The Boeing 737-900 banked smoothly at 30,000 feet towards Cincinnati, Ohio. The aircraft’s beautiful paint job casted sunspots and shadows into the interior of the aircraft. Below, Thomas Sini smiled as a small bump of turbulence scared an upset child behind him. “Poor, whiny, little screaming brat” Thomas thought. Thomas considered turning around and asking the young one’s mother to take her shrieking child in the overhead bin. “If only there was an airline that didn’t allow brats onto their airplanes…” Thomas chorted to his assistant, slapping her on the wrist. Just loud enough for the woman behind him to hear but not loud enough to cause a scene.
Even though she had slept with him twice, she wasn’t laughing. Instead of responding, Shelly Arbor looked out of the aircraft’s window. Below she saw cars as small as ants, on their way to some unknown destination Shelly would rather think about – Not her boss making fun of an upset child in a cramped aircraft. The overpowering smell of Thomas’s cologne was the proverbial stomach churning smell for Shelley. Another one of her self inflicted tragedies – an affair with a powerful petrochemical analyst. Shelly was too close to Thomas, she would have to shake her head later.
Shelly turned and looked at the child’s distressed mother. “She’s a beautiful child, this help’s my little one…” Before Shelly handed her cell phone to the child, she started a video on her phone of the latest childhood fad – A dancing clocking that make really silly noises. Without waiting for the mother to thank her, she turned around and stared at Thomas. “The fuck are you doing, that’s a 900 dollar phone!!?!” Thomas chorted quietly while a crooked smile appeared as he shook his head. “I didn’t know you could buy airline tickets with food stamps.” Thomas chided – adjusting his seat for the landing he knew would come as he has flown this route too many times before.
Shelly leaned over, almost sensually and whispered in the most condescending manner possible “Your a bastard”. Leaning back over, Shelley continued to pretend as if she was admiring the unremarkable patches of trees intersected by a concrete highway buzzing with cars and trucks. Thomas sat back watching CNN on the brand new – custom installed HD televisions mounted on the rear of every seat. “Seabird die off described by scientists as unprecedented” Thomas muttered silently but lips still moving as the ticker continued to scroll. “2000 birds fell dead from the sky – ruled as cholera”.
Thomas almost snorted. “Cholera eh? I wouldn’t buy it but the sponges behind me would” Thomas thought to himself. Of course Thomas knew that cholera didn’t kill 2000 birds while they were flying. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain and I would like to apologize but our landing is going to be bumpy we will start our descent in 20 minutes – Thank you for flying with us today.” Thomas breathed a sigh of pent of relief. No more crappy coffee, stale peanuts and screaming infants. No, Thomas will be surveying crop damage in the midwest. He already knows why the crops are failing. He was sent to reassure the pesky state regulators that PetroFoss wasn’t part of the crop damage.
How will he achieve this? Thomas already knows and it’s worked plenty of times before. A sharp suit, a very attractive brunette with a low cut skirt top sputtering confusing statistics and plenty of money. ”Money always works but money with an attractive set of easily viewable tits is a sure fire win” Thomas thought to himself as he opened up his tablet.
Thomas was very sure that Shelly knew this and that would explain her mood towards his dark sense of baseless humor. Thomas noticed unopened emails – he was too busy that morning to check them before his flight took off and he barely caught the cab.. Severe turbulence hit the aircraft and Thomas lost the grip of his tablet, which hit the dirty floor. “SHIT – that screen had better not be cracked, fuck..” Thomas reached down and smiled, the screen seemed to have survived. “Ladies and Gentlemen, please buckle your safety belts, it’s going to be a bit bumpier, thank you.” Click, click, click, …..click. Scared passengers.
Thomas wasn’t afraid of flying but the turbulence – the turbulence frightened him and now the welfare recipient’s spawn was screaming again. Thomas bit his tongue and slid his tablet back into his designer briefcase. “This briefcase, right here Shelley………3 grand.” Thomas chuckled as if the price at his pay grade really meant anything at all. A drop in the bucket. Thomas’s mating call always netted at least someone, say, like Shelly – Thomas pondered his own greatness or wealth, whichever came first. “Fascinating” Shelly replied, without moving her head and not even blinking – still staring out of the window, staring at nothing..
The Boeing’s engines hummed faster and slower, faster and slower – Thomas was looking at the tip of his designer shoes when the breaking news banner again flashed on the screen in front of him “ United States Bee population being poisoned – aluminum amounts up 70 times amount needed to poison humans found in bee populations“ Thomas Sini was beginning to become quite unsettled. It’s as if a dam broke and the news he and many others were paid to hide were finally beginning to buckle under their own weight. Thomas was assured that his testimony to the Federal Government guaranteed his assessments in the field and corresponding media outlets covering those assessments. “Fuck” is the only word that Thomas could mutter.
“Top scientists conclude aluminum 3rd most abundant element and may explain newly released data” Thomas smiled “That’s it, boys”. Disinformation is a wonderful thing or that is to say – necessary. Of course, Thomas knew that aluminum only exists in a free form and has to be refined – Sometimes Thomas wasn’t surprised by the population’s ignorance. Thomas knew, statistically, that people care more about selfies, pedophile shows, impossibly beautiful actors and gay marriage. Collapsing bee colonies and aluminum nanoparticulates took a back seat to Bill Cosby and politicians quoting the Bible – Peons following fallen kings.
Thomas is paid to avoid photos and selfies. In fact, Thomas Sini is paid to remain physically unremarkable and not easily recalled. No social media accounts of any kind and only one email address. The fake, thick black hipster glasses everyone has seen didn’t contain real lenses. To Farmers, Shareholders, Sexy blonde reporters and to the world, everything about Thomas Sini was engineered by PetroFoss.
Thomas never knew the name of the project, only it’s initials. Every internal soil study he conducted, all the aluminum tests he verified and all the chemical ozone tests he oversaw always has the I.S. Red circular stamp on it. The program was so secretive, even to Thomas, it was only referenced in an email once in his 20 year career with PeroFoss.
The email, as shocking as it was is still seared into Thomas’s memory. Seared because Thomas knew what the tests and each one that followed it in that email meant. He can still recall it, aboard this bumpy chaotic flight, screaming brat and a pissed off woman he wish he didn’t crave right next to him – the great divide.
Project I.S. interpanel study/(FTCO). See attachments for newly acquired field and atmospheric data. Contains empirical/W.I. Exponential curves! –Fred
“Wash items” is what W.I mockingly and coldly is referred to. Thomas shook his head with a sliver of disdain. What a nice term. It almost sounds like a homely laundry list for a bored spouse and perhaps that was the point. Those words could mean and sound as soothing as they like but to Thomas Sini and PetroFoss, wash items were and are nothing more than smokescreens and lie by omission. “Wash items” were, under no circumstances were to be revealed in any form, whatsoever.
Immediate termination and imprisonment – no questions asked had actually been written in his promotion contract. That of course is after the media holds public trials long before you see an actual court, which might actually be worse than a court mandated sentence.
The nature of PetroFoss’s operations meant leaking those words were described to him as “Violations of the law”. Another way a shareholder explained the leaking situation as “jeopardizing national security”. Thomas didn’t believe that but it didn’t matter. PetroFoss signed his paychecks of which he spent on a fortified redoubt in Europe over the course of the last 10 very difficult years. Thomas had a plan and it didn’t involve PetroFoss once he left the country. While Thomas was here he did what he was told. The paycheck was just too sweet and the world Thomas despised to even breathe in was too rancid. A perfect storm.
Lost in thought about the sheer tragedy that email contained Thomas almost didn’t realize Shelley gripping his hand, tightly. “My therapist told me flying today would be therapeutic” Shelley croaked with her eyes clamped shut. “What would be therapeutic is me taking that bra off in the hotel room.” Thomas replied. “Yea, that’s not going to happen again, Tom, you’re too much of a man for me.” Shelley replied with tremendous sarcasm dashed with in flight fear. The plane jolted even harder as the child behind Thomas cried louder when the overnight bag fell from the overhead bin.
“My therapist has used the words psychopath to describe me but I think she’s a quack”. Thomas could hear scared passengers taking selfies and he imagined them writing the usual line “Imma die LOL!”. “Would it be wrong to agree with her?” Shelley asked – Shelly was holding back the urge to get sick.
Thomas almost missed the new red ticker, laughing in his face: “Conspiracy theorists have exposed massive geoengineering plot….” Thomas’s heart skipped a beat. The screaming, inconsolable shrieks of the child behind Thomas no longer irritated him, he didn’t even hear the shrieking child anymore.. “Contrails or Persistent Jet Trails exposed to contain poisonous aluminum and other contaminates…” Thomas wasn’t mouthing the red ticker, he couldn’t even speak. “Did one of your hookers die, Tom, why are you sweating?” Shelley was taken aback by Thomas open, still mouth and sudden ashen appearance. Shelley instinctively peered her head closer to Thomas’s watching the ticker, now ignoring the thrashes of the jet fighting severe turbulence.
Thomas closed his eyes, sullenly shaking his head, listening to Shelley’s beautiful but quiet and concerned voice “Breaking news, major fossil fuel conglomerates said to be participating in recently discovered geoengineering schemes and are reporting massive global contamination”. Shelley softly placed her hand over her mouth “Oh Jesus Tom.” At that moment, Thomas recalled writing a report on UVC contamination that had wash items attached to it year ago – writing his own death sentence isn’t as awful as Thomas thought it would be. Other’s however, that was a different story.
Today’s wash item, in fact, was convincing farmers and the state of Ohio that UVC wasn’t killing their crops and trees. Along with financial contributions, boobs and NASA reports that UVC was deflected long before it hit earth, 100,000 miles in the sky – everyone would be satisfied. Now the wash items didn’t matter. In fact, the only thing that mattered to Thomas was a quick exit from this plane. He knew that angry people are nothing more than angry animals – capable of any awful transgressions in the throes of passion, good or bad.
Thomas started hearing the murmur of angry passengers talking amongst themselves – Thomas thought he heard the sound of a whimpering woman, somewhere in front of her. Tears. Human sadness. The one thing no report or statistical analysis can soothe and something Thomas had in short supply. Yes, now some were crying and hugging eachother. Thomas could see out of the corner of his eyes, passengers pointing at contrails in the distant, hazy sky. This was most assuredly, not good.
Thomas felt the Boeing 737 yaw back and forth as crosswinds bucked the aircraft during it’s descent. When the plane bounced on the runway, the crying child that cried herself to sleep was now awake, crying just as loudly as before.. Even as Thomas sat back in his seat, Shelley was glued to the television not having moved continued even though Thomas prayed she wouldn’t.
“Breaking news! Executives from DinaFuel, PetroFoss and FossilFar have announced massive cyber security breaches”. “Tom, my phone”. Shelley started to panic, turned around and ask quietly as possible asked “Excuse, me, miss I’m glad my phone helped, may I have it back?” Shelley asked, obvious fear in her voice.
The skowling woman, glaring with a hateful stare replied “I don’t have it”, her arms crossed but shuddering with anger. “Ladies and gentlemen this is your captain, we are gonna have to wait a bit, there seems to be a traffic jam on the runway. Sit back, relax and thank you for flying with us today”. To Thomas, the intercom click was ominus Shelley asked the distraught woman “Who has my phone?!?!?!”
Thomas didn’t hear Shelley scream. Thomas didn’t even feel the moment a fist connected with his perfectly shaved jaw. The last thing Thomas heard was Shelley screaming “Stop hitting him!!!” Thomas’s world went black.
To be continued.