Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta crash. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta crash. Mostrar todas las entradas

martes, 29 de noviembre de 2016

Tragedy and mystery

The flames appeared to be running up the hill at a great speed. From the small town below, the fire seemed to conquer the mountain with ease. The smoke started to descend shortly and only minutes after the incident, the whole valley was choking on thick and toxic smoke. People got out of the streets and got in their homes, sealing every single window and door in order not to let the smoke inside. They kept the blinds up however, as it was important to know if the fire in the mountain continued or if someone attempted to stop it.

 Sure enough, a larger city located close by, had decided to send a fire brigade to extinguish the fire. But they weren’t only there for that: they were also sent on a rescue mission. After all, the fire had not been caused by some glass in the woods (it was nighttime) or a badly taken care of bonfire. The flames had appeared out of the impact of a plane against the side of the mountain. Only a couple of people from the nearby town had seen it actually crash but they wouldn’t have to know how big the aircraft was or why it had crashed.

 The city’s firemen battled against the flames for several hours. The fire that had grown around the wreckage was so violent that it had consumed a good part of the forest in its first hour. As the firemen took their time to kill the fire, dawn came and it was thanks to the first lights of the day that the fire could finally be beaten. They got to the wreckage and discovered it was one of those private jets. It probably carried around twenty people or something like that but it would be irresponsible to say before getting the black box or any additional information.

 The people of the small town were grateful that the fire had been beaten, so they decided to help the firemen with the search for the black box. They divided themselves into teams, each team having a specific area of the forest to go and look for the box. The awful thing was that, as they looked for that, they found some other things that they weren’t prepared to see. Severed heads, burned limbs and even the corpses of a couple of children. It was very shocking for everyone to see that, as their own children were not very far away.

 A farmer that lived by the mountain finally found the box. He was very thankful that the fire didn’t get to his food, so he rushed up the hill when he heard they might need help. He actually found the black box when walking towards the wreckage, closer to his house than to the remains of the plane. It seemed like something important, so he grabbed it and showed it to the chief of the firemen. He was very happy to see the box and thanked the man. It was a very happy moment in a very awkward moment to feel something like that.

 As the box was sent to the city, the firemen and people of the small town had decided to help carry the dead downhill and then to several ambulances that came and went every so often. They all counted the bodies and, when they didn’t find anyone else, they concluded there were actually thirty-seven people in the plane. It was a very strange number; as such a plane was not really suited for that many people. Even the people of the town knew that or at least they thought it was very strange. The last thing they did was waiting for the experts.

 Those people were the ones that were in charge of taking all the pictures for the report that would have to be filed in order to investigate the reasons of the crash. The experts had taken their time arriving because they had to travel from the capital to actually get there, so many of the objects and the general wreckage site was not exactly as it had been before they started looking for the box and picking up the bodies. A young fireman was bright enough to take pictures the moment they had arrived so he surrendered those images to the experts.

After the experts were done picking up all the pieces, big and small, as well as sweeping what remained of the forest to look for every single piece of evidence, the site became some sort of graveyard. It was very particular because there were no remains there but no one really knew if, maybe, some more passengers had been burned by the fire that had consumed the forest. They had no idea if that was possible so the people of the small town organized a mass one-week after the accident. Some of the firemen attended, it was a beautiful ceremony.

 Meanwhile, the experts analyzed every single fragment of the plane and determined that the model that had crashed had seating for twenty-six people. That meant that, according to the amount of bodies people had rescued from the mountain, at least eleven people had not been seating on a proper seat but somewhere else. That was not really the usual and it didn’t happen very often. The experts also tired to determine if the extra passengers could have been a reason for the crash but everything seem to point that it hadn’t been a critical factor.

 The remains of the planes and of the people were thoroughly checked and, two weeks after the crash, the experts released a statement in which they announced that the final number of dead in the crash had been forty-one and not thirty seven as the firemen and townsfolk had counted. Apparently, the remaining four that hadn’t been counted had caught on fire shortly after the crash and now their remains had almost combined with some of the other passenger’s remains.

 It was only thanks to the black box that they could determine who the passengers were and what flight that was. After all, the nearest control tower had declared that no aircraft had been detected in the area before the crash. That meant that they wouldn’t have had any contact with it and it would also have been impossible to know it had crashed. Other airfields were consulted and they all said the same thing. The first theory was that it was some sort of drug related flight, maybe operated by criminals wanting to get away from the country.

 That theory was soon debunked, as the closest border was almost two thousand kilometers always. Besides, the black box was able to tell the experts that the flight happened to be a private one. Furthermore, the codes inside it were able to point the origin of the flight, almost a thousand kilometers away. The aircraft had apparently left an airfield not so far from the capital city. It looked like they had boarded in a rush, in fear if that was possible. The voices of the crew on the recordings were very difficult to tell one from the other.

 It was rather easy to say that the plane was really crowded because a lot more voices could be heard in the background. The audios were checked several time in order to identify what everyone was saying during the flight. It was hard work because many voice chimed into the conversation happening inside the aircraft and it seemed as if they had been talking every single second until their death. Apparently the instruments had begun to fail and that could be the cause behind the crash.

 But even if that was the reason, it didn’t answer much about why all of those people had decided to get into a crowded airplane. As the voice experts analyzed the audios, others decided to have a second look at the object that had been rescued from the plane. There were toys, glasses, a briefcase, magazines, and a couple of computers… Everything except suitcases, actual luggage that the people inside the plane should have carried. It was kind of obvious that they had boarded on a rush. The origin airport was consulted on that and it was then when they had an extra clue.


 The manager of the airfield had a report of a disappeared business jet owned by a pharmaceutical company. It had been there for several months and now the people had left. No one really knew when but the fact that a company owned it raised some eyebrows. But that didn’t explain the amount of people that were inside. It took another week to have one more clue, when a clumsy investigator dropped the suitcase found on the plane, making it open and revealing a series of papers and a very bright substance in a titanium tank, the size of a forearm. The mystery was not done.

martes, 4 de octubre de 2016

The swamp

   Everyone and everything had been thrown into the swamp. The plane crashed violently in the middle of the night and all the safety and security services had been dispatched to help. The bad thing was that the area was very remote with no roads and nor real ways to access except by foot, which would take several days for any person, even the most knowledgeable as the swamp was concerned. They also send helicopters and drones, which could see the fire, caused by the fuel, but could do nothing else than watch, as there were no spots to land.

 The families of the victims traveled from their homes to the nearest town but they were soon frustrated to now that the area was difficult in every sense of the word. Besides, the imagery registered by many cameras showed that the fire had already caused explosions and most of the actual plane was now destroyed. The likelihood of anyone been able to survive that was very remote but most families stayed in town, trying to join the rescue teams or at least attempting to be useful somehow before the pain and the tragedy hit them hard in their hearts.

 With machetes, firemen and policemen tried to cut down some of the swamp trees. That wasn’t very well received by the many people whose job was to protect that green area. They realized the destruction caused by the plane could not be prevented but they thought that cutting more trees to be able to only access a couple of more meters of swamp was just stupid. Not only because the trees got thicker and less likely to be cut the more they advanced, but also because of the legends surrounding the place, which people from the nearby town knew so well too.

 The lady that ran the only decent diner in town was the one who told the families of the victims about the legend of the swamp. It was said that in ancient times prehistoric men started to come in the area and that when they tried to travel further the swamp didn’t let them. Some of the people in the tribe wanted to go through it, others around it. So they divided into two groups but only one remained. The one that penetrated the forest never came out. It is said that they remained in there and that they evolved differently than the rest of humanity.

 Someone else explained that it was a legend similar to the one of Big Foot but in a swamp. Many people had seen the creature or at least that’s what they said. Fifty years ago, the place was not a wildlife reserve so people would go in to fish and hunt. There were many stories from that time about the green gigantic men that roamed all over the swamp. Some said they helped stranded people; others portrayed them as savage beasts capable of eating human flesh. Either way, the families of the victims were not really thrilled about the idea of a beast attempting to eat their people.

 The fire caused by the jet fuel lasted for two days until a storm helped and extinguished it for good. Drones and helicopters were used again but at a lower altitude now that they didn’t have to handle smoke or flames. Their fly-by’s only showed the few pieces left of the planes and the black water below those pieces. They even detected pieces of clothing and some objects that any passenger would have like a suitcase or a doll. But there were no bodies or parts of bodies. They could not detect any victim, dead or alive, and that was tragic.

 The general thought was that the fire had burned the bodies to a crisp, especially after having been alive for two days. The force of the impact also had to be accounted for. The most possible outcome was for every single person to have died because of the fire and not even because of the violent crash. Those news were very hard on the families who started leaving the small town right after the announcement. Most of them felt everything was done for them there.

 However, some family members stayed. They insisted on having at least some bones to bury, some of their objects or anything they could mourn with. They needed something, anything really, to start the long and painful process of mourning. Some had lost children, some others fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters. The plane had been at full capacity on a very popular route. The tragedy was just too big to ignore. The remaining family members decided to help police and firemen with the look for the black boxes.

 Those were essential to understanding how everything had happened. It would help bring some closure to the people touched by the accident and it would also bring much needed answers to the investigators because the causes of why the planned had crashed were not at all clear. The aircraft had passed its last revision only a few months ago and had flown that exact route thousands of times. The night it went down, there was no storm or atmospheric phenomena that would explain the crash.

 The small town saw a surge of people coming in and out: reporters, investigators and even curious people that knew everything about the swamp and were dying to know what the crash meant for the alleged creatures that lived in there. All of those people came and went for weeks, doing different things to find answers, not always looking for the same ones. But as they did what they felt they had to do, they had neglected to check other areas of the swamp. Areas that were even more remotely located than the crash landing site.

The swamp was a very large natural entity. It was such a big part of the region that many roads had to do go around it, making travel very difficult around that corner of the Earth. The plane had crashed in the area where smaller trees grew. The area was almost always flooded because of the nearby rivers the swamp helped in regulating. The importance of the ecosystem was so high that the people of the region had been the ones to ask the government to protect the swamp, thus guaranteeing a good flow of the rivers, which would give them fish and energy.

 That was the reason why people didn’t really care about the swamp, as long as it was there to do its natural job. However some occasionally tried to get it in order to find the alleged creature that lived there. The interest arose briefly after the plane crash. However, weeks later, there was no one very interested in creatures no one had seen in years. They were more concerned with the swamp turning into a graveyard and the consequences of the fuel that had been poured into the water. They were more concerned with that than anything else.

 So worried that they ignored the signs coming fro mother parts of the swamps. Unusual movements of the plants, incipient fires and large creatures swimming that were not alligators. People had ultimately survived from the crash but no one was watching in their direction. They were just three people: two adults and a child. They didn’t have any connection among them except that they were seating on the same row of the plane. That row was expelled far from the plane and that was the reason why they had survived.

 However, that was to be seen as they had no food, the water they were swimming was probably polluted by the jet fuel and there were animals all around, trying to have something to eat. They had tried going from tree to tree but that was hard and one of the adults was very injured. Swimming was the alternative but they had to do it during the day, in order to know if alligators or similar were around the area. They moved away from the crash site, thinking they would be seen more easily if they did so but that proved to be false.


 The adult who was injured died three days after the crash, as he slept on a tree. The kid and the other adult tried to move onwards but it was practically impossible, as the swamp seemed to be less “open” as they advanced with the river. On the fifth day, they saw a helicopter. When they tried to wave to it, the branch of the tree they were holding on broke and they both fell to the water, near a group of reptiles. As the animals got closer to attack, another creature appeared out of nowhere, knocked out the flesh eaters and helped the kid and the adult out of the water. It was a big, greenish creature. And it seemed to smile.

martes, 12 de mayo de 2015

Friends

   Opening the door was like opening the fridge. It was too cold outside, too cold to be there and yet, people found reasons to go out in that weather. In her apartment, Laura was sitting next to the heating but somehow it wasn’t working as it usually did. She decided to go into bed early and wear many layers of clothing but that did not help much. She was freezing and needed to keep warm in order not to go insane.

 The next day, she had to go to the office to work. It was awful as many roads were covered in snow and so were the sidewalks. She did not care for slipping on frozen ground and then falling on her ass. It was not only shameful but it hurt a lot and it made her feel more of the weather they were having. It was very uncommon, but the cold wind had arrived very early this year, almost in October. And weather people were saying it was not going to leave the region until March. So they had to stand it for many more days.

 Luckily, Laura’s office decided that it was too cruel to make people go all the way downtown to work so they decided to let some people stay at home and work over the internet. They had to be available and working at the same rhythm but in their pajamas and warm blankets. Laura was happy that she was one of the people they set free although many were pissed off at them because their jobs could not be done remotely. Laura’s pity lasted for a few hours, until she got home and realized the heating system was working, as it should.

 Maybe it was because she had gotten there late and it only worked properly at nights but anyway she was happy about it. She put her dinner in the microwave and as it was heated, she decided to check her phone. Some friends had been freed too from their jobs but were still looking forward to the weekend when they could sleep for hours and hours without been disturbed.

 Laura ate her dinner in bed, not minding if the bolognaise sauce of the pasta tainted her blankets. She was warm and cozy and was already thinking how much warmer she was going to feel inside her bed. And then, someone knocked on her door. She almost threw her plate of pasta because the sound had taken her for surprise. No one ever came to her home and if they did they had been invited. Been a weekday, she was sure that no one had been invited. Laura decided to leave the plate on her nightstand and walked towards the main door, where someone was knocking again.

 It scared her again, for some reason. She did not have a way to see who was at the other side but tried leaning over the door and hearing what was going on the other side. The person there was breathing heavily, as if he or she had been running like mad for the last hour. Laura stayed there, trying to hear something else but the only thing that came was another knock, which almost made her scream. She covered her mouth and heard the person on the other side walk a few steps and then another person talking. She recognized that voice: t was the old lady that lived in the apartment in front of her. She was telling the person there to be quiet, as many people had taken an early night. This one funny because how could she know that but she didn’t say more and slammed her door.

 The person on the other side was about to knock but Laura decided to open before the old lady had to be dragged out again. At first she did not see who it was: the lights of the corridor were not working. But as the person walked into the light of her apartment, she realized it was her best friend Jeanne. When she saw her, Laura punched her on an arm and the other one started rubbing it, obviously hurt.

-       What the hell?! What are you doing here?
-       What? You’re busy?
-       No! It’s just… Why didn’t you call first? You scared me!

Laura let her friend in and they walked fast to her room. As Jeanne seated on the edge of the bed, Laura went back to her plate of pasta. She had just realized how hungry she was. Jeanne was still rubbing her arm when she told her friend she had come so hastily because she had learned something had happened and she was very close.

 Apparently, according to Jeanne, a former friend of theirs from high school had died just a few hours ago. Laura was about to tell her friend she didn’t care but then Jeanne said the name: “Brock”. It was as if she had been sprinkled with glue. She couldn’t speak and, for a moment, she didn’t care about the cold. Brock had been one of their best friends in high school. They were always the three of them parading around, talking and having many laughs. They would seat together in every class and would share tips on the subjects each one had a problem with.

 The reason they had stopped talking was college. He had left after obtaining a scholarship for a university in France and they dais they would talk and chat and text but that went only for a few months until he stopped writing. They knew nothing bad had happened because he kept uploading pictures and they noticed there were many people in them. He had apparently made new friends in college and had decided it was best to cut off all ties to high school. As their friends, Laura and Jeanne understood. They knew how hard it had been for him but anyway they felt a bit betrayed and hurt that he wouldn’t have said a word about it.

 Now, according to Jeanne, he was dead. Her friend told her that she had taken the bus to get home from work and decided to check on the news on her phone, as the journey was a long one. She browsed through several articles about very different things until she stumbled upon one with “breaking news” written in red and yellow. Apparently, a plane that was about to land on the city’s airport had crash by the end of the runway. They had no idea how many dead there were so they updated the article every few minutes with details. Finally, after a long time, they revealed a list of the bodies that had been already found. Brock’s name was there and as the bus was not very far from Laura’s home, she decided to go down and walk to her door. She had been so shocked by the news, she couldn’t think of calling her friend, only of getting there.

 Laura had a few tears on her face. She wiped them clumsily and asked her friend if she was sure the dead person was Brock. She told her that many people had the same name but Jeanne interrupted her saying that both of his last names were written in the article and being Brock Holowitz Sepulveda, she was sure he was the one who had died.

 Just then, Laura stood up and decided to go to the kitchen. Jeanne joined her and they made hot chocolate to compensate for the cold. Obviously, Jeanne could stay the night and they could share the bed to be warmer. She let Jeanne put on one of her pajamas as she poured the hot chocolate on two large mugs and took them to the bedroom.

 As she took a first sip, Jeanne remembered one time in her home when they were in school. They had reunited there to make a science project and they had ended up eating and sharing silly gossip about people in school. They had also read magazines and watched TV and their science project ended up being finished at 2 AM, much to Jeanne’s mother grief, who had tried for them to work all day long.

 Laura remembered the time they had spent a whole summer together, none of them having any place to go to. They had paraded around town confusing tourists; gone to the top of Brock’s building to tan on his used beach chairs and they would also eat a lot of pizza from a place close to the school. They each had a favorite flavor but they all loved the garlic dressing, for which they always fought.

 When they were done with the hot chocolate, the two women got under the covers and fell asleep very quickly. Their sleep was dreamless so one could not say if it had been good or bad. In the morning, Jeanne called her office and told them she was going to be there after lunch due to a personal problem. Meanwhile, Laura called a number featured on one of the accident’s articles and decided to check if Brock was indeed a victim. It hurt her to verify his death but asked the lady who had told her if she could go and see him or if she knew if his parents had already been notified. The woman said she had no idea but that she could come over and be in a room with other relatives to get the latest news.


 Laura and Jeanne decided to go, even with the snowfall forecasted for later that evening. They took a bus to the airport and met Brock’s parents there. They were surprising but relieved that the girls were there and they all relieved some memories as they waited for someone to tell them the next step in this whole painful process.

jueves, 13 de noviembre de 2014

It came from us...

 - The place is deserted.
 - It is a desert, after all.

Lin and Allan had been inside the crashed craft for over an hour now and there were no signs of survivors to the crash.

The day before, radars had detected the ship near the planet. Several times the people at Jongjin base had attempted to establish contact but the ship but hey were unable to. Then the ship appeared to lose all stability and fell into the planet.

A scientist and a military officer had been sent to check the crash site. No living beings were onboard. From the look of it all, it appeared as if the ship had been empty all along but that was impossible as radars and other technology had verified the ship was on a strict course before they stopped and fell into Katf II, the second planet in a system not far from Earth.

Both astronauts came out of the ship and entered their vehicle, a four wheeled rover that could travel as it would in Earth. The atmosphere was similar but not breathable. As they traveled back to the base, two hours away, they started talking about the possible reasons the ship was there and why it crashed.

Suddenly, the wind started to blow, getting stronger by the minute. The vehicle had to stop and, in these cases, the astronauts were required to raise stay still as storms normally moved a lot and it would be soon be away from them.

 - I'm so hungry.
 - Didn't you eat before leaving?
 - No, I had to submit my report on that rockslide on the far side last month. Pain in the ass.
 - Did someone got killed?
 - No, but...

But Lin didn't know more of the matter. The wind, that had formed a tornado of sorts, was moving away from them. What had impressed Allan to the point of being rendered speechless was a figure that had appeared from the other side of the storm, it moved slowly but towards them.

Lin realized about it too and grabbed the binoculars that they kept between the two seats. She could see what the creature was: it seemed like a man with a limp but its looks were far from that. It was made of something green and seemed to be furry. Furry...

 - What is it? - Allan asked.
 - We need to get to the base, now.

She restarted the vehicle and pressed on towards the base.

Once there, Lin asked for an emergency meeting with the top minds and chiefs in the base. They were all there in a matter of minutes. Allan was the last person to arrive. He approached Lin and said something to hear, almost in a whisper.

 - May we know the reason of your call, Ms. Lin? We have things to deal with.
 - I know and I'm sorry to call you like this but it is urgent.

Lin asked Allan to turn off the lights and then presented to the audience with a video, apparently footage made with a handheld recorder. The video depicted a woman in a lab. She seemed very intelligent but very worried too. She said that she worked with a company from Earth that dealt with biogenetics and related topics. Her duty was to study all pathogens that could affect humans but that her bosses had asked, in a top secret document, to start the creation of a special virus, a strong one, able to resist any plague.

To her own surprise, research and its costs were not a problem and within a couple of years they had a prototype. Unfortunately, the experiment had worked all too well: the virus had proved its resistance to everything, even to humans. When scientists decided the project was too dangerous, the virus took possession of several members of the scientific body, killed them.

The female scientist said that their last opportunity was to send the virus to the Sun, so it would be destroyed for good. They shipped the virus in an automated craft and launched it but they soon realized they had failed. They realized the virus had taken control of the ship.

She finally stated she did this video for the people to know the company wanted all record of the virus erased as it was "no longer their problem", as the craft it inhabited had left the system.

When the video stopped, the lights turned on and Lin explained the video had circulated for years amongst scientists but everyone had thought it was best not to mess with it all. Until now.

Lin explained that her and Allan had witnessed a creature walking towards them in the desert, limping and deformed. Checking the data they had gathered on the crash site, she realized the ship may be the one carrying the virus.

One of the men laughed and said it was all ridiculous. He said that, even if was all true, the possibilities of the craft with the virus landing in Katf II were very slim as larger planets would have attracted the craft.

Lin responded by telling him that her team had been investigating a life source near the crash site. An oasis of life on the planet. The creature seemed covered in moss, similar to the one that grew in that oasis. She theorized the virus had gotten close to it for water but then used moss to form a body.

Suddenly all lights went off and the red emergency ones were on. A voice in a speaker told everyone on the base the exists were now closed and that everyone should remain calm.

Allan approached a computer and logged on the security cameras on the outside. They all scanned the images until a woman from the mining commission yelled "There!".

On a camera registering the outside of the parking area of the base, they could see a creature resembling a man but with no face or fingers. It was banging at the door, possibly attempting to go in.

Then, everyone's cold got ice cold: from the "belly" of the creature, a face came up, that of a man. And the man screamed. And they knew all was lost.