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A Flight to Remember

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The engines on the airplane rumbled to life. The flight attendants walked down the aisles reminding people to stow their tray tables and put their seats into the upright position. The cabin filled with noise as the airplane got ready to take off. But An Xin heard none of that. None of the noise could penetrate the peaceful atmosphere that had settled over the back row, where she sat with Lin Feng. With the Ashe plushie on her lap. As she looked at it, her heart beat fast and slow at the same time with light trembles of joy. 

Lin Feng waited a couple of seconds for An Xin to say something. But she remained silent, and he mistook that for confusion. He picked it up off her lap and waved it in her face, oblivious to everything else in his excitement. “Look! It’s the Ashe you wanted! Remember? You said you wanted it! It’s the exact same one. I helped you get it!”

An Xin’s face flickered with a complicated expression. “You went all the way there just to get me this Ashe plushie? So early in the morning?” she asked quietly and softly. So softly that the question was barely audible over the hum of the engines.

“Yeah! That’s why I set my alarm for 5:30 AM! I really lucked out! My phone had just enough power for the alarm. It died right after I left the hotel. And then I got even more lucky and got the Ashe doll. It only cost me ¥20!” 

An Xin stared at the big grin on Lin Feng’s face and the Ashe. She bit her lips to keep herself from smiling. “You’re an idiot. I didn’t want it that much. Why did you have to go out of your way to get it?” She rebuked him, but there wasn’t a hint of blame in her gaze.

“But I promised you I’d get it! A man keeps his promise!” Lin Feng said.

Lin Feng had said almost the exact same words to An Xin before back at the hotel. Now, he’d kept his promise and brought her back the Ashe plush. He’d backed up his words with action. 

“Here, take it!” Lin Feng stuffed the Ashe plush in An Xin’s arms. “See, I told you I’d get it! Hahahaha! I’m really good at claw machines too!” He smiled brightly. 

An Xin accepted the Ashe plush and held it in her embrace. She buried her head into it, hiding the expression in her eyes as she softly whispered, “Thanks.” She hugged the plush tightly, as if she wasn’t willing to let it go, as if the thing she was hugging wasn’t only the plush.

An Xin slightly bit her lips as she silently muttered the word, “Idiot

“Hey, look! There’s fireworks!” Lin Feng interrupted, jabbing his finger across An Xin’s face to point out of the small airplane window.

“You idiot!” An Xin yelped, pushing away the arm that was in her face. She then looked out the window and her eyes went wide and round. Her heart stopped beating slow. Or fast. It was stuck in her throat. Her voice trembling, she mumbled, “L-L-Lin Feng… That’s not… That’s not fireworks! THE PLANE IS ON FIRE! THE PLANE IS ON FIRE!”

More people started noticing the fire burning at the second motor on the left wing. There was that first moment, brief as it was, in which the airplane turned completely silent. No one spoke. No one even breathed. They only stared at the black flumes twisting and twirling around the red tongues of flame.

Lin Feng scratched the back of his head and looked around the cabin, at the strange calmness of it all. He asked, “Isn’t it supposed to—”

“NO IT’S NOT!” An Xin screamed.

Everyone turned to look at An Xin. They knew she was right. And as if to confirm it, oxygen masks dropped from the ceiling, the warning labels went on and the captain’s voice sounded over the intercom system, “We’re experiencing some light turbulence. Please return to your seats, put on the oxygen masks, and stay calm. Thank you for traveling with Amazing Airlines.”

A couple of people listened. They raced for their seats, pushing aside those in their way, and strapped themselves in so tightly that the polyester of the belt cut into their skins. But most never made it back to their seats. They stood there, staring at the fire that was trying to jump to the motor closest to the cabin, petrified. A particularly sturdy woman collapsed to the ground. Fainted from fear. But no one watched her, even noticed her.

“I can smell it! I CAN SMELL IT!”

“IT’S IN THE CABIN! IT’S GONNA GET INTO THE CABIN!”

“AAAAHHH!”

“WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!”

“I DON’T WANNA DIE!”

“SMOKE! I CAN SEE SMOKE! IT’S GETTING INTO THE CABIN!”

Stewardesses ran along the left isles, urging people to return to their seats. Begging them. The airplane shook. No one was listening; everyone saw their lives flitting past their eyes. A primal fear gripped them, tightened around their necks and stopped the flow of reason between their minds and the rest of their bodies.

The captain’s voice sounded over the intercom system again, “We’re experiencing some small issues. Nothing we can’t handle. We’re going to make an emergency landing. Please return to your seats, and thank you for flying with Amazing Airlines!”

People paused again, until the next strike of turbulence. A few lost their footing while a couple of others started moving. Through the screaming and the sobbing and the bodies that’d given up already, they pushed their ways towards the emergency exits. They tried to unlock the doors, but a half dozen fail-safes ensured that couldn’t happen. Turbulence tried to knock them off their feet, but their grips on the emergency doors made sure that wouldn’t happen. And then logic twisted. The emergency exit near the front of the airplane flung open.

An Xin sat in the back, petrified, holding Lin Feng’s hand tightly in her own. She couldn’t tear her eyes away from the burning wing, but she could feel from the sweat in her hands and the trembling and shaking that Lin Feng was just as scared as she was. Maybe even more. And then the air got knocked out of her due to the sudden change of pressure in the cabin. A jolt shot through her body. Where’s my Ash… Lin Feng… She pinched in Lin Feng’s hand, making sure he was still with her. And smiled. It became hard to breathe, impossible. Specks of black swum in her vision. Her thoughts slowed down as she could feel the airplane losing altitude, fast. Far too fast.

“We’re going to die… We’re going to die…” Lin Feng mumbled quietly. “There is still so much… There are still… I never even got to say sorry to my friends…”

An Xin tore her eyes away from the burning wing. She pushed through the darkness trying to claim her and the strong smell of burning plastic trying to knock her out, and reached both arms around Lin Feng. She hugged him. Pulled him close. She whispered in his ear, “At least we’re together. Just you and me.” The last thing she saw was the back of his neck. She pushed her nose closer to him, smelling his fear and finding some solace in it. I’ll miss you. Sorry we never got to go back to Worlds…

The engines on the airplane rumbled to life. The flight attendants walked down the aisles reminding people to stow their tray tables and put their seats into the upright position. The cabin filled with noise as the airplane got ready to take off. But An Xin heard none of that. None of the noise could penetrate the peaceful atmosphere that had settled over the back row, where she sat with Lin Feng. With the Ashe plushie on her lap. As she looked at it, her heart beat fast and slow at the same time with light trembles of joy.

Lin Feng waited a couple of seconds for An Xin to say something. But she remained silent, and he mistook that for confusion. He picked it up off her lap and waved it in her face, oblivious to everything else in his excitement. “Look! It’s the Ashe you wanted! Remember? You said you wanted it! It’s the exact same one. I helped you get it!”

An Xin’s face flickered with a complicated expression. “You went all the way there just to get me this Ashe plushie? So early in the morning?” she asked quietly and softly. So softly that the question was barely audible over the hum of the engines.

“Yeah! That’s why I set my alarm for 5:30 AM! I really lucked out! My phone had just enough power for the alarm. It died right after I left the hotel. And then I got even more lucky and got the Ashe doll. It only cost me ¥20!” 

An Xin stared at the big grin on Lin Feng’s face and the Ashe. She bit her lips to keep herself from smiling. Wait. I know this. I know Her eyes grew wide and round. She turned away from Lin Feng and looked out of the window. The airplane was getting ready for takeoff. It’s going… We… “THE PLANE IS GOING TO EXPLODE! IT’S GOING TO EXPLODE! GET OFF THIS PLANE! IT’S GOING TO EXPLODE!” she screamed as loudly as she could, jumping from her seat and already pulling Lin Feng with her to the exit. “LET US OFF! LET US OFF! IT’S GOING TO EXPLODE!”

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Sorry About the Delay Guys

Sietse Thought: Devs lost his internet and asked me if I could take care of announcing to you guys that today’s Chapter will be delayed a bit. But I felt really bad about just not releasing anything. So I read through the chapter and checked for which parts Devs had edited and if I could maybe release a bit of that. I found there was both a lot and not that much at all. The not much at all was the first bit. The a lot was the Final Destination potential I saw in that. There was a voice at the back of my mind telling me not to do this. It told me all the reasons why this is a bad idea. But then there was that other voice, my own, reminding myself that I find this absolutely hilarious. So I did. Hope you enjoyed!

P.S. This was a deviation from the Rise Timeline. When Devshard wakes up in the morning and finds himself with internet connection again, I hope he can help bring us back to the right timeline.

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