Gale Vasher was pretty tired. He was tired of work, he was tired of airports and airplanes, he was tired of the na na na na of meetings that never got anything done, and he was just plain tired. Gale Vasher wanted to get home, finish a week of reports and analysis of na na na na meetings and then spend the weekend vegging in front of the TV or playing Rummy with Ginger and Gary and maybe wasting a few hours running Grrr, the Tauren female Druid through the halls and forests of Azeroth. Such was the normal of Gale Vasher’s life. His greatest fear is that maybe the late lift off out of Billings would make him miss his connection back to civilization and Azeroth.
Unfortunately, there was a problem with his connecting flight out of Denver. The problem was not that he missed it but that it was not taking off. It had been canceled. The deeper problem was that DEN to BWI was not the only canceled flight. The far, far deeper problem was that all flights in the USA were grounded. Indefinitely.
There were people in uniform walking around the Denver airport with their itchy fingers on the trigger guards of ARs. There were long lines going nowhere. And nobody could tell anybody else when, if ever, 747s would be in the air again.
One haggard, raggy haired ground crew behind a counter snapped at the woman at the head of the line where Gale stood.
“Maybe you could walk. Maybe a covered wagon. I donno what the hell is going on any more than anybody else. You don’t need to be yelling at me.” It looked to Gale as if she had been crying, and was about to begin crying again.
Apparently some idiots, believing the angels of heaven preferred to sleep with people who flew airplanes into the Towers of Babel, had actually flown a couple of airplanes into the Towers of Babel. The TV screens hanging from the ceilings showed over and over again a silver building suddenly falling into rubble and people running and walking through smoke and dust.
That morning, there was one thing that Gale and most other human beings connected on. Gale hoped that idiots who who flew airplanes into Towers so they could sleep with angels, were getting an infernal reaming. It was a very sorry thing for people to connect on.
But it was as if a switch on the railway of time and space had been flipped. And suddenly, a civilized middle aged woman trying to make reconnections at a United Airways flight counter was yelling at a red-eyed flight attendant who was screaming “You don’t need to be yelling at me.” And decent but tired Tauran Female Druid runners like Gale were hoping to find somebody that needed damnation.
And so itchy fingered AR uniforms, middle aged travelers, weeping flight crews, and decent but tired Tauran Female Druid runners, as well as idiots who believed virgin angels would sleep with idiots, were suddenly disconnected from their comforts.
Good news, I guess, is that they all reconnected. What they reconnected on was the rerouting of the great train of civility and hope as it began its hurtle on the third rail of fear toward an eye-for-eye darkness.
It’s a connection old and easy as peasy.