Chapter 1: First day
I was never a fan of flying. Though I couldn’t remember my early childhood I’d been told the fear came from almost falling from one of father’s helicopters when I was younger. I had never recovered fully from the fear that, one day, I wouldn’t have someone to catch me when I tumbled. It was because of this that I never flew anywhere that I didn’t have to. I would take a ship, or go on foot or by car, even when it took several days more to get there. It was a deep fear that made me sick to my stomach and uncomfortable for days afterwards. Which is why I should have known that when I agreed to go to father’s northern lab, as a company liaison, that it would come with a catch. I had jumped at the opportunity to take such a grand leap in my career. Going from a glorified accountant to an onsite personnel manager was a dream come true. What I didn’t count on was that where we were going was little more than a hole in the mountains and the only road up to the villages had closed off with snows and wouldn’t be clear for a few weeks at least.
“You look green.” Lensi, one of my escorts and bodyguards, remarked as she watched from her seat across from me. “You okay?”
“I’ll be fine.” I mumble trying not to look out the closed window. We’d been in the air for about thirty minutes already and the view was beautiful or so I believed. I was too much of a coward to actually look. I’d have to enjoy the views on the ground, if I wanted to keep my dinner down. “Just as soon as we land.”
“We’re about ten minutes out!” Kristoff, my personal bodyguard and nanny of many years, as well as the current pilot of the copter, shouted back at us. “You’ll be alright girl. We’ll land in the lot soon and you can whine about it then.”
“Perhaps you should lay down.” A bit kinder than the old man, and not as familiar with me, Lensi advised as she pulled out a spare pillow from her side compartment and offered it to me. “You won’t have to look out the window at least.”
I take the pillow and tuck it into the empty seat beside me. Grateful that I was small enough to fit on the double bench, without bending my legs much I curl up and lay as still as possible to try and wait it out. It was an almost peaceful few minutes, until Kristoff announced that the labs landing pad had come into view.
As we start to land I’m forced to sit up and buckle my belt. Lensi starts to talk to me, telling me about her kids and the vacation they just had before she was assigned to escort me to my new home. About how her, and her husband Edmond, plan on going to Paris come the end of her assignment. She seemed excited enough that the distraction works and I am happily listening to her bubbly words with only a slight feeling of unease. That is until we actually land and the entire world seems to press down on me the instant that the wheels touch down.
Weak kneed, and a bit pale, I stumble from the helicopter and try to straighten my dress shirt and slacks so the approaching lab techs and security don’t see me so flustered.