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02 May 2012 @ 23:35
"He Dreamt of Aeroplanes" - K+ - "Cabin Pressure"  
Fandom: ---Cabin Pressure---
Characters: Martin Crieff and Arthur Shappey
Rating: K+
Warnings/Spoilers: none
Word Count: 1,784
Author's Note: "Cabin Pressure" belongs to John Finnemore and not to me, at all... I am merely borrowing characters for entertainment and am not making a single profit off of these. Thank you bro for first telling me about this place about a year ago and got me hooked to watching ALL of those Princess Julliana Airport videos!
Summary: ...and as he slept, Martin nearly had one land on him...

The temperature was still drowsily warm even as the sun settled down for the evening that was taking over what had been a spectacular day for the islanders. With high temperatures, residents and tourists alike flocked to the many beaches or lounged in luxury along those sandy shores, soaking in every ounce of the weather as they could, for up north, from which most had fled, winter had already started. The snowbirds were eager to sink into this Caribbean luxury and abandon the snowstorms of the north.

Captain Martin Crieff was one of those fortunate ones to be thoroughly engaged in beach laziness and when he wasn’t being dragged from one end of the island to the other, he was loafing about on the beach, and still by his side was his faithful pal, Arthur. He was more awake than Martin, who was presently letting the peaceful sounds of families playing on the beach and the gentle waves crashing upon the shore soothe him to a light slumber. Every so often he would hear the gentle purr of a twin-engine prop aeroplane as it made its touchdown on the Princess Julliana Airport runway. This was only ever broken by the small leer jets that came down, but they did very little to Martin except continually put his dreams into the clouds.

True it was that he never earned a quid from Carolyn for piloting GERTI and any money he did make whilst flying came from those exceedingly rare tips, however, that wasn’t always the point, especially not now. Without MJN, Martin would be stuck in the cold rain driving his van back and forth trying to stay afloat. Without MJN, Martin wouldn’t have been able to travel at all. He’d never have seen the Sahara much less sweltered in the unforgiving heat. He would have never experienced Christmas on the flight deck or been able to read so many books whilst laying lazily about the poolside of many countries.

This was a dream.

“Hey Skip, I think that’s a big one.”

Martin heard the sound of an approaching jet and immediately identified it as an airliner. It was huge, judging by the sound of the jets. A smirk slowly spread across his lips and he slipped his hands underneath his head, ready to await what would be a fantastic show when suddenly he was prodded hard in the ribs by Arthur.

“Skipper! Skipper! You gotta get up!” cried Arthur excitedly, though his voice shook of fear more than true joyful anticipation.

“Relax, Arthur. We’ve been through this before.”

“Big… blot… coming… closer… Skipper!”

Martin opened his eyes and was disappointed to see that the light had not completely vanished from the sky. Above him light despaired over the darkness that was shoving it below the horizon and kept up a brilliant blue in protest. All around him Martin could hear the change in tone of people and by the stamping of feet, he realised at once that people were scattering.

“Skipper! I don’t know about this! I think we should move!”

“Arthur, what could be so bloody terrifying about some twin engine…” Martin’s words faded as he sat up and stared directly ahead of him.

The beach, which didn’t extend very far before it was overtaken by the waves, was nearly void of people but what took Martin by complete shock was the massive plane hurtling straight for them. It was just over a hundred metres above the water and lowering in altitude. Though it appeared as nothing more than a terrifying mass of metal with broad wings, Martin could clearly see the hump on the fuselage and quickly counted the engines.

“One, two, three, four… oh g-god. A-Arthur, I, I am so s-sorry!”

“We’re gonna be hit Skipper! This isn’t a small jet! Look at how massive it is!”


Arthur let out a wail, which was now drowned out by the approaching jet. Everyone who did not want to be in the path of this behemoth had already fled, leaving behind only the enthusiasts who lived for moments like these. Martin and Arthur, neither experienced in such horrific plane-spotting locations, could only stare in horror as the 747 dropped lower and lower still.

“I love you, Skipper!” Arthur screamed, suddenly seizing Martin from the side and embracing him tightly.

Martin gasped as Arthur squeezed him and though every instinct in him pleaded to run, Martin clung to Arthur, too frightened to move. With whatever air he still had left in him, Martin spent it all screaming as the 747 descended to a mere fifteen metres above the deck and flew straight over their heads before landing with the gentlest of plops on the runway directly behind them.

Sand pelted their backsides and Arthur buried his shoulder into Martin’s, squeezing him even tighter. It was only through the shaking of Arthur that Martin could tell that he too had been screaming and in this, Martin found a bit of comfort. After all, who were the two idiots parked on the sand right in front of a runway that demanded a monstrous airliner like the Boeing 747 to land right on the line as soon as it crossed over onto the runway? What other idiots had not anticipated that something like this would happen when so many other smaller jets had been landing in a similar fashion?

As Martin’s cries lessened he felt Arthur lift his head from his shoulder and for a moment the two men looked nervously about them, still holding onto one another, amazed that they hadn’t been smashed by the landing. From not too far there came several drunken cheers and at once the nightlife at the beach continued as the sound of the jet dissipated. Finally Martin was able to relax and they quickly parted from one another’s embrace. From the wide-eyed expression, Martin could tell that Arthur was still numb from it all.

Then Martin laughed.

He laughed so hard his ribs hurt from the effort and he clapped Arthur heartily on the back before shaking him by the shoulders. Arthur chuckled nervously, but as Martin’s laughter continued, the fear disappeared from his face as though wiped clean by a washcloth and he gave an excited holler. He pounced on Martin, knocking him back into the sand, whooping and a laughing.

“That was so brilliant, Skipper! Did you see it?!”

“See it! I was bloody there!” exclaimed Martin, shoving Arthur over and immediately ruffling his hair. “I didn’t have my eyes closed but you did!”

“Did not!”

“Did too, did too! I saw you!” replied Martin in a mocking tone that caused Arthur to give Martin a shove.

“Oh all right, but Skip, I heard you and you cannot deny that you were screaming louder than I was!”

“I am the Captain and Captain’s do not scream!” replied Martin, puffing up his chest and putting on an air of mock snobbery.

“Go on, you do! It went something like this…” Immediately Arthur emitted a shrill shriek that caused Martin to put his hands over his ears and wince.

“All right! All right! You’ve made your point!”

Arthur immediately stopped and said, “Yeah but that was brilliant though, wasn’t it Skipper?”

“What, my screaming?”

“No that plane! It was down so low and I was like, we’re going to die, and you were all calm there and peaceful like you knew all along… and I didn’t… though I knew about this airport when you didn’t… and then it came down lower and lower, and everyone was all in a panic and there were these guys cheering, and you were still so brave, and I cried…we screamed… and here we are!”

Martin snorted in laughter and put his arm around Arthur’s shoulders. “Yes! Here we are! I can’t imagine why Douglas wouldn’t want to come down here and get the life scared out of him by a massive jet and get sand-blasted in the back as it touches down.”

“Oh yes well, Douglas is brave sure but he, I don’t know, I don’t think he’d like this sort of thing. At least, not like you do. And besides, he’d probably find it boring. Thanks Skip, thanks for all of this.”

Martin quirked a brow. “But, but I didn’t do anything. I just decided to take a nap here and I certainly didn’t command the jet to come down!”

“I know, but, if you decided to just stay in your room or by the pool like you were planning on doing, then I would have been down here all by myself and being by myself is no fun. You make things fun, Skip.”

Martin smiled a little and kept his arm around Arthur’s shoulder. “I’m glad you convinced me. Now I’ll have something to actually write about. And you, Arthur, the fun starts with you… in sometimes irritating and annoying ways.”

Arthur chuckled quietly at the words and Martin hugged him.

“I thank you, Arthur, for bringing me here.”

For a brief moment there was nothing but silence between them as they enjoyed one another’s presence. It was broken all-too-soon by someone running in a very crooked path over towards them and smelling entirely of too much beer.

“Heeeey you two!” cried the man, gesturing just ahead of Martin and Arthur at the sand, though the man was looking directly at them. “There’s this big jet, vrrooooooom that’s going to go, feeeeeeeeeeeeeew, right into the air!”

Martin and Arthur exchanged silent, amused glances.

“An’ guess what?”

“The otters found the lemon!” cried Arthur, always eager to play along in games like these.

“No, no, the otters are long gone man… I’mma talkin’ ‘bou the jet! It’s gonna take off feeeeeeew, straight… an’ we’re gonna do us a bit of fence surfin’ if you two be up to joining us!”

“Oh God,” groaned Martin, looking towards the runway just across the road behind them where a smaller jet, a Boeing MD-11, of which Martin could only identify in the dim light by the third engine that passed directly through the tail fin.

“What is it Skipper?”

“Big trouble.”

“What happens when that thing takes off?” asked Arthur.

“Well, you remember when we were standing on the beach and that A300 took off?”

“Yeah…that’s where we got sand-blasted in the face and you broke your sunglasses and your book is forever lost to the ocean?”

“Yes, that…” Martin gave Arthur a gentle squeeze. “This one will be much worse.”

“Oh, oh dear.” Arthur took in a deep breath before looking at Martin and asking, “Are we staying then?”

A smirk came across Martin’s lips and his eyes remained locked on the aircraft. “Definitely!”

Current Mood: chipperchipper
Current Music: "Chasing the Angels" by Mike Reno
mildly_neurotic on 3rd May 2012 14:09 (UTC)
I ended up going to youtube. That airport is scary. Somehow this lead to my clicking on a video of plane birdstrikes (St. Petersburg on my mind I guess) which was even more terrifying. I may never fly again. LOL
uber_den_ozean: Eiríkur: Elateduber_den_ozean on 3rd May 2012 19:17 (UTC)
Scary? This airport is scary?? :P

I would think that this airport (Lukla) is actually a scary one for the fact that it is only about 500m long and is on a slope to help slow the aircraft down after it touches down and then to help get the aircraft up to speed so that way it doesn't plummet down a 200m cliff.

Pilots only have one go on landing and taking-off. St. Maarten's Princess Juliana Airport is nothing compared to airports like these. ;) And of course you know that birdstrikes don't occur nearly as often as those videos would have you believe, right?

Edited at 2012-05-03 19:19 (UTC)
mildly_neurotic on 3rd May 2012 21:29 (UTC)
LOL I should probably mention I am already phobic of flying and have to be doses with Xanax to get on a plane. I'm actually fine in the air but have panic attacks on take off and landing.

Funn y I should be a Cabin Pressure fan isn't it? But they are just so funny!

It is someone comforting to know that the birdstrikes are less common than implied. *grin*
uber_den_ozean: Ottery Anticsuber_den_ozean on 3rd May 2012 21:40 (UTC)
Wow, that must be brutal but hey, I do sympathise with having fears of that degree because I actually have three, two of which are pretty much paralyzing when encountered. Take offs and landings can be pretty rough. The only time I experience general discomfort when flying is moderate turbulence, something I experienced for a few hours between Houston to SeaTac a few years ago and that was really unpleasant, made worse by the inflight movie, which I wound up ignoring for my own imagination and the excitement of seeing my family (whom I hadn't seen in over 6 months).

And no, I don't think it's particularly "funny" considering that one of my favourite German actors has a severe fear of flight yet he plays Manfred von Richthofen in "The Red Baron". :) You can have a fear of something and still find yourself able to enjoy something with it in it. Take me and my fear of thunderstorms for instance. I'm terrified of them but I have no problem listening to them on relaxation tapes. It's one of those "go figure" kind of things and who knows, maybe listening to "Cabin Pressure" might help you overcome your fear?

Yes, a lot of videos will imply things about flight that just isn't true. You just have to remember that there are sooo many aircraft in flight and so many flights that happen on a daily basis without incident. However, I know that it's a lot easier to remember that when you have no reason to be worried about it at all. :)

Edited at 2012-05-03 21:42 (UTC)
mildly_neurotic on 3rd May 2012 22:21 (UTC)
It was way worse before I discovered my doctor would sedate me for flights. Now I'm like "Oh yay! Are we moving? Whatever!" on a plane. Though I get the turbulence thing, I was on a flight to Dublin once that got REALLY bumpy and yeah that pierced even the happy drug haze.

I suppose we shouldn't expect our phobias to follow a completely logical pattern given by definition they are irrational fears. :-)

uber_den_ozean: Ottery Anticsuber_den_ozean on 4th May 2012 08:10 (UTC)
That's good then! I'm glad that you're able to relax on flights!

One pathological fear I have cannot be reasoned with at all and they involve scorpions. I broke down sobbing watching an episode of "Merlin" and it wasn't the only time that scorpions on tv, on an itty-bitty screen have made me cry. What's worse is that I can't go near toys, look at pictures, or even hear their name spoken. There was one toy at work that I overcame my fear with, and I thought I could then approach our smaller toy, but my mind decided to basically freak out and I got extremely light-headed after that incident.
mildly_neurotic on 4th May 2012 11:15 (UTC)
At least an irrational fear of scorpions has its roots in healthy self preservation. They are horribly venomous stingy things. So really it's just your lizard brain instinctively screaming oh hey that's dangerous! :-)