“Wow!” was all she could say.
Cameron was watching her reactions as she drank in the entire scene. As 2000 or so passengers filed very easily into the main lobby of the airship, the feeling of being in an aircraft quickly faded. This wasn’t an airplane. This was like being in a ten story tall shopping mall.
Several flight attendants stood in the open area directing passengers to the escalators that would take them to their cabins and seats. The pace was quick, but didn’t feel rushed. Even though the process of getting from “Point A” to “Point B” in this manner took a few hours longer than a regular flight would, the actual experience was one to savor. It was top notch all the way, so there were rarely any quibbles over the amount of time needed. This was THE mode of travel for anyone wanting a relaxing vacation. Many passengers opted for the $1000 world tour, which permitted unlimited travel to anywhere Dimension flew within a calendar month. Many of the fliers already on board had come from destinations as remote as London, Paris, and Cleveland. A few had been on the ship for nearly a week.
“Wow… this is unbelievable! I’m so glad you talked me into this.” Kate reached over and gave Cameron a big hug, one so big that it surprised him with her strength. He could still take her in a tickle wrestling match, but she’d definitely be more of a contender right now!
The attendant briefly looked at their ticket. “You’ll be taking escalator 6-S” she motioned towards the side.
“I’ve gotten the part about 6 being the 6th floor, but I’ve been curious about what the S stands for.” Cameron asked the attendant who was a little over a head taller than everyone else. All of the attendants were slightly bigger in case of air rage incidents. On his first flight he saw two attendants easily subdue a drunken teamster.
“The S is for Starboard.” she replied in a friendly, but professional manner.
“Ah…” Cameron turned to Kate. “Last time I was located on 9-P, so that was for Port, right?”
Kate interjected, “Which side is Starboard? I’ve never really known.”
The attendant pointed toward the cockpit door, which was about 8 stories high with a large window near the top. The pilots were full sized, but would only exit the cockpit in the case of an emergency. The entire open area down the middle of the plane was wide enough and tall enough for a regular sized human to navigate if needed. “When you face forward, Starboard is on your right…” She pointed to her right, “…and Port is on your left.”
“Oh, so like Stage Left and Stage right…” Kate’s lightbulb went off.
“Well, honey, like that except reversed.” Cameron corrected. Katie’s bulb dimmed a little.
“No, actually, she’s right.” The attendant corrected Cam. “Stage Right is to my right when I’m facing forward.” Cameron still thought she was wrong, but at approximately 7 feet tall proportionally to him, he didn’t see the need to argue.
“Yeah, okay, so 6-S.” he said changing the subject quickly, and moving towards the escalator.
“Oh, I have another question. This one is a bit silly, but do you ever have passengers try to stow onboard inside of shrunken luggage?” Kate said, tugging Cameron’s arm to keep him from leaving, this time surprised by her own strength, because she thought she really did stop him.
“It happens all of the time actually.” The perky goliath said. “The Dimension Air officially does not condone it, but never really enforces the policy. With the large number of customers we serve, it’s just not efficient to check bags for stowaways. We’re so inexpensive, that if someone wants to travel for free THAT badly, then why stop them? And of course, we take no responsibility for anything that happens-they fly at their own risk that way.”
“So you don’t check baggage at all? Not even for explosives? What if a terrorist…?” Cameron piped up, concerned for the first time about safety. He always assumed that they had checked luggage with some advanced scanning system as people walked through.
“An explosive shrunk that small would have the impact of a firecracker. A few tried early on. It’s not an issue. It’s also why we require all luggage to be shrunk smaller than the passengers.”
“Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome to Flight 815 aboard the Skyship Courage. We ask you to please find your seats as the plane will be departing in five minutes. You will be free to explore the ship shortly after take-off. If you are having problems finding your seats or cabins, please inform one of our attendants and they will assist you.” A very deep voice called over the ship’s intercom.
“I’m going to have to move you along to your seats for now, but if you have any other questions, please ask for me after takeoff. My name is Connie. Have a great flight!” She smiled and waved as the pair got onto their escalator.
The couple found their seats easily. To say they were seats was an understatement. Oversized leather recliners with a good 5 feet of legroom in front, with a large LCD movie monitor shared by each row of 4 seats. This was beyond even first class on many airlines. And Cameron had ordered the budget package!
Another Amazon attendant quickly came by and reminded everyone to buckle their seatbelts.
Kate looked over at one of the private cabin cars to her left, which were virtually airborne hotel rooms complete with beds, and, for the deluxe models, even a Jacuzzi . “We should get one of those next time.” she nudged Cameron.
“Hey, how hard to please are you???” he play-whined while motioning towards their already deluxe accommodations. “Besides, those are only for passengers taking trips longer than 12 hours. Ours is only 8.”
The engines fired up and a few minutes later the plane was taxiing down the runway.
After the flight was airborne, the fasten seatbelts sign was turned off, and the passengers were free to walk about the cabin. Of course, walking about the cabin took on a whole new meaning aboard Dimension Air! The eight hour flight was passing by very quickly.
Kate and Cam did some shopping in the retail area below deck (and playfully known as “The Cargo Hold”) to pass the time. The Barbie Store on the second floor was particularly fun since they were able to try on full size doll fashions that normally adorned Barbie and Ken! Kate bought a fancy evening gown for just $20-a bargain even though a large snap stuck out across the back of her neck, while Cam relaxed in the Dream Car, wondering why they hadn’t thought of opening up a G.I. Joe store as well to appeal to a more macho demographic? Maybe Mattel had an exclusive deal…
After going for a swim in the Olympic-sized (well, okay, large bathtub-sized) pool, they changed and relaxed in the lounge, which as as fancy as the boarding lounge, but had more of an adult feel.
As they sat and chatted at the bar, Kate nudged Cameron’s shoulder and pointed to the woman 3 stools down who was playing with her martini.
“Hey, look! The flight attendant was right!” she squeaked.
“Look… look…” she pointed again, not seeming to care if the woman she was pointing at noticed or not.
“What are you talking about?” he was confused. He just saw a very attractive brunette paying way too much attention to her drink. “Okay, I see her. Why am I looking at her?”
“Not her… look in her drink…” her voice lowered to a whisper as if she was suddenly going to be discreet after nearly shouting.
Cameron focused in on the woman’s face-she was smiling down at her drink, but not actually drinking it. She had a luggage keychain to the side of her glass, with what would normally have been an oversized duffle zippered open. He looked back at her face and then followed her gaze down into the drink. That’s when he saw it.
“Holy shit! There’s a guy floating around in there!”
“Yeah! There is! Isn’t that so cool! She brought a stowaway!” Kate beamed. “The attendant was right about that.”
“But she’s dressed awfully nice. I don’t think she needed to save money on the trip. Why would she do that to the poor guy?” Cameron said, taking a sip of his own drink, one eye taking a quick and careful glance to make sure there weren’t any stowaways floating around in his Guinness.
“Maybe she’s just into that sort of thing?” she remarked with a bit of caution.
“Yeah, right. Like he’d go for that.”
“Some people are…” she glanced down to hide her embarrassment then back up into his eyes.
He didn’t notice her unease. “Well, they’re weirdos. That’s what they are. But hey, as long as it doesn’t affect me, let them do what they want… I’m open.” He glanced back over to the attractive lady and thought for a moment before shaking his head. “I mean, that’s what the internet is for, right?”
Kate forced a laugh. “Exactly.”
Cameron’s eyes got wide as he saw the lady put the glass to her mouth and swallow a mouthful and the little dude was gone!
“Kate! She just ate him! I swear… she just ate him!” he yelled and everyone around him went silent, including the 7 foot tall redheaded barmaid and the dark haired beauty a few seats down. She looked wide eyed with her cheeks full and her lips in a pucker. She slowly bent down to her martini glass and let the liquid from her mouth pour back into it. A small man plopped down into the middle of the bluish liquid with a perfect swan dive. She then nonchalantly looked around as if nothing had happened.
“C’mon Mrs. Barnevski.” the barmaid sighed. “I told you yesterday you can’t do that in here, or anywhere in the public areas for that matter. The airline frowns upon it. Now either you put him away or we’ll have to press charges for aiding a stowaway. Just because we don’t normally enforce the policy doesn’t mean we can’t.”
The woman mumbled something to herself in Russian, as she carefully lifted her tiny husband out of the pool of alcohol by his arm and set him gently near the duffle bag, where he zipped himself back inside.
“You can do all of that stuff back in your cabin, just not out here. Okay? I know you’re just playing, but you need to be careful. If you accidentally swallow a miniaturized human, even if it is consensual, it is considered a homicide in every state except Kentucky.”
The woman just glared at Cameron as she placed her luggage chain in her purse and stormed out of the lounge.
“Definitely a weirdo…” Cam said as he focused his attention back on Kate. “You’d never do anything like that to me would you?”
“Hmm… if you were tiny? No. I wouldn’t have any interest in eating you. You probably would be too bony. I’d have to fillet you first.” she smirked.
“I probably wouldn’t taste very good either.” he returned.
She thought for a moment and finally said, “I think you’d probably taste like chicken.”
He started to say something more, but was interrupted. “Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We are just 30 minutes from our arrival, so we’d like to ask all of our guests to finish with any activities and make your way back to your seats and cabins. Again, please return to your assigned area and fasten your seatbelts as soon as you are able. We will be landing shortly.”
Kate snorted. “I think he just called us all shorty.”
“No, he said we’d be landing shortly.”
“No… I’m sure he said ‘shorty'”
“And I’m sure you’ve had waaay too much to drink… Finish up while I take care of the tab and let’s head back upstairs.”