My Tuesday ended with a Thursday, thanks to some time zone trickery and a sleepless 15 hour flight. I’m actually no fan of flying, as was Spacebat, but up to a point, the flight was blessedly uneventful, and easy on my nerves. Now, I say up to a point because up just after they served dinner, everything was smooth sailing and easy going.
Here’s what I did in those first few hours to pass the time and dull the horror of my reality at thirty thousand feet.
- BOOKS: Started re-reading Timequake
- GAMES: Iphone: Sway, GeoDefense, iDracula, Theseus, 7Cities, Blue Attack, Zen Bound, Eliss. On the DS: GTA: Chinatown Wars
- DRAWING: Did a couple of little, card sized drawings, despite the bouncing around of the plane. Not sure what I’ll do with these. Thought I’d maybe sell a few at the convention, but Maybe I’ll just buy them off myself.
Okay, so that was all good and fine, and then I stopped so I could eat. My hunger sated, I sat back and was about as relaxed as I get on a plane, feeling that everything was actually alright with the world and that life was pretty good, dig? I mean, there I am, a free trip to Australia and a pocketful of decent games to keep me happy. But then the lady flight attendants announced a “little surprise” for all the passengers.
From what I gather, Qantas airlines had been cutting back on costs for a while now, feeling the pinch from bad economic times. I’d even read that they were having untrained, criminally insane convicts doing the repairs and maintenance on the planes. Sure enough, before takeoff I did notice a barbed wire containment pen on the landing strip area, it’s walls shaking with whatever or whomever was cooped up within. Ragged rags of bloodied skin and flesh clung to the barbed wire, reminders of previous escape attempts. I can’t actually verify that this is where insane criminals were being held, but I did see the lowering a live cow into the thing, and when that crane came back up there were just loosely connected bones left of the poor thing.
Anyhow, I guess the airline was feeling bad about the cutbacks, so they arrange these little surprises every now and then, a sort of ‘thanks for flying with us’ of some sort. The flight attendants look like they’re going to deliver their flight safety rules thing, but we’re well into the flight by then so I had no idea what this would be about. Clearly, they were told to look pleased with themselves, and that they did, beaming huge smiles at us as they went on about how thy thought we were really gonna like this.
Somewhere, someone, possibly the captain, must have hit a release button, flooding the cabin with koala bears.
KOALA. FUCKING. BEARS.
Before I could even scream “What the fuck?” I was face deep in Koalas. The smiles on the attendants quickly vanished as they saw what a horrible, misguided thing they had just unleashed unto out tiny, flying world. One made a futile effort to reach close up one of the koala vents, but was taken down by the hairy mob, disappearing in a nightmare of adorable ears and gnashing teeth.
Earlier on the flight, I noticed this great little toddler wobbling around the aisle, always followed closely by her mother. The baby was the cutest, blondest thing you could imagine and was just lighting up faces up and down the plane.
The koalas must have ripped her head clean from her body.
Either that or they devoured everything but the head, leaving it to roll down the aisle in a mockery of the child’s former march of good cheer spreading. People screamed at the sight of the gory thing. Screamed until their throats were ripped open for daring to criticize the work of the bloody, fuzzy army.
It was hairy hell in the sky, and I’ll never forget it. I’ll never recover.
But that’s all in the past. Moving on…
Landing was about as slick as could be, with the pilot practically announcing a “speedy landing” mere moments before diving down out of the clouds, landing the monstrous thing like a fucking ninja, and thanking us for flying with them. I was impressed.
Having spent an entire day awake in the States, and not slept the entire 15 hour flight, I resumed my wakefulness in Australia, spending the day walking around, looking at Australian faces. There was no official convention business that day, so I basically just ate, walked, lamented the death of my camera’s rechargeable cell, and ate.
Speaking of eating, dinner with a couple of people from the convention was pretty fun. Richard Hatch, of Battlestar fame, was there, sitting next to me, in fact, and was the source of a bit of drama. Nothing serious, but I could have done without it. Hatch had ordered a lot of food for himself, so when it came, I would usually be the one to grab it from the waitress and hand it over. One such dish came on a large, metal plate, which I grabbed readily, despite being told that it was quite hot.
I’ve a history of grabbing hot plates without thinking, really (Once, many years back, I removed a tray of cookies from the oven with my bare hands), so this was nothing compared to previous hot plate experiences. Richard Hatch, hungry and, unfortunately without the built-up tolerance to hand burns that I have developed over the years, eagerly grabbed molten plate I handed him, immediately dropping it with a crash, flaming sauces spattering everything around him.
The restaurant was silent, all eyes upon Hatch, hunched over, hiding from the audience of diners. It was an all too familiar sight to me as I have burned many an innocent eater in my time, so I could only watch and wait to see how severe the damage was.
Slowly at first, Hatch rose, releasing a mournful moan low in his throat. Before anyone could reach out to him, he began to scream, revealing his ruined, melted hands. They had cooled by now, but cooled in their dripping, melted state. I had created a monster.
Hatch’s painful expression of horror and rage marked everyone in the room, most of all me before he crashed through the chairs and tables to leap out the window, creating a fine bed of glass for him to land on. The owner yelled at him that the door was perfectly functional and open as a matter of fact. Hatch simply hissed at him, holding his disgusting hands out in front of him as evidence that, from this day forth, Hatch was beyond the mores of the comfortable, safe world that governed the owner and everyone else around him. With a final screech that blew out the rest of the windows on Lygon Street, The Hatch jumped up out of sight with newly superhuman strength.
Last we saw of him was the blur of Hatch that zipped up onto the roof. Last we heard were the stomping footsteps as he ran to another leap into who knows where.
The food was excellent, though. You just can’t go wrong with Indian.
I’ll write more as more happens, dig?