The doom of Flight 2001
The rebels began to calm as the burning body of their comrade fell off the truck, drilled with a precise shot through the back of the head that killed painless and quick. The smells of burning flesh and hair thick in the dry air.
A lone voice cried out, "Shit, did anyone see who the shooter was?"
Heads turned to the site of where they thought the shot came from but all the saw was a dying glow in the distance where the affluent area of Kedgetown stood.
Houses and blocks blazed as the fire crews fought the endless battle to contain the flames, but the heat was so intense the tenders needed to stay out of range and spray water from the distance, any water that did reach the building turned to droplets of steam, long before the water could do any good.
The fire chief, Fred Thonson called over the noise of the blazing fires, "Pull back, the heat is burning our hoses, it won't be long before the tar on the roads start to melt, and then we'll be trapped here too!"
On command, the tenders slowly moved back, leaving the affluent section of Kedgetown smouldering through the night.
The former occupants had been forced to take to the hills to escape the heat in the city, below them, they saw years of living and saving turned to ash; even the toughest of the men cried as they held their loved ones close.
The silence of the night in "The Squalids," the area the wealthy avoided, but the poor inhabited, was broken by a radio call, "Kedge, this is Paul Cammeron, we've taken command of the control tower; the airfield is under our control."
Cammeron, a noted troublemaker, was the man many people would have put money on for the riots in "The Squalids" moving from a few occasional outbursts of gunfire to the war zone it had become.
He had all the makings of a leader; he was charismatic, some would say charming when he chose. Other people would say Cammeron was hard-headed and brutal; that was true also, but above all else, he had connections and the money to make his plans a reality. Cammeron may live like a rebel in the Squalids now, but not so long ago, he'd been approached to launch a program to finance the renewal of the area into a thriving community. But as he said, "Oil and water don't mix."
With te radio on, the next message from Cammeron was clearly heard by everyone in the Squalids, "KedgeAir flight 2001, you are not clear to land at Kedge, divert to Ralipon. I repeat, KedgeAir flight2001 divert to Ralipon; the main airport is in the hands of the rebels."
The pilot replied, "Kedge, this is flight 2001, we hit interstellar temporal fluctuations and have little fuel left. We can't make it to Ralipon, I repeat, we can't make the journey. If we try, you are condemning the passengers to a freezing death on the ice packs."
The men in the tower couldn't believe what he said next, and if you'd told them that Cammeron had said it, they would have called you a liar, but their ears didn't miss a word. "Flight 2001, that isn't my problem. My problem is holding this tower at any cost, if you try to land, I WILL blow you out of the sky. I won't give the order; I WILL do the job myself!"
The men in the tower looked at each other, and you didn't need to be psychic to read their minds, the shock on their faces was easy to read; Paul had overstepped the boundary in the opinion of the majority of the men present. The killing was ok if you could legitimise the deaths as part of the war, but this was cold-blooded murder.
The police waited for the crowd to cheer, but nobody even smiled. The crowd inside the barricaded section of the city realised this was only the start of the war, and more was to come, and many would die. Both sides had friends in the enemy camp, would the struggle ahead come to killing your friends?