The plane shakes with turbulence as warnings blare throughout the cockpit. I try to level the plane but feel heavy drag on the right side. I need to land. Otherwise, this plane will crash.
“Mayday, Mayday, Anemos one-one-seven this is Captain Aella, I am experiencing heavy turbulence.” I shout into my headset as I look through all of my signals and realize that one of my engines has failed and the other is in poor condition. I hear static and panic hits. The clouds blacken as I continue soaring.
I try to turn around but the plane fights my actions and turbulence becomes violent as we begin to lower. I try again, tears forming in my eyes. “Mayday, Mayday, Anemos one-one-seven this is Captain Aella, I am in the middle of a storm and experiencing heavy turbulence, I need assistance please.” I beg and again the only response I receive is static. Not only am I blind in this storm of black but now I am without any form of guidance. This is really bad.
I feel the plane jerk and my shoulder hits the back of the seat with a vicious jerk. Panic rises in my chest and I try to calm my nerves. I can handle this. I have to be able to do something. My shoulder aches and I groan. I try to steady myself and the plane but find it nearly impossible to do so. I’m alone on Anemos.
I wanted to take a flight this evening. I just got my professional pilot's license and wanted to fly alone in celebration. The radar didn’t show anything, let alone this kind of storm.
I hear a screeching and feel my second engine failing as the plane begins to pitch forward. My plane, my sweet Wind rider, was failing me as I began to plummet but could only see black as I fell.
I loved flying. I loved to control the plane–my plane– and soar through the sky. I loved to see the open and clear atmosphere in front of me. The world was simpler, clearer when I was flying. I wanted to live the rest of my life flying in the sky, but I never imagined I would die in it.
Anemos buckled under the force of the storm and a sob escaped my lips as I saw land below. I tried to even out the plane, praying the fields which I could barely see were longer than a mile as I fought to land the plane as evenly as possible. The plane fights my control and I brace for impact and the plane pitches forward. I fly against my seat belt as the plane impacts with the ground. I feel a sharp pain from my torso and I wonder numbly if my ribs have cracked as the glass of the cockpit cracks and breaks open. Shrapnel and glass fly into the c***pit and I feel something pierce my left arm as glass cuts my face. Pain sparks everywhere as the plane comes to a stop. Weakly, I reach up and try to talk into my headset but I can’t speak. Ironically, that’s when I hear a reply from my previous requests.
“Captain Aella, come in, Captain Aella.” Someone seems almost as frantic as I was moments ago as I croak in pain.
I try to speak but all I can do is cough. The person on the other line screams orders but I can’t hear them as the storm picks up and water washes over Anemos and I. I go to cough but blood catches in my throat and slowly I realize I’m dying. I hear thunder and see the flash of lightning crash all around me. I feel the electricity pulsing through my veins as my scream catches in my throat.
I go numb to everything as I begin to float. I feel my buckle come undone–which is weird, since I didn’t undo it–and I feel aloft as my eyes flutter open and closed. I feel the rain on my body but I can’t feel the felt of the seat I should be sitting in. Despite the darkness, I begin to see light, and I realize I must be dead. I look towards it, but I can’t go to it as it begins to wrap around me. The light is warm and gentle. I feel dry as it grasps me in its feathery grasps. My eyes close but the light changes colors around me as I see the colors differently through my eyelids. I let the light cradle me as my consciousness fades.
My mind is muddled as I wake. I feel lightheaded and look around. I don’t know where I am as I fight to control my body. My hands feel light and weak–yet I feel as though they have far greater power than should be possible–but my body feels lithe and strong. I try to find my legs but as I look down I realize that they continue to materialize and then dissipate over and over again. The more I examine myself the more panic I feel. My body can hardly be called such anymore. My hands are wisps of grey and flashes of light throughout them. Like a small storm was all that made up my being. I looked at myself and realized I was not longer human.
I tried to scream but it came out like the whistling of the wind. It was long and strong, but it was not a human scream. I realized I was sitting atop a cloud as others noticed my panic and I was quickly surrounded. All of the creatures surrounding my looked like varying stages of storms; their legs and arms were shifty and some floated about rather than walking as they looked towards me.
I felt others helping me up and I tried to materialize my legs to stand on the clouds. They helped me stand and one smiled–or I assumed it was a smile as electricity shot across their shifty face in an upward arc–at me and allowed me to look around. We had to be over fifty miles above the Earth. I looked over the edge of the grouping of clouds I sat on, and the shock of everything hit me. I hadn’t died. I don’t know where I am. But I’m not dead. I’m...new. And I feel more alive than I ever have in my life.
The smiling creature looked to me and to the Earth below. She spoke, but her voice sounded like different pitches and tones of the wind, yet I understood her perfectly, “Welcome, Aella, to the Nephele.”