, 3-4 km North West.”
“Well, Anchorage, do you know what is it? My passengers are edgy. I can’t prevent them from taking the pictures, you know…”
“Can you describe it?”
“Well, it is cigar-shaped… With the lights evenly spaced along the hull. It looks like it’s matching our speed and staying dead ahead of us, within the visibility range from the cockpit and the A isle, the window isle I mean.”
Sh-sh-sh. Click Crack.
“Stand by Japan 1628. We will contact the Air Force Base.”
“Anchorage, Anchorage, this is a distress call!”
“Come in Japan 1628.”
“We may be under attack!”
“We are reading two small crafts following you on the sides. What’s your visual?”
“They have separated from the mothership…” crack “Anchorage, they moved in leaps, not as any aircraft I can think of. What’s the update from the Air Force?”
“Eh..It’s not theirs. I mean, they know nothing about it.”
“Do you think it is hostile? God help us, Anchorage, I have a full aircraft of passengers.”
“We can’t say. Try evasive maneuver. We suggest dropping the altitude. Standby for the course correction.”
“We read you. Dropping the altitude to the mark.”
“Japan 1628! We follow your maneuver on the radar. The small crafts matched your position. Do you read me, Japan 1628?”
The com channel was open, but the pilots were not responding. The Anchorage air traffic controller’s booth was flooded with the high-pitch sound from the com.
“Sanders!” Yelled the Fairbanks airport shift leader Mitchem. “Get the fucking Air Force on the line!”
While Sanders was patching thought to the base, Mitchem was watching the Japan 1628 on the radar firmly locked between two small unidentified crafts. Regardless of the maneuver the passenger craft took, the two satellites seamlessly matched the trajectory and speed.
“1628! 1628, come in! What’s your status?” Insisted Mitchem biting the skin around his big fingernail.
Sh-sh-shhhhhh click click
“Anchorage!” Came through agonizing cry of the 1628 pilot. “We are blasted…” sh-sh-sh “…light… heat….flooded…” sh-sh-sh “and heat, like a furnace… bright light penetrated the walls!”
“1628, perform emergency landing. Confirm!”
“Negative! We have lost control. The electronics is not responsive.”
“Let us try to override it from here!”
Mitchem tried to take over the flight control, but his attempts met an unusual firewall.
“1628… Unfortunately we cannot take over control… How are you holding up? What is your status?”
The 1628 took longer than usual to respond. Mitchem gnawed at his fingernail a bit too hard drawing blood from the cuticle. Finally the com channel lit up green.
“Anchorage… ah… what’s the status on your radars?”
“1628, I no longer see them on the radar. Do you have the visual?”
“Ah… negative… They are gone….”
“Can you control cruising?”
“Take course on the emergency landing. We opened a lane for you.”
“The course for the emergency landing is established.”
“1628… What’s the status of the passengers and crew? Any … eh… casualties?”
“We are still checking, but the quick assessment is that everyone is fine. Minus a few hysterical ones, but that’s understandable considering.”
“Good to hear. Ehhh…. 1628, safe flight.”
“Yeah right. Over.”
“How many times do I have to repeat myself?” Pleaded exhausted Japanese pilot of the flight 1628 Ichiro Akiyama.
“As many as we require.” Flatly hissed the man in a civilian suit and shaded aviator glasses, although the room was dim as the devil’s soul. The man, who introduced himself as a liaison from the Reagan administration, took the last drag from his sig and squeezed the butt in the filthy ashtray, the only decor attribute in the entire interrogation room.
Upon landing, the crew was whisked away by the U.S. military cogs and transported to the unknown location in the vehicles with two-way shaded windows. Akiyama only knew that he was a forty minute drive from the Fairbanks International Airport.
“Am I under arrest?”
“On what? I am a Japanese citizen. I need a lawyer.”
“Mr. Akiyama. We found illegal narcotic substance among your personal belongings.”
“As a captain of the airplane, wouldn’t you say that you receive reduced security attention when you are boarding?”
“This is nonsense. I need a lawyer.”
“Just. Answer. The. Fucking. Question!” At that last word, the bureaucrat smashed his fist at the desktop suspending the ashtray in a momentary zero gravity spilling half of it’s pungent content.
Akiyama’s neck muscles went stiff.
“Perhaps. This doesn’t mean….”
“So you were aware that the security is unlikely to check you with scrutiny. How long have you been on cocaine, Mr. Akiyama?”
“Never! I have never consumed cocaine or any other recreational drug!”
“Perhaps the blood test will testify otherwise”, smiled the nameless bureaucrat with the corner of his mouth.
“What do you want? Where is this all going?” asked Akiyama in a defeated voice.
“Glad you want to go straight to business, Mr. Akiyama. Your choices are limited. We may arrest you right here for international drug trafficking. We have just the right criminal ring to connect you to. It is a federal crime, and you may forget about extradition.”
“I’d prefer a different option.”
“Alright. You go back on the plane, you fly your passengers home, and you live happily ever after.”
“I like that. But what is the catch?”
“You change your testimony. There was never a UFO, there were never two aircraft that ceased the cruise control, and there was never a supernatural light show.”
“What do you know about this? What happened to us there?”
“Mr. Akiyama, we requested medical records from all passengers and the crew. We know that you were diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.”
“We know that there were two other persons on board with the same condition. We cannot guarantee you, but chances are, and your physician will confirm, that you are in a remission.”
Akiyama stared at the bureaucrat speechless for some time and then broke in tears. Those were the tears of confusion, hope, fear, but mostly of extreme exhaustion. The prospect of the ordeal to be over destroyed all the bravery Akiyama worked so hard at keeping up.
“Alright. I’ll sign whatever you need me to sign. But tell me what happened out there. And don’t insult my intelligence by the unusual weather patterns.”
“That is exactly what happened, Mr. Akiyama. That is all you need to know.”
Ichiro Akiyama never flew again. At least not in the pilot capacity. His brain scan indeed confirmed an unprecedented remission. Akiyama’s doctor kept pressing for the information where he received such an effective radiation treatment, but Akiyama only laughed it off.
His luck did not last forever. In two years, the tumor returned to active growth phase, and his time on Earth came to an end.
You were reading an excerpt from ‘329 Years Awake’, my upcoming #scifi #novel. I just finished writing this piece and couldn’t wait to share with you. What can I say, I have a problem with delayed gratification ;). If you are interested, you can sign up for a #FREE advanced reader’s copy here. http://www.jalapenopublishing.com/ellie-maloney.html
All you need to do is to want the book and sign up with your email address. I will not spam you with anything that is not related to this book, promise. I don’t have time for that. Thanks for reading! Please comment and share!