AN: woo messy intro chapter! I finished writing it and just got really excited and wanted to post it, so it might be a bit messy. whoops. Also, thanks for all the kind reviews! They made me happy cry a little bit.
Anyways on with the chapter!
Sunny Sycamore did not get along well with airports. She tried to avoid dealing with them whenever possible, but when you live in Florida and your school is located in Japan, that makes it pretty difficult. But just because Sunny was stuck in TSA hell, that didn't mean she had to enjoy it. She put her beat up knapsack and equally destroyed sandals in one of the many plastic bins and reluctantly got in line for the metal detector. Sunny couldn't stand the metal detectors. They were large and unnerving, and just made her so uncomfortable. The TSA agent at the opposite end of the machine gave a friendly smile and motioned at her to walk on through. That friendly smile disappeared quite quickly though, as soon as Sunny had one foot through the metal detector it began to beep wildly, its high-pitched sounds catching the attention of everyone else struggling through security.
"Ma'am, you are required to remove any and all metal objects from or on your person."
Her bracelet! Sunny gave the TSA agent a sheepish grin and hurriedly chucked the loop of fish hooks and fishing line in yet another plastic bin. She made towards the machine again, but the TSA agent was still staring at her. What could he possibly be looking at? His attention seemed eerily focused around her neck.
Necklace. Of course.
Sunny undid the clasp and tried to remove it from around her neck, but instead she felt a yank near the back of her scalp. Crap. She reached a hand up into the dark mass of curls on her head and found the source of the issue; one of the blunt hooks on her necklace was knotted up into her hair. Sunny tried to gently untangle it, but it was inextricably stuck, and people were starting to stare. She gave a sharp tug and the necklace fell into her palm, along with a few strands of dark hair. That too went in a plastic bin, and Sunny was finally allowed through the horrid metal detector.
After a minute or two of waiting, Sunny's knapsack and jewelry emerged from the scanner, and she snatched them off of the conveyor belt, feeling their familiar presence on her skin.
Wait a minute. Where in the world were her shoes? She turned frantically about, hoping to catch a glimpse of them somewhere nearby. There! Over behind that glass wall designated for… secondary screening? Right. Sure. That made total sense. Her shoes were obviously bombs. Sunny made her way over to the station of yet another TSA agent, internally grimacing at the feeling of the cold tile beneath her feet.
"Um. Hi there! My shoes were pulled off for secondary screening, and—"
"And," snapped the man in uniform, "calm down, you'll get 'em back eventually."
"Right, but— but they're my shoes. I need them. To walk."
"Patience, missy. We're just making sure everything is safe. Can't have any threats getting through, now can we?"
"Um." Sunny gave the man a nod, and walked toward the bench, more confused than she had been before. After a few minutes, her shoes were finally released, still with no explanation, and Sunny was off towards her gate.
The Orlando Airport was not the nicest place to be. The stained green carpet looked like it had been pulled straight from the eighties, and hadn't been cleaned since. That dirty, outdated vibe applied to nearly every aspect of the building, from the textured cream walls to the trams running from one end of the airport to the other. The only semi-decent section of the airport was the atrium. In the center of it was a giant fountain, with water jets of varying size bubbling up and out. Scattered about the fountain were large benches and planters containing various grasses and hostas. It was quite a relaxing place to wait for a flight, which had been Sunny's original plan, until she noticed a shifting of the flightimes on one of the screens suspended overhead. The flight affected wasn't hers, but it gave her a chance to just double check the timing. 3:30, right? Sun Country Flight 1703 from Orlando to Haneda Airport, leaving at 2:30– 2:30?! Great. Wonderful. Absolutely amazing. 15 minutes to reach the gate in time for boarding.
So Sunny set off once more, this time in a full out sprint; rushing past other travelers and nearly crashing into a security guard on a Segway. She could feel her sandals slowly slipping forwards, so she stopped to give each foot a quick shake before bolting forward once more.
Sunny reached the gate with maybe a minute to spare, disheveled, sweaty, and ready to collapse. What now? What did she need? There was something tickling at the back of her brain, something important. Her passport? In her right pocket. Phone? No, that wasn't needed to board a plane. Board a plane. Boarding pass! God, where was it? Right pocket had her passport, left pocket had her wallet and flip phone, top left pocket felt like it had scraps of paper in it— boarding pass!
Of course, as soon as Sunny had located her boarding pass from the endless void that was her left pocket, an announcement rang out over the P.A. System.
"Flight 1703 from Orlando to Haneda will be experiencing a two hour delay, due to reports of incoming turbulence and inclement weather."
Airports, man. Fucking airports.
After what felt like eternity and a half, (but in reality was only two hours and fifteen minutes), flight 1703 was finally boarding. Sunny hauled her knapsack back over her shoulder and trundled down the jetway, all the way through first class and luxury economy seating before locating her own seat, an aisle seat smack-dab in the middle of business class. Sunny didn't even bother trying to stuff her bag in the already crammed overhead bin, choosing instead to kick it under the seat in front of her before collapsing into her seat. She kicked off her shoes and tried to close her eyes in an attempt to get to sleep before she could get air sick, but she felt a tap on her shoulder.
"Excuse me, Ma'am, but we'd ask all passengers to keep their shoes on, just in case of an emergency, and to remain awake for the safety demonstration," said the flight attendant in a sickly saccharine voice.
Sunny gave the woman a mute nod. Was that normal on most flights? She could've sworn that sleeping through the safety demonstration was totally fine, normal, even. Oh well. The safety demonstrations existed for a reason, didn't they? Maybe actually listening to them would come in handy, but then again, it'd probably be better if she never needed to use that knowledge.
Despite Sunny's best efforts, she could not concentrate on what was coming out of the flight attendants mouth. There was something about seatbelts, and the thing with the face masks and helping yourself before helping others.
Even though she had started to doze off, she could've sworn that the flight attendant had winked at her while demonstrating how to don a face mask.
SNAKES! There were snakes everywhere! Crawling down her face and through the sleeves of her shirt, trickling down from the seams on the walls, hissing so loudly she thought her eardrums might burst and—
No. No, there were no snakes. It was a dream. Just the hissing sound coming from the ceiling.
That's not right.
Sunny opened her eyes to clouds of gas descending from the ceiling, blanketing the rows and rows of sleeping passengers. She suddenly jolted into alertness. Was the plane being gassed? Where were the gas masks? Sunny reached up to give the ceiling a nudge, her arms just long enough for her fingertips to graze the ceiling. She wanted to stand up, apply more force or yank the masks down, but her legs were just… so heavy. Her arm dropped back down like a rock, head lolling back into the chair. Her eyelids felt like weights, and it was a strain to keep them open. Through the haze that was filling the plane, Sunny thought she saw someone making their way towards the cockpit. A figure, their shape not quite discernible through the mist that had settled down onto the passengers. That couldn't be good.
But Sunny gave the figure no more thought as she drifted off into a state of unconsciousness, completely unaware of the upcoming terror she was soon to face.