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Aviator: Chapter 2
That morning, I got up bright-and-early and, with some difficulty, managed to find my way out of the building and into the six-in-the-morning sunshine. The hangar that I had left my plane was just a short walk from the building, so it only took me a minute or two at a brisk pace to find it again and slip into the side door using my ID. I flicked the overhead lights on and, due to the ineffectiveness of them, grabbed a flashlight as well as a general toolbox. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust the mechanics; it was just more reassuring when I knew for certain that everything was in working order and would remain that way.
My plane was the only Halcyon in that hangar, which meant it was also the smallest. The rest were all Vultures, Wolves, and a remote-control scout plane which I didn’t recognize. The movements I went through as I checked my plane were habitual. I couldn’t tell you what I did in what order, but I could tell you that everything was in perfect working condition and would remain that way.
It was seconds after re-latching everything back in place that I knew that I was no longer alone in the hangar. I looked behind me, expecting to see one of the many mechanics, but instead was greeted by the sight of the werewolf from the night before standing halfway between the door and where I stood. To this day, I find it difficult to explain his expression beyond, if possible, calculated confusion. He did not seem surprised that someone was here, but did seem rather confused by the fact that it was, of all possible people, me.
From the distance he was standing at, I could not tell his exact appearance, but I knew he had medium auburn hair and an I-spend-too-much-time-outside tanned complexion. I couldn’t tell his exact eye color, but, seeing as he was a werewolf, I assumed they were a pale color.
He walked in my direction, his hands in his pockets and his back slightly hunched. I assume he did this so as not to make me feel nervous, but it didn’t work. My bottom eyelid twitched with the tense energy that seemed to fill the room. He began asking me questions about everything that had to do with my plane—the fuel efficiency, the tank capacity, the weaponry, the steering, the top speed, the highest altitude, the required runway length, how it reacts in weather conditions… everything. With each, he would simply nod and ask another question, never quite giving me the time to ask him any questions. After a bit he said a quick goodbye, made an excuse about having to be somewhere, and left, leaving me alone, in one of the hangars of a base I hardly recognized.
The rest of the day went by without incident (except when an enemy war plane exploded mid-flight and crashed down into the eastern fence, but no one important was injured). The next day, the werewolf found me again, and again, began asking multiple questions; only these were about the other bases I had visited and my home base. The day after that, the subject was family life, favorite foods, drinks, the likes. It seemed to me as if he was getting more personal, but was still avoiding the aspects of me, just preferring the things I surrounded myself with. I realized that I didn’t know his name, nor did he seem to care or even know mine. The next time I saw him, which was actually the same day, I told him mine, only to be surprised that he already knew. His name was Aro.
I didn’t see him my fifth day, which was inexplicably depressing as by then, even though I knew next to nothing about him, it seemed rude to leave without saying goodbye. Either way, I left at about o-eight in the morning, and arrived at my home base shortly before thirteen later that day. The rest of the three months of routine went by as exactly that. It actually seemed the enemy was backing down… or preparing something big. I was told, because of this, to expect to be recalled before my six-month leave was up.
The first month of leave was pretty chaotic. My step-brother caught a bad strain of pneumonia and was incapacitated in the hospital for four weeks, my apartment flooded, my insurance premiums went up, and my new employer decided that more hours and less pay made sense. It was late and cold, as an early cold front had swept in and claimed the weather, creating record lows for mid-autumn that ignited the apocalypse-yelling psychos to a new level of fervor. I was going a roundabout way home as more cold weather was more preferable to having apocalypse theories yelled in my ear.
Someone walked up next to me and said my name, making me look up, as I hardly recognized the voice. It was Aro. He began asking questions, but I shushed him and asked my own, mimicking the order he had gone in, starting with the plane he flew and ending with his family. I noted that he seemed a little nervous, but I put the thought in the back of my mind. I though it was just because of the bitingly cold weather.
Quick footsteps from behind us caught our collective attention, but before either of us could even think to react, I was tackled to the ground by something much bigger than myself, and bitten in the junction between my shoulder and my neck. The weight was pulled off shortly thereafter, but the damage was done. I was lying on the ground and bleeding out while a burning sensation travelled through my veins. I blacked out as the battle between the two werewolves continued just out of sight.
I awoke to the steady and grating beep of a cardio meter. A quick survey of the room told me that I was not alone, as Aro was sitting in a chair to the left of my hospital bed. His head was in his hands, and I couldn’t tell if he was asleep or mourning. After a couple of croaked and cracked tries, I finally managed to say his name. He looked up at me, and, again, I can’t explain his facial expression beyond the impossible combination of tranquility and fear. He explained to me that someone whose body was rejecting the werewolf virus had lost their control and attacked me for no reason than the fact that I was the first it saw. He told me that my body, luckily, had accepted the virus flawlessly and that I could check out of the hospital once my wound healed in a week or two. He also told me that he was going to be my watcher, as the werewolf that had attacked me was insane and there was a small chance that it could have carried.
I checked out ten days later and was given the white armband with the double W’s. I didn’t really see my new watcher much, but I always knew he was there. My boss, being the paranoid, judgmental person he was, fired me and, once again, my insurance premiums went up. No longer able to afford my apartment, I moved into the apartment of an old friend of mine from primary school.
I learned that she had inherited a druglord business from her father (seeing as her brother was incompetent), and I somehow, against all intentions, became a “guarddog” to her when she was on her “business trips.”
When I started falling into the wrong side of the law, Aro stopped being there. It’s been two years, and I haven’t seen him since about late winter the year I was bitten. I don’t know if I should care or not. I suppose that is a matter for another day.