Erik Maroon sat in seat 42C of his transcontinental direct flight from Rome to Dehli having a conversation with his friend Edward Stevens across the aisle.
"Are you crazy? John Cena does not need a title when facing the Rock at Wrestle Mania next year. What's going to happen when Rocky wins? Is he going to take the title and wear it for the Tooth Fairy 2??" Erik mocked.
"No!!" Ed responded, "He'll give it back or pass it down or something."
"If I didn't know you, I'd figure you were retarded. I'm going to hit the head, you cool?"
"Yeah, hurry up. We've been up here for a couple hours already and I need to drain the main vein if you know what I mean."
"Dude, I'm starting to believe you really are retarded."
Erik stood up from his seat and stretched out for a second before walking back to the restroom. He passed the group of college missionaries grouped together that boarded with him in Rome. He smiled at a cute girl many years his younger and thought to himself what a shame it is about her commitment to follow God. He talked to a few of them at DiVinci Airport in Rome and found out they're going to be setting up churches in some of the villages during the summer months. There was a lot of buzz between them on account the plane was now over Israel.
They acted just like his Dad and Kaci. He just couldn't get behind them or feel encouraged by them after what he's gone through and everything he's lost.
A male missionary started to stand before Erik approached his seat. He sat back down to let Erik pass. Their eyes locked. Erik gave him a "what's up" look, while he gave Erik a "stay out of my business" look in return.
Erik got to the restroom and gave one last look down the length of the cabin before going inside. He checked his phone and saw he has a message from Savannah.
"Geez.. Come on chick.. I'm working!!! De-Leted!!!"
As he was deleting he got another message from the office.
"LEVEL RED ALERT. KNOWN SPLINTER EGYPTIAN AND RUSSIAN MILITARIES HAVE LAUNCHED A COORDINATED ATTACK ON ISREAL"
What the hell??!
He hears a scream coming from the cabin. Erik bursts open the door to see all hell breaking loose.
"FEDERAL AIR MARSHALL!!" Ed yells with a gun pointing at the male missionary with one of "his sisters in Christ" as a human shield.
Erik draws his gun, identifies himself as an air marshal as well and demands everyone stay seated. A hero from behind the "missionary" tries to surprise him from behind but is shot down by one of two more men sitting towards the front of the cabin.
They rush the cockpit, plant a small explosive and blow the lock. They kick the door open and Erik hears some yelling with thick accents followed by two gunshots. The plane starts to shake as they enter the cockpit and slam the door.
Erik's eyes start to search the cabin to see if anyone else is involved in this. Three people are already down and he has no control of the situation. People are screaming and the plane he was in charge of just got hijacked. He has to get it back.
"TAKE THE SHOT ED!!!"
"SHE'S TOO CLOSE!!!"
"TAKE THE DAMN SHOT ED!!!!"
The missionary pulls a small gun and shoots Ed dead center in his chest.
Erik watches as his partner of the past six years goes down.
It feels like an eternity, but he regains his composure before Ed's assailant lifts his gun in his direction.
Unlike Ed, Erik didn't think the sister missionary was too close, and now that he had a clear line of sight took "her brother" out with a headshot between the eyes. A business man pulls her out of the aisle so Erik can get to the cockpit.
"FEDERAL AIR MARSHALL.. EVERYONE STAY IN THEIR FRICKIN SEATS, OR YOU WILL PROBABLY BE SHOT TOO!!!"
It was was a warning of protection not a threat. He didn't want to shoot anyone that didn't need to be.
He steps over Ed's body and that of the "missionary". The plane starts to make a sharp descent and Erik stumbles forward over the hero. He approaches the cockpit, gun at a ready position. Before he can get to the door, there's a gunshot. Erik slams to the side of the wall to avoid any gunfire. Then two more shots almost simultaneously shoot off. The planes almost jumps in the air and feels like it's going nose first into the ground.
He kicks opens the door to see the pilot and co-pilot dead as well as the two terrorists from self inflicted gunshots to their head. Erik pulls them from their seats...
Erik turns around to see the female missionary previously being held hostage standing six feet from the cockpit with a gun in her hand. Her gun drops and she falls on her face dead.
Down the aisle, Ed holds on to a seat as he lowers his smoking weapon.
Erik sits at the controls to try to pull back and regain the altitude they're losing.
Nothing. The sticks are dead and the ground is getting closer. He thinks of how he failed. His mind races to his family. His father. His mother. He has to wonder if he'll see her soon? He thinks of Kaci and Michael. He pulls back on the controls more letting out a scream of defeated anguish as there is still no change.
He looks back into the cabin and sees the remaining missionaries out of their seats praying with people.
You have to be kidding me.
Erik laughed, "We'll it's going to take a miracle from God to stop this plane from becoming a fireball in the Israel desert."
He pulled back in frustration and the plane moved. In shock Erik moved it some more and it began to straighten out. He was still descending and losing altitude too fast. The ground was still getting closer. They were still going to die. There was no way around it. It's just a matter of where they died that Erik had control of. He had minimal control of the plane and he was not going to let it crash in a populated area.
The creeks became larger and could count the sheep in the fields. He felt sorry what he wasn't able to do. He was sorry for how he left Kaci. He always loved her and never stopped thinking about her, even when he was with Savannah. He hopes he made them proud.
Brushing the ground, Erik lets out another scream and pulls back on the controls.
"I'm sorry God."
The plane slams into the ground and the grinding noise is deafening. One of the starboard engines catches fire and explodes. Friction from the ground cases the fuselage to burst in flames as the remaining engines explode. The entire plane is engulfed in flame and screams in destruction as it becomes a rolling fireball in the desert.
The plane no longer exists, only fire.